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7 Disney Straight-To-Video Follow-Ups That Are In Fact Remarkable

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The Lion King II merits more praise than it does.

Unlike anything else, Disney’s animation filmography has produced adored classics throughout the decades. The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast are just a few examples of pioneering movies that have stood the test of time. Because of its fanciful settings, characters, tunes, messages, and associations with childhood nostalgia, these movies keep touching viewers’ hearts and hold such significance for them. They are regarded as the most remarkable movies of all generations, not simply among the animated movies.

Disney started a pattern of making direct-to-video sequels to some of its most well-known movies in the late 1990s and earlier 2000s. These tended to be more tiny in scope and had a less illustrious cast, aiming at household entertainment releases instead of going to theaters at all. There are a number of films that are in fact pretty amusing, despite the fact that they are unquestionably of lower standards than their prequels in terms of both plot and imagery. Even while they don’t compare to the original, they shouldn’t be completely discounted either.

Peter Pan: Return To Never Land (2002)

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The follow-up to the timeless classic Peter Pan, which tells the tale of the lad who never grew up, is titled Peter Pan: Return to Never Land. In the sequel, Wendy Darling became an adult with a child called Jane, while the time period is WWII.  In an effort to entice Peter Pan, Captain Hook abducts Jane and carries her to Never Land after confusing her for Wendy. With some enjoyable new elements, the movie provides an appropriate trip back to the widely beloved magical territory.

There is some shockingly breathtaking scenery and engaging new tunes, and Jane does well as the independent and spunky main character. Additionally, the follow-up pulls off some heartbreaking punches, such as Tinkerbell nearly passing away. It’s a nice arrangement that not every character from the prequel is back, including Tick-Tock the Crocodile and the native Indians, as their representation in 1953 was quite problematic. However, there is still enough nostalgia and enthusiasm to make this a satisfying sequel.

The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998)

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Making a follow-up to The Lion King, which is regarded as being among the best animated movies of all time, never ceased to be perilous. Although The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is unquestionably not on par with the first, it is still a very good film itself. The narrative centers on Kiara, the inquisitive and exuberant child of Simba and Nala. She makes friends with Kovu, the child of Scar and Zira, the head of the outsiders.

The couple grow more intimate as they get older, and their bond puts the dispute between the two prides to the test. Simba’s Pride could be compared to the original movie’s inspiration, Hamlet, in that it is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet without the terrible conclusion. One of the movie’s finest points is its songs, which, in my opinion, may even be better than the originals. The tale is compelling, and the animation is also extremely stunning. This could be considered the best video sequel ever.

The Lion King 1 ½ (2004)

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With regards to examining Pride Rock and its inhabitants, Disney didn’t end with The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. In terms of the 3rd sequel, The Lion King 1 ½, they took an unconventional route. The movie isn’t really a sequel in all means; it’s the first movie recounted through Timon and Pumbaa’s viewpoint. The moment Timon first encounters Pumbaa, he is traveling out of the meerkat colony, looking for a different place to live. Together, the pair look for a house, which ties into the happenings of The Lion King.

This movie stands out because, in contrast to its prequels, it is mainly a comedy. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, messing with perspective and constantly inserting jokes that refer to the original’s emotionally charged plot lines. Even when Pumbaa sits on the remote and changes the channel to the home shopping network while he and Timon are enjoying a movie in a cinema, the fourth wall is broken.

Mulan II (2004)

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Mulan, a 1998 animated film, is legendary for many reasons, including its strong message for young ladies, bold-and-brave main character, exquisite melodies, and, indeed, Eddie Murphy’s portrayal of Mushu. It’s comprehensible why some people could be discouraged from watching Mulan II since Murphy does not reprise his role as the little wise-cracking creature. There are many positive aspects of the 2004 follow-up regardless of this glaring absence and a preposterous zero percent Rotten Tomatoes rating (yes, that’s kind of cruel).

3 princesses, set to meet their future spouses, are escorted to distant territory by Mulan and her fiancé, as she recently accepted General Shang’s marriage proposal. Mulan’s devotion is put to trial because the quest contradicts her beliefs in individual liberty and listening to one’s heart. We will see Ling, Chien-Po and Yao for another time, as the endearing trio from the first movie make their comeback, while the concept of female strength is still present. Although Murphy is no longer part of the cast, Sandra Oh and Lucy Liu are great additions.

The Jungle Book 2 (2003)

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From Andy Serkis’ Mowgli-focused interpretation to Jon Favreau’s live-action reworking, viewers have watched a number of different interpretations of the timeless The Jungle Book tale. However, Disney’s animated movie from 1967 continues to be the benchmark. The Jungle Book 2 followed the legendary man-cub’s experiences from the first film after several years. A brand new cast follows the new plotline, of course, and it includes John Goodman as Baloo and Haley Joel Osment as Mowgli.

The man-village is where Mowgli currently resides, far from his former jungle companions. He leaves the town because he misses them without realizing that Shere Khan is seeking retribution and that everybody nearby is under threat. Mowgli’s closest buddy Shanti, often known as “The Girl,” who performs the song in the first movie, develops into a more complex personality. The brand-new song “Jungle Rhythm” is unquestionably pop, and “The Bare Necessities” is also played again. The threat posed by Shere Khan is also present this time.

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)

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Viewers might do much worse than checking out The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, the follow-up to Disney’s impending live-action adaptation of the animated musical The Little Mermaid. The main character of the movie is Melody, Ariel’s daughter, who resides in the castle on land with her mom and dad. Melody flees her house and makes her way to the water after discovering a locket that depicts the kingdom of Atlantica.

Melody is a sweet and lovely protagonist who shares her mom’s independence. Along with some fresh characters like Tip and Dash, a penguin and walrus pair, former beloved characters like Sebastian and Flounder are back. Ursula’s evil siblingMorgana, who is as hilariously bonkers as her sister, is the sequel’s standout villain. This return to the water is worthwhile even though it isn’t on the same level as its prequel.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008)

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Disney continues Ariel’s tale with a third movie, The Little Mermaid: Return to the Sea, released in 2008, similar to how The Lion King 1 ½ did so, but with a prequel. King Triton forbids music in his whole kingdom following the terrible loss of his wife, who perished while attempting to retrieve a music box. A more mature Ariel finds her taste for music, much like how Kevin Bacon gets seduced by the taboo art of dancing in the movie Footloose.

She becomes intrigued when she discovers a subterranean music club and is moved to bring harmony and melody back to Atlantica. The movie has a lot of heart and emotional resonance, especially when it comes to Ariel’s late mom, despite the fact that the premise is a touch out there. Sally Field as Marina Del Rey portrays a really engaging antagonist, and it has a couple of wonderful humor and drives the funny aspects further than the former movies as well.

Larry is a contributing writer for KITE MEDIA. Larry is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as Aubtu Today, Digital Trends, Magazine, and many other media outlets.