It’s no secret that when a Disney film does particularly well at the box office, that often a sequel is just on the horizon. Each sequel seeks to capture the charm of the first film, but some are absolute hits while others completely miss the mark. Though there are many Disney sequels out there here are five films that leave a long-lasting impression after watching them.
Aladdin and the King of Thieves
Aladdin is my favorite Disney animated film of all time! There are two sequels for this beloved 90s film, Return of Jafar and King of Thieves due to its overall plot (the writing is better too). But the one that reigns supreme is King of Thieves in my eyes. In this film, Robin reprises his role again as Genie and the film follows Aladdin and Jasmine’s anticipated wedding only to be disrupted by the King of Thieves. However, his true identity causes trouble for Aladdin. It’s thrilling, action-packed, full of laughs just like the original film, and discusses the theme of family. There are some absolute show-stopper songs in the film as well such as the first song, There’s a Party Here In Agrabah, which sets the tone for the movie.
This might be a controversial opinion and usually, I don’t say things like this but the Frozen sequel was 10x better than the original (for me). The sequel follows sisters Anna and Elsa (joined by Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven) as they leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, enchanted land in order to save their kingdom. The writing was much stronger in this film, and I thought the songs were more memorable. Don’t get me wrong, I know Let It Go is still a power anthem but when I heard, Into the Unknown, it just took the Disney standard “I want” song up a notch. The film mixes lighthearted moments, comedy, the importance of truth, and even touches on mental health. I feel like world-building was done very well in the sequel and the cinematography is stunning.
Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
One of my favorite seasonal Christmas films is Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas which takes place during the timeline of the original film. The movie follows the lovable characters once again as viewers learn that the Beast has a deep-seated hatred for the Christmas season. As a result Belle endeavors to change his mind on the matter. This movie is filled to the brim with holiday cheer with memorable songs such as, As Long As There’s Christmas, which will put a smile on your face. Most of all it has one of the most overlooked (in my opinion) Disney Villains, Forte, a pipe organ who was formerly who doesn’t want the enchantress’ spell to break. Tim Curry does a stunning job as Forte, and his grimacing looks and devious nature sent shivers down my spine the entire movie.
Kronk’s New Groove
Though it pales a bit in comparison to its original film Emperor’s New Groove, Kronk’s New Groove is a good follow-up. In this film, Kronk desperately tries to find ways to impress his dad, whom he can never please. When things go wrong, Kronk goes on a journey that discovers true joy in life is friendship and being “true to your groove”. Kronk is one of the standout favorite characters from Emperor’s and he gets a chance to shine in this film. It has many of the running gags featured from the first film with Kronk’s special charm. This movie is the only direct-to-video Disney sequel where the entire cast reprises their roles from the previous film and I think that’s what makes it even more enjoyable. Its plot is simple but it’s a movie that will put a smile on your face.
The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata
This film is simply a retelling of The Lion King (1994) from Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog. Two of my favorite characters from this Disney favorite get to share more of their own stories. I love the songs and the fact that funniest film of the trilogy (to me). The first movie can still be separated from this film completely and is more humor than plot based. It offers an extension to the first film but carries the heart of Timon and Pumba and why we love them so much.
What is your favorite Disney sequel? Which Disney film do you think deserves a sequel? Let us know in the comments.