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    I Watched Every Single Disney Animated Sequel And Ranked Them From "Zero" To "Hero" So You Don't Have To

    Where does YOUR favourite rank?

    You may remember a few decades ago Disney began cranking out sequels of variable calibre to its most popular hits, beginning with The Rescuers Down Under in 1990.

    Buena Vista Pictures

    This trend lasted until the late '00s (although some sequels like Frozen II were released much more recently), when Disney execs decided to move towards the more lucrative (and probably better) live-action remake model.

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    I found an IMDB list that gives a pretty definitive index of 33 Disney animated sequels. Using this, and the criteria I developed below, I decided to watch each of these movies (including a couple extra) and rank them according brilliance.

    Sam Cleal / Via Buzzfeed

    35. Belle's Magical World (1998)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    We begin with an anthology movie from the late '90s, which follows everyone's favourite Disney bookworm, Belle. It's quite common for Disney sequels to be made up of three or four TV episodes, and this is by far the worst of them all. The animation is baddd – Belle often looks like she has a lazy eye! The Beast is aggressively unlikeable, and Belle is often forced to comfort him when he's being utterly terrible, which just isn't a great message for kids. If you're fan of BATB, I'd give this one a miss lest it ruin that for you.

    My score: 0.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 72% (I have NO idea how).

    34. The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015)

    Disney Channel

    This is a spin-off TV film from only a few years ago. We follow lion cub Kion – Simba's son and youngest child – as he takes his place as the leader of The Lion Guard, a team who protect the Pride Lands. This movie was first released on the Disney Channel and led into a TV series of the same name – another common thing for Disney to do. It's well done, but it's a pretty basic movie and kinda just for kids.

    My score: 1/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: N/A

    33. Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    This is the follow-up to a lesser-known Disney film about a diverse group of twentieth-century explorers finding Atlantis. The animated style is a quite a step down from the first film (this will be a recurrent theme in this post), and the plot has pretty much nothing to do with the original. The hero characters revisit a much-improved Atlantis, then find a weak-ass reason to return to the surface to fight various foes. It's quite episodic, and feels more like a super long vintage Scooby Doo episode than a Disney movie.

    My score: 1.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 24%

    32. The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    Here's a sequel to another lesser-known yet excellent Disney movie, but this one goes back in time to when main characters Tod and Copper are young. The pair attend a local county fair where Copper becomes involved with a troop of singing dogs. Essentially, it's nothing to do with the original heartwarming story. The animation style is much newer, and even mixes in some 3D elements, which I personally felt it didn't need. Randomly, the film features the voices of Reba McEntire and Patrick Swayze, but even they aren't enough to save the meandering plot.

    My score: 2/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 46%

    31. The Hunchback of Notre Dame II: The Secret of the Bell (2002)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    We're right back into swing of things in this sequel! Quasimodo is forlorn and wants to find somebody to love; cue a beautiful lady with next-to-no backstory who does love him! There's a basic plot to steal a bell going on, but the villain behind that is pretty forgettable. There's not much Esmeralda content because she's married and has nothing to contribute now (in fact, this movie is lowkey obsessed with characters being paired off, down to the bloody horses and the gargoyles)! It's basically a rehash of the first movie, but I guess it's nice to know that Quasimodo gets a happy ending!

    My score: 2/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 26%

    30. 101 Dalmatians 2: Patch's London Adventure (2003)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    There’s something I love about Disney putting out a sequel 42 years after the original film! In this movie, Patch the puppy gets "home-aloned" when his family move to a Devon farm. He somehow ends up buddying up with a famous dog off the telly, but they better watch out cos Cruella's back on loose! There are parts of this movie that are okay – I like Cruella's brief flirtation with the modern art scene of the swinging '60s and Patch's fun cockney accent, but it's still not a good sequel.

    My score: 2.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 41%

    29. An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    I think this has to be just about the most "2000" movie there ever was! Following the events of the first film, Max is off to college and Goofy is super sad – there's an early scene of Max leaving which is actually quite heartbreaking! But Max couldn't give a shit about his dad and quickly takes over his campus because he's oh so cool. But then what should happen? Goofy decides he's going to go to college too! (It's kind of sad, he loses his job and is basically forced to). Aside from a great slam poetry scene which is still relevant today, this is a pretty boring movie with a very predictable plot.

    My score: 3/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 48%

    28. Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    So let me tell you, there are A LOT of Lilo and Stitch sequels. I love OG Lilo and Stitch, but I'd contend there are TOO many movies now. In this iteration, Stitch starts to "go bad" after it's revealed by his creator Jumba that he has a glitch. Meanwhile Lilo, who for some reason is voiced by Dakota Fanning in this movie despite the fact that she's played by Daveigh Chase everywhere else, is busy competing in a hula competition. It's a pretty weak plot that you can kind of forsee from the beginning, and the Elvis obsession just isn't as charming as in the first movie.

    My score: 3/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 56%

    27. Aladdin: The Return of Jafar (1994)

    Walt Disney Television Animation

    Ah, the one that started it all... kind of. This film sees the resurgence of Jafar but contains no trace of Robin Williams – he famously fell out with Disney over the use of his name in the marketing for the first film. Instead, the genie is voiced pretty capably by Homer Simpson actor Dan Castellaneta! The animation is alright, but there are no standout songs and they basically make the whole plot about Iago the parrot, who is incredibly grating.

    My score: 3/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 40%

    26. Kronk's New Groove (2005)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    The Emperor's New Groove is a genius film, so I was super excited for this sequel since most of the voice cast came back! Unfortunately, it's not the best. The film explores Kronk's relationship with his curmudgeonly father, and contains three anthology stories: the first is okay, the second one really drags, and the third is actually alright and has some funny moments. There are some weird choices in the film though – like Yzma being half woman half cat, and one of the newly introduced characters, who looks to be Peruvian, speaking with a really posh English accent. It might make you laugh towards the end but I'm not promising anything.

    My score: 4/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 44%

    25. Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    I remember really wanting to watch this when I was younger but I have to say, it's only okay. This sequel comes 46 years after its predecessor so a lot has changed in terms of production! Set in WASP America during the run up to Independence Day, the movie follows Scamp – Lady and Tramp's son – who feels like he doesn't fit in with his family and wants to be free. He sets his eyes on a manic pixie dream pooch and runs away to become a street dog. It's not a bad film per se, it's just very generic.

    My score: 5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 50%

    24. Mulan II (2004)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    I hate to say this because Mulan is my all-time favourite Disney movie, but this sequel is not great. The plot is fine, but there’s a lot of saying unfunny things and then laughing (a hallmark of Disney sequels), and they really squeezed all they could out of their comic relief – Mushu, Yao, Ling, Chien-Po, and Grandmother. Mulan herself is still great, but Mushu (not voiced by Eddie Murphy) becomes a massive dickhead and throughout the film tries to ruin Mulan's relationship with Shang for some weak-ass reason. And Shang!!! They really did him dirty. If you've ever felt like Shang has sex appeal, don't watch this film and ruin that for yourself.

    My score: 5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 42%

    23. Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    Okay, so allegedly people really like this film and I want to take that into account, but personally I found this sequel super tedious. Robin Williams is back in full force as the Genie, but it's not as funny as his first go round. You get to know more about Aladdin and his father, but Jasmine sort of goes off and makes a coffee for the whole film. Annoyingly, Iago crops up A LOT. There are some okay songs and the story is fairly good, but I'm afraid it's just not for me.

    My score: 5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 50%

    22. Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    This movie would rank SO much higher if it wasn't an awkward representation of what really happened to Pocahontas. In this sequel, Pocahontas leaves her home and sails to England where she falls in love with the dashing John Rolfe. IRL, Pocahontas did sail to England, and she likely was something of a diplomat between her people and the European settlers, but she tragically died before she returned to America. What this movie does do well is give us a fun snapshot of Jacobean London; provide entertaining and emotive moments; and stay true to the fierceness and integrity we have come to associate with Pocahontas. FYI, John Smith stans need not watch.

    My score: 5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 28%

    21. Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Everyone loved the original Ralph movie, and this one did a pretty good job of following it, but it just wasn't as clever or wholesome. There are a lot of plot contrivances, like the Disney princess sleepover, which are fun but a little distracting. It was cool to see how filmmakers represented modern internet culture, and we sure loved getting a 'lil shout-out, but to me this movie was kind of random. There are definitely some fun moments though, and die-hard fans will likely enjoy!

    My score: 5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 65%

    20. The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea (2000)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    As a kid, I died over this sequel! What's not to love? Young hip princess Melody, daughter of Prince Eric and Ariel, longs for the sea in direct contrast to her mother in the first film. In truth, although it's watchable, it's a distinctly average Disney sequel. There are new characters – a villain called Morgana (Ursula's long-suffering sister), Morgana's shark henchman Undertow, and two dumb sidekicks called Tip and Dash, but they're all a bit hackneyed and cliché and the plot just isn't strong enough to pull focus from them.

    My score: 5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 45%

    19. Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True (2001)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    This follow-up condenses three short stories about Cinderella's life in the palace after her marriage to Prince Charming into one feature. Cinderella must adjust to her new life of party-planning and being proper, but you know Cindy, she's a casual kinda gal! There are some funny moments and the stories are all pretty engaging. Even though Prince Charming is barely in it, we get some decent face-time with Anastasia, one of Cinderella's step-sisters. Confusingly, this kind of tees up the viewer for Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, but the chronology is a little off.

    My score: 6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 32%

    18. The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (2008)

    Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

    This sequel is a later addition to The Little Mermaid saga, arguably a franchise from the old world of Disney, but it's pretty solid. We get to see Ariel's mum (who looks EXACTLY like her), her dad in his youth, and her sisters, each of whom we get to know over the course of the film. Just like Footloose, King Triton has banned music in his kingdom and demands everyone be as sad as him all the time. When Ariel discovers a speakeasy but for music, she makes it her to mission to get Triton's groove back. I loved all the backstory in this prequel, and while the movie's villain Marina Del Rey isn't the most compelling, she feels like the kind of messy good-time gal the gays could get behind.

    My score: 6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 56%

    17. Stitch! The Movie (2003)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    This movie served as a pilot for the popular Lilo & Stitch TV series, and sets up the premise that Lilo and Stitch must locate Jumba's missing experiments, change them from bad to good, and find the one place they truly belong. Everything works, and it's cool to see more experiments like Stitch, but the newly introduced antagonist Dr. Hämsterviel is incredibly annoying. Many of the characters are dumbed down for kids but I'm never sad to see queer icon Pleakley on screen! It's good to see if you plan to watch the series.

    My score: 6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 50%

    16. Hercules: Zero to Hero (1999)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    Another anthology movie, this prequel weaves together three episodes from the '90s TV series as flashback segments of a pretty boring frame story. Though the animation is a BIG step down from the first film, the actual stories are pretty good, and I feel like I definitely would've liked the series as a kid. Hercules begins studying at Prometheus Academy, where he befriends Icarus and Cassandra. There's no Danny DeVito, but most of the characters from the original movie make an appearance.

    My score: 6/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 36%

    15. Tarzan & Jane (2002)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    Yet ANOTHER anthology film, this movie packages three unaired episodes of the film's corresponding television series, The Legend of Tarzan into one movie. For me, this is the best iteration of that particular type of Disney sequel. All of the stories are good, where the original voice actors haven't returned the impressions are on point, and the animation is solid. There are even some funny moments and compelling new characters – like Jane's uppity friends who visit her in the jungle in the first story. It's definitely not a film film, but it is eminently watchable!

    My score: 6.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 30%

    14. The Jungle Book 2 (2003)

    Buena Vista Pictures

    This movie is one of a few on this list that received a theatrical release for some reason – I remember seeing it at the cinema! Back then, I recall not enjoying it, but now I think it's a pretty good sequel. Mowgli has moved into a village but still feels tied to the jungle and his friends. He's abducted by Baloo who wants Mowgli to leave the village and live with him, but Shere Khan (actually scary AF) is still at large and after revenge. The animation is excellent, and there's even a catchy new song called "Jungle Rhythm". Most of the original characters reappear, and there are some decent new characters too. Plus, the story actually ties in with the plot of the original film!

    My score: 6.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 30%

    13. Brother Bear 2 (2006)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    One of the most underrated Disney movies is Brother Bear, so I was excited for this sequel and to see if it would make me bawl my eyes out like the first one did. The truth is the plot is pretty heavy-handed from the beginning, and you can see what's coming a mile off. Kenai's voice is now Patrick Dempsey, which didn't work for me. I nearly didn't finish it, but I'm super glad that I did because the last 20 minutes really slaps. Everything sort of shifts and suddenly it's life or death and you care about the characters just like you did in the first movie! Also, shout-out to the score which is BEAUTIFUL, and the movie soundtrack, which features two amazing original songs from gay icon Melissa Etheridge!

    My score: 6.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 55%

    12. Peter Pan 2: Return to Never Land (2002)

    Buena Vista Pictures

    So one thing I will say is, I LOVE it when a sequel follows the son or daughter of a character from the original film – it's just so fun! In this case, it's Wendy's young daughter Jane, a diehard cynic who's just trying to get through the trauma of being a kid in London during World War II. Even when she gets whisked off to Never Land, she's not feeling it AT ALL and in that sense, she's actually quite an interesting lead. The animation is light years ahead of 1953, and is actually super imaginative. While the storyline is a little recycled from first movie, the voice cast is on point and there may or may not be a little reunion at the end which is nice!

    My score: 7/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 38%

    11. Tangled: Before Ever After (2017)

    Disney–ABC Domestic Television

    In a shocking turn of events, this sequel to the 2010 runway hit Tangled, is actually 2D-animated! It premiered on Disney Channel and serves as a pilot to the TV series. The story takes place before Rapunzel gets married in the animated short Tangled Ever After, but after the events of the original film. Rapunzel is disillusioned by royal life and feels like she’s moved from metaphorical cage to another. There are some funny moments, a plot twist or two, and some awesome new characters like Cassandra, Rapunzel's bad bitch lady-in-waiting! The animation is a little advert-like, but it's still very good, although Flynn is sadly not as hot as in the first film. I'll also say the Lady Caine revenge plot is not handled in the best way, and IMO demonises the working classes somewhat.

    My score: 7/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 69%

    10. Leroy & Stitch (2006)

    Buena Vista Television/Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    This is the last Lilo & Stitch related film, I promise! This movie features Daveigh Chase in the role of Lilo once again, and represents an end to the TV series. Lilo and Stitch's mission to round up all the lost experiments is over, and Stitch potentially wants to return to space with Jumba and Pleakley, leaving Lilo alone. Meanwhile, arch-villain Dr. Hämsterviel has created an army of Stitch clones and plans to take over the galaxy. It sounds rubbish, but this is actually a pretty engaging watch and is probably the most endearing some of these characters have been since the 2002 original!

    My score: 7.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 53%

    9. Tarzan II: The Legend Begins (2005)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    In this prequel we look back to Tarzan's childhood in the jungle. Tarzan is in the midst of an identity crisis and feels ostracised by the gorillas he lives with. A disastrous fall separates him from the pack and he must learn to fend for himself in the jungle, including hiding from the mystery "Zugor"! Along the way he meets some entertaining new characters including a misanthropic old gorilla and an offbeat little family of gorillas – think Everybody Loves Raymond but apes. The animation is really good and I have to commend the voice acting in this one, which is really top-notch.

    My score: 7.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 36%

    8. Fantasia 2000 (1999)

    Buena Vista Pictures

    Fantasia is a unique early Disney feature that cuts together several short stories created by Disney artists and based on famous classical music. This sequel is basically a reboot of that exact format, and features eight new self-contained sequences inspired by and set to classical compositions from the likes of Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Camille Saint-Saëns. Several famous faces appear to introduce each chapter, and the film regularly references the first Fantasia from 1940. This sequel of full of charm, character, and ribbony music that will entertain you whilst also make you feel fancy AF. Look out for the whale chapter, the New York chapter, and the final chapter about a woodland sprite!

    My score: 7.5/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 75%

    7. Bambi and the Great Prince of the Forest (2006)

    Buena Vista International

    I didn't think I would like this film as much as I did, but honestly, this is a great sequel! The story picks up in the perfect time section – just after Bambi's mother dies and his father appears to take him away, but before he suddenly matures into a stag. The plot explores Bambi's relationship with his dad, voiced by Patrick Stewart, and is just super profound and engaging. There are a lot of funny and clever moments, some decent songs, and interesting references – like to the movie Groundhog Day. Plus, you gotta love the way they’re drawn with those big eyes and plump features!

    My score: 8/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 60%

    6. Frozen II (2019)

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Probably THE most highly anticipated sequel on this list, Frozen 2 continues the story of Queen Elsa and Princess Anna as they figure out who they really are and ... you know... how to run a queendom. The plot of the film at first seems a bit too fast-paced, but it's generally a solid narrative with lots of fun moments and plenty of new songs and interesting characters. I gotta say, to me the original is still the greater of the two, but I do have to account for all of the people who said this movie was better than Frozen, which was A LOT!

    My score: 8/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 92%

    5. The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata (2004)

    Walt Disney Home Entertainment

    Also known as The Lion King 1½, this feel-good prequel is an inventive reinterpretation of one of the most iconic Disney films ever! The story explores the background of two of Disney’s most lovable side characters, Timon and Pumbaa, and interacts with the plot of the first film in some really clever ways. The animation is great, and we get to see a lot of new stuff like where Timon grew up, where he lived with Pumbaa, and what teen Simba was like! The film also lowkey suggests the queerness of this pairing, which is really fun to see. It meanders a little towards the end, but I definitely recommend this to any Disney fan!

    My score: 9/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 62%

    4. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

    Buena Vista Pictures

    If you don't know The Rescuers, it's basically a really lovely vintage Disney film about a pair of mouse detectives who rescue an endearingly sweet little American girl. This sequel features the same mice, but this time they're off to Oz to rescue a little boy kidnapped by an evil outback poacher. The voice acting is great, and the animation style is much more up to date than the original – indeed it's actually the first ever fully digital feature film! It’s probably just as good as the original, but I’m not sure if it’s better. I only wish they'd done a whole saga around the world!

    My score: 10/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 68%

    3. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    So I'm VERY excited to talk about this movie because I used to watch it over and over again as a kid – more times than the original for sure! This sequel takes place before and after the events of the main film: a Christmas party is being held at the prince's castle when the human Mrs Potts begins to tell a story from back when they were all cursed. It has a banging soundtrack (including bops like "Stories" and "As Long As There's Christmas"), and a ton of new characters who are all brilliant. The best of these is the film's villain, Forte, played by Tim Curry, who is both terrifying and captivating. It's just a really good watch if you love Beauty and the Beast or classic Disney!

    My score: 10/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 55%

    2. Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007)

    Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

    WHO KNEW a Cinderella sequel could slap SO hard, but it just does! This incredible time-turner caper sees the evil Lady Tremaine use The Fairy Godmother's wand to reverse the events of the first film in order to trick Prince Charming into marrying her daughter Anastasia. All of the main characters really come alive – Lady Tremaine's evil soars to new heights, Prince Charming turns into this swashbuckling stud, Cinderella becomes this tenacious bad bih, and Anastasia – well, I just couldn't help but fall in love with how vulnerable she is. Honestly, when she says "he was nice to me", I about turned into a puddle of tears! This movie gets major points for being the most surprising hit and for staying on mind for weeks afterwards. Now I'm waiting on Cinderella 4 for that Drizella redemption story!

    My score: 12/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 61%

    1. The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998)

    Walt Disney Home Video

    And my number one is, of course, The Lion King 2. The best thing about this movie is that it doesn't feel at all sequel-like to me – it's like a brand new film! The plot flows from the first movie into this movie seamlessly, the new characters introduced are well-rounded and engaging, and the music... can we talk about "He Lives in You", "My Lullaby", "We Are One", "One of Us"!?!?! Everything about this movie is fantastic from the animation to the voice-acting to the fact that the first film was inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet and this one is based on Romeo and Juliet! I defy any true Disney fan not to to enjoy this sequel.

    My score: 20/10

    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 61%

    Do you agree with my ranking? Tell us in the comments what your Disney sequels opinions are!

    Walt Disney Home Video

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