Overrated Disney Animated Films

Last month, I did a feature on Disney’s underrated animated films. I found it really interesting to read about the films you thought were underrated, so I decided to take a look at some of the overrated Disney animated features. This list is bound to be divisive, but that’s part of the fun. So, here are the 5 Disney animated features that I think are overrated. 

Frozen

The single most overrated Disney film there is. Sure, Frozen has a great message in the sense of sisterhood, but when it comes to the plot, it’s not all that memorable. It’s easy to see why kids love this film. It has semi-catch songs, magic, the strength of sisterhood, and a talking snowman. However, if you were to give me a choice between Frozen and Tangled, I’d choose Tangled in a heartbeat. This is the film that will be hailed as an instant classic to our youngest generation, but there are so many other films released in this revival era of Disney animated films that have tighter storylines and memorable characters.

Dumbo

I was an adult when I first watched this film, and I don’t get the hype. The story was weak and the drunk hallucination scene of pink elephants was creepy and had no business being in the film to start with. On top of that, the songs aren’t all that memorable and you can’t forget the highly offensive “Jim Crow” scene. To put it bluntly, Dumbo has not aged well.

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs

Real talk, what did snow white even do in the film? She’s easily one of the least memorable princesses. Now, I know some of you will say that since Snow White was the first Disney animated feature, it should be hailed among the greats. There’s no denying the achievements of this film. It was groundbreaking for its time and kick-started the entire Disney animated franchise, but the fact is, the supporting characters are the ones keeping this film afloat, and even they aren’t all that remarkable. Snow White had a definitive influence on the film industry, but the overall plot is bland, devoid of any real stakes, and just isn’t that memorable.

Bambi

Bambi has and will always be one of the most traumatising films I’ve ever watched. It has a brilliant message with a moving story is moving, and when you back that up with some gorgeous animation, you’ve got yourself a classic. However, while this coming of age tale of adorable woodland critters has its moments, its replayability is lesser than other timeless Disney classics. Bambi is a film that can get away with only ever being a one time experience.

Cinderella

I’ve always been drawn to the more unconventional Disney animated features. I’d much prefer the animal features than the princess ones. Maybe this is my bias showing, but I don’t think Cinderella deserves the acclaim it gets. The characters, the human ones, are one dimensional and fall flat. Again, the magical critters that prove to be more entertaining than the lead, and the story has its fairytale elegance, but there’s just too little substance for me to consider it a must-see.

Do you agree with these choices?
Which Disney animated film do you think is overrated?

23 thoughts on “Overrated Disney Animated Films

  1. Except for Cinderella, I was never really all that fond of any of those stories. My dad loves Bambi, I had to watch Dumbo quite a bit with my grandma, but I just didn’t love them. And Frozen sort of passed me by. I just like Olaf haha Great list, Lois!

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    • Wow, that’s quite the reactions, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from. I think if I’d watched the film as a child I would have had the same reaction. There’s just something unsettling about that film that never leaves.

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  2. Yes these are overrated but FOR A REASON bc they are amazing! (Tho nothing can beat Robin Hood and Sleeping Beauty, in my opinion) You should do live action movies next (if you want) like high school musical, the disney remakes, and pirates of the Caribbean. BUT yes, these are very overrated (and we all know Frozen was gonna make the list)

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    • The disney animated version of Robin Hood remains to be my favourite adaptation of this tale. Nothing can top that. I can definitely think of a handful of live action films that would fit the bag for this discussion haha. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. 😀

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  3. I agree except with Frozen and Bambi. They MIGHT be a bit overrated, but I love them. Frozen is just one of my go-to loves. I love the visuals and the music and I REALLY like Ana ha-ha. I also enjoyed how Elsa doesn’t end up with a Prince Charming as that’s not the point of her story. And I like how Ana realized the silliness of instantly loving and marrying someone you don’t know.

    With Bambi … yea. It’s REALLY traumatizing. I wasn’t allowed to watch it as a kid because I cried ha-ha! But I love the artwork and detail that went into that movie. I think I prefer The Fox and the Hound or Oliver and Company, but I still like Bambi.

    TOTALLY agree with the others. I would add MOST of the original Disney Princess ones to be frank, like Sleeping Beauty.

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    • I will say, I do like how Frozen basically makes fun of some of their tale old tropes, love at first sight, but I never really felt connected to the film.

      The artistic styling in Bambi is stunning, but I am with you in choosing Fox and the Hound/Oliver and Company over Bambi. It’s less traumatising but equally as emotional.

      Most of the “classic” Disney princesses are a stark reflection of their time and I can appreciate their influence on cinema for their time, but they certainly have aged poorly.

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  4. Well, honestly we should not judge Cinderella and Snow White by the standards of the present time. We should remember that Cinderella and Snow White were “passive” for a reason. It is all about princesses being rescued back then. No one says these animations have been the best – they are not overrated – Snow White is known as ground-breaking and everyone knows Cinderella had many faults, being criticised by Disney himself many times. What about Sleeping Beauty? It’s the same story. It is only in Beauty and the Beast we finally saw the independent and strong female.

    As for passing “modern” judgements on the animations of 1941 and 1942 (Dumbo and Bambi) – well, one has to have the nerve to do this given the context (war in Europe, etc.) – just by showcasing nature these animations could earn the name “greatest” let alone them having a story.

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    • Those are definitely fair points to make and I agree with what you’re saying. I can appreciate that the films are a reflection of society’s expectations when they were originally released, and they have aged poorly with people openly and rightly criticising them. It’s only based on my personal experiences from my childhood through to adulthood that saw those films everyone around me dubbed their favourite, and for nostalgia reasons still, highly regard them even as they acknowledge the problematic nature of the films.

      Thank you for your insightful comment. 😀 😀

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    • I can appreciate the influence these films had when they were originally released, but most of them definitely aged poorly over the years or traumatised me so much that I refuse to watch it again (Bambi.) You’re not missing out on much with Frozen. Sure, it has a nice message, but the plot really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

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  5. my heart kinda broke a little bit to see frozen and cinderella on this list. they’re some of my favorite disney movies of all times and i personally think they’re worth the hype.
    i may have an emotional attachment to cinderella as it was my favorite movie growing up, but i just love how positive cinderella is despise everything that happens to her and she’s just always been an inspiration. i also love the music and the fairytale aspect of it and have re-watched the live action soooo many times, lol.
    i also love frozen because it put me back on a disney mood, as i had pretty much stopped watching them for a while there. but when frozen was released, the hype was so huge that i decided to give it a try and i love so many things about it! i would probably choose tangled over it too, though, because i find the soundtrack of tangled to be a lot better.
    i do agree with snow white and bambi though! another overrated for me is lion king, lol. i know, i know: major unpopular opinion, but i just never cared that much for the characters in lion king and found the plot to be really predictable, even as a kid!

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  6. hehe I do hear you about frozen (even though I do like it) I think sometimes the hype is too much. But I absolutely love bambi, dumbo and snow white- maybe it’s nostalgia (and the fact that bambi always makes me cry) but mostly I think it’s just how much I love the artistry- the cartoons in the older Disney movies are just beautiful! (I do agree that dumbo has not aged well though)

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