The Top Disney Animated Sequels

Let’s do a top 15 list! I debated long and hard on whether or not I was going to include sequels released in theaters, because I did not want this list to be all Pixar. After all, the 90s and 2000s were a prime time for straight to home video sequels and prequels and mid-quels that were labeled as sequels. So, I will do one top 15 with theatrical releases, and one without.

As always, feel free to tell me why I am wrong in the comments.

THE TOP 15 DISNEY ANIMATED SEQUELS

  1. Toy Story 2
  2. The Lion King: Simba’s Pride
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. The Incredibles 2
  5. Frozen 2
  6. Lilo and Stitch: Stitch has a Glitch
  7. Lion King 1/2
  8. Toy Story 4
  9. Kronk’s New Groove
  10. The Return of Jafar
  11. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas
  12. The Rescuers Down Under
  13. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time
  14. Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
  15. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland

It is important to point out that a VAST MAJORITY of the straight to home video sequels were the opposite of the original. In about half of them, the offspring of the main character wants to do the reverse arc of the parent. Also, a lot of them have “return” in the title. It’s pretty wild. Anyway, here is the same list without theatrical releases:

  1. The Lion King: Simba’s Pride
  2. Lilo and Stitch: Stitch has a Glitch
  3. Lion King 1/2
  4. Kronk’s New Groove
  5. The Return of Jafar
  6. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas
  7. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time
  8. Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
  9. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland
  10. Aladdin and the King of Theives
  11. An Extremely Goofy Movie
  12. Mulan 2
  13. Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure
  14. Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return
  15. Tarzan 2

There you have it, folks. I know some of these are controversial. And my mom is probably reading this and thinking “you made me watch this movie so many times, and it’s not even at the top of your list?!” Well, Melody is annoying, and Ariel should have just told her she was a mermaid. As I have re-watched these with an adult mind, I have noticed my perceptions have changed.

Except for the Lion King movies. Each and every one is a masterpiece. Lion King 1/2 was the first thing I watched on Disney Plus and I am proud of it.

I am also not justifying this list. Most of the second list is “I like the characters, but the original had the magic.” And I really should not have to tell you why there are so many Pixar movies in the first list. And, yes, I think Frozen 2 is better than Frozen.

But Tangled is better than both.

This May Be My Most Controversial Post Yet

CAUTION: THIS IS ALL ABOUT STAR WARS INCLUDING AND NOT LIMITED TO ALL THEATRICAL RELEASES, TV SHOWS, AND NOVELS (I HAVE NOT PLAYED ANY OF THE VIDEO GAMES). THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make. I like the sequel trilogy. I also like the prequel trilogy. And the stand alone films. And the originals. Now, that does not mean I do not recognize the problems the films have on an individual level. I just want to be entertained. If a movie or book or whatever has enough things that I enjoy, then I will like it. I do not indulge in sci-fi and fantasy to be taught some deep. psychological lesson. I want to see cool fights and sappy romance. You know, the good stuff.

I know the sequels are the hot thing to hate right now. But, the writers did take from the extended universal novels (that are no longer cannon but still really good to read), and a lot of those novels are not great. I mean, there is a whole arc that Luke goes up against a Palpatine clone that has gone insane. So, yeah. Disney tried to use some of the ideas that we already were familiar with. The main issue there, in my opinion, was using multiple directors who did not want to work together on plot line apparently.

Let’s take a look at the films and TV shows (that I have seen, sorry Rebels) in chronological order, shall we?

  • Episode One: The Phantom Menace: We were gifted with a super cool villain in Darth Maul, the BEST piece of soundtrack ever with “Duel of the Fates”, introduced us to Padme Amidala who is pretty awesome, and gave us Qui-gon who was definitely a gray Jedi. Jar-Jar and dialogue were big problems (“Now THIS is pod-racing”), but the characters and action made up for that.
  • Episode Two: The Attack of the Clones: This is the weakest of the prequels. Padme does get to be a badass, and Ewan McGreggor is the best thing to happen to Star Wars. BUT, the best pick up line Ani can come up with is “I don’t like sand.” The guy has clearly never spoken to a female before.
  • The Clone Wars: If you have issues with Anikin’s character arc in the films, you need to watch this animated show. There is so much depth in the different relationships and the slow dissolve of the republic. Still not sure why Ani was not granted the rank of master when he had a padawan, but whatever. There’s an episode with dark Yoda that looks like a creepy Smeagol thing from nightmares.
  • Episode Three: The Revenge of the Sith: Best of the prequels, and not because of the memes. Epic light saber battles, betrayals, more bad dialogue. But most importantly: Darth Vader arises. I do have MAJOR issues with Padme being reduced to a weak pregnant lady when I think she would still be badass. That wasn’t cool.
  • Solo: I think this one suffered because it was released so soon after The Last Jedi. Donald Glover was great. I think the guy playing Han did a good job. The story was fun; there was some fan service in there. BUT THE ENDING. I want there to be a follow up somewhere, because I literally punched my husband in the arm repeatedly when I saw Maul.
  • Rogue One: The best of the Disney era. I honestly cannot think of a big issue with this one. The characters are awesome, all loose ends are tied up, and there is a beautiful transition to the original trilogy. Darth Vader steals the movie. His scenes are terrifying. We finally get to see how powerful he really is.
  • Episode Four: A New Hope: Han shot first. Also, Luke was able to use the force pretty easily to destroy the Death Star for someone who had like three lessons with Obi (or is it Ben?). Chewy deserved a medal. That was rude.
  • Episode Five: Empire Strikes Back: Yoda is a creepy little puppet frog, but he’s cool. Lando is fun. Things happen. Han and Leia do their thing. Honestly, this one is probably my least favorite of the movies (besides episode eight).
  • Episode Six: Return of the Jedi: Leia killing people in a bikini is a mood. We get a great wrap up of things in this one. Anikin’s character arc is complete- he is the one to bring balance to the force. Everyone is happy and the evil empire is gone… OR IS IT?
  • Star Wars Rebels: I have not watched this yet, but I’ve heard it’s good.
  • The Mandalorian: Who doesn’t love a good space western with heists and the most precious baby alien you have ever seen in your life? My only complaint is people die too soon. Side characters are a guaranteed one episode only thing. Oh, and it’s pretty much confirmed Ashoka will be in season two which will be awesome.
  • Episode Seven: The Force Awakens: Ben is actually one of those borrowed extended universe ideas, but he was Luke’s son (I wish Mara Jade was in a movie). Yes, it follows the same formula as A New Hope, but I honestly thought the setup was good.
  • Episode Eight: The Last Jedi: The only part of this worth watching is the throne room scene. Canto Blight makes no sense. The force bond is neat, but they did Luke dirty. Also, Leia was trained in the force and used a lightsaber in the extended universe novels. I think Kylo makes for an interesting character with his struggle between good and evil and being a confused mess.
  • Episode Nine: Rise of the Skywalker: I think this one did the best it could after trying to pick up the scattered pieces episode eight left behind. Really, one director should have been in charge of this. And, I will repeat myself, clone Palpatine was in the extended universe. Probably force healing too, I’m really not that sure. I did not like how they further reduced Finn and Poe to be comedic relief. They’re better than that. Also, this is the first time all of them are together and their like instant best friends? And why didn’t force ghost Ani show up and be like “grandson, you’re being stupid.”

Now, if Disney continues to bring in things from the novels (I will not pretend I have read them all), I think they have some strong stories to draw from. Thrawn is the greatest villain character in the universe. Revan is a fun one. Mara Jade. I love Mara Jade, but I guess she can’t be married to Luke so not sure what we can do there. Basically anything set before the prequels would be fun to see. Or more Darth Maul. I love Darth Maul.

I am not trying to make excuses for any of these movies. I just think Star Wars is Star Wars and having more Star Wars is awesome. Also, if you don’t like something, you can always fix it in your own fanfiction. Just don’t start fights with someone just because you think Disney ruined Star Wars. They did not. They aren’t giving us perfect Star Wars, but it was never perfect.

I do highly recommend going to Galaxy’s Edge when you get the chance, though. That is a fantastic area.