Fave 5! - Under-appreciated Disney Movies

13:55 Sarah Burton 0 Comments

Every Disney-lover knows there are a few movies that are the "favorites". The ones EVERYone and their mother has seen, the songs are everywhere, and unless you live on jupiter you know at least one song from these movies. They are the "Disney Classics", and usually feature at least one "official" princess (not always, but usually). And throughout this entire description, you've thought of at least one.

And there are what I like to call the "under-appreciated" movies - these movies didn't do as great at the box office, they may be less popular, they aren't the first you think of when someone says "Disney", but they are some gems of movies that get pushed to the side.

These "popular" movies get all the fame, the merchandise, and the theme park attractions while fans of the under-appreciated resort to Etsy and other online, unauthorized channels to express their love for their favorite movie.

Not to be a "I like it because it's not cool" snob, but some (if not most) of my favorite movies fall under the latter category. These movies contain just as (or even more) beautiful animation, moving messages, and life lessons as movies like Frozen or The Lion King that have gone on to become household names. Here's a list of my Fave 5! Underappreciated Disney movies!

1) Meet the Robinsons

There are a lot of themes that pop up in multiple Disney movies and one that I've been noticing since rewatching a lot of my favorites is overcoming obstacles and moving past the bad things that may happen to you.

Meet the Robinsons is a great example of this.

We meet Lewis, an orphan and amateur inventor, who's imagination and creativity keeps getting in the way of what he really wants - a family who loves him. After one too many of his inventions ruining his adoption interviews, he gives up on even trying to get adopted and decides to build a time machine to go back and see his birth mother, because if anyone is going to love him, it is her.
He meets a strange kid who takes him to the future and to a family. Lewis finally fits in - his inventions and failures are celebrated here! He finally feels like he belongs somewhere and is loved. After being chased by "bowler hat guy" (Lewis' roommate from the orphanage) who was determined to ruin the world. Because of all the terrible things that had happened to him - like not getting adopted, missing a catch at an important baseball game - Goob became bitter and cruel. 
Lewis learns that bad things happen, but you can get past them. Just let go of the past and
"Keep Moving Forward".

This movie holds onto the future that Walt Disney himself had seen - a future of hope and excitement. They even take the movie's repeated phrase "Keep Moving Forward" from one of Walt's most famous quotes:

We all have bad things happen in our lives - and where it is something big or small - we all have to make the decision to hold onto it and let it make you bitter and jaded, or to let it go and move forward into something better. And that's why I think Meet the Robinsons is an important movie for people of all ages to see - and why it is underappreciated

2) Atlantis

Alright, first things first. Look at this nerd:

Milo Thatch is a linguist, I mean, how many Disney movies feature a linguist as a main character? Like many other characters, Milo is on a journey to prove himself. He's joined by this cast of characters:


The scenery, a diverse cast, exploring the concept of a lost city and what would be found there, new technology. Atlantis has it all. Milo's journey teaches us to follow our dreams and not to give up on what we believe in, even if we're laughed out of a room.

4) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

HOND is definitely underappreciated because it is kind of scary. I remember having an Esmerelda backback in preschool and loving it, but being too scared to watch the movie often. As an adult, I can see why. It definitely takes a risk making Hugo's novel into a children's film.

But the animation, the haunting score, and the message of justice and acceptance makes it one of Disney's greatest IMO. They took a risk, and it payed off.

The artistry itself is enough to put it on the top of my list.

Quasimodo is held prisoner for all of his life, but it is the walls he has built up himself that truly keep him in.  There are so many lessons to learn from HOND - lessons about the inside matter more than outer appearances, believing in yourself, etc. Everytime I watch, something else stands out to me.

5) The Princess and the Frog

Last, but most definitely not least, one of my absolute favorite princess movies. Although The Princess and the Frog is starting to gain a little more popularity, Tiana is still one of the most underappreciated princess (Okay, there are a few, but my girl Tia deserves as much or more love than Elsa). Where do I even begin with this movie?

The music and setting are phenomenal - "Down in New Orleans" is an iconic opening song and sets the stage perfectly. There's just something magical (and creepy - Dr. Facillier is one of the scariest villians tbh) about all of the songs. 
Tiana is the ultimate princess goal - she starts off having no interest in pursuing love because she had other goals. She didn't have a country to save or some kind of expectation to destroy, she just loved cooking and dedicated her time to it. She is a real person that young girls (and college aged girls who can't figure out what they're doing with their lives....*cough* me *cough*) can relate with. 

And we've also got Charlotte, Tiana's BFF, who is NEVER demonized or looked down on for pursuing true love, and her and Tiana remain best friends despite having different aspirations. Which I LOVE.

As always, Honorable Mentions go to:

  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Ratouille
  • Big Hero 6

What do you think? Any movies I've missed? Or do these movies not fit under the category of "Under-appreciated"? Let me know in the comments below!

love + pixie dust,