Disney movies and films have inspired attractions, characters, and lands in Disney Parks around the world. And, of course, they’ve also taken hold of our hearts. ❤️
But not every piece of Disney entertainment has been a smash hit over the years. As films make their debuts, Rotten Tomatoes announces its verdict about how releases rank according to both film critics and audiences.
And we’re about to take you on a trip down memory lane by showing you the 11 WORST Disney movies on the “Tomatometer.”
We broke our research down to just Walt Disney Studios films, including the live-action and animated movies, so you won’t see Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar films. All of these ranked under 50%, and we’re listing them from the worst of the worst and working our way up.
Jungle Book 2
We can’t help but jam out whenever we hear “I Wan’na Be Like You” from the first Jungle Book movie. The sequel, though, was a lot more lackluster when it’s compared to the first film. The story followed Mowgli as he actually branched out of the jungle to make contact with people.
Many people thought that Jungle Book 2 could have been left on the shelves, giving it only an 18% rating on the Tomatometer. Yikes.
After the smash hit that Pixar’s Cars franchise happened to be, Walt Disney Animation Studios decided to take their own swing at personifying motor vehicles. Planes, Disney’s sort-of spin-off of Cars, just didn’t work as well the Lightning McQueen franchise’s first film. It could be due to the fact kids are more interested in playing with race cars and trucks in general. Or it could be that the characters didn’t really draw audiences into the theaters.
Either way, Planes did win itself a low ranking on the Tomatometer with only 25%.
Doug’s 1st Movie
Disney and Nickelodeon working together doesn’t seem like a recipe you’d expect. And apparently most Disney fans turned up their noses at Doug’s 1st Movie since the film was based off the Nickelodeon show, Doug. Some might not even count it as a Disney movie (even if it was made by the company) because of its source material.
We’re sorry to say that your first movie was a flop, Doug, with only a 26% rating on the Tomatometer. At least you’ll always have your TV show.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
After the first live-action Alice in Wonderland film, Disney decided to dive deeper into Lewis Carroll’s incredible world. However, it may have been a bit too flamboyant and confusing for some viewers as the sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, fell flat (even with its star-studded cast).
Alice Through the Looking Glass received a lower score than the first film with a 29% rating. And, mind you, the first live-action Alice in Wonderland only had a 51% on the Tomatometer!
Based on the nursery rhyme (kind of), Disney took liberties to give Chicken Little a sci-fi flair in order to make it a full-length movie. In order to explain why the sky is falling in the story, aliens show up as part of the film’s central plot. Oh, and there’s a lot of karaoke and baseball.
It’s different, to say the least, which is probably why Chicken Little earned its 36% rating.
There are a few films on this list we MAJORLY disagree with, and this is one of them. Brother Bear is a story of how people operate under a grief cycle, told through the lens of indigenous culture with Spirit Animals and transformations. The brotherhood of both humans and animals teaches viewers that family is what you make it, without just being defined by blood. It also reminds you that forgiveness is the key to growth.
Oh, and did we mention that Phil Collins created Brother Bear‘s music? Huge brownie points there. While Brother Bear may have only a 37% on the Tomatometer, it’s worth so much more in our hearts!
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
There was quite a lot of hype surrounding Maleficent: Mistress of Evil after Maleficent was a very different tone for a Disney movie. Yet, the long-awaited sequel to the first film fell flat for many people. The story line was a bit messier and less believable when you compare it to the original Sleeping Beauty story.
Even though the costuming and special effects were great, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil only ranked 39% with critics.
Planes: Fire and Rescue
Surprisingly, the Planes sequel did better than the first film, most likely due to the extra action involved in the plot. Still, Planes: Fire and Rescue didn’t hold well with fans so the entire franchise sits in the worst Disney movies category.
Even with the additions of more interactive characters (kids AND adults love fire fighters), Planes: Fire and Rescue only made it to a 44% ranking.
The animated version of Dumbo is an absolute HIT with many fans (we cry during “Baby Mine” every time). But the live-action version didn’t resonate the same way, especially since the focus of the film was taken off Dumbo and put on his owners. Plus, the story wasn’t even really the same as the animated movie, so it felt like an entirely different film overall.
Don’t worry, Dumbo, we still think you’re adorable, even with that 46% ranking on the Tomatometer.
Return to Never Land
We understand why Peter Pan’s sequel would have such a low rating when the first one is clearly beloved. But we don’t think it deserves to be THIS low on Rotten Tomato’s ranking list! Instead of centering around Peter Pan, Return to Never Land‘s story follows Wendy’s daughter Jane as she has the issue of trying to grow up TOO fast in a World War II environment.
It’s actually a great perspective because it flips Peter Pan‘s original narrative in a way that allows you to cherish childhood, while also being okay with growing up. We think it’s a lot of “absolute poppycock” (as Mr. Darling would say) that Return to Never Land is a 46% rating, but we might just love it a lot.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
If there’s a HIGHLY controversial pick on this list, it’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. This has been a “you either love it or you hate it” film since it debuted back in 2001. It’s targeted more toward older audiences who can appreciate the fact that Michael J. Fox voices Milo (!!!) and the lore behind the Atlantis myth. Regardless, Atlantis: The Lost Empire is an underrated film that had a lot of diverse characters and actors included in the cast. Rotten Tomatoes, we will have to say that Atlantis deserved better than its 49% rating.
There were quite a few movies that sat in a range for 50% or maybe didn’t have a rating at all. But we thought it was important to round down to bring you the “worst” of the bunch on Rotten Tomatoes. Although we may not agree with all these ratings, you’ll want to note that the audience score on these movies could actually reach close to 100% in some cases!
The Tomatometer, though, is made up of film critics, who can have differing views than the popular opinions. Don’t worry — if you love some of these films, you aren’t alone! We might even have to go rewatch a few of these films as a refresher! If you need us, we’ll be sitting on our couches, binge-watching Disney+, and eating ALL the snacks! In the meantime, you can stay tuned with All Ears for the latest Disney news you need to know.
What are your all-time favorite and LEAST favorite Disney movies? Let us know in the comments below!
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