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Top 10 Best Straight to DVD Disney Sequels

VO: Rebecca Brayton

The best Disney movies that never made it to theatres, but instead were released straight on DVD and VHS. WatchMojo ranks the movies that you may have missed but you should absolutely give another chance! Will the lovable characters of Pride Rock and the Lion King make their great comeback, is Peter Pan's sidekick Tinkerbell to take the top spot, or will Cinerella finally have her redemption on home video? Watch to find out!

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Transcript
They might have lived happily ever after, but that doesn’t mean their story is over. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Straight-to-DVD Disney Sequels.

For this list, we’ll be taking a look at those Disney follow-ups that didn’t quite make the cut for a wide theatrical release, but still made the original movie proud by honoring its characters, witty dialogue, and original premise. Although we call them sequels, what we really mean is any movie released after the original, which can include prequels, midquels, and spinoffs.

#10: “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins” (2000)

Serving as a pilot for the TV show of the same name, “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command” is actually a movie within a movie, as the “Toy Story” gang prepares to watch their favorite space ranger take on the Evil Emperor Zurg. Although the opening utilizes Pixar’s familiar computer animation, the rest of the film uses traditional animation. While it feels more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a Pixar film, there is a compelling plot here full of colorful characters, inspired twists, and “Star Wars” references. It might not go to infinity and beyond, but the film did act as a fun introduction to the short-lived TV series.

#9: “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride” (1998)

Now a father and King of Pride Rock, Simba has to deal with his daughter, Kiara, who turns out to be just as mischievous as he was at her age. Kiara and an outlawed lion cub named Kovu become friends, and later fall in love as they grow up. Simba forbids them from being together, however, because Kovu was Scar’s protégé. Drama! Kovu is repeatedly assigned by his vengeful mother to kill Simba, but finds he can’t do it out of loyalty to Kiara. As you might’ve guessed, where the original “Lion King” was largely based on “Hamlet,” this one takes a page from “Romeo and Juliet.” Kiara and Kovu’s unlikely friendship is still inspiring, though, in a sequel that would make Mufasa proud.

#8: “Bambi II” (2006)

Depending where you live, some got to see this movie in theatres, while Americans had to watch it at home. Spoiler alert: hunters kill Bambi’s mom in the first film. Due to this traumatic death, Bambi’s mom is the parent we usually associate with the young deer. This midquel, however, chronicles Bambi’s childhood by his dad’s side. His father, the Great Prince of the Forest, is rarely involved in his son’s parenting, but reluctantly takes him under his wing after he’s left motherless. This film certainly reinforces the fact that some Disney films are just plain dark and depressing, with Bambi being rejected again and again by his father. But luckily, in the end, the estranged duo comes together and the Great Prince decides to raise Bambi after all.

#7: “Brother Bear 2” (2006)

As if the story of a man who chose to live his life as a bear to stay with a cub he befriends wasn’t heartbreaking enough the first time around! In the sequel, Kenai’s childhood friend Nita makes an appearance and he now has to make a choice between the woman he loves and the bear cub he now thinks of as his foster brother. The sequel, like the original, is chock full of life lessons like the importance of family and identity, as well as love conquering all. Plus, it’s always great to hear Rick Moranis’ voice.

#6: “An Extremely Goofy Movie” (2000)

Set a few years after the first film, Max is now heading off to college, ecstatic to finally be free of his embarrassing, overbearing father, Goofy. But Max is in for a surprise when Goofy shows up on campus, dead set on attaining his own college degree after being fired from his job making toys. The rest of the film builds on the hilarious father-son dynamic that we saw in “A Goofy Movie,” as Goofy learns to let go of his little boy, while Max finally allows his dad to be a bigger part of his life.

#5: “Aladdin and the King of Thieves” (1996)

There are way too many Disney characters with absentee fathers. So when Aladdin finds out that his father is actually alive, of course he stops at nothing to find him. It turns out his dear old dad is the King of the Forty Thieves, and left his family in search of the Hand of Midas. He pretends to want a relationship with Aladdin in order to intercept a powerful artifact back at the palace. He eventually realizes that family means more than wealth or power, but because of the trouble he causes before making that revelation, maybe the moral of this story is that Disney dads are better off missing.

#4: “101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure” (2003)

When the owners of the Dalmatians move away to a farm, they accidentally leave behind one of the puppies, Patch, in true “Home Alone” style. But rather than remain at his old home and wait, Patch heads out to audition for his favorite TV show about a canine superhero, Thunderbolt. Meanwhile, Cruella de Vil is released on probation, but goes back to her old ways and almost immediately steals back the Dalmatians. Of course, since this is a Disney movie, Patch and his new friend, the dog who plays Thunderbolt, ultimately rescue his family from Cruella’s clutches. The sequel shows that some people just can’t change, and in a hilarious twist of fate, the villain is deemed insane and sent to a mental institution.

#3: “Cinderella III: A Twist in Time” (2007)

What’s fun about this sequel is that it isn’t actually about our favorite servant-turned-princess at all. Rather, this third installment follows Anastasia, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, who comes into possession of the Fairy Godmother’s wand and uses it to turn back time so that the glass slipper fits her instead. With her mother’s help, Anastasia finally lives the life she believes was rightfully hers, but in the end decides to do what’s right. Though far from living up to the standards of the original fairytale, it does redeem a once evil character and shows viewers that even the coldest hearts can be thawed… but not all, since Lady Tremaine and Drizella refuse to change, with the final scene showing them turned into maids.

#2: “Tinker Bell” (2008)

Although this one played briefly at the El Capitan Theater, it was a straight-to-DVD release for everyone else. As the first film in the Disney Fairies franchise, this spinoff of “Peter Pan” stars his spunky green-clad sidekick and her fairy friends in adventures of their own. Unlike “Peter Pan,” which was made using traditional animation, these movies are computer animated. With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 89% positive, “Tinker Bell,” along with subsequent films in the series, is leagues above most other straight-to-DVD Disney sequels. On top of that, this is the first movie where Tinker Bell actually gets to speak, and she’s voiced by none other than the quirky and lovable Mae Whitman.

No honorable mentions this time around!

#1: “The Lion King 1 ½” (2004)

Considered a prequel, parallel, and midquel, this strange, but enjoyable, addition to “The Lion King” universe follows the hysterical meerkat and warthog duo Timon and Pumbaa’s adventures. Told in the form of a frame story – a companion to the original, “The Lion King 1 ½” is narrated by the two as they sit watching the events of the original film unfold while telling their never-before-seen stories. Even though this framing device seems a little too meta for an animated movie geared towards children, that’s compensated for by enough general humor and catchy songs for the film to be enjoyed by all audiences.

Do you agree with our list? What straight-to-DVD Disney sequel is your favorite? For more entertaining top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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