The Most Underappreciated Disney Films Ever Released

If you ask someone what their most favorite Disney movies, they may answer you with The Lion King or any of the classic princess-themed films. There is definitely nothing wrong with that, as these classics are revered for all the right reasons. Over the past decades, Disney films have been touching the hearts of many with their thought-provoking themes and memorable characters. While the past generation were drawn into the courage of Simba and his pride, the millenials of today cannot help but admire the same amount of strength exuded by Elsa of Frozen.

Today, you will not be reading about these box-office hits as there already have been dozens of articles placing the spotlight on these Disney films. You see, Disney has had its own share of less appreciated features, some you might have never even heard of. Think about the last time someone had talked to you about The Great Mouse Detective or Brother Bear, and you might end up scouring through your memory for a while. So before you do that, take a trip down memory lane and explore the top Disney films that definitely deserve a second look.

1. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Meet the Robinsons

The 2007 animated adventure film Meet the Robinsons definitely needs more attention. For one thing, it happens to be the 47th animated feature produced by Disney’s Animated Classics collection.

The movie is based on the children’s book A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce. It talks about a young orphan named Lewis who develops a memory machine in an attempt to see what his mother looked like. But his plans are thwarted by a mysterious man in a bowler hat. Just when Lewis is about to give up on everything, he encounters a boy from the future, and together they travel to meet his family. Lewis, who has never experienced having a family of his own, is welcomed by the unorthodox yet warm-hearted Robinsons.

Meet the Robinsons is a film about family and self-acceptance, but there are also a few notable twists that are enough to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Overall, this in an excellent movie that is delivered with a lot of heart.

2. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

The Princess and the Frog

When Disney announces that their next film would feature a “princess,” audiences are usually thrown into a fit of frenzy. But for some reason, 2009’s The Princess and the Frog unarguably became the most underrated Disney princess movie of all time.

The film came after the studio released four computer-animated features, so they decided to go back to their routes by applying their classic hand-drawn style. But those who have actually seen the movie know just how well crafted it is.

The story follows Tiana, a young and hardworking waitress from New Orleans who becomes the receiving end of a spell that turns her into a frog.  

The Princess and the Frog is one of Disney’s most stylish films to date. It features a fantastic New Orleans Jazz-inspired soundtrack and lovable characters that are as entertaining as the cast of Frozen. 

3. Fantasia (1940)


Audiences wouldn’t have the magic of Disney without Fantasia. The quality and animation of the film alone marked a new era for the major production studio, and not to mention this was the stage that put Mickey Mouse back into the spotlight. This classic was released to critical acclaim and many of them went as far as calling it a masterpiece. Yet Fantasia continues to be one of Disney Animation Studio’s biggest flops and it even garnered a few controversies pertaining to racism and pagan imagery.

Fantasia 2000 did not fare any better. Despite the slew of erupting volcanoes and tiptoeing dinosaurs, it was still not enough to really draw audiences in. Disney even released that Nicholas Cage flop that pushed Fantasia to the background even more. So maybe with the right tools and better writing, audiences can finally get a theatrical masterpiece that will appeal to all.

4. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

The 2001 film Atlantis: The Lost Empire tops a lot of underrated movie lists. As Disney’s 41st animated feature film, one would think that this theatrical gem would garner more attention.

Atlantis centers around a young linguist and cartographer named Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), who traces an ancient manuscript that leads him to the long lost island of Atlantis.

The film seemingly has it all: action, adventure, and even a touch of romance. But it was not that well received by the critics as many expected the studio to push the limits even more. Still, Atlantis is a Disney film that deserves more views, if only it didn’t get overshadowed by the studio’s other adventure-themed movies.

Holly Bissonnette

A marketing writer for several years, I have recently shifted my focus into entertainment. I have been working as a freelance writer for Explore Talent for more than a year now.

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