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Fanon Discontinuity / Animated Films

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Fanon Discontinuity in animated films.

  • Many fans of Don Bluth films disregard the Direct to Video sequels of his movies, which Bluth was not involved with except for Bartok the Magnificent. What is interesting is that three of his movies became full-blown media franchises only after he left:
    • This is especially true of the series of sequels to The Land Before Time because any subtext is now gone and they are now musicals, when the original was not. Depending on the fan, you can:
      • Ignore ALL the sequels. They're all results of turning a beloved movie into a Cash Cow Franchise anyway.
      • Accept the original and the first sequel only. No heart after that.
      • Accept the movies up to IV and ignore the rest. In The Mysterious Island, the production team radically altered the environment, meaning that the Mysterious Beyond looked like just about anywhere else in the world.
      • Accept the first four sequels, but disregard the rest, due to a writer switch that was perceived to have made things go downhill after that quality-wise.
      • Accept the movies up to VII. Films V-VII each have their good points, and interesting guest characters, but VII would be the last film to have non-conspicuous computer graphics.
      • Accept the movies up to X. We see Ducky and Spike's relationship get some interesting attention in VIII, we get a reprise of the best song from V in IX, and in X we finally meet Littlefoot's dad. But after this, the movies are more sitcom-like in nature, with multiple gag plots, characters like Cera's dad acting wildly Out of Character, and even more explicit morals than people claim the first nine sequels have.
      • Accept the movies up to XII. The Wisdom of Friends tends to be ignored, even by diehard fans of the sequel films, due to its overly silly nature and astondingly bad (even for the series) morals.
      • Accept ALL the sequels. The Land Before Time is The Land Before Time, no matter what it is.
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    • Accept ALL the sequels and the TV series.
    • Or any variation of the above.
  • Fans of The Secret of NIMH often disregard its Lighter and Softer musical sequel Timmy To The Rescue. Aside from the change in tone, it doesn't help that the sequel kludges continuity with its predecessor, claiming that Nicodemus was a prophet and that he claimed that a son of Jonathan Brisby would become a hero (Nicodemus, though a sorcerer, wasn't a prophet, and he made no such claim in the first movie). While refusing to even acknowledge it as canon, most fans of the original still lament that there isn't enough Brain Bleach in the world to wipe the sequel from their memories.
  • The third and fourth An American Tail movies are on the receiving end of this reaction. The latter gets this for "being boring".
  • The 2nd and 3rd The Brave Little Toaster movies get this due to being Lighter and Softer than the dark and subtext filled original film.
  • Many of those who like Cars deny the existence of the sequel Cars 2 or the spin-off movie Planes. Some will accept Cars 2, but ignore Planes and the Mater's Tall Tales animated shorts, or any combination of the above.
    • Though it does have its detractors, Cars 3 doesn't tend to be overall ignored by Pixar fans thanks to more closely matching the tone of the first movie compared to Cars 2. Commonly, you'll see fans who don't throw out the Cars franchise wholesale treat both the first movie and Cars 3 as canon even if they don't treat Cars 2 and the Planes movies as canon as well. (It certainly helps that the plot and events of Cars 2 have little to no bearing on that of Cars 3, nor are they even mentioned during the latter, making ignoring 2 far easier than most examples.)
  • The Ice Age sequels are Contested among some fans of the first film, but many who enjoyed the first three films agree on pretending that that the fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift never happened.
  • The Despicable Me sequels have gotten this as well. Depending on the fan, you can:
    • Accept the first movie only. This was before Illumination realized they didn't need to try anymore, and everything after this is a cash grab.
    • Accept the first and second movie. The third has Gru learn that he has a twin brother named Dru, which some fans consider to be a huge Continuity Snarl, as he was never seen or heard of in the first two movies.
    • Accept all the movies except Minions. Most fans, regardless of how much they like the Minions, ignore this movie and wish it never happened. Not helped by the fact that it retcons the Minions' origin as genetically-engineered corn kernels.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will sometimes get this depending on the fan who will either:
    • Acknowledge only the first movie. The second film has a plot that rehashes the first film just with a preachy environmental message as well as a forced message about friendship that tries to connect with the environmental message, flat characters who contribute nothing to the plot, and an annoying villain that tries to be as overtop as possible and tries being Laughably Evil.
    • Acknowledge both films but not the television show. Most fans ignore the television show and pretend it never happens as Flint Lockwood and Sam Sparks have never met in the films before and there's no plot related to food.
  • Good luck finding a BIONICLE fan who pays attention to the Retcons about how Matoran and every other living thing in the "Matoran Universe" are supposed to be mindless automatons and how being individuals with personality was just a glitch in their AI. Similarly, paying attention to the retcon inducing universal Asexuality and No Hugging, No Kissing is a rarity (though not unheard of), all the more so since the Mata Nui Online Game and the Adobe Flash animations, the early material establishing the Matoran's capability to love, is widely considered some of the fandom's favourite parts of the story.
  • Besides the authors and artists wanting to make more angsty works, it's damn near impossible to find a Big Hero 6 fan who doesn't ignore or deny the fact that Tadashi dies fairly early on in the film. This isn't an example of the event supposedly ruining the film, but because the character in question is quite popular and there are a lot of people who would've preferred them to live, no matter how unlikely the circumstances.
  • A lot of fans ignore Disney's Direct to Video sequels, or at least some of them (there are more people to accept the Aladdin series than there are supporters of the Beauty and the Beast sequels, for instance). Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, for one, was so hated that the studios arranged for a Cosmic Retcon wiping its events out of continuity to be part of the plot of the much better-received Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
  • The Lion King:
    • The canonicity of The Lion King 1½ is highly debatable amongst fans of The Lion King. Reasons include the fact that the film, despite telling the story of the original from Timon and Pumbaa's perspective, screws up on continuity on more than one occasion, and even ignoring the backstory shown in Timon & Pumbaa. Some ignore the film entirely, while others who are more accepting simply take a Broad Strokes route, ignoring or changing the parts that contradict the original, and argue that Timon & Pumbaa itself was an Alternate Continuity to start with. It's worth noting the backstory shown in The Lion King 1½ seems to depict meerkat life in a more realistic manner than in Timon & Pumbaa, in a way that matches the rest of The Lion King setting better.
    • The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride got hit with it because part of the fan base really liked the expanded continuity of the “Six New Adventures” book series and got disappointed when this wasn’t used as the film’s basis.
  • While Drawn Together is a divisive cartoon, even the show's fans wish that the Grand Finale, The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie never existed. Reasons include the switch to Flash animation, and taking the raunchiness and Black Comedy too far. It doesn't help that the movie ends with the entire cast Deader Than Dead.
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: Due to the... controversial nature of the ending (with a considerable amount of the fanbase deriding it for breaking the original movie's aesop and turning Vanellope into a Designated Hero) some fans preferred that the events of this movie did not happen at all, or at least felt like the movie could have ended on a different note.
  • For similar reasons, some Frozen (2013) fans have resolved to ignore the existence of Frozen II... or if it does exist, it ends with Elsa and Anna's reunion after the climax, and certainly not with Elsa choosing to stay in Northuldra while Anna becomes queen of Arendelle in her place.
  • A large number of Pixar fans choose to ignore the existence of Toy Story 4 due to Bonnie ignoring Woody in favor of Forky being seen by many as a total slap in the face to the highly praised ending of Toy Story 3 and interestingly enough, this movie's ending is also highly controversial for very similar reasons to Ralph Breaks the Internet and Frozen II above. Woody chooses to stay with Bo while Buzz decides to go back to Bonnie. Seeing one of the most iconic duos in animation history be separated seemingly permanently was quite understandably very hard to swallow for many long-time fans.
  • A bigger case regarding Toy Story was Lightyear. Fans of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command already refused to acknowledge that as what inspired the Buzz toy. And then when the movie actually came out, even many who liked Lightyear prefer not to think of this as being what Andy saw in 1995 to make him want a Buzz Lightyear toy, arguing Lightyear doesn't feel like something (especially something Merchandise-Driven) that would be released in the 90s. To these fans, if Lightyear exists in the Toy Story universe, it is a Darker and Edgier reboot of whatever Andy saw when he was a kid that would be released in his adult years.
  • It isn't uncommon to find Shrek fans who ignore the theatrical third and fourth films during rewatches due to the leading opinion that the first two are the best. More lenient fans tend to only skip the third film as it doesn't advance the story in ways that can't be understood when they are reintroduced in the fourth.
  • Plenty of fans of the How to Train Your Dragon series ignore How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World due to the controversial ending where the dragons leave their riders for good on the grounds that it goes against the series' themes of peace through cohabitation.
  • Most fans of The Swan Princess ignore all films from The Swan Princess Christmas onward, which were released 14 years after the original trilogy, shifted to low-quality CG animation, and featured increasingly ridiculous plots like pirate- and spy-themed movies in what started as a medieval fantasy setting.
  • Fans of Vuk the Little Fox pretend the terribly-animated CGI sequel Kis Vuk/A Fox's Tale was never made.
  • Many fans of the DC Animated Movie Universe completely disregard the continuity's Grand Finale Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, due to its shock value aspects, leaving several plot details unresolved and the Pyrrhic Victory ending with most of the heroes dead.