We’re switching gears from talking about theme park stuff and trying something new by pumping out an article based on movies. The connection, Disney’s bread and butter is movies and Universal started out as a movie park. Plus Six Flags has been adding more stuff based on the DC movies. So today, I’d like to talk to you all about a topic that I hear all the time, the most underrated Disney movie. Everyone has their own answer to it, and most of them usually involve one of the same 4-5 movies. But what makes a movie, “underrated”?
Well Webster’s Dictionary defines underrate as, “to rate too low.” And if that seems over simplified, Webster’s defines that as, “to engage in undue or extreme simplification.” Or at least the definition as an intransitive verb, which is defined as, “a verb that is not transitive.” So when we describe a movie as”underrated” the big thing to consider is, who’s rating are we comparing it to? Most people will usually compare it to Disney’s ranking of their properties. Usually you’ll hear movies like Hunchback of Norte Dame, Emperors New Groove, A Goofy Movie, Atlantis and Treasure Planet lumped in this argument when comparing it to Disney’s standard. And if we were talking a few years ago, I would kind of agree, but now…not so much.
Let’s get this out of the way, Atlantis and Treasure Planet are not going to be acknowledged by the company ever. They were financial bombs that probably ended up being written off for tax break purposes so they legally can’t acknowledge them, maybe. And in my opinion, why would you? But what about the other 3? In the last few years, Disney has actually brought them to light more than before. Merchandise has been made about all 3 of them, Hunchback has a whole section in the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, and they are starting to more with them.
But even then, a few years ago I would still say those aren’t the most underrated Disney movies. Not by a long shot. There are still plenty of movies that Disney rarely mentions despite being of high quality. You see any merchandise or Blu Ray release for The Brave Little Toaster? Admit it, you probably forgot about the adventures of a toaster, blanket, lamp, Jon Lovitz and vacuum trying to find their master. How about their compilation shirts? Melody Time and Make Mine Music and fantastic pieces of animation that comes close to being Fantasia quality, but still worth mentioning. And yet, not even Disney really recognizes them. You ever stop to pay your respects to Muppet Treasure Island? Sure people and Disney go Gaga for Muppet Christmas Carol, but not a lot of people sing along to Cabin Fever when I start belting it out. Now there are several more, but what do I consider the most underrated movie in Disney’s collection. The Rescuers Down Under.
No other movie in my mind is such under appreciated goodness from this or any other movie company. Everything from the music, the animation, George C. Scott as a perfect “bad cause he’s bad” villain, and the face that it is a sequel that is far superior to its predecessor. You remember how all the direct to VHS and DVD sequels came out in the mid 90’s-mid 00’s? This movie was the first sequel to a Disney Animated Feature and it was released in theaters. It is the perfect sequel.
So those are my thoughts on underrated Disney movies. And to be honest, there are no wrong answers to this question. Except Brother Bear. That movie was garbage.