For decades, Disney Animated Movies have been hailed as some of the best animated movies of all time. Yet, with the sheer number of fantastic films that have been released over the years, some have been overlooked. This is especially true of films made in the 1990s.
While movies like toy storyand The beauty and the Beast became ’90s classics, others weren’t as acclaimed as they should have been. Whether they were sequels or were overshadowed by other great movies, these Disney animated films are the most underrated of the 1990s.
ten Pooh’s Great Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin Shoots at the Heart (1997)
Pooh’s Great Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin is an underrated film following the beloved character Winnie the Pooh. Pooh Bear and his friends embark on a quest to rescue Christopher Robin from a place called “Skull” before he meets certain fate.
This movie lives up to its title, as it shows Pooh and his friends on their biggest adventure yet. They face many harrowing dangers (all of which turn out to be insignificant by the end of the story). Yet through it all, the friends remain united in a common desire to save Christopher Robin. It’s a touching story about the importance of love and loyalty.
9 Aladdin and the King of Thieves features Aladdin’s Father (1996)
Aladdin and the King of Thieves was a highly anticipated film upon release, as Robin Williams was set to return in one of the most iconic roles of his career, Genie. While this third installment didn’t quite live up to the magic of the original, it’s still an engaging film with some great songs.
The story finally shows Aladdin and Jasmine getting married. However, he is interrupted by a gang of thieves trying to steal a great oracle who will show them hidden treasure. Aladdin does not know that the leader of the thieves is his father. The film is an adventurous tale of redemption and the importance of finding a place in the world. Any Aladdin fan should check out this often forgotten story.
8 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas is a Holiday Classic (1997)
The beauty and the Beast was such a groundbreaking film when it was released in 1991 that it changed animation forever. Yet the grandeur of this original film has long overshadowed its descendant. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. Although this sequel doesn’t have the same quality of animation as the original, it’s still a great story of love and acceptance.
Plus, the movie takes place over Christmas, which makes it all the more heartwarming. Tim Curry gives an excellent performance as the devilish pipe organ, and nearly all of the original actors reprise their roles. This film is a great story that families should rediscover during the holidays.
seven Doug’s first film brings the character to the big screen (1999)
The beloved cartoon Doug made his big screen debut with Doug’s first movie. The story centers on Doug Funnie and his best friend Skeeter Valentine discovering and curing a monster they find at Lucky Duck Lake. The film is complete with all the usual Doug hijinks from the antics of Roger Klotz to the heroism of Quailman.
Doug’s first movie is a touching story of acceptance, as Doug finds the courage to do what’s right – even if it means being unpopular. Although this film may have gone unnoticed by many, it is an old and new film. Doug fans can enjoy together.
6 James and the Giant Peach Meshes Live-Action and Stop-Motion (1996)
James and the giant peach is a mix of live and stop-motion animation. The film adapts the book of the same name by Roald Dahl. After a young boy named James eats a magic peach and makes a wish, he embarks on a journey with bug friends across the Atlantic to see the Empire State Building.
James and the giant peach is a magical film that deserves more praise. The awesome animation and catchy songs are endearing. Plus, the voice acting is both humorous and poignant. Viewers who missed this show in the 90s should definitely watch this movie.
5 The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride adapts another Shakespearean tale (1998)
The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride was a direct-to-video sequel to the 90s hit, The Lion King. While the first film was a free adaptation of Shakespeare Hamletthe sequel was similarly adapted from Romeo and Juliet. It features Simba and Nala’s daughter, Kiara, and a young lion named Kovu as star-crossed lovers.
This film not only has a love story about accepting differences, but also some of the best songs in the Disney canon. While it’s a shame it didn’t get a theatrical release, it’s a wonderful film that deserves more attention.
4 The Rescuers Down Under continues an older story (1990)
The Rescuers Below is the sequel to the 1977 film, Rescuers. This 90s film sees Bernard and Bianca travel to Australia to rescue a boy and a rare eagle from a poacher. The show’s environmental theme teaches children the importance of protecting animals.
Although this film focuses more on animals than the original, it is nonetheless charming and adventurous. This movie is a must see for all animal lovers and fans of old Disney classics.
3 Hercules Presents Greek Mythology (1997)
Although Hercules is a fairly popular Disney movie – it’s often overlooked when reviewing iconic Disney movies. However, this film contains some of the best music and most dynamic characters in the Disney canon.
The film is a unique retelling of the Greek mythological figure, Hercules. Although it takes some liberties with the source material, Hercules is a delightfully entertaining movie that any Disney fan will love.
2 Tarzan Boasts Beautiful Music and Animation (1999)
Tarzan is the story of a boy raised by gorillas in the wilds of Africa. Then, becoming a man, he discovers other beings who resemble him and learns about humanity. The film is packed with gorgeous imagery and beautiful music by Phil Collins.
At the end of the decade, Tarzan was a departure from the great musical films that Disney was producing. Even so, the stunning animation and moving songs cement this film as one of the best underrated Disney films of the 90s.
1 The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is Full of Magnificent Music (1996)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is often cited as one of Disney’s darkest adaptations. However, it is also one of the most beautiful in the canon. The music alone sets this movie apart from other Disney movies. Plus, fans of all ages can relate to the story of love and acceptance.
Quasimodo’s desire to be among Parisians is for anyone who wishes to belong. Although he is ashamed to be around people at first, Quasimodo finds friends he can trust and is eventually accepted into the society he has always dreamed of being a part of. This wonderful film is one that fans should definitely check out if they’ve ever walked past it.
NEXT: The Best ’90s Movies Missing From Disney+