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Top 10 Worst Disney Films

February 29th, 2008 3:43pm EST | Dee Doyle By: Dee Doyle
Snow DogsDisney has produced some huge animated hits (The Lion King, Aladdin, Lady and the Tramp) and extremely popular live-action flicks (Pirates of the Caribbean, High School Musical, National Treasure). But the studio that brought us Pocahontas also subjected Mickey Mouse fans to Snow Dogs. Here's our list of the top 10 worst Disney films:

10. The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted MansionOh, Eddie Murphy, what were you on when you agreed to do a movie based on a Disneyland ride? I wonder what the execs at Disney were thinking: "Let's put Eddie Murphy in anything, he can sell it! We could have a whole movie of him just standing there grinning, and they'd buy tickets." Which, granted, they were completely right about. It did very well in the US and was a hit worldwide. This wouldn't be the first time a horrible film did superbly. Murphy plays Jim, a workaholic who ignores his family and agrees to devote a weekend to make them happy. They make a detour through New Orleans and end up at the haunted mansion, Gracey Manor. They stay the night.

If there was ever a time I wished for "The Shining" to be real, this would be it. The cast was strong, the sets were lovely, but it suffered from a lack of plot, relevance, and sense of humor. How Murphy stopped from rolling his eyes and simply storming off with his paycheck, I'll never know.

9. Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 DaysYay, an adaptation of a book by Jules Verne. The second one. Only it stars Jackie Chan (without Owen Wilson or Chris Tucker as his partners). Maybe that's where the first problem in this movie stems from: bad chemistry between the two leading men. Steve Coogan has all the charm of a smarmy rock, and having this movie relate in any way toward the novel by the same name is an insult. "Based on" apparently means "keeping the names. Some of them."

Anyway, Jackie Chan is a thief who is hiding from the police by being Coogan's valet. Coogan/Phileas Fogg says he can travel the world in 80 days and become the Minister of Science. Then they go off together, mischief ensues, there are plenty of obstacles in their way and Chan does stunts. Arnold Schwarzenegger shows up. There are plenty of cameos in this movie in an attempt to liven it up, but if you need celebrity faces to distract from the pointlessness of the film, it's not going to help. Considering it was a box office bomb, and Disney took a new hit, hopefully they learned that lesson.

8. Home On The Range

Home On The RangeBefore this movie was released, Disney said that it would be the last of their movies to use traditional animation. They intended to use computer animation entirely, but after buying Pixar decided to do both. Therefore, this false advertising as the 'last classical animation' might have served them well, but instead this turned into a box office failure. The story is that three cows, all very different, decide to capture a cattle rustler so they can turn him in and save their farm. Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, and Cuba Gooding Jr. give their voices, the latter of which is listed above so maybe he's a stamp of death for Disney films. In any case, "Home On The Range" was just flat out boring, and considering that it was started in production when "Pocahontas" came out, it should not have been so slapped together. If $110 million went into making it, I'm wondering where the heck the money went to, because the budget surely was not reflected in the movie.

7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

There are singing gargoyles. One of them is Jason Alexander. I rest my case.

6. Snow Dogs

Snow DogsThis movie came out in 2002, starring Oscar winning Cuba Gooding Jr. in his most hammy and overplayed role yet. He plays Ted Brooks, a dentist from Miami who inherits sled dogs and has to learn how to use them or they'll be taken away from some other fellow who will probably club them, throw them in a sack, and use their fur for clothing. I'm joking about that last part, but it's what Disney villains usually want to do to cute dogs. This movie has Sisqo in it, and therefore automatically is ridiculous. Remember his "Thong Song?" There are a lot of gags about Cuba being out of place, falling in the snow, and the dogs laughing at him. Insert sarcastic laughter here. I understand that stupid and silly are what people think makes a great children's movie, but I think they underestimate children. The dogs are cute, and obviously well trained, but if only they could get those pesky actors and script writers to be as talented.

5. Atlantis: The Lost Empire

I would love to instantly enjoy a film with Leonard Nimoy and Michael J. Fox voice acting, but it was just impossible. The animation style of this film was clipped and frankly ugly, and the characters were bizarre rather than eccentrically sweet. The humor, or attempt at such, reminded me of madTV and it's strange often off-color humor. This was an attempt to move away from classical Disney by removing elements like song, cutesy animals, and heartwarming happily ever after, and for that I salute the try, but it failed miserably. There is a certain charm in Disney, a wonder and sense of hope, that was completely missing from this film. This was confusing, and if Michael J. Fox can't bring sweetness and humanity to his character Milo, there is certainly something going wrong. Overall it was just a mess of a film and an intense disappointment.

4. Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet"Treasure Planet" and "Atlantis" basically share a spot, because they have similar styles and similar flaws. "Treasure Planet" holds a much more beautiful visual landscape, but because it is supposed to be based off a famous story (the classic tale "Treasure Island), it therefore must be held more accountable for its blunders. "Treasure Island" has been redone and parodied numerous times, and because of that there are certain expectations going in that this version will be different. Unique. Certainly, "Treasure Planet" had the potentially to be stunning, but because it relied too much on its visuals, it failed to keep up with the story. "Treasure Island" is a masterpiece; use it or lose it, Disney. This movie was disappointing because of what it could have done and how they decided to take the easy way out. Boo. If you want a pretty, soulless movie, though, step right up.

3. The Country Bears

This movie was based off an attraction at Disneyland. I'm not certain whether they thought this kind of move would make people more inclined to visit the park, or if they were purposely trying to drive the audience away. Go away, we don't want people to visit Disneyland anymore so we'll make horrible films starring the voice "talent" of Haley Joel Osment. Christopher Walken also stars. Anyway, the plot is that Beary, a young bear, is raised by humans. Talking bears and humans are friends in this reality, and he meets a broken-up rock band called the Country Bears. He helps them reunite, and I really can't continue because a part of my brain just died.

2. Inspector Gadget

Nooooo. Nooooooo! How could they do this! It has been nine years, and it still hurts to remember this flop version of a favorite children's television show. Inspector Gadget was a detective who became a cyborg of sorts to fight crime. With his niece Penny and their brilliant dog Brain he sought to save the world and stop evil doers like Dr. Claw. This ill conceived humorless rip-off starred Matthew Broderick as a geeky security guard who is transformed into a cyborg and goes up against Rupert Everett as his arch nemesis Claw. Michelle Trachtenberg plays Penny. The movie basically fell back upon visual effects and boring gags to try and mask the fact it had no real script. It was stupid enough that even children would find it so, and Dr. Claw is never revealed on the show for a reason. The mystery! They also created a sequel to this film with French Stewart, which should say it all.

1. All Disney Sequels

The Santa Clause 2There are very few exceptions to this rule, but this is not about them. This is about the obnoxious level of movies like "Pocahontas 2," "The Little Mermaid 2," "Aladdin 3," "Homeward Bound 2," "The Santa Clause 2," and are you getting the picture yet? Almost every Disney movie that was even remotely bankable was the victim of being butchered by these sequels. They rarely can get the same actors, and the voice acting takes a dip. Many go straight to DVD because the marketing team knows that no one is going to pay $10 to watch it in the theater. If a first movie is a good idea, then just embrace the fame and fortune that comes with it and move on to better things. The original can stand on its own; there is no need to rehash it or make things fresh for a newer audience.

The beautiful thing about strong Disney films is that they can stand the test of time. "Peter Pan" was created in 1953, and it is just as poignant and enjoyable now as it was then. There is no need to make a new one with modern jokes, not to mention it shows a remarkable lack of creativity to keep drawing from what has already been done. Disney has a long standing history of innovative ideas, so it should stop acting like a second-rate money-grabbing corporation and get back to doing what it does best.

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer