The most hated Disney movies

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Toonboy's avatar
KF Animation Editor
Posts: 564
Reviews: 319

I'm pretty sure these are the bottom for Disney movies.

Dinosaur

The Black Cauldron

Chicken Little(I actually liked this one)

Despite the regular pounding it's getting, Alice in Wonderland can't seem to crack into the lower echelons for Disney movies.

I would actually quite happily watch The Black Cauldron over Alice in Wonderland.

athena's avatar
KF Animation Editor
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I've never quite understood the reviews for Alice and Wonderland. I mean, I sort of put it in the same harmless mediocore class as something like Aristocats, which has very little to recommend it but still meanders along anyways. Even at its worse, Alice still seems kind of inoffensive in its badness. And yet, you look at the star-ratings and they run from 1-star to 4-stars and everything in between.

I haven't seen Black Cauldron in ages, but I remember finding it quite jarring. The fact that it couldn't seem to make up its mind tone wise just became too distracting.

Has anyone seen the documentary, "Waking Sleeping Beauty"? Great doc and they talk quite a bit about Black Cauldron. If memory serves they said Black Cauldron was the movie that the Care Bears beat out at the box office.

CW's avatar
Reviewing Ninja
Posts: 22
Reviews: 51

When it comes to Alice in Wonderland, I couldn't think of anything particularly bad about it, but it didn't really impress me either.  Looking through the reviews, I think I'm the only one who gave it a 2.5, middle of the road rating.  It's probably the de facto example of the classic Disney movies, where they're not so much people accomplishing interesting things, they're interesting things happening to people.  The original title of the book, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is probably an apt way to describe the Disney film.  These are adventures that happen to Alice while she's in Wonderland.  She doesn't really take control of her adventure, not intentionally, until the very end and even then, she still needs to escape.

Lupercal, in his review, mentions the satirical nature of the original book.  If it's true that it was originally meant as satire, that would explain a lot.  Most of the time, if a story like this is taken out of its original era, it loses a lot of its satire and just becomes one surreal happening after another.  With that in mind, it's no wonder the Disney version felt the need to embellish the beginning a little.  Try watching any episode of The Royal Canadian Air Farce that's a decade or more old, and unless you still remember what was happening at the time, most of the humour is going to go right over your head.  Sadly, this is one of the main reasons why most adaptations of Alice's Adventures fall short of the original.

For Alice to succeed as satire in today's world, it might need to be updated.  The original book is great as a time capsule, but by now there are plenty of adaptations that pretty much follow the original events in one way or another.  You could still make a new version of Alice as long as you make reference to current events while making sure not to hit the audience over the head with them.  Let's say an American studio wants to make a new version.  They could, for example, keep the Caucus-Race scene in their version, as long as they slip in a line saying something like "A Caucus-Race is the primary way of doing things.  It is right when nothing else is left, and left when nothing else is right," said the Dodo matter-of-factly as he nodded at Alice.  "But do you know how long that should take?" Alice wondered.  The Dodo threw his hands into the air and laughed a haughty and self-important laugh.  "I simply have no idea!"  Boom, instant American satire, and current too.

I think part of the problem, too, is that back in the early 50s, the "It was all a dream" trope wasn't as prevalent as it is now.  Even when the book was originally published, it was hardly in use.  Now, it's seen as a cheap out whenever you write yourself into a corner.  Dallas was famous for removing an entire season from continuity by claiming it was all a dream.  It's possible that some of the one star reviews on this site might've been higher if they were written back in the 50s.

Toonboy's avatar
KF Animation Editor
Posts: 564
Reviews: 319

I gave Alice in Wonderland a three.  And I think I still stand by that score, even though it's not really a movie I take any enjoyment out of watching.  However, I don't classify it as a bad movie, either.  My main problem with the movie is that Alice is a terribly annoying character.  The side characters more than make up for it, though.  The ending was more than anti-climatic, and it illustrates the narrative problems with this movie.

The Black Cauldron was a childhood favorite that I lost touch with as I grew older and then slowly rediscovered it as an unfairly bruised movie with a gem stone hiding underneath the flaws.  The Fox and the Hound was never a childhood favorite.  I was too young when it first came out in theaters.  It took my tastes becoming more sophisticated to appreciate it.  Strange how The Fox and the Hound went over my head as a kid and now as an adult I view it as a prime example of classic Disney while The Black Cauldron was right up my alley as a kid and now as an adult I see it as more of a "back shelf" movie.

lupercal's avatar
KF Animation Editor
Posts: 304
Reviews: 517

yadda

Believe it or not, 'Black Cauldron' is the only fully animated Disney feature which I've never seen. Hence no opinion on that.

Disney films that stink:

 

'Dinosaur' tops the list, but if you're only talking about 'hand drawn' (or simulcra therof)

I'd have to say 'Cinderella' and 'The Great Mouse Detective' sucked mightily, but 'Jungle Book' is an overlooked disaster. I also hated almost everything they did in the 90's.Oh, God, look up my reviews. At least that shows what I used to think of them. 'Teacher's Pet' sucked as well, but it wasn't really a proper film.

 

On the unexpected plus side, 'Bambi II' and 'The Lion King 2.5' were great DTVs which outclassed many of their cinematic features.

Loop

 

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