Emma Giallongo ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It’s probably very likely that you’ve seen at least a little anticipation for the new 2017 live-action spin on one of the most beloved Disney films of all time, Beauty and the Beast. As exciting as this remake is for many classic Disney fans and newer generations of fans, there are definitely some animated Disney films that could use some more love, and they’re right within reach. So, without further ado, here are the top five Disney movies on Netflix that need more love.
This film is generally unknown to those who didn’t grow up with it. It’s not what people would normally classify as a “classic,” but it does star Walt’s OG team of cartoons: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and notable parts for newer characters Daisy, Clarabelle, and Pete. Join Mickey (Wayne Allwine), Donald (Tony Anselmo) and Goofy (Bill Farmer) as they do their best as newly recruited musketeers to protect Princess Minnie (Russi Taylor) from the evil Beagle Boys (Jeff Bennett, Maurice LaMarche) who are trying to kidnap her. Along the way there are silly references to older work with the characters, such as their classic outfits, catch phrases and songs. And there’s this turtle, the Troubadour (Rob Paulsen), who narrates the story and sings songs to the tune of classic symphonic pieces that you’re sure to recognize. Though a little corny, this movie brings the viewer a sense of nostalgia and satisfies the all-too-familiar longing for a happy ending.
4. Mulan II (2004)
It’s been a year since Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) has saved China and she now lives at home with her family and gets engaged to Shang (BD Wong), much to Mushu’s (Mark Moseley) dismay. However, once Mulan marries Shang, Mulan will now be associated with Shang’s ancestors, rather than her own, leaving Mushu and his newly found glory in the dust. In the midst of planning their wedding, Mulan and Shang are enlisted to help transport the Emperor’s daughters, Mei (Lucy Liu), Su (Lauren Tom), and Ting Ting (Sandra Oh) to a kingdom across China where the princesses are to marry princes, thereby uniting the kingdoms and bringing peace to both nations. Their journey is accompanied by the lovable Yao (Harvey Fierstein), Ling (Gedde Watanabe), and Chien-Po (Jerry Tondo), all of whom befriended Mulan in the first film. Mushu, on the other hand, has plans of his own for this trip and tries his hardest to break up Mulan and Shang in order to sustain his status among the ancestors.
Though it does not have the entire original cast from the first film, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking it is, as the new actors nail their beloved roles perfectly. Plus, there are some new, catchy songs to go with the new voices. It’s an older film now, having come out over 10 years ago, but it’s worth a watch for a fresh spin on what life is like for Mulan, now that she has earned her status as the hero of China. And, of course, for more silly antics from Mushu and Cri-Kee (Frank Welker).
3. Tarzan (1999)
Though there are multiple versions of this well-known tale of a man raised in the jungle, Disney’s take on this story is one that can be watched over and over and remembered for years. Tarzan was a baby when he and his parents shipwrecked on a beach near the outskirts of the jungle. Things were going well, and Tarzan’s parents had built their family a treehouse to protect them from the dangers of the jungle. Unfortunately, this was not enough and the pair were murdered by a vicious jaguar.
Lucky for Tarzan, a lonely female gorilla, Kala (Glenn Close), finds baby Tarzan and takes him with her to raise as her own. Over the years, Tarzan (Tony Goldwyn) befriends fellow jungle dwellers, Terk (Rosie O’Donnell), the feisty gorilla, and Tantor (Wayne Knight), the cautious elephant, who join him on his adventures through the trees. One day, a father-daughter pair of researchers, Professor Porter (Nigel Hawthorne) and his daughter Jane Porter (Minnie Driver) visit the jungle in hopes of researching the local gorillas and instead stumble upon Tarzan. At first, Jane is terrified of the “wild man” she perceives Tarzan to be, but eventually grows fond of him and tries to “civilize” him. Unfortunately, William Clayton (Brian Blessed), the guide who the Porter’s hired to help them on their journey, has come to the jungle with his own devious plans and it’s up to Tarzan and company to save the day.
The animation of this film is beautiful, so it’s no wonder that it is classified as a piece of the Disney Renaissance. This heartwarming classic, though dark at some points, is sure to make you smile with its adorable characters, one-liners, and relationships amongst man and beast. Plus, who can resist that Phil Collins soundtrack?
2. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Yes, for those of you who keeping track, this movie has already been mentioned on one of these lists, the “Top 5 Feel Good Movies to Watch on Netflix” from back in December, to be exact. But listen. This movie is a classic and deserves to be mentioned twice. Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) is a spoiled emperor who is used to getting everything he wants. Unfortunately for him, this has resulted in an accumulation of enemies, including his royal advisor, Yzma (Eartha Kitt). Sick of his rule over her and the rest of the kingdom, Yzma teams up with her not-too-sharp lab assistant, Kronk (Patrick Warburton), in order to come up with a plot to get Kuzco out of the picture and take the throne for herself. Much to Yzma’s dismay, instead of poisoning Kuzco, she and Kronk accidentally turn him into a llama. Now, Kuzco must team up with one of his citizens named Pacha (John Goodman) so that he can return back to normal and get back to his rightful place on the throne. The results of these misfortunes are hilarious moments including cross-dressing, squirrel conversations, and deadpan delivery while falling from a waterfall. If you haven’t seen this film, please see it. It’s silly and sure to make you laugh.
1. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
This last film is one that most people probably saw when they were little but now pass over when they see it playing on TV. It’s the story of a little girl, Lilo Pelekai (Daveigh Chase), who adopts what she think is a dog, Stitch (Chris Sanders) in an effort to make a new friend and stay out of trouble. What she doesn’t know is that Stitch, also known as Experiment 626, is actually an alien on the run from space law for being a destructive monster. What most people didn’t realize while watching this movie as a kid is that not only is this film a silly sci-fi movie about a little girl getting into hijinks with her alien dog, it is also a sad, coming of age story for Lilo’s older sister, Nani (Tia Carrere). Nani is 19 and her and Lilo’s parents have recently died in a car crash, leaving Nani in charge of Lilo and her living situation. Hard as Nani tries, Lilo is a difficult little girl to keep under control and in an effort to find her a companion, Nani brings Lilo to the shelter where she adopts Stitch and everything goes to hell. Lilo & Stitch is full of silly moments, like Stitch when learns to play Elvis songs on guitar, or when agent Pleakley (Kevin McDonald) gets swarmed by mosquitos, but it is also full of heartbreak, like when Nani is certain that Lilo is going to be taken away from her by the government. It’s a bittersweet blend of good and bad moments, but as with all Disney movies, a happy ending is at the end of the tunnel.