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The 10 Most Overrated Disney Animated Films

Even a studio as great as Disney stumbles once in a while. Here's proof.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

June 24, 2014 - 7:00 am
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For over 90 years, the Disney Studios has created some of the most memorable and enduring animated films of all time. But even a fanboy like me can admit that not everything Disney has released has been perfect. As much as Disney markets and hypes every animated feature as a classic, many of them are simply overrated. Here are the top ten.

My ground rules were pretty simple: I didn’t include Pixar’s output because they haven’t always been directly part of the Disney family. I also didn’t include the direct-to-video “cheapquels” that Michael Eisner made so famous, because they’re in a lower class all their own, and I left out the package features of the 1940s. Enjoy!

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10. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Once in a while, Disney tries to throw a bone to boys to make up for the prominence of the princesses in animated films. While the idea is worthwhile and the efforts are valiant, once in a while the more male-oriented movies fall short. 2007’s Meet the Robinsons is one of the latter.

Meet the Robinsons had a lot of potential – a twisty, time travel story with a sweet adoption plot coupled with clever, stylized animation. Instead, Meet the Robinsons is dizzying, noisy, and just falls short. Part of the cartoon’s problem may stem from the fact that John Lasseter, newly taking over as head of animation after Disney acquired Pixar, suggested a retooling.

Whatever the reason, Meet the Robinsons just didn’t make the impact that it could have.

All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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I don't agree with any of these. Much the most overrated Disney animated feature is "The Lion King," followed at a slight distance by "Beauty and the Beast" (much as I enjoy the Alan Menken score). I know many animation fans who rate "The Sword in the Stone" highly, but I cannot personally forgive the hack job it did on the original novel.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have an odd sense of overrating. I agree with Nerd, most of these flopped. Aladdin, Frozen, and Pocahontas come to mind as overrated instead.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about the top 10 worst top 10 lists.
All this nonsense because we humans happen to have 10 fingers.
Bah, humbug!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, I'm going to put my 2 cents in for TENG and Lilo and Stitch. Liked 'em so much I bought the DVDs.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
How are these overrated? Most of them flopped pretty bad and are not terribly popular.

However 'Meet the Robinsons' and 'The Emperor's New Groove' are underrated. They are not well known and part of the 'classics' canon, but they're better than 'Mulan,' 'Pocahontas,' 'The Little Mermaid,' and all the II/III versions of some of the classics. Most Disney movies are pretty awful when viewed critically--practically all of them are overrated, yet you chose the least popular, lowest rated movies to call overrated?

"You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't speak for any of the other movies you listed (and I kinda have to agree with you on the sequels), but The Little Mermaid definitely isn't overrated, at least not financials wise, probably even critics wise considering it at least still tried to promote some Conservative, heck, even Christian views (true, they did depict the priest as being extremely elderly, but at least they actually treated marriage as a good thing. We can't say the same of most Disney Classics movies starting with Beauty and the Beast, where they treat marriage as being a person's worst nightmare, and don't even bother to show the wedding at all, not in the first film at least.). considering it's pretty much the reason why Disney's still in existence right now. So the praise it gets is definitely deserved, since if it flopped, you can guarantee that Disney would file for bankruptcy. Probably the only other film to actually aid in Disney's revival by a significant measure was Roger Rabbit, and I'm not sure that's even a Disney film due to it technically being a joint project.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Re: the Artistocats:

Nobody remembers the songs.

Dead wrong. I saw the movie as a child and have occasionally broken into various songs from that movie.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well I have to disagree with you here. The comedy lines from TENG are a staple in our household. "Yaaay, I'm a llama again. Oh, wait.." Plus the lessons are good for our kids. The idea of private property being seized by the "Emperor" is topical and useful for explaining Supreme Court decisions like Kelo vs. New London. And we love Lilo and Stitch, all the way down, in our house. "Look, the mosquitos are nuzzling me with their noses!" Plus of course Stitch's wonderful line: "This is my family. Broken. Still good, though." Pry these movies from my cold, dead hands.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem being that mediocre Disney is usually better than most other companies standard output.
And folks do remember the songs from Aristocats. I still hum "Everybody wants to be a cat..."
My wife loves Lilo and Stitch. I think it is her favorite Disney animation.
The worst disappointment, however, was Tarzan. With 24 books in the series, Disney could have had a thrilling, long-running, PROFITABLE franchise, but they neutered and PC'd it instead. Oh, well.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll trade the Emperor's New Groove for Hercules any day. The latter mangled the source material, had a bizarre choice for musical style, and completely failed to grasp my imagination. TENG was hilarious, fun, and I thought the voice actors were memorable and perfectly suited to the parts they played. All three of my sons (2 are now parents themselves) love it, one of whom even yesterday was quoting some of Patrick Warburton's lines. Just my $0.02. Didn't anybody else like TENG? "Bewaaaaaare the groooove!"
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed. Spade is pretty much himself, but Warburton absolutely steals the show. Liked him on Seinfeld and The Tick, love him in this film. Hercules? Double meh.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Why do we even HAVE that lever?"

I agree, ENG was fast and fun. Tarzan looked good but lost everything that was good and interesting about the Burroughs novel. Too much PC. I disagree on the Aristocats, as it has one big, great jazz number. But Stitch and Robinsons share one common problem: threatened destruction of humanity doesn't make for fun family comedy.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed.

Love that movie. Love the Esma charachter. And Pacho's wife. and kids. Constant llama jokes in our house.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
First of all, thank you for reminding me that I have to watch the original Rescuers. Personally, my list would have Pocahontas and Mulan, on general principles.

BTW, is anyone aware that Tarantino did a remake of the old Disney Chip and Dale cartoon (before Rescue Rangers, when they were nasty)? It was called Django Unchained, something like that. (Well, compare the finales of the two and tell me I'm wrong.)
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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