With the success of Toy Story 3 at the box office lately (yay!) I’ve found myself in quite a few discussions asking me to rank, rate or discuss the myriad animated sequels (Disney, Pixar, and etc) out there.
Sequels in general are a tricky thing, but with a few exceptions, while I want to like animated sequels more than I innately want to like live action sequels, I rarely actually do enjoy them. No offense, but when you even have to stop numbering your sequels in an effort to keep attention away from the fact that your on #20 (looking at YOU Land Before Time series) you should know you have a problem.
I think the problem is that animated films tend to wrap up a lot of their loose ends by the end of the film — I know Cinderella and Prince Charming end up together and the evil stepmother gets zilch, so why do I need to see what happens after that? That may be not the best example, because I actually kinda enjoyed Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, but I digress. More so than Indiana Jones, Back to The Future, etc, it just seems like they were fine on their own — I (and definitely the kids watching) have decent imaginations. Let us make up more if we want to, on our own time. I do think they can work (see list below), often there just isn’t enough of an effort to find original plot twists or new endearing characters after the happily-ever-after. It’s all about story, people, not how many times I can see Ariel fight a sea witch.
There has been the rare sequel you’ll find me watching though. For anyone interested, here’s my actually-tolerable-kinda-enjoyable sequels, and at the other end of the spectrum the what-were-they-thinking.
Toy Story 3
Toy Story 2 (Pixar, you haven’t let me down yet!)
The Return of Jafar (the very first of the animated sequels hubbub)
Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas
Tinker Bell (surprisingly cute, and technically a sequel to Peter Pan)
Shrek 3 (borderline ok here…mostly just to show I’m not being a Disney snob)
Little Mermaid II (only good when Ariel is around…which isn’t long)
Pocahontas II (boring, no John Smith, and that Rolfe guy gave her small pox in real life…)
Hunchback of Notre Dame II (unnecessary.)
Lion King 1 1/2 (the epitome of make great funny characters completely unfunny)
Atlantis 2 (I’m sorry — I’m a fan of the first one, but there were really enough Atlantis lovers to warrant another one?)
All The Swan Princess sequels
I’m afraid Cars 2 might be ending up on this list too, sadly…
So what about you? Any other “this was secretly awesome” sequels out there? Anything I missed that makes you cry inside?