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YMMV / Disneytoon Studios

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While Disneytoon Studios has done many things, they are by far most infamous for their Direct to Video B-Team Sequel movies to well-known Disney Animated Canon classics, for better or for worse.

  • Animation Age Ghetto: A lot of the sequels' detractors accuse them of being made under the assumption that since they are made for little kids, they can get away with lesser-quality storytelling and animation. At the very least, they can be said to have perpetuated it.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: Some of the sequels, in spite of their flaws, do actually attempt to rectify some of the issues with their predecessors. Bambi II and Cinderella III in particular, despite few demanding they be made beforehand, are often commended for filling in some holes in the plot and Character Development of the original films.
  • Awesome Art: While quality was erratic, some of the sequels look extremely lavish for secondary projects, especially some of the later ones. Bambi II comes amazingly close to matching Disney's Renaissance-era style and fluidity, while Tarzan II, Brother Bear 2, and especially Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch are almost interchangeable with the quality of their predecessors. This level of quality became one of Disneytoons' most praised redeeming qualities as hand drawn animation slowly became more obscure within the industry.
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  • Bile Fascination: Part of the reason the sequels are still remembered to this day is because the often poor quality of their animation and writing, especially in contrast to the films they were made to cash in on, make them ripe targets for internet commentary and scorn. Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and Mulan II in particular are by the far the biggest internet punching bags due to just how far they fall short of their predecessors.
  • Cliché Storm: A recurring complaint towards the sequels is that they aim for far less fresh plots than the original works, often going for the same handful of predictable formulas. The "overprotective parent vs wayward child conflict" plot in particular comes up in nearly half of the sequels in some form or other.
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  • Contested Sequel: While no sequel goes without criticism, a few (to give one example, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride) have vocal fandoms, and most of the sequels have their defenders.
  • Cult Classic: A few of the sequels have managed to gain followings in recent years, both of the ironic and unironic kind.
  • Dork Age: The bulk of the sequels were made during Disney's "Post-Renaissance"/Experimental Era, itself considered a Dork Age (with a few exceptions) for the Disney Animated Canon itself.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The earliest of the DTV sequels, Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, didn't get much hate upon its release — not because it was especially better than its later counterparts, but because it wasn't advertised as a true followup to Aladdin. It was more or less just a Pilot Movie for Aladdin: The Series, and seen as pretty good by the standards of a television pilot. When Disney began churning out similar projects of worse quality and then advertised them as canon sequels for their most famous and beloved films (even releasing a handful of them in theaters), then the entire enterprise was condemned as an exercise in proper Sequelitis.
  • Growing the Beard: While the story and concepts of the sequels still varied tremendously in quality, the animation budget for the studio was boosted by a great margin after the 1990s, with the projects even sometimes supervised by veterans from Disney's film units to help them better capture the spirit of the originals. As such, a few of the better sequels almost reached the same lavish quality as Disney's main works (to the point some even got released theatrically), while even several of the bad ones get praised for lush animation.
  • Never Live It Down: The sequels undeniably did a number on Disney's reputation, although general audiences aren't really aware of Disneytoon, so they mostly point fingers at The Walt Disney Company as a whole. Granted, several key members of Disneytoon will attest that Executive Meddling from higher in the company caused as many problems with the projects, so it still goes both ways.
  • Sequelitis: Easily one of the (if not the) most infamous examples alongside the The Land Before Time sequels. While a few of them have gained followings in recent years, It is safe to say that almost none of their films are considered to be in the same league as their predecessors, and they certainly haven't left the same cultural impact, aside from providing fodder for internet potshots against Disney (this list only contains a handful of films; the rest of them can be found on this page). The most infamous examples include:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In a lot of instances, Disney weren't even the first to attempt a sequel to a close ended classic tale, with other film companies, and sometimes even the original source material churning out a follow on story or even multiple ones. The Jungle Book novel for example chained off multiple other stories, however while Rudyard Kipling's ongoing plots with Mowgli were a dynamic arc spanning the character's growth into adulthood and introducing multiple new scenarios and characters, validating their relevance, Disneytoons' The Jungle Book 2 is largely a superfluous rehash of their first film, same cast and plot and all. Even concerning their recurring Lighter and Softer Spin-Offspring formula, the original Bambi novel codified it with it's own (less formulaic) sequel, Bambi's Children. Despite this leaving ideal resource material ready made for them, Disneytoons ironically didn't adapt it.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: As this passage will tell you, the people who worked on the sequels put their all into them, and while they understand exactly why they amass such a poor reception, they (or at least some of them) aren't going to brush them off as an Old Shame.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Most of the sequels fall into this; despite some of them being actually effortful projects, they were still follow-ups to lavishly made and often revolutionary animated masterpieces.
  • Vindicated by History: While Disneytoons' projects tended to sell well enough upon release, they were generally treated as a laughing stock by Disney buffs. Following the shutting down of the DTV run (and eventually Disneytoons Studios' itself), several fans have looked into their library and, while still definitely considered as having many stinkers, a fair few films have gained a Cult Classic status, especially later ones that utilized decent hand drawn animation that was slowly becoming obsolete within Disney's main feature unit by that point. Film critics such as Doug Walker noted their unwillingness to even gaze at Disneytoons' filmography at first, only to be surprised to find several works that did have legitimate effort put into them.


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