A lot of people say that Disney sequels are bad, and for many, I wouldn’t disagree with that. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say all Disney sequels are bad. There are so ambsolte gems like these 10 Disney sequels that are actually good.
So why are Disney sequels bad? Disney will often use sequels as an opportunity to train in new animators which is why there’s sometimes a drastic drop in animation quality. They also struggle to get back many of the original voice actors; Robbin William’s notably wasn’t in Alladin 2 due to disputes with Disney but returned for the third film.
So here are 10 Disney sequels that are actually good:
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride
The Lion King was Disney’s most successful movie, until Frozen came along, so it’s no surprise that the sequel is up there are one of the good Disney sequels. One of the big advantages the Lion King 2 had compared to the bad Disney sequels is that most of the original cast returned and the animation was as stunning as ever. However, it was the new characters that are actually the most beloved in this Disney sequel.
Simba and Nala’s daughter, Kiara, is a lot like the young Simba we remember from the first film. Simba becomes an overprotective parent trying to spare her from the trouble he landed himself in as a cub, but stubborn Kiara befriends Kovu anyway. Kovu is the son of, Zira, a lioness banished to the outlands with the rest of Scar’s supporters. The Lion King 2 is loosly inspired by Romeo & Juliet as the two prides are sworn enemies, but Kiara makes Simba give Kovu a chance, depsite being Scar’s heir.
Zira is one of the best Disney villians, and it’s a shame she doesn’t get the recognton she deserves because of the fact it’s a sequel.
The intro song, He Lives in You is even in the Lion King on Broadway!
The Lion King 1 & 1/2
The Lion King 1 & 1/2 is often considered a bad Disney sequel, but I’ve always liked it. This sequel is Timon and Pumbaa’s side of the events of the first film. I liked learning about the pairs backstories and seeing glimpses into Simba’s life with them after he ran away from Pride Rock.
You also have to admit that the Dig a Tunnel song is too catchy.
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
The 2000 sequel to the Little Mermaid is well deserved on this list of Disney sequels that are actually good.
The film centers around Arial and Eric’s daughter, Melody, as she struggles to fit in. Melody is furious when she discovers that her parents kept her mermaid roots from her, so ahs the evil sea witch Morgana (Ursula’s sister) turn her into a mermaid. Ariel has to go back to sea to save her daughter fro the trap Morgana set to dethrone King Triton.
This was a bitter sweet film seeing an older Flounder, Sebastian, and Scuttle, but I guess that’s called growing up.
There’s also a prequel to the first film about Ariel’s parents and childhood. Baby Ariel is adorable.
Peter Pan: Return to Neverland
Peter Pan 2 might be my favourite one of these Disney sequels that are actually good!
The story is about Wendy’s daughter, Jane, who is mistakenly kidnapped and taken to Neverland by Captain Hook who thinks she’s Wendy. Set during World War II, Wendy tries to comfort her kids with stories of Neverland, but Jane isn’t convinced they’re true until she sees it for herself. Peter rescues Jane and she has her own adventure on the island with Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys.
Brother Bear 2
Like many bad Disney sequels, Brother Bear 2 was straight-to-DVD so was overlooked by many Disney fans. That said I still think Brother Bear 2 actually was a good Disney sequel.
Kenai wakes up from his first hiberation ravenious so takes Koda to Crowberry Ridge to eat. While there, he’s surprised to find his childhood friend, Nita in the wild with a problem only Kenai knows the answer to.
Did you know my dog is called Bear?
Frozen 2 has been tremendously successfully, which wasn’t unexpeted at all.
Queen Elsa is happier now that her secret is out and she’s not secluded from Anna anymore but still feels like something isn’t right. After a mysterious voice calls her, Elsa head’s out on a journey of self-discovery beyond Arendelle to find out who she is, and what she really wants.
The animation is spectacular, as is the music and story itself. There’s no escaping the Frozen hype, but it does deserve the credit.
101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure
Patch struggles with being one of 101, and is often left out and trampleted over by his 98 siblings. Overwhelmed with the sheer amount of dogs they have, Roger and Anita move to the countryside but Patch is left behind my mistake. The puppy heads into London to meet his hero Thunderbolt. Meanwhile, Cruella is hatching another plan to kidnap the puppies, and Thunderbolts side-kick intends to sabotage him. Patch proves himself as more than just one of 101 saving both his family and Thunderbolt’s career.
As a massive 101 Dalmatian fan as a kid, I rewatched this recently and it somewhat held up all these years later. The animation and casting is different, which you get over after a few minutes. Lucky was my favourite dalmatian so my inner child was pissed off that they drew his spots differently.
Monsters University is a prequel to Monsters Inc.
Mike Wazowski’s life long dream is to be a scarer and he spends his life working hard to get into the scare program in Monsters University, but keeps running into the same issue; no matter how hard he works, nothing will change the fact that he doesn’t look scary. Sully has the opposite problem as he comes from a long line of scarers and barely has to lift a finger. The film is about the two going from enemies to best friends, and is an important lesson in how life doesn’t always go the way you planned, but you can still achieve your dreams even if you can’t go about it the way you thought you would.
This film felt like it was more for the kids who grew up with the orignal Monsters Inc and were teenagers and college-aged young adults but we needed that. Let me tell you kids, college doesn’t go to plan.
All the Toy Story Sequels
Toy Story has had a solid 4 films. Not only are the Toy Story films Disney Sequels that are actually good, they’re more than good, they’re amazing!
Toy Story 2 introduced us to beloved characters like Jessy and Bullseye, as Woody is kidnapped by Al from Al’s Toy Barn to be sold to a collector in Japan. After learning of his legacy, Woody is conflicted on whether he wants to go to Japan or back to Andy.
Toy Story 3 is another Disney sequel for the kids who grew up, as Andy has to decide what to do with his Toy’s now that he’s going to college.
Toy Story 4 destroyed me, I actually cried in the cinema.
Overall, it’s a perfect series.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman’s Chest
The first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies are flawless. On Stranger Tides is unspeakably bad, and Dead Men Tell no Tales redeemed it a little, but still didn’t reach the heights of the original triology.
Deadman’s Chest is argueably the best film in the series. After getting the Black Pearl back, Jack doens’t get long to enjoy being Captain again as he’s marked with the Black Spot. As Jack had Davy Jones raise the Pearl from the sea after Beckett sunk her, he’s promised 13 years of freedom before having to serve Jones. Jack flees and Jones sets the Kraken on him. Meanwhile, Will and Elziabth are arrested for aiding Jack in the first film and they both fight for each others freedom.
On the topic of Pirates: Firing Johnny Depp was a mistake, and I do not want the new Pirates, even if it is a female empowerment story. I’m all for strong female leads, but Pirates is nothing without Jack, so, by all means, write a new story about pirates like Anne Bonny or Grace O’Malley, but leave POTC alone.
What do you think of these Disney sequels that are actually good? Do you agree or think some of these Disney sequels are bad? While you’re here, you might enjoy these underrated Disney movies on Disney Plus.