Sometimes, Disney releases animated movies that are immediate smash hits. Movies like The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. And then, sometimes Disney releases movies that, to put it nicely, just don’t perform as well.
Maybe it’s not the strongest plot, or maybe it’s a recession and no one is seeing movies. Maybe the music isn’t that good (if it’s even there). But maybe, just maybe, these movies aren’t even that bad, and we should give them another chance.
Here are 10 underrated Disney movies — and why you should re-watch them.
1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Why it wasn’t a big hit: Pretty heavy religious overtones don’t exactly scream Disney movie.
Why you should re-watch it: the music (including the score) is fantastic — in fact “Out There” is one of the best Disney songs ever written.
2. Sword in the Stone
Why it wasn’t a big hit: It came out sandwiched between 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle Book — both of which are pretty popular.
Why you should re-watch it: It’s a classic mythical story told in a Disney animated way — and it doesn’t get enough credit for that.
Why it wasn’t a big hit: It was released at the tail end of the Disney renaissance, and was attempting to follow movies such as Pocahontas and Aladdin, which are hard shoes to fill.
Why you should re-watch it: Two words: Phil. Collins.
4. Oliver and Company
Why it wasn’t a big hit: There wasn’t a lot of faith in Disney animation in the 1980s, and not even a Billy Joel-singing dog could save that. (But just one year later, a mermaid could, and did.)
Why you should re-watch it: Two more words: Billy Joel.
5. Treasure Planet
Why it wasn’t a big hit: It was a trope of a very popular story. Fans of the original perhaps weren’t jazzed to see yet another remake, this time in space.
Why you should re-watch it: It’s actually a very fun and smart remake of the story — plus Morph is super cute.
6. The Great Mouse Detective
Why it wasn’t a big hit: Again, the ’80s weren’t a real highlight for Disney. The Great Mouse Detective did better than most of its predecessors, but still, a lot of fans haven’t seen it.
Why you should re-watch it: Critics gave it two thumbs up. Plus Basil is awesome and a mouse is a very fun twist on Sherlock Holmes.
7. The Emperor’s New Groove
Why it wasn’t a big hit: Coming of the heels of the already not-super-hot Tarzan, Fantasia 2000, and Dinosaur, the film’s reviews were mostly so-so.
Why you should re-watch it: This movie is funny. Like grown-up-watching-it-without-kids funny… just watch it. Trust me.
8. Robin Hood
Why it wasn’t a big hit: Robin Hood has one of the lowest Rotten Tomatoes scores of all time – 54%.
Why you should re-watch it: This isn’t the best or most musical Disney film but it is a lot of fun. Robin Hood is funny in its own way and your kids will be entertained.
9. The Black Cauldron
Why it wasn’t a big hit: It’s known as “the film that almost killed Disney” because it resulted in a loss at the box office.
Why you should re-watch it: It has a Rotten Tomatoes score higher than Robin Hood.
10. Brother Bear
Why it wasn’t a big hit: Brother Bear didn’t do very well at the box office, and it was in an era of generally forgettable Disney movies (it was released around the same time at Home on the Range and Chicken Little).
Why you should re-watch it: Four words: Phil Collins is back.
Which underrated Disney movie is on your list? Let us know in the comments!
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