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In Defense Of The Three Best “Worst” Disney Movies

Kida from Atlantis: the Lost Empire with the glow of a thousand enthinicties blended together
“They said what about me?”

This list hurt to write.

Listen, I love ragging on things and generally being a petty bitch. I mean I wrote this article on the queen like a day after she died. She was probably still warm when I was Irish step dancing on her grave. But something about making a list of the “worst Disney movies” just rubs me the wrong way. It’s kinda like going up to a kid and being like “Hey that movie you like? You know the one with the talking planes? It’s shit. And you’re shit for liking it. Go watch Citizen Kane, loser.” Like, yeah, Disney made some bad movies, but I don’t really want to think about that. I’d rather think of the good ones. In fact, I only remember the good ones. Like I was wracking my brain trying to think of a bad Disney movie and I couldn’t. So what did I do? I did what I always do when I wanna find some stuff out. I went onto the internet and googled “worst Disney movies.”

And I was horrified by what I saw.

There are movies on those lists that just shouldn’t be there. Movies that are, in fact, totally dope, but might not exactly be Lion King material. There were other movies on those lists that looked pretty bad, but I didn’t even see them when I was a kid. And I don’t think anyone else did either. So rather than rag on some movies that were apparently bad that no one saw, I’m going to use my powers for good and defend some movies that people did see and hated on for bad reasons.

3. Treasure Planet

treasure planet is good actually
(image credit: Disney)

Are you joking? This movie is awesome. Yet I see it on “worst Disney movie” lists all the time. And it just shouldn’t be there. I mean yeah there are some movies like The Country Bears where a fucking bear named “Beary Barrington” has to convince a broken up country rock band consisting entirely of bears to stage a benefit concert to save Country Bear Hall. I mean now that I look at that sentence, the movie sounds kinda dope, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a “stroke of genius” or even all that “creative.”

Meanwhile, Treasure Planet makes the bold ass choice to turn the world of Treasure Island (a pirate novel by Robert Louis Stevenson) into a space epic with aliens and cyborgs and ships that sail through spacetime. I mean this movie’s setting is just awesome. Yeah I get that the story might have been a little bit of a mess at times, but the setting and character design just totally makes up for it. I mean they have a guy made of stone fall into a black hole. It’s just wickedly creative. Not to mention that the ship’s captain Amelia is one of Disney’s baddest bitches. She’s the captain for God’s sake, and she spends the entire movie ordering around a bunch of scary looking aliens without even flinching. The woman is like a rod of iron.

And who among us did not want to be young Jim Hawkins when he was riding his solar glider in the beginning of the movie? It was waaaaaaaay cooler than whatever young Simba was doing. That kid was probably still eating bugs and playing with dirt. Whack.

2. Robin Hood

robin hood disney
(image credit: Disney)

Alright, here’s another “bad movie” that’s actually just awesome. I mean first off, Robin Hood is one of Disney’s finest sexymen. He’s a fox. Literally. He’s got a silky smooth voice and a confident swagger and he’s a total free thinker. He’s literally giving the residents of Nottingham a universal basic income by stealing from rich people. That is hot. Also, the songs in this movie, while there are only two, are bangers. I mean c’mon, the rooster minstrel has some country-fried pipes on him. Try listening to “Oo-De-Lalley” once and tell me that it won’t get stuck in your head for the rest of your life.

Plus the story is good. It doesn’t depart from the original story of Robin Hood much, no, but it’s a thrill seeing Robin Hood in disguise at the archery contest and totally embarrassing the competition. And then he gets to stick it to the thumb-sucking lion Prince John and his hilarious little snake counselor Sir Hiss.

No, Robin Hood doesn’t have music as good as The Lion King. No, it doesn’t have a plot as thrilling as Mulan. No, it doesn’t have a romance as beautiful as Beauty and The Beast. No, it doesn’t even have animation that’s as good as Tarzan. But that’s okay. Because even if it isn’t a great movie, it’s still a good movie. And it does not deserve to be on any “worst of” list anywhere.

1. Atlantis: The Lost Empire

(image credit: Disney)

ARE YOU JOKING WITH ME? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING WITH ME. Atlantis is one of the BEST Disney movies in existence. So WHAT if the critics hated it when it came out? I HATE THE CRITICS.

What’s not to love about this movie? Sweet, nerdy sexyman Milo Thatch has a dream to find the Lost City of Atlantis. He knows it exists, but the douchebags in the scientific community don’t believe him. He can’t get funding, but then a mysterious benefactor enlists his help finding the city. So they go in a giant submarine to find the city and then they fight a GIANT ROBOTIC LOBSTER AND A LOT OF PEOPLE DIE. LIKE HUNDREDS.

Then eventually they do find Atlantis and it’s populated by magical hotties, one of whom is Kida, who is honestly one of the best Disney princesses there is. There’s a cute love story between Milo and Kida and then BOOM plot twist. The expedition wasn’t meant to be scientific but colonial and Milo’s adventuring companions were planning to use the Atlantians and their advanced technology to make weapons. Then suddenly there’s ANOTHER HUGE BATTLE and KIDA BASICALLY TURNS INTO A MAGICAL GODDESS and it’s JUST GOOD OKAY? IT’S REALLY GOOD. People who hate on this movie not, in fact, entitled to their opinion, because their opinion is, to put it in scientific terms, wrong.

In conclusion, there are trash Disney films, but I prefer not to remember them. In fact, I literally can’t. They’re no doubt locked away in the vault of my mind along with memories of the trauma of my birth and that one time that a kid threw up on my desk in third grade. If you want to seek out those truly bad Disney films, be my guest. But when you see these films on those “worst of” lists, promise that you’ll spare a thought to this article and not let some beautiful but unloved Disney babies be thrown out with the bathwater.

(Featured image credit: Disney)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.