In the past I’ve discussed both the good and bad sequels to classic Disney movies. However, there were far more sequels than the ones I listed there. Those sequels are stuck in borderline territory; not enough to be considered bad but not enough to be considered a hidden gem either. This article takes a look at the Disney sequels stuck in limbo territory. Note: Sequels comprised of a series of episodes such as Hercules: Zero to Hero and Tarzan and Jane will not be featured.
Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure
One of the most distracting things about this sequel was the voice of Scott Wolf for Scamp. That voice does not match the cute puppy at all. But thankfully the rest of the new voice actors are good. The animation is top notch and does its best to capture the feel of the original. The slower pace allows the movie’s deeper moments to sink in. But whereas the first one tended to stray from clichés this one has several of them. And it also felt like it focused a lot more on the human world than what was necessary by Lady and the Tramp standards.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning
The idea for this was not a bad one. It had potential in providing more character for Ariel’s sisters, her mother, and an entertaining villain voiced by Sally Field. The animation is very impressive regarding the world of the sea and the flow and elegance of the characters. However the story involving Triton banning music is generic and by far the biggest crime of this movie was the writing with the villain. The way she looked and with her story was very reminiscent of Ursula but it’s an entirely different character. The way they set her up could have been a great way to tie into the first movie but it’s just a pity they decided not to go with that angle. Not an horrid movie but one with a lot of wasted potential.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
This movie really downgraded the character of Belle. And the songs, while good, were trying too hard to be on par with the songs of the first movie. The animation is of course a downgrade being direct-to-video but it still has some nice winter colors. But the villainous Forte is provided a great voice through Tim Curry and the CG on him really makes him feel alive and his plan and motives are interesting. It’s not the best but it’s nowhere near Belle’s Magical World.
An Extremely Goofy Movie
I love the original Goofy Movie and the show these movies stemmed from, Goof Troop. And while this is an enjoyable movie, I don’t see why this is considered a sequel since it bears almost no part of the original. There’s no mention of Roxanne and that would have been a great idea for this movie to explore the future of their relationship given that the two presumably went off to different colleges as she and Max were very cute in the original. Even the idea of Max bonding with his dad while heartfelt and genuine is still the same as the first movie just with them in college. But the movie has some funnily animated and enjoyable characters in Goofy’s love interest Sylvia Marpole and villain Bradley Uppercrust and can portray emotional moments in a rather unique way. Much like its predecessor it has a good balance of 90s and timelessness.
The Return of Jafar
This movie was advertised as a huge return for a classic Disney villain but instead turned out to be a pilot movie for the TV show. A lot of the good stuff from the first movie is seriously downgraded here and feels rushed such as the Genie and Aladdin and Jasmine’s romance. On top of that the movie is more focused on Iago than Aladdin. With all that being said, the plot for Jafar’s revenge is not a bad one and the thief voiced by Jason Alexander is legitimately funny.
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
A lot of people hate this movie and to be frank, when it gets bad it gets REALLY bad. Things like the romance between Pocahontas and John Rolfe (completely discarding the one with Smith in the process) , the opening sequence involving Ratcliffe’s return, and the bear-baiting scene are downright cringe worthy. However the movie has some enjoyable songs (particularly the Where Will I Go From Here Song), some of the side characters like Uttamatomakkin and King James were funny, and the idea of Pocahontas going to the New World was interesting in the way she comes across various characters, how they react to her, and just how much she walks the line between giving up to adapt and how much of her culture she holds on to. These aspects weren’t enough to save the movie as a whole but just barely enough to escape from being on the bad list.
This story goes into a lot more of Tarzan’s childhood, which was something mostly just played for laughs in the first movie. It’s far less adult but it’s still rather charming as are the characters young Tarzan comes across. The movie is also significantly smaller and Zugor and Tarzan’s figuring out of the latter’s identity is concluded in a rather stupid way. This is a midquel that had some interesting ideas in exploring a gap of the original.
Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return
Though very much made up like a TV series it never really got off the ground. It has some really subpar animation but when it comes to its storytelling it has some really interesting and creative plots. And to be fair it has a definitive beginning and end. As a continuation to Atlantis this is something that had promise but deserved better.
Brother Bear 2
For a direct-to-video movie it still has some gorgeous animation in vein of its predecessor. It also had some impressive voice acting through its mains particularly given that Joaquin Phoenix did not reprise his role as Kenai. But with that being said the love story is once again predictable and the moose feel even more disconnected in this movie. On top of that outside of the fact Kenai turned into a bear and looks after Koda, there is almost no connection to this and the first movie.
The Lion King 1 1/2
In telling the story of Timon and Pumba the movie inserts them at multiple moments throughout the original movie’s events. Sometimes it can be legitimately funny such as the I Can’t Wait to Be King song or the bowing of the animals. But other times it feels rather pointless and stupid. Timon’s backstory is decent but doesn’t do much new with its concept. But once again the movie’s animation is well done for direct-to-DVD given that Lion King was once of their hugest projects and in some respects this movie is enjoyable in the same vein as the Timon and Pumba show.
101 Dalmatians 2: Patch’s London Adventure
Cruella’s plan in this movie regarding the dogs is just as crazy if not crazier than the original in her desire to paint the canvas with them. The main plot regarding Patch and the TV dog Thunderbolt is a little formulaic but it has a legitimate charm. The artwork also feels very close in line with the original. It recycles some ideas from the original movie and but gives just enough new life. Much like the first movie, the best part of this movie lied in its villain.
Kronk’s New Groove
Virtually everything around Yzma and Kronk were the funniest parts of the original movie. This movie, centered around one of the two just feels like nothing other than an excuse to capitalize on the first movie’s humor and it wears out fast. It goes into a lot of flashbacks regarding Kronk’s life and it is not very memorable. The movie did get back the same voice actors from its predecessor, which allows the delivery of the lines to be associated with the classic characters. The problem is that the writing for this is bad. It’s certainly energetic but there’s no real control to the movie’s humor, which is where this fails. The jokes in this movie aren’t the greatest but they don’t near the point of insulting. And this movie didn’t really try to leave that much of an impression (at least not intentionally).
The Lilo and Stich sequels
As a whole this was a good franchise. The various aliens in this get some good laughs and have unique designs. The human characters are still just as enjoyable. But the thing is aside from Stitch has a Glitch, the sequels are largely rooted in the TV show. As a result, it can be quite confusing to newcomers in some of the characters and plot threads. It’s all very engaging but unlike something like the Aladdin sequels, which tied in the movie and the show, this felt more, focused on ending the show but still on an excellent note. It’s just that for a franchise that had three sequels and a show that really weren’t all that weak this could have done with being bigger.
Are there any sequels you think deserve a push out of limbo territory? Any you think deserve to be in this territory? Leave your thoughts in the comments below