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The 10 Most Overrated Live-Action Disney Films

Sometimes, Disney makes movies that just don't meet Walt's standards.

by
Chris Queen

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August 1, 2014 - 1:30 pm
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Not long ago, I compiled my ranking of the ten most overrated and underrated animated films in the Disney canon. Now it’s time to look at Disney’s live-action output. Over the years, the studio has released an astonishing array of live action movies covering just about every topic and genre. While many of them are indisputable classics, a few of them are simply overrated. Here are the top ten. Enjoy!

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10. The Rocketeer (1991)

I had such high hopes for The Rocketeer when it debuted right after I graduated high school. The previews looked amazing, and Disney hyped the film as an exciting period superhero film. I didn’t get a chance to see it until it came out on video, and it disappointed me.

The Rocketeer just isn’t an engaging film. I’ve only been able to make it through one viewing, and the times I’ve tried since, I can’t make it through the whole thing. (The presence of Jennifer Connelly, who I’m convinced is the most boring actress of all time, doesn’t help.)

The Rocketeer showed such promise, but it never delivered on that promise. That’s a shame, because, had it been a better movie, The Rocketeer could have been a classic.

Top Rated Comments   
Not having "an impact on the culture" does not a failure make; if that's the standard of a good movie, then there are very few good movies. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" succeeds admirably on its own terms: cheap belly laughs, lots of action, a mystery with enough clues that an observant viewer can figure it out, and some truly stunning visuals. Oh, and Roger Rabbit is meant to be annoying.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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The Rocketeer is one of my all time favorites. I have watched it many times. I would have thought it would be in the Underrated category, because it sure was not overrated.

I love the music, too, all of it. I have to think that the film version of Begin the Beguine is the best one ever recorded. Somewhere, Cole Porter is smiling.

Of course my case is somewhat special. When those hangar doors opened at the start of the film, my jaw dropped. The airfield is Santa Maria, one I flew out of in California. The surrounding countryside looks so familiar that it was like visiting an old, much loved friend.

And, ironically, just over those hills I was doing the most rewarding and exciting job of my life - launching rockets.

2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have to disagree on Roger Rabbit. Great performances by Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd and Kathleen Turner, plus groundbreaking human/toon interactive animation, truly gorgeous traditional animation, snappy dialogue and non-stop fun in a wacky alternate LA. It has earned its place in film history.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rocketeer was great to good. Honey I shrunk the kids was fun and cute. Parent Trap V2 is good and sweet. Snow Dogs funny. Agree with Roger--too self righteous.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought the Rocketeer was a pretty good flick, and my view is exactly the opposite of the writer's: I think it's an under-rated film. It's much better than I'd expected and I think a lot of people have avoided it, who otherwise might like it, due to the somewhat bland reviews it got. Billy Campbell and Alan Arkin both gave very entertaining performances.

Other than that, I agree with all the other movies on the list and for exactly the reasons given.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, one minor correction: I never saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua or Snow Dogs. So no opinion on them, other than I hope to never see them.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aside from the heralded lush animation of the opening sequence (sort-of recalling the attention Fritz the Cat received for its use of "full" animation), Roger Rabbit stood out more as an anti-Disney cartoon, directed more to adults in the manner of Warner Bros. cartoons from the 50s. The gratuitous inclusion of other studio's characters was somewhat inconsequential.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
So how many hundreds of millions of dollars have these overrated movies made for the mouse? I really liked the Rocketeer, as well as Roger Rabbit.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Black Hole is worthwhile for the production design alone. The robots (Maximilian particularly) and the backlit starship Cygnus haunted my childhood. The final scene is one of the darkest in the Disney canon. A man trapped in a robot trapped in Hell? What would Walt make of that?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
How does Rocketeer and Herbie make this list but Pearl Harbor doesn't???
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger Rabbit was a hat tip to Warner Brothers and to MGM under Tex Avery. (Jessica Rabbit was pure Tex Avery, and the bar scene was pure Warner Brothers.) Yes, Roger was irritating and the ending was brutally saccharine. So what?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger Rabbit doesn't belong on the list if for no other reason than the great line of Jessica Rabbit, voiced by an uncredited Kathleen Turner "I'm no bad. I'm just drawn that way."
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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