Disney Sequels Destroy My Childhood

I’m one of those Disney fans who hates the sequels/prequels/midquels that the company has been shelling out. Apart from having subpar animation compared to the originals, most of them completely rob the originals of their magic/romance, thus destroying my childhood (I will forever be traumatized by John Smith suddenly turning into a complete asshole in Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World). The only sequel and midquel I really enjoyed were The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride and The Lion King 1½.

A screencap of John Smith from Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
Who are you and what have you done to the REAL John Smith? (Screencap from Animation Screencaps)

It’s like the sequels are just there to rake in more cash from the fans. For shame.

Don’t lump me with the Disney sequel haters who haven’t actually seen any of them; I gave a number of sequels a shot before I started complaining. Here are the few that I’ve seen (i.e. sequels that watched at least halfway through) so far:

  • The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves saw these a long time ago. I remember kind of liking them, but I don’t know if I’d enjoy them if I saw them again anytime soon.
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas now this one had potential, probably because it was a midquel and not a sequel. Too bad about that plot hole named Forte. I mean, everyone got turned into household objects that could talk and move; he got turned into a pipe organ that can talk, move (well, fine, he was chained to the wall) and use evil magic. Complete with the glowing green imps and musical notes/scales. Ugh.
  • Pocahontas II: Journey to a New WorldThere goes my childhood. I know they made a mistake in the first movie (the real Pocahontas was only a pre-teen when John Smith and company came along), but they didn’t have to force a correction like this. Turning one of the coolest leading Disney male to date into an utterly selfish asshole was a very bad move.
  • The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride – This wasn’t too bad, though there’s still a big plot hole in that it left me wondering where Zira and her cubs had been the whole time while Scar was ruling the Pride Lands.
  • The Lion King 1½This wasn’t too bad either; I rather enjoyed learning more about Timon and Pumbaa, and their humor is always welcome.
  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea: Look Ma, a backwards sequel! In the first film, Ariel wanted to be a human, now her daughter wants to be a mermaid. And she looks like she had a wig made in the shape of her mother’s hair with her father’s hair color. And Ursula turns out to have a sister who looks like an anorexic version of her. Riiiiight.
  • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure – Lookie, another backwards sequel. Tramp wanted to be a domestic dog, now his son wants to be a junkyard dog. Seems like they’re running out of ideas.
  • Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time – I only watched parts of these, but I’d say it was enough. The films’ premises were bland, the animation was half-assed, and all those close-ups of Lady Tremaine made her seem more cheesy than scary. I liked the Prince much better in the original too, because he didn’t talk.
  • Return to Neverlandthis was another sequel that I found to be somewhat enjoyable. I liked how they showed how war can affect a child’s mindset.

The latest sequel—well, prequel actually — that I’ve heard of is The Little Mermaid III: Ariel’s Beginning. I haven’t seen it, but after seeing a screenshot of Ariel’s mother (that’s her in the middle), I just threw up my hands in defeat.

A screencap of Queen Athena from The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning

My classmates and I burst into laughter when we first saw her. I mean, look at her. It’s like Ariel had her hair dyed, tied it back, put on some bling (including her father’s crown), and painted her bikini a different color.

I’m starting to wonder just how many wives King Triton had, given that Ariel has six other sisters who don’t look like their mother as much as she does.

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