All the Disney Movies Based on Rides: RANKED

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All the Disney Movies Based on Rides: RANKED

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
It's time to rank all the Disney movies based on rides. Our countdown includes "Tomorrowland," "Jungle Cruise," “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," and more!
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All the Disney Movies Based on Rides RANKED


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for all the Disney movies based on rides.

For this list, we’ll be seeing how every film based on the mouse house’s theme park attractions stacks up against each other. Since we’ll be talking about their plots, beware of spoilers ahead.

What’s your favorite movie inspired by a Disney ride? Let us know in the comments below.

#11: “The Country Bears” (2002)



In 1971, a popular ride with animatronic animals called “Country Bear Jamboree” opened in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. But its success did not translate well to a feature film. “The Country Bears” follows a bear named - sigh - Beary who lives with a human family. After discovering he’s adopted, he tries to get his favorite band back together. While the animatronic bear suits might have worked for the original ride, they look awkward and out of place in a live-action movie. And the combination of the cliché “get the band back together” plot with forgettable songs makes the movie a slog to sit through. Even Christopher Walken’s quirky villainous turn couldn’t save “The Country Bears” from being a critical and financial flop.

#10: “The Haunted Mansion” (2003)



When legendary comedian Eddie Murphy was announced as the lead for the horror comedy “The Haunted Mansion”, audiences were ready for an entertaining ghostly adventure. But they were let down after his realtor character arrived at a spooky house with his family. Although Murphy tried his best, he couldn’t make most of the jokes work. The scares were also pretty tame. We can give the movie some credit for managing to incorporate so many aspects of the original ride. And supporting characters like Terrence Stamp’s Ramsley, Wallace Shawn’s Ezra and Jennifer Tilly’s Madame Leota gave us a few laughs. But you’ll definitely have a better time walking through the “Haunted Mansion” attraction than watching Murphy stumble through it on screen.

#9: “Mission to Mars” (2000)



Since the “Mission to Mars” ride mainly consisted of a narrator describing the sights on the way to the red planet, Disney was free to take a lot of liberties with the story for the film. The early trailers promised a nail-biting space adventure full of extraterrestrial mysteries. Fortunately, the final product featured a few impressive visuals and hints at a deeper story. And Don Cheadle did an excellent job playing an astronaut stranded on Mars. But the movie’s uneven pacing, slow sequences and cheesy moments kept it from being a sci-fi classic. While both the ride and film had lots of good qualities, they’ve both been eclipsed by other space adventures today.

#8: “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011)



The fourth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise wasn’t Jack Sparrow’s best outing. While the quirky pirate returned to help find the fountain of youth, the power couple of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann weren’t along for the ride. And their replacements, Philip and Syrena, weren’t nearly as interesting. They all appeared in a story that was complicated by a bunch of random magical rules. Fortunately, the relationship between frenemies Jack Sparrow and Barbossa led to some entertaining banter. And the movie also had an exciting sequence where pirates fought mermaids. But despite its positives, the underwhelming new characters and overcomplicated story brought the movie down. “On Stranger Tides” now stands as the most lackluster movie based on the “Pirates of Carribean” ride.

#7: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (2017)



Although expectations weren’t high for the fifth “Pirates” film, the movie had a few great surprises. Elizabeth’s son Henry teams up with Jack Sparrow and new character Carina in hopes that they can break the curse keeping Will Turner from returning home. They have to deal with Javier Bardem’s Salazar and his wonderfully rendered CGI crew of pirate poltergeists. While the plot and villains were both decent, the action scenes weren’t as exciting as previous entries. And Jack Sparrow felt like he wasn’t as energetic as usual. But a few interesting twists and a crowd-pleasing ending made the overall journey worth it.

#6: “Tomorrowland” (2015)



Ever since the 1950s, the “Tomorrowland” section of Disneyland has dedicated itself to presenting visions of the future. Its sci-fi essence was definitely captured throughout the movie. During the film, Britt Robertson’s Casey and George Clooney’s Frank travel to the futuristic and gorgeous Tomorrowland. The two of them must work and journey together to prevent the end of the world. Despite its ambitious scenery, the dense plot and genre cliches left audiences and critics split about the movie’s quality. And it didn’t soar at the box office either. Although “Tomorrowland” isn't flawless, its optimism and creative direction might just win you over.

#5: “Tower of Terror” (1997)


A movie based on a falling elevator-type ride sounded like a recipe for disaster. But “Tower of Terror” rose past our modest expectations. In the movie, Kirsten Dunst’s Anna and her uncle try to free a group of ghosts from a curse the spectres fell under while riding an elevator. The mysteries surrounding how they all got trapped there and what it takes to break the curse are engrossing. And Dunst more than holds her own with the rest of the talented cast. Admittedly, the effects are a bit dated by today’s standards and the movie takes some time to fully dive into its spooky side. Outside of those small drawbacks, “Tower of Terror” is a pretty solid ghost story.

#4: ”Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End” (2007)



“At World’s End” is arguably still the biggest story in the franchise. After the ruthless Cutler Beckett forces the vicious Davy Jones into an alliance, the two threaten to destroy all the heroes. The only way to stop them is for Elizabeth, Will and the others to rescue Jack Sparrow from a grim fate and unite with an international network of pirates. While it was cool to meet and learn about all the Pirate Lords, it was hard to follow the huge amount of characters and their goals. But when the movie wasn’t confusing, it crafted hilarious twists and breathtaking action scenes. “At World’s End” is ultimately a gigantic epic that will leave you a little lost and sweep you right off your feet.

#3: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” (2006)



Captain Jack Sparrow gets an ominous reminder that his life and ship are forfeit if he doesn’t honor the deal he made with Davy Jones. Instead of honoring the contract, the pirate decides to seek out a chest that can save everything he holds dear. What follows is more than two hours of betrayals, emotional scenes and stunning CGI work to bring Davy Jones and his kraken to life. There’s also a particularly fun scene where three characters fight for the chest on increasingly dangerous obstacles. If Dead Man's Chest had been a little bit shorter and cut a couple of its plotlines it could’ve been the best in the franchise. Despite its faults, the sequel is a fantastic swashbuckling tale and solid sequel.

#2: “Jungle Cruise” (2021)



#1: “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003)



Disney made pirates popular in the 21st century with an action-packed fantasy film. This iconic franchise opener featured Barbossa and a crew of undead Pirates suffering from an ancient curse. After they kidnap Elizabeth in the hopes she can free them from their fate, Jack Sparrow and Will Turner team up to pursue the villains. The unique personalities of every single hero and antagonist kept us invested in the story no matter who was on the screen. While the plot is relatively small compared to other entries, it's still full of great storytelling, magic and twists. The massive critical and commercial success of the first “Pirates” film proved that basing films off theme park rides could yield spectacular results.
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