I love Disney movies, and as much as I’d love to say I’ve seen them all, there are some rare Disney movies that it took me a while to hear of. Not all of them hold the magical air of the classics like Cinderella but still, there are some interesting films. I wonder if you’ve heard of any of these rare Disney movies. There’s one way to find out!
1 “Gargoyles the Movie: the Heroes Awaken”
Well, to kick off the list of rare Disney movies consider this film about gargoyles. The Castle Wyvern is under attack and unbeknownst to the Vikings, the gargoyles can come to life at night and will fight to defend the castle. A few misguided gargoyles harass some humans, which contradicts their desire of protecting both the castle and its inhabitants. This film is based off the TV show. In fact, it’s the edited version of the first five episodes of the show.
2 “Tarzan II: the Legend Begins”
Ever wonder about Tarzan was like as a kid? Well think no further! This film explores his childhood and some of the events that made him into the man he is. He even has a second encounter with the leopard that killed his parents. That is, in addition to confronting the Wizard-of-Oz-like monster ‘Zugor.’
3 “the Great Mouse Detective”
One of my favorite movies, “The Great Mouse Detective” is a classic! It’s Disney’s version of Sherlock Holmes, or should I say Basil of Baker Street? Accompanied by Dr. Dawson and Olivia Flaversham, Basil must find Olivia’s father and stop the evil Professor Ratigan from taking control of England by overthrowing the Queen. If you haven’t seen this one, I highly recommend it! You may be surprised to hear the saucy, saloon song of “Let Me Be Good To You” and wonder how it made it into a Disney movie.
4 Cinderella’s Happily Ever after
If you thought that Cinderella’s story ended with her happily ever after, then you are wrong. The classic film is followed by two more films: “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True” and “Cinderella III: A Twist In Time.” The second film is narrated by Jacques and Gus as they tell all about Princess Cinderella, and how her new title leads her to forget her old ways. In the third movie, the evil stepmother takes the story back in time and stops Cinderella from marrying Prince Charming in the first place. She must work hard to win him back.
5 “the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”
Definitely hadn’t heard of this one but I was pleasantly surprised when I did. This film is actually a compilation of two story-lines: “The Wind And The Willows” by Kenneth Grahame and “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. In the former, J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq. goes on yet another adventure which lands him in prison. He saves the day by winning back the stolen deed to his estate. In the latter, Ichabod Crane so famously faces the Headless Horseman.
6 Aladdin, Jafar, and Cassim
There are three films based on the tale of Aladdin, the first of which is the well-known love story with Princess Jasmine. In the second film “The Return Of Jafar,” Jafar and Iago return to get revenge. Iago ends up switching sides and joining forces with Aladdin and company, definitely a wise choice at his end. In “Aladdin And The King Of Thieves,” Aladdin learns his father is alive and has the opportunity to be with him. This film ties in old myths like the Hand of Midas and the search for the Vanishing Isle, a place that is never in the same place twice.
Follow this princess through the various stages of her life! “The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea” tells the story of Ariel’s daughter Melody who wants to be a mermaid and teams up with Morgana, Ursula’s crazy sister. Personally I think it’s a well-developed film with good songs. Not to mention that Ariel and Eric are the only royal family that have a child. “The Little Mermaid III: Ariel’s Beginning” is a prequel that shows Ariel’s childhood and answers the unsettled questions of what happened to her mother and how did that affect King Triton.
8 Donald Duck
Released during World War II, Donald Duck went to Latin America in the films “Saludos Amigos” and “The Three Caballeros.” These films were meant to be a sign of warm wishes from Disney to South America. In them, you meet the quirky characters of José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles. Definitely different from other Donald Duck films but worth a watch. If you’ve ever been to Disney World’s Epcot, you may have seen these characters in the Mexico area.
9 “the Black Cauldron”
This Disney movie isn’t the rarest in the litter but it’s definitely no Cinderella. The evil Horned King hunts down a mysterious black cauldron that will help him enslave the entire world. It’s a pretty dark movie. I can remember being terrified of it as a child so it’s no wonder it didn’t catch on as a classic. But I’ll let you decide for yourself.
10 “the Brave Little Toaster”
The Brave Little Toaster is in fact a toaster that spends his time, along with his other household friends, trying to find his owner. The hunt begins after the family doesn’t return. It doesn’t have the strongest plot in retrospect but it’s interesting, that’s for sure. Disney’s use of household items as main characters may not have won over many, so they may consider keeping it to friendly animal characters instead.
11 “the Sword in the Stone”
We all know the tale of King Arthur and how he alone could pull the sword Excalibur from the stone. Merlin joins Arthur in this Disney tale. Apparently Merlin’s main goal is to teach Arthur physics and other subjects while his use of magic keeps getting Arthur in trouble. Finally the film leads to the famous sword-in-the-stone scene. As you may have guessed, Arthur is crowned king and rules the kingdom.
12 Belle's Magical World
Belle's Magical World was a prequel to the Beauty and the Beast sequel. This is probably why you've never heard of it. This movie is made of three or four different segments depending on which version you watch. Each segment centers around everyday life of Belle and the Beast. For some reason, even though at the end of the original movie the Beast turned back into the prince, in this movie he is suddenly back to being the Beast.
13 Song of the South
Song of the South is both a live action and animated movie that you've likely never heard of or seen. Disney won't release this movie anymore because of the racism in the movie. This movie is based on the stories about former slave Uncle Remus collected by Joel Chandler Harris. Although you may never have heard of the movie, you've likely heard of the famous song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" that came out of the movie.
14 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
Almost everyone has heard of Ducktales the TV show, but not so many people have heard of this movie. The movie features the Ducktales characters on a hunt for the treasure of Collie Baba and his Forty Thieves. When the characters are trying to leave the pyramid, the evil magician Merlock comes to take the treasure from them. The crew discovers a genie's lamp and the rest of the movie shows the the ducks and the genie with some antics and comedy that makes everyone love Ducktales in the first place.
15 Cat from Outer Space
This isn't a joke, this is really a Disney movie. This movie came out in 1978 and is about a UFO that crashes and its pilot, a cat, escapes from the government. The cat tries its hardest to avoid the authorities while at the same time trying to find a man named Frank to help him get his UFO back. Not only does he fly a UFO, but he also wears a collar that gives him special powers such as the ability to talk to humans.
Finding rare Disney movies like these always makes me wonder what else could be out there. I know not all of these are the greatest, but some of Disney’s off-the-cuff films are quite good. Have you seen any of these? What did you think?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.
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