You Definitely Don’t Remember These Disney Movies

Forgotten Disney movies
Credit: Disney, Pixabay

Disney movies are a classic part of most people’s childhood. We grew up on them, and some of us never stopped watching. Those of us lucky enough to have grown up during the Disney Renaissance have seen…a lot of Disney films over the years. Some were good, and others…not so much. How many of these obscure and oft-forgotten Disney movies do you remember? 

Bolt (2008)

Credit: Disney

Do you remember when John Travolta and Miley Cyrus did a Disney movie? Yeah … it happened. The film is about a TV dog named Bolt who must become a real-life hero when his beloved owner, Penny, is kidnapped.  There’s just one problem,  without stunt doubles, special effects, and directors, Bolt doesn’t know how to be a hero. Nevertheless, he mounts a daring rescue mission with the help of a sarcastic ally cat and a hamster who is a Bolt superfan! 

The film didn’t bomb at the box office, but it wasn’t exactly a success either. Despite the so-so earnings, the film earned positive reviews from critics and viewers alike.  Positive reviews weren’t enough to cement this film in the audience’s memory, though. It was entirely forgettable.

The Black Cauldron (1985)

Credit: Disney

This one has developed a cult following over the years, so it may not be far to say it’s entirely forgettable. Still, by and large, no one really remembers this 1985 film. If you ask us, this is one film that could use the live-action remake treatment (not Bambi…but I digress). 

The film is loosely based on The Chronicles of Prydain book series (which itself  is based on Welsh mythology). The evil Horned King is in search of a magical black cauldron. With it, he plans to destroy the world. Only Taran, a pig farmer, can stop him. Along the way, he enlists the help of Princess Eilonwy, the harp-playing bard Fflewddur Fflam, and a lovable creature named Gurgi 

The Black Cauldron was edited sharply because Disney feared it was too frightening for children. This caused significant delays, which in turn affected marketing. The film almost sank Disney’s animation. It didn’t turn a profit at all, grossing $21.3 million against its $44 million budget.  It sank into the depths of forgotten failures until its first-ever home video release more than ten years later. This is one you should definitely give a chance if you haven’t seen it. 

The Wild (2006)

The wild forgotten Disney movies

Credit: Disney

I’m going to call this one a Mandela effect film because not even researching it rang any bells. This movie absolutely never existed in my little world. Nevertheless, here we are. William Shatner has a voice acting credit in the movie, and that’s about the most notable thing about the entire film. It was heavily criticized for being too similar to DreamWorks Madagascar, and the animation style was too dissimilar from Disney’s usual repertoire. The movie failed miserably and, according to people who assure me it does, in fact, exist, is best left behind as a Disney “oopsie.” 

Dinosaur (2000)

Dinosaur forgotten Disney movies

Credit: Disney

No, not The Good Dinosaur, just Dinosaur.  This was a CGI-Live action film about a baby Iguanodon raised by a prehistoric Lemur princess. Look. The early 2000s were a weird time for Disney, ok? They had just come off the Disney Renaissance and were trying to recreate their success for a post-millennial audience.  

The film received mixed reviews from critics but did well at the box office. Grossing $350 million worldwide, it was the fifth highest-grossing film of 2000. It also went on to become the fourth best-selling home video release of 2001. Not bad for a movie no one remembers.  

Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range Disney

Credit: Disney

Call me crazy, but I think this barnyard western tale is adorable. The film had an all-star lineup, with Rosanne Barr, Dame Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly,  Cuba Gooding Jr., Randy Quaid, and Steve Buscemi all lent their voices to the film. A trio of dairy cows (Maggie, Grace, and Mrs. Calloway) team up to help save their beloved farm and track down a wretched Cattle Rustler in the process. 

The film received average reviews from critics who cumulatively gave it a 50 out of 100. Audience scores fared better, giving the film an A-. It barely eeked out a profit earning $110 million on a $76 million budget. 

Mars Needs Moms (2011) 

Mars Needs moms

Credit: Disney

This movie signaled a problem that Disney still hasn’t learned from. They can’t seem to get sci-fi animation right. With Mars Needs Moms dismal earnings (or lack thereof), you’d think they’d stay away from the genre altogether. The film lost a staggering $111 million making it the fourth-largest box office failure …ever. 

The film is a mess. The premise surrounds aliens on Mars who use Nanny Boys to raise their children, except the bots don’t really have much of a maternal instance, so the residents of Mars go out in search of a solution. Eventually, Martians kidnap a young boy, Milo, and his mother to solve their problem. They attempt to use Milo’s mom to teach the Nanny bots how to be motherly. Yeah…we don’t really get it either. 

A Christmas Carol (2009)

Forgotten Disney movies

Credit: Disney

For us, The Muppet Christmas Carol is the definitive Christmas Carol adaptation. Others need not apply. Disney’s version stars Jum Carrey and is delightful. It’s just …forgettable.  The film follows the iconic 1843 novel of the same name by Charles Dickens. Despite Disney’s tendency to take more than a few liberties in their retelling of classic stories, this one stayed pretty true to the source material.  

Despite its stunning visuals, the film flopped so badly at the box office that it forced Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group and the head of worldwide marketing, to resign. This one is worth a second look, though. It’s genuinely a wonderful retelling, and if you’re a fan of The Polar Express, you’ll appreciate the design style of this movie. The two films shared a similar art style and filming technique, as well as the same director, Robert Zemeckis. 

Valiant (2005)

Forgotten Disney movies

Credit: Disney

This film is another one I absolutely have no recollection of. After researching it, however, I ABSOLUTELY want to seek it out. Starring the voice talents of Ricky Gervais, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, and Ewan McGregor, it had an all-all-star cast. It was not a flop by any means earning a $61 million profit, but critical reviews rated the film as average at best. That may account for its “forgetability.” 

The film is set in 1944 and tells the story of a brave pigeon who carried messages during World War II. The film anthropomorphizes the war by pitting allied pigeons against a Nazi Falcon. It is up to Valiant. The bright-eyed and enthusiastic new recruit to save the mission. The film is loosely (very loosely) based on the true story of Great Britain’s carrier pigeons that sent messages in plain sight during the war. 

So how many do you remember? Many of these films have been lost to the ever-revolving door of “the next big thing,” and none earned the hi or of becoming “timeless classics,”  but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a second look. Give these obscure Disney films a try. You never know. You may just find your new favorite among them! 

About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.