Underrated Disney Films. By Sarah Buddery.
Everyone has their favourite Disney films, and with an extensive back catalogue of beloved animated classics to choose from, there certainly isn’t a shortage of options!
For over 80 years, Disney have been delighting audiences with their charming tales of princesses, adorable animated critters, and offering the perfect escape into worlds of fantasy, imagination, and wonder!
With the majority of the 58 ‘Walt Disney Animation Studios’ classics readily available on Disney+, it is the perfect time to delve deeper into the canon to discover perhaps some of the lesser seen and lesser appreciated films, tucked alongside your existing favourites.
They may be less well known than some of their counterparts, perhaps weren’t as well received by critics, or were maybe just a little misunderstood upon their release but have subsequently found an audience much later on.
Whatever it may be, these films all have something unique and interesting to offer, and who knows, by the end of this list you may just have a new favourite or at the very least, an extensive watchlist of new classics to discover for the first time!
10. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Some people might argue whether this film could be considered as “underrated” as it is pretty universally well liked, but it finds a place in this list as I’m not sure everyone appreciates just how great this film really is!
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (or 21st depending on what country you’re in), there’ve been some really great pieces written celebrating this Disney classic, particularly focusing on the insane stories of it’s somewhat tumultuous production history. The fact this film even exists is a miracle, and the fact it exists in all of it’s rebellious, anarchic and distinctly anti-Disney form, is even more miraculous!
Packed with memorable lines, more visual gags than you could shake a llama at, and an insane energy throughout, Emperor’s New Groove packs so much into its 78(!) minute runtime and not a single second is wasted. Truly one of the very best!
9. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
The 1970s and 1980s were a slightly tumultuous period of Disney and they faced a lack of direction and clear leadership, following the death of Walt Disney in 1966. Nestled towards the tail end of the 1970s however is this delightful anthology collection of shorts featuring the beloved inhabitants of the hundred acre wood.
There’s few people who would be unfamiliar with the antics of honey-loving bear Winnie the Pooh and his pals, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh features some of the best and most well-known of his stories including ‘The Blustery Day’ and ‘The Honey Tree’.
Whilst generally overshadowed by the later offerings, including 2011’s Winnie the Pooh, there’s an unbridled childhood nostalgia in this 1977 collection, and the charming storybook style animation feels like your bedtime stories being brought to life. One of the most wonderful things about hand-drawn animation is it’s timeless quality, and this is absolutely one of those films, and one which will continue to delight those young and old for generations.
Select the numbers below for the other films in the list!