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Sequelitis / Disney

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What a waste of perfectly good popcorn...

"You can't top pigs with pigs."
Walt Disney (on the failure of The Three Little Pigs follow-up shorts)

Disney has produced many classic films, both animated and live action, in their near century of existence...but they've also produced a notoriously large number of underwhelming to just plain lousy follow-ups to their classics along the way.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's run of Direct-to-Video sequels produced by Disneytoon Studios (sometimes derisively termed as "cheapquels") from 1994 to 2008 are some of the most infamous examples of Sequelitis in not only animation, but in all of media, and they are near-unanimously considered to be inferior follow ups to their predecessors for a variety of reasons, particularly for their generally poor animation and writing quality. After Aladdin: The Return of Jafar enjoyed reasonable success, it opened the floodgates. After John Lasseter became Chief Creative Officer of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, he unplugged any future DTV Disney sequels and prequels that were still on the drawing boardnote , and only allowed films that were already in production (such as Cinderella III and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, which became the last two of Disney's 14-year slate of DTV sequels) to continue. While not all of them were disasters, there were far more poor and mediocre sequels than you should expect from their franchises.
  • For a canon example, The Rescuers Down Under got some good reception and is still considered a good film to this day, but it became the sole financial bust of the Disney Renaissance (and only one of two Disney Animation bombs during Jeffrey Katzenberg's Disney career, the other being The Black Cauldron). It also has a lower RT rating than the original Dark Age Disney classic, though still in fresh territory. This is what actually resulted in the start of the company’s Direct-to-Video sequel trend.
  • Fantasia 2000, while enjoying quite a good reception, is not as well regarded as the original Fantasia; a lighter tone stemming from celebrity hosts and more cartoony pieces speaks of lower artistic ambition.
  • One of the conditions Pixar put when they joined with Disney was that they wouldn't be required to make sequels. In fact, because one of the parts of the merger was putting Pixar's people in charge of Disney's animation studio, one of the first things they did was halted production of Disney's own Toy Story 3, shutting down the studio that was making it (which got labeled as Pixaren't) and then they began working on the title in-house. Consequently, both Toy Story 3 and the entire Toy Story series have been lauded as cinema classics. They did, however, make a sequel to Cars, already considered one of their weaker movies, resulting in what is widely considered their worst movie, Cars 2, and shattered their nearly spotless artistic reputationnote . The 2013 prequel to Monsters, Inc., called Monsters University, didn't help matters, despite several good reviews. As of this writing, the only Pixar sequels outside of the Toy Story series to get a near-unanimously positive reception are Finding Dory and Incredibles 2note , both of which still tend to be seen as slightly lacking compared to their respective first movies.
  • The theatrical short/special Olaf's Frozen Adventure, putting aside all of the controversy involving the special being shown ahead of Coco, is often accused of having inferior writing, songs, and dialogue to the original film.
  • The page quote itself was a long time slogan for Disney. With The Three Little Pigs being the best-selling Silly Symphonies cartoon, and thus a Tough Act to Follow, it's unsurprising to think about how The Big Bad Wolf, The Three Little Wolves and The Practical Pig fared in comparison.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Video Games 


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