Almost everyone has a favorite Disney movie. From the classic Disney style of hand drawn animation to the comedic productions of Pixar, it's almost impossible not to love something of the Disney franchise; however, there exists a multitude of Disney films that even the most diehard Disney fans can overlook and forget about. While Cinderella and The Little Mermaid undeniably deserve their favorable reputations from the general public, the lesser known and recognized films should no longer go neglected, especially by loyal Disney fans. Therefore, if you're a fan of Disney movies (or just great movies in general) and think you've seen everything there is to see, think again and check out this list of the best underrated Disney movies you need to watch as soon as possible:
1. Brother Bear
I watched Brother Bear when I was younger and always absolutely loved the movie. Despite how sad the movie can be, it's overall plot and message is completely unique. It has the ability to both warm and break your heart at the same time, in a way that only a Disney movie can. The story follows a Native American youth by the name of Kenai who seeks revenge against a bear that took the life of his brother. After killing a bear who he believes to be the culprit, Kenai himself awakes to find that he himself has transformed into a bear. Kenai reluctantly confides in a young bear cub, named Koda, in order to find a way in which he can once again become human. The journey Kenai embarks upon may just have the power to change the way he previously viewed life -- and not just because he now sees things from bear's perspective.
I'm sure almost everyone has heard of Pinocchio; however, have you ever really watched it? Pinocchio, although admittedly a bit jarring in its message and images, still deserves just as recognition as other Disney classics for its complexity alone. In fact, one of the most well known Disney songs comes from Pinocchio (When You Wish Upon A Star), yet so many people seem to simultaneously neglect the very film it came from. Pinocchio follows the story of a woodworker and puppet maker who wishes upon a shooting star for Pinocchio to become a real boy. The woodworker's wish comes (almost) true at the hand of the Blue Fairy, who assigns Jiminy Cricket to act as the puppet-boy's conscience. While the movie ends happily, it takes Pinocchio a series of life lessons and conflict to truly become a real boy.
It seems people are beginning to appreciate this film as time goes on; nevertheless, it still does not receive the recognition that it deserves in comparison to other Disney films. The story follows an adventurer named Milo, who (as inferred by the title) sets out to discover the lost city of Atlantis -- and may just discover a something (or someone) he never expected.
4. Treasure Planet
Inspired by the classic Treasure Island, the protagonist, Jim Hawkins, explores an intergalactic world unlike anything he's ever seen before. If you're a Sci-Fi and Disney fanatic, this film is sure to fill your heart's desire and give you all you've ever wanted from an animated film.
5. Peter Pan
Okay, Peter Pan is incredibly well known. I'm aware of this fact. Yet, how many people have you heard say they've seen Peter Pan more than once, or even seen it all the way through? Maybe I just don't know enough Peter Pan fans, and that's why I feel it's so underrated. Nevertheless, I think Peter Pan incorporates some of the greatest elements of imagination that allows everyone to suspend their realities of adulthood for a bit and revisit a bit of childhood wonder and dreams.
While Brave by no means resides as an old Disney film, I felt it became slightly overshadowed by Frozen and never got the recognition it deserved. The story follows an independent and rebellious young princess and archer, Merida, who refuses to comply with her parents' traditional beliefs of a woman needing to be married off. Despite her admirable desire for freedom in defining her own life path, Merida does possess a bit of a temper that unfortunately gets the better of her. Now, Merida must reverse a curse that may just tear her family apart.
7. Big Hero 6
This movie is absolutely incredible and left quite a lasting impact on me within the first few minutes of its duration. The story follows Hiro and his older brother's robotic companion, Baymax, in a series of events in which he and his friends must assume heroic roles to save their city.
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas
While it is a cult classic with a growing number of fans, The Nightmare Before Christmas still remains as one of the most creative and underrated films Disney has released. When Halloweentown's most prominent and respected figure, Jack Skellington, grows weary of the same old thing year after year, he sets out to discover something that will reignite his passion. After stumbling upon Christmastown, Jack decides Santa Claus deserves a break from his mundane duty as Father Christmas, and sets out to take his place this year. Quite to everyone's dismay, things may not go as Jack plans.
9. The Princess And The Frog
While it received recognition upon its original release for being the first Disney movie to incorporate an African American princess, I feel like the movie was just as quickly forgotten as it was praised. The strong and determined Tiana sets out to open her own restaurant one day, though finds herself in quite a sticky situation after kissing a frog (Prince Naveen) and becoming a frog herself. Will she ever be transformed back into her human form to achieve her dream?
BONUS 10. Corpse Bride
Yes, I know, it's not a Disney movie. Regardless, I feel it's an underrated movie that flies under the radar far more than it should. The story follows a young couple in an arranged marriage, who fear for their individual futures if they find they do not like each other and cannot get along. The groom-to-be, Victor, soon finds himself in a situation far more difficult than even his arranged marriage when he somehow becomes betrothed to a deceased bride. Now he must choose between Victoria, his arranged fiancée, or Emily, his undead bride-to-be.
That completes my quick list of the best and most underrated Disney films! I hope you were able to discover a Disney movie you never really considered or maybe never even heard of to add to your collection for your next movie marathon!