Wednesday, August 2, 2017

10 Under-Appreciated Animated Disney Films

Most animated movie fans know the popular Disney titles, such as Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and even Toy Story. But Disney—alongside its partner studios, like Pixar and Studio Ghibli—has a plethora of fantastic films that don't receive the credit they deserve. Here are a few of my favorite under-appreciated animated Disney films.

Big Hero 6

Disney teamed up with Marvel Studios for this film, which is definitely evident in the superhero-style storyline and the ultra-cool Stan Lee cameo. (I think this is his best cameo by far.) The greatest crime to the animated film world is that this movie doesn't receive more love. The world building of San Fransokyo, the diverse cast of characters, and an adorable, marshmallow-y robot—how is that not cool? In addition, it's about superheroes and worm holes and all kinds of cool STEM-related stuff. Disney did a marvelous job with this one. (Annnd it won an Oscar for the best animated feature film.)


One of my favorite Disney/Pixar films is Up. Not only does it tell an entire love story in less than five minutes, but it does it without words. Plus, this movie is chock full of humor, adventure, and awesome aerodynamics. Everybody wants Carl to be their grandpa, Dug to the be their loyal dog, and Russell to be their next door neighbor when the movie is finished. It's poetic and visually stunning, and it just might make you cry. A lot. (This film also won an Oscar for the best animated feature film.)


Like Up, Ratatouille is often forgotten among the more popular Pixar titles, but it has its merits. The visuals of Remy's food experience are gorgeous, and I adore the French atmosphere throughout the movie. The plot is adorable, and despite Remy being a rat, I can't help but wish he was my friend. (Also, like Up, Ratatouille won an Oscar for best animated feature film.)

Howl's Moving Castle

One of the most gorgeous animated films ever, Howl's Moving Castle holds a special place in my heart. Studio Ghibli did wonders with the adaptation of Diana Wynn Jones' novel, and I absolutely adore this film. If you're interested in trying out an anime but don't want to be put off by a strange story or weird mythology, try this movie instead. It's a fantasy adventure full of humor, silliness, and of course, dramatic flair. (Looking at you, Howl!)

Meet the Robinsons

Meet the Robinsons is a conglomeration of a ton of amazing things, from nefarious villains and time-travel to crazy cool inventions and ridiculous dinosaurs to silly family dynamics and motivational messages. The plot twists in this one really hit home, and there are tons of jokes and puns scattered throughout. It's a fun adventure that shouldn't be forgotten, but instead we should move forward in remembering that it exists.

Gnomeo and Juliet

When I heard about this film, I was a little skeptical. How in the world can you take Romeo and Juliet, a Shakespearan tragedy, and retell it as a cute animated film with gnomes? Well, Disney did it. And they did it well. Not only does it follow the original play fairly well, it works within the "backyard" setting and the world of gnomes. It also includes tons of Shakespeare references and Easter eggs, including good ole Will himself. (Voiced by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart.) Throw in a few songs by Elton John, and this movie nailed it.

Treasure Planet

While I know some people who adore this film, it's still often forgotten. Those who have seen it love it, but it doesn't have the cult following that other "lost" Disney films, like Atlantis, do. Treasure Planet is a retelling of Treasure Island but with awesome steampunk aspects like flying ships, hoverboards, and aliens (and gorgeous animation). They really did a great job with this film, and it's easily become a favorite.

The Sword in the Stone

It's been a while since I saw this film, but I remember enjoying the story. With every King Arthur retelling, it's a little different, and this one definitely follows suit. It's worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of the well-known legend. Plus, Merlin.

The Fox and the Hound

If you like adorable animals, unlikely friendships, and a bucket of feels, watch The Fox and the Hound. It's simply adorable as these two unlikely animals become friends and learn who and what they are as they grow up. I remember it being a favorite as a child, and I think it deserves more love, despite how sad it is.

Bonus: Enchanted

Technically, this film is a hybrid, since it features both animated and live-action scenes. Still, it's one of the best, and often forgotten, Disney titles, blending the typical Disney princess tropes with something new and hilarious. While the animated scenes aren't the best parts of the film, I think this movie deserves more recognition. (And a sequel!)

What other Disney films deserve more appreciation?


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