Disney, and more specifically, Disney Pixar, have a lot in store for us in the upcoming years. They have a full slate of films that have been set to release, and people are jumping with joy. Disney has quite a few sequels in store for us, including Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, Cars 3, and the recently released Finding Dory. Since all of these sequels are abreast, I thought it was appropriate to take a look at my top 5 Disney, and Disney Pixar, sequels!
#5: Lion King II: Simba’s Pride
The second Lion King movie came out on October 27th, 1998. This movie, like many of the 1990’s Disney sequels, did not have a theatrical release. The film, however, was not given very high ratings. It scored a low 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, and based on different critics, received an average score of 5.6/10. Even though these are certainly not the best scores, I believe it was rated so low because it was closely compared to the original.
This is to be expected, because Lion King II was nowhere near as good as the original, and that is because the original Lion King was such a massive success. Sequels are a risky business, especially to take a huge success and try to make a sequel out of it. So, why is this film in my top 5, you ask? I am actually a big fan of it, and I think that it is a good sequel to the original film.
The music is no match to the original, but the story is surely different, and takes fans on a new path following Simba’s daughter, Kiara, and Scar’s chosen heir, Kovu. It is a story with the basing of one William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and if you are a fan of Lion King, you should definitely make it a point to see this film if you have not already.
#4: Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
This is another direct-to-video sequel that was released September 19th, 2000. This film received mixed, and some negative reviews, receiving a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel to the widely successful Little Mermaid, follows Ariel’s daughter, Melody, and her life as a human, where, wouldn’t you know, she dreams of being a mermaid.
It is very similar to the original movie, except this time it is a human becoming a mermaid, not the other way around. I have enjoyed this film because, who doesn’t dream of seeing some of your favorite characters coming back and having families? One thing that is exciting about this film is that it changed Disney Princess history, Ariel being the only Disney princess to have a child. Even with it being similar, if not almost identical to the original, this film is worth a watch!
#3: Toy Story Trilogy
Since Toy Story has two sequels, I figured I would just wrap both of them up in one. Toy Story 2 was released November 13th, 1999, and takes fans on a whole new journey with their favorite set of toys, and introduces a lot of toys, which are now considered classics.
It is often forgotten that everyone’s favorite cowgirl Jessie, was introduced in the second film, and not the first. Another character introduced in the second film is Woody’s trusty horse, Bullseye. In this film, Woody is taken from Andy’s house by a greedy toy collector, where he meets Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete. Buzz, and the rest of Andy’s toys set off on a journey to rescue Woody.
This film is a fantastic sequel to the original. The story continues in Toy Story 3, which was released June 18th, 2010. This film is years after the original, and Andy is all grown up and heading off to college. After Andy decides he only wants to take Woody with him, the rest of the toys are put in a box headed for the attic. But, Andy’s mom mistakes the box for garbage, and after the toy’s think they are being thrown away, head for Sunnyside Daycare, where they meet a new host of troubles.
Unlike the first two Toy Story’s which are directed by John Lasseter, this film is directed by Lee Unkrich. This film was also the second Pixar film to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, along with four other nominations. I am a bigger fan of the second Toy Story as opposed to the third, but both of these sequels were able to do something not many films can do, be as good, or some may say better, than the original.
The reason these films are so popular is because it feels like they are all blended together seamlessly, and the stories that each film takes us on, all fits together perfectly.
#2: Mulan II
Coming in at number two, is Mulan II. Now, I love the original Mulan, but it is surely not one of my favorite movies, however, I really enjoy the sequel. Mulan II was released February 1st, 2005, and continues the story with Mulan, but explores hers and Shang’s relationship on their journey to marriage.
The thing I appreciate most in this film is that it shows that relationships are not perfect. Unlike any other Disney couple, that just happily rides into the sunset on a horse, (yes I am looking at you, Snow White!), this film shows both the ups and downs of a relationship, and that two people who love each other, will not agree on everything.
As Mulan’s parents show, a relationship is a balance of Yin and Yang, and that idea is certainly realized in the film. Besides that, the film also explores the tough topics of loss, and arranged marriages. Do not be scared by the bad reviews, which happen to include a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, (yikes!) I would still suggest for you to see this film, as it is one of my favorites.
#1: Finding Dory
Since this film just came out, I will be sure to avoid any spoilers, but this film is truly fantastic. Finding Dory was a long-awaited sequel, released thirteen years after the original! Finding Dory was released June 17th, 2016, and follows the forgetful fish, Dory, and her journey to find her parents. Honestly, I liked this film more than the original, for a few different reasons.
The first reason is that fans get to know the characters a lot better, and not just Dory either. Even though the film centered on Dory, I got to know Marlin and Nemo a lot better too, as well as the relationship between Marlin, Nemo and Dory. The film also had a crisper storyline, and it moved at a much better pace than the original. Besides that, the film also introduced some very likeable new characters, including Bailey, the Beluga whale, Destiny, the near-sighted whale shark, and Hank, the grumpy, yet very lovable octopus.
A tip if you are going to see the film in theaters: stay until after the credits, (believe me, it’s worth it!)
So, there you have it, my top 5 Disney (and Disney Pixar) sequels! In the comments below, let me know what your favorite Disney sequel is, and also let me know which sequel you are most excited for.
Have a magical day!