Ahh, the Disney cheapquels. How I HATE them, but pretty much everybody does. Here's my precise and cohesive flame review on every disney cheapquel film produced out there. Now you may notice that I'm going to exclude the Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, but believe it or not I actually LIKE that movie! It had extremely good animation in a time where all the other Disney direct to video sequels had animation that would be more appropriate for a Saturday morning cartoon, and it actually had a good storyline; and we got to see Kiara grow up instead of stay a bratty cub forever, and Kovu was an actual part of the plot instead of some throwaway background character.anyway, I'm getting far ahead of myself and I digress. I'll do this in chronological order.... (Note: Movies I have not seen will not be reviewed!)
Aladdin and the King of Thieves- I remember seeing bits and pieces of this on TV and besides the bad animation...It looks all right, to its credit.
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas- GOD, how I hate this film! It's the cinematic equivalent of bad fanfiction! The characters are grossly OOC and act nothing like they should; the animation is abysmally low-quality, and the celebrity talents here are merely wasted.
Belle's Magical World- in one word....ICK! I have/had a VHS of this and remember loving it when I was about 4. But ONLY when I was 4. Watching it a few years ago to see if it held up, I was disgusted by how kiddy-esque and cheesy this was; the complete and blatant opposite of the moving and dramatic original 1991 film.
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World- The sequel to the movie that people weren't sure to love or hate to begin with! While Disney tried to fix their historic screwup by having Pocahontas end up with John Rolf, but I fail to see the point of this when she already fell in love with John smith in the first movie, which did not happen in real life. That being said, the animation here again is abysmally bad. Also: Ratcliff was dead by the time this movie was supposed to take place, so was Shakespeare, and Pocahontas never returned to America while she was alive. Historical accuracy my ass!
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea- Ugh....no words describe how much I hate this one. While the early cheapquels certainly bad; it wasn't until 2000 did the dreaded FORMULA come into play. Whoever will read this probably already knows this by now, but just in case: that formula is, the main characters of the first movie are now married (assuming that they fell in love, of course) and now have a rebellious, angsty Mary Sue child who has to learn all the lessons that they did for no apparent reason. Eric and Ariel's daughter Melody is a complete brat; and she's just a very bland and unlikeable character overall. Tip and Dash are complete Timon and Pumbaa knockoffs (disney, shame on you!! D
, and Ariel has NONE of the rebellious spark she did in the first movie that made her such a compelling heroine. Notably, I admit the animation HAS improved here, but it still looks downgraded (and nowhere near good enough for a theatrical release might I add!), and I get the feeling that computer animation was thrown in just to make things 'look cool'
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure- Second film to execute said formula. I remember this movie entertaining me when I was very young, but like with Belle's enchanted tales, I quickly grew out of it. I tried sitting through it when I was around 11, but quickly gave up about 30 minutes in and went back to playing online games on my computer. Scamp is exactly the same as Melody was: Bratty, and undeveloped; but a complete MORON as well! As parents, Tramp comes off as being a jerk and a liar, and Lady is just...Oblivious. But then again, what can I say? They're barely in this movie! 80's teen idol Alyssa Milano does an okay job as Scamp's love interest, Angel, and if there's anything DECENT in this movie, then I think it's safe to say that it's her.
Dumbo II- Produced at around 2001 to 2003, here's one Disney cheapquel that never lived to see the light of day, and I'm certainly glad of that. While the actual film was never released as I mentioned, a teaser trailer WAS available to view in some DVD releases at the time. Supposedly going to be about Dumbo and some other circus animals getting lost in the woods, I honestly fail to see the point of this movie, as with the other cheapquels; and was certainly glad that whatever the reason, this was never produced.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II- Hear that? No really, listen. It's the sound of Victor Hugo rolling in his grave. I am just APPALLED with Disney's production of this movie! it went from a dark, mature and utterly brilliant original film to a poorly-animated, underacted (and in some cases overacted!) piece of CRAP! Supposedly this movie was produced because Disney felt that they need to make a more child-friendly sequel to contrast the darker original movie. Yeah, real smart Michael Eisner! Anyway, basically in this movie Quasimodo is longing for love (Wait, he didn't in the original movie? :/), and this time around he actually GETS IT in the form of an awkward, sue-ish circus girl named Madellaine, who actually turns out to be the goon for a little TOO narcissic circus.....master I guess, and there's some contrived plot to steal a bell. Steal a bell?? How?? iiiit's not explained, I guess because the writers of this movie weren't smart enough to think of a way >.<
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure- the animation downgrade is more noticeable here, and for some reason it just felt really art-deco and trippy to me, unlike the original movie. As a protagonist, Patch is a spoiled brat, and Thunderbolt is just...a jerk. Cruella's evil and insanity (which was AWESOME in the original, by the way!) is just downplayed here for cheesy comic relief, and I feel that if Disney REALLY needed to make an 101 Dalmatians sequel, they should have used the sequel to the original book as reference. I don't think that they've used that as a basis for any of their films so far, but if anybody knows, please do correct me if I'm wrong!
Tarzan II- Completely and utterly pointless. In this film, Tarzan deals with being an outcast among the apes....Wait, wait, wait! He already did that in the original movie! The villains here are not threatening at all, and are just obnoxious and blatantly unfunny. Interestingly enough, George Carlin was in this movie! I guess we can say that he really is George of the Jungle now! *RIMSHOT*
Bambi II- I may have this movie rotting away in some junk pile on DVD somewhere, though I'm not certain. either way, I remember seeing bits and pieces of it, and what I did see was unsurprisingly forgettable.
The Fox and the Hound 2- The Fox and the Hound was one of my favorite movies as a young child; and I can vaguely remember watching this while happily eating butterscotch pudding and being babysat at my grandma's house. So you can imagine my outrage when I purchased this movie (I think I must have gotten it around when it first came out though I can't recall for sure...), thinking it was a legitimate sequel (at 10 I hadn't yet learned about the cheapquel industry, but it was dying anyway
) , I happily bought it, watched it and then..... Forgot about it. I haven't watched it since, though I much prefer to think my mom sold it to Goodwill somewhere along the line XP Anyway, basically this movie is about how Tod and Copper aspire to join a band. Whaaaa....? This is actually supposed to be a midquel, but we TRUE fox and the hound fans certainly know that no such events were ever referred to in the first movie. A stunning example of CDC (Contrived Disney Crap) at its best.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning- Admittedly, I have not seen this movie but from what I've seen and heard, it looks decent. I'm so glad it's the final cheapquel we Disney fans had to stomach before John Lassiter swooped in and destroyed them. I can't really think of anything more to say about this movie; so I think that's all for this review!
See you all next time....I'm most likely going to be reviewing MORE cheapquels by other companies in the future, so please stay tuned.