In the magical world of Disney films, some stories shine just as brightly as the best-known classics but are still waiting to be found. Characters like Mickey Mouse and Cinderella are often the stars of films, but many lesser-known gems also deserve to be in the spotlight. From bold adventures to sweet stories about friendship, these underrated Disney films show how creative and good at telling stories the studio is.
1. Treasure Planet (2002)
The futuristic Treasure Planet takes inspiration from the timeless treasure-hunting adventure Treasure Island. It takes place in space, and it’s about Jim Hawkins’ journey through space to find the hidden riches of the world.
The movie has a beautiful mix of traditional hand-drawn animation and cutting-edge CGI. Its unique blend of swashbuckling action and interstellar wonder gives an old story a new spin.
2. The Sword in the Stone (1963)
One of my favorites, The Sword in the Stone, takes people back to King Arthur’s childhood when he lived in a fantasy world and learned essential lessons from the strange wizard Merlin. This charming and funny movie brings the story of King Arthur to life through humor, heart, and the unique tricks that Merlin does.
3. Hercules (1997)
Hercules is a funny take on Greek mythology and a seriously underrated Disney movie. It tells the story of Hercules, the son of Zeus, who tries to become a real hero and get his place back among the gods. The movie has bright animation, catchy songs, and current humor. It tells the story of an underdog who wants to be the best.
4. Robin Hood (1973)
In Robin Hood, anthropomorphic animals play Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and the Sheriff of Nottingham. This gives the story of the famous criminal a furry twist. This movie has fun charm, swashbuckling action, and catchy tunes that have won the hearts of generations.
5. A Goofy Movie (2000)
Goofy and his son Max, a teenager, have a touching father-son connection explored in A Goofy Movie as they travel across the country. The film is great for the whole family because it is funny, has a lot of heart, and has catchy music. It is also about family, friendship, and finding yourself.
6. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
In The Emperor’s New Groove, the story of a selfish emperor who turns into a llama after a series of mishaps is told humorously. This movie is funny, has interesting characters, and shows how friendships can change surprisingly. It also has messages of humility and personal growth. It’s garnered a cult following but is still sorely underappreciated.
7. Brother Bear (2003)
As a young Inuit kid named Kenai is transformed into a bear, Brother Bear takes viewers on a journey into the world of nature, enchantment, and self-discovery. He learns to care about other people on his journey and gets closer to the animal world. The movie is a secret gem with a positive message. It has beautiful animation and a story that will touch your heart.
8. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
In The Rescuers Down Under, a group of mice from the Rescue Aid Society go to the Australian Outback to save a young boy and a unique golden eagle from a poacher. It’s the sequel to The Rescuers and has beautiful animation of Australia’s scenery, exciting action, and likable characters that deserve more attention. This is one of those rare times the sequel surpasses the original.
9. A Bug’s Life (1998)
In A Bug’s Life, an ant named Flik tries to save his family from dangerous grasshoppers. It gives the story a unique look at the world of insects with beautiful visuals and a skilled cast of insect characters. The story is about working together, being yourself, and having courage.
10. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Blending live action and animation, Bedknobs and Broomsticks tell the charming story of three kids discovering their benefactor has magical powers. As they travel to a magical place, the movie weaves together heartwarming musical numbers, creative scenes, and a sense of adventure.
11. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Viewers of Atlantis: The Lost Empire are taken on an exciting voyage beneath the water as a young linguist joins a team of explorers on a mission to discover the secrets of the lost city of Atlantis.
This underrated Disney film invites you to embark on an adventurous journey into the unfamiliar, offering creative world-building, distinctive characters, and a blend of science fiction and magical components.
12. Oliver and Company (1988)
In Oliver and Company, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist is retold with a fun twist: the characters are animals that talk like people and live in modern New York City. The film’s catchy songs, heartwarming story about friendship, and urban setting give it a unique style that’s often ignored. It’s another personal favorite.
13. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Basil of Baker Street, a mouse detective, appears in The Great Mouse Detective to help track down a kidnapped toymaker. This charming mystery-adventure story is based on Sherlock Holmes. It has clever characters, a suspenseful plot, and smart references to classic literature.
14. Return to Oz (1985)
In Return to Oz, Dorothy returns to the magical land of Oz, which has changed and become darker and more strange. This fantasy movie gives the well-known world a new and slightly spooky look. It has memorable characters and a creative story.
15. Bolt (2008)
The film Bolt follows a dog with superpowers who fears his human co-star has abandoned him and travels across the country to find him. The movie shows how meaningful real relationships are in finding one’s true self. It has humor, heart, and themes of self-discovery.
16. Tinker Bell (2008)
Tinker Bell introduces people to Pixie Hollow, a magical place, and Tinker Bell, a popular fairy. This charming movie gives us a new look at the famous character of Neverland by weaving together themes of friendship, drive, and the beauty of nature. The other Tinkerbell films are also super cute and fun. Secret of the Wings is the best of the bunch.
17. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
By taking place in the lively city of New Orleans, The Princess and the Frog gives old Disney fairy tales a new spin. The story of how Tiana went from being a waitress to a princess is a modern classic. It has catchy songs, memorable characters, and a celebration of culture and dreams.
18. Tangled (2010)
Tangled gives the story of Rapunzel a new twist by mixing adventure, humor, and heart. The film’s lively characters, charming songs, and engaging animation capture the spirit of fairy tales while focusing on themes of self-discovery and freedom. Watch out for frying pans!
19. Brave (2012)
In Brave, we meet Princess Merida, a free-thinking young woman who goes on an adventure to alter her destiny. The movie takes place in the Scottish Highlands. It is about courage, family, and the power of accepting yourself.
20. George of the Jungle (1997)
George of the Jungle is a live-action and CGI adventure that brings the famous classic cartoon character to life. The movie gets the spirit of the original while adding its own delightful twists. It has slapstick humor, funny things that happen in the jungle, and likable characters.
21. Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991)
Inspired by the life of Sonora Webster Carver, a young woman who became a diving horse rider in the 1930s, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken is a live-action film telling the true story. The movie takes place during the Great Depression and is a unique take that grabs you from the beginning and keeps your attention the entire way through.
22. The Aristocats (1970)
The Aristocats take people into the world of fancy and friendly street cats as they journey to find their wealthy owner. The movie gets the spirit of fun and friendship with its charming characters, jazzy songs, and setting in Paris.
23. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame presents a darker and more complex interpretation of the traditional tale of Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre Dame. The movie looks at themes like acceptance, prejudice, and love against the background of beautiful buildings and catchy songs.
24. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
In The Fox and the Hound, a fox called Tod and a hound dog, Copper, become friends, even though most people would expect them to be enemies. This sweet story looks at loyalty, friendship, and the difficulties of growing up in a world that is always changing. Be prepared with tissues!
Top 12 Most Racist Disney Classics That Are Better Left in the Vault
Exploring film history often exposes tales of awe, imagination, and cultural shifts. Did you know that there are racist undertones in many Disney classics? It makes sense as progress evolves throughout the decades, but it’s cringe-watching it now. Here is a look at the most racist Disney films.
12 Worst Movies From the 70s According To IMDb — Do You Agree?
Return to the revolutionary cinema of the 1970s, where risk-taking experimentation and bold concepts frequently produced unforgettable and forgettable moments. Here is a look at the not-so-great 70s films that didn’t garner high ratings on IMDb.
15 Forgotten Movies From the 90s to Tickle Your Nostalgia Bone
Are you searching for a little 90s nostalgia that is not on every list? Then, we got you covered. These are several of my favorite forgotten films from the 90s. Do you remember?
22 Popular Films That Completely Traumatized 80s Children, What About You?
Was there a film(s) that completely traumatized you as a child? I’ll go first, Cujo. I have no idea what my mother was thinking, allowing that film to play in the background of her chores, but I watched it and had nightmares for months. After someone polled an entertainment forum for other traumatic experiences, here is what scared the youth.
12 Most Racist Movies of All Time According to IMDb
Both entertaining and thought-provoking, cinema frequently reflects the ideals and ideologies of its day. The representation of racism and stereotypes in some films, however, has sparked debate in the past. These movies have drawn criticism for their problematic representations and cultural sensitivity — igniting crucial conversations about racial representation.