With another live action Disney remake on the horizon; “Beauty and the Beast,” I thought it would be interesting to look at another thing that Disney used to do before they decided it was a good idea to remake and/or create live action spin-offs of some of their most well-known films.
Many people consider the late 1980s and early 1990s the Renaissance of Disney Animation. And that’s a fair point. From “The Little Mermaid” to “The Lion King,” from 1989 to 1995, you could throw a rock and hit a great Disney Animated Film. But with great box office, comes the need for more money! Normally the first step was to release it on VHS in the giant clam-shell case and warn everyone that if you don’t buy it quick it will go into “The Disney Vault.” Their next step was something that no other studio did, at least at the time; Direct to VHS Sequels!
Looking back at the 90s, these direct-to-VHS (and later DVD) were being fired off left and right. Between 1994 and 2008, over 40 sequels were released straight for home consumption. Normally these sequels never lived up to their predecessor and in 2011 production ceased for all future direct-to-home sequels since executives said that these sequels were inferior to their originals. Kooky…
To not take the piss out of this post, I can honestly say that I haven’t seen another Direct-to-Home Video Disney film, but here are just a few of some of the other winners that you can still find in those giant clam shells.
- Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)
- Belle’s Magical World (1998)
- Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998)
- The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998)
- Hercules: Zero to Hero (1998)
- An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000)
- The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)
- Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (2001)
- Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
- Tarzan & Jane (2002)
- 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure (2003)
- Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003)
- Stitch! The Movie (2003)
- The Lion King 1½ (2004)
- Mulan II (2004)
- Tarzan II (2005)
- Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005)
- Kronk’s New Groove (2005)
- Leroy & Stitch (2006)
- Brother Bear 2 (2006)
- Bambi II (2006)
- The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006)
- Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007)
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008)
Bringing this back around, will the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” be any good? Who knows, but in all honesty, was “Maleficent” and good? Was “Cinderella” really any good? This seems to be the new normal for Disney at this juncture and only time will tell if this new wave of live-action remakes will go the route of the doomed Direct-to-VHS experiment.