When it comes to animated feature films, there's one name that drowns out all others: Disney. The unstoppable studio has been behind some of the finest movies of all time, and are almost single handedly responsible for most of my cinematic childhood memories.
I thought I was a bit of a Disney nut, but it turns out there's a whole heap of their movies I either completely missed out on, or just entirely forgot about! If you're looking to fill a Sunday afternoon with some buried gems, or just want to brush up on some lesser-known animation history, this is the list for you...
1. The Rescuers Down Under
Release Date: November 16, 1990
Disney's first animated sequel, The Rescuers Down Under took audiences to the wild Australian Outback, following Bernard and Bianca on their quest to save a boy from a deadly predator. Unfortunately, it was the least successful box-office performance during Disney's renaissance era and hasn't had much of legacy since.
2. Oliver & Company
Release Date: November 18, 1988
Based on Charles Dickens' 19th century classic, Oliver Twist, this forgotten Disney gem trades Victorian chimney sweeps for Manhatten poodles. It's perhaps not so surprising that Oliver & Company was lost in the whirlwind of movie history, as it was released the very the same day as The Land Before Time!
3. The Black Cauldron
Release Date: July 24, 1985
Far from the celebration it should have been, Disney's 25th animated feature was a box office bomb. Set during the dark ages, the film follows the dasterdly evil Horned King, intent on acquiring a magical cauldron that will allow him to rule the world.
Unfortunately, it earned less than half of its budget and was quickly forgotten, even by Disney themselves. For many years the company disowned the film and refused to release it on home video until 1998!
4. Treasure Planet
Release Date: November 27, 2002
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Thompson, this animated sci-fi romp was a bit of a box office bust, pulling in around $30 million less than its $140 million budget. However, the movie fared better with critics and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature!
5. The Great Mouse Detective
Release Date: July 2, 1986
Based on the children's book series Basil of Baker Street, this crime caper drew heavy influence from Sherlock Holmes...but with a genius drug addict swapped for a mouse. It was a commercial and critical success, but was never quite good enough to go down in the prestigious Disney Hall of Fame.
6. Brother Bear
Release Date: November 1, 2003
I'll admit it. I saw Brother Bear in the cinema, and yet I completely forgot about it until just now. It's not a bad movie, but for some reason it just sort of just came and went. They can't all be The Lion King, I guess.
Are there any other Disney movies that seemed to just vanish into the ether? Tell us about them!