After the wonderful success of the Disney Renaissance in the 90’s, Disney was hoping that this success would continue in the new millennium and that their movies would be epic stories that people would love and cherish. Well as they say all good things must come to and end. And after the success of Tarzan in 1999, almost every movie after this were bad movies. There are some that have risen to popularity and decent story telling. But others are panned and deserve the hate that they get. This era would begin with Fantasia 2000 and ends with Meet the Robinsons. Some say Bolt should be included here while others say Bolt started another era which we will get to next time. So now lets look at the Disney animated movies that came out during the era known as the 2000 Slump.
We start this era off with a sequel that tried to match the brilliance of the original Fantasia. I think what hurt this movie is the fact that they had actors talk about each piece that made the movie drag. The segments are nice and some are more memorable than others. Carnival of the Animals is kind of boring as is Rhapsody in Blue. I am also not a fan of the Steadfast Tin Solider. But I do love the Pines of Rome, Pomp and Circumstance and The Firebird Suite. As well as the classic that was brought back from the original, Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Pines of Rome is a nice piece about a pod of humpback whales who are given the ability to fly by the powers of a supernova. So now they can swim in the sky and it is a pretty nice piece. Pomp and Circumstance was used to show that animals marching to Noah’s Ark and is not bad. Donald and Daisy are in this one and they are funny and charming. Also Frank from the Rescuers Down Under can be spotted walking to the Ark. But the best piece of all is the Firebird Suite. Which is about this Sprite who has the power to create life. She is an artist and loves to create and is very curious when here powers stop at the base of a mountain. She has a friend Elk who is always there for her and helps her overcome tremendous despair. So the Sprite goes to investigate this mountain and awakens a Firebird. This Firebird is massive and must have been difficult to animate. He is covered and fire and seeks to destroy the forest and the Sprite. Everywhere the Sprite goes, the Firebird is close behind. But in the end the Firebird is defeated and the forest returns to its former glory and beauty and now even the mountain that housed the evil Firebird is beautiful. The music is probably the best thing about this feature. It starts out soft and then just builds and is very epic sounding. 2000 has a small presence in the parks. It is featured in World of Color in Disneyland but not much else. We must remember that the first Fantasia was a box office bomb originally but over time gained popularity and became a classic. 2000 was actually more successful than the original, but people argue that its pieces were not as iconic or memorable as the original. That being said, it is still a good movie that is worth a watch.
The next movie in the 2000 Slump is a movie that made money and was a success and is one of the highest grossing Disney movies. This movie is Dinosaur. While the animation is wonderful and the opening scene epic, after these features, the movie tanks. It is just another land before time story about dinosaurs travelling to a land that is green and they can have their babies. A “great valley” and of course there is a big bad non T-Rex that stalks them. But there are some elements that are not like the Land Before Time. The Carnotaurus are not the main villain and instead of Apatosaurus being the main character, we have an iguanodon name Aladar. The story brings nothing new to the awesome world of dinosaurs and it is predictable from beginning to end. This movie has one reference in the Disney parks and it doesn’t even follow the story of Dinosaur. I am talking about the Dinosaur ride in Animal Kingdom that is actually better than the movie. This movie is worth a watch but I wouldn’t watch it often. There was actually an idea to not have the dinosaurs talk. I don’t if that would have helped or hurt this movie. What was needed was just a better story than a copy and paste from better dinosaur movie. But as I said there are some good elements to this movie, just not enough to make it a good Disney movie.
The Emperor’s New Groove
The next movie while not a huge success was actually a pretty good and funny movie. The Emperor’s New Groove is a funny and awesome and just a fun ride from beginning to end. Kuzco is one pretty selfish king of the world and loves being that way and has no problem destroying an entire village just to make a pool for himself. Along the way we meet Yzma, Kuzco’s crazy adviser and enemy. He gets turned into a llama and is forced to seek help from a peasant and learn to be unselfish and think about other.This movie is full of 4th wall jokes and funny one liners and is a very good movie. It was successful enough to create a small franchise which included a sequel and TV series. The Emperor’s New Groove has a small presence in the parks with very rare meet and greets from Kuzco and Yzma. And is feature in the card game Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom. Originally this movie was going to be vastly different with a more serious plot about Yzma trying to steal the sun for some reason. It was called Kingdom of the Sun and Sting was brought in to write the songs. But this story fell through the cracks and gave us this awesome and funny ride of a movie. Go see Emperor’s New Groove and have a laugh.
Atlantis the Lost Empire
Atlantis the Lost Empire an adventure movie that takes us on a quest to find the lost city of Atlantis. This is Disney’s first sci/fi animated feature and it shows. This movie is massive and has great visuals. It also has a strong princess character that had this movie been more successful would be a great addition to the Disney princess lineup. Atlantis however suffers from a predictable plot and forced romance. They find Atlantis and life goes on as normal. Nothing changes and the characters are even told to never talk about what they found. We do have some awesome characters and one of the best villain lackeys since Flotsam and Jetsam. The villain is just a money hungry villain that has been done over and over again. Although he does get a rather violent end for being such a one-dimensional villain. And then we have our love interests whose romance comes out of nowhere. They meet and at the end of the movie they are married. Neither say they love each other or even share a kiss. It is like the writers said a princess must marry the hero of the story in the end because this is Disney. I might be harsh on this movie but it is a good movie and worth a watch. It is one of Disney’s best underrated movies. Due to this movie not being successful there is very little of it in the Disney Parks. 20,000 leagues was going to be re-themed to a Atlantis themed ride, but since the movie wasn’t successful this idea was scrapped. Give Atlantis a watch and see what you think.
Lilo and Stitch
Now we come to the most successful movie of the 2000 Slump, Lilo and Stitch. After a series of a bad movies Lilo and Stitch are a welcomed sigh of relief. This movie is fun and heartwarming and has a very good story. Lilo is a very special girl who is struggling to fit in and has a sister Nani, who is forced to be Lilo’s guardian when their parents die in a car accident. These sisters love each other and would do anything for each other. Stitch on the other hand is an experiment that was created to destroy. It was supposed to go to a dessert asteroid but Stitch or 626 is very clever and manages to escape to Hawaii and meets Lilo. Over time Stitch realizes where he belongs and becomes more than a creature who was created just to destroy. This movie is awesome and one is Disney’s best. Due to its success Lilo and Stitch were rewarded with a massive franchise that is still going strong to this day. With 3 sequels and 2 TV series and a rumored live action remake as well as a ride in the Magic Kingdom. Lilo and Stitch are amazing and I am really glad that this movie exists among so many failures. I would tell you to see Lilo and Stitch but I know you already have.
Treasure Planet is a movie that could have been good but it wasn’t. It doesn’t even know what time period it should be portraying. Is it in the future or the past. Future with all the cool futuristic gadgets such has Hawkins glider? Or past with clothes that look like they are in colonial America. Then we have annoying sidekicks such as a robot named Ben and then we have a boring story. And to top it all off this movie was expensive to make. In fact it was the most expensive movie since Tarzan. But this movie bombed big time. And to add insult to injury, this was the project that the creators of Aladdin and the Little Mermaid actually wanted to make. They really missed the ball on this one. But they will redeem themselves in the future so it’s all good. Avoid Treasure Planet at all costs.
Since the success of the Lion King, Disney had tried again and again to reclaim that awesome success that the Lion King brought them. Eisner wanted another animal movie that could be as good or better than the Lion King. As if anything can be better than the Lion King. But instead of lions they decided to use bears. And thus Brother Bear was born. Brother Bear is not a bad movie but it is no Lion King. The songs are once again sung by Phil Collins who still sing the songs but now he sings the songs over characters that are talking. It really ruins the scene that is supposed to be sad and could be more tragic if Phil Collins would stop singing. There isn’t really a villain just a misunderstanding that once solved ceases any reason for a villain. Some say Koda is annoying but I think he is alright. Kenai learns a lot from his transformation and stays with Koda. Sitka is another cool character. This movie did better than many other Disney movies during this time and was given a sequel that is not worth a watch. Kenai is a rare meet and greet character in Animal Kingdom. Brother Bear is a nice movie and I am glad it exists with Lilo and Stitch.
Home on the Range
Home on the Range is an awful Disney movie that has no plot and is not worth watching. This movie was so bad that it killed 2D animation from Disney until Princess and the Frog. Avoid this movie like the plague. Since Disney is wise this movie has absolutely no presence in the parks and I hope it stays that way. This movie is the worst Disney movie ever!
Chicken Little is the first 3D computer animated movie that Pixar did not produce. And it is terrible. I like Chicken Little and his friends but that is it. This movie is cruel. The whole movie is full of pop culture references of better movies while being a total jerk to the main character Chicken Little. But we have the absolute worst Disney dad in the history of Disney dads Buck Cluck. This dude flat-out tells his son that I wish you weren’t alive so that you would not embarrass me anymore and I wish your mom was here so that I wouldn’t have to deal with you. This movie is just bad. Chicken Little did appear in Kingdom Hearts and I have to say it was hilarious to pummel Hades with baseballs from Chicken Little. The character Chicken Little is a trooper though. No matter what he doesn’t give up on his dream that one day his town would like him and not ridicule him for this one mistake he made. This movie is watchable but not often. Like if it’s on TV give it a watch but don’t pay money to see it.
Meet the Robinsons
Now we come to the last movie of the 2000 Slump and I am proud to say that Meet the Robinsons is an awesome movie with a nice message and has a great story. Wilbur Robinson’s is my favorite character. He is funny and is trying to fix a mistake he made when he forgot to lock the garage door. Lewis is an orphan boy who loves to invent things but is frustrated that no one wants to adopt him. He feels like he has no future. The we have the Bowler Hat Guy who is a rather unusual villain in that he is not the main villain, his hat is. She was invented by Lewis in the future but Doris didn’t come out the way Lewis had hoped she would. So Doris knew that she had a purpose and that was to rule the world. This movie has a great message in keep moving forward. Through failure you learn from success not so much,. And great lesson to learn. But my favorite part is the end. When Lewis’ dreams come true and an awesome song plays and then a quote from Walt Disney appears. ” Around here however we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we are curious…. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney. Oh, I gets chills and a tear goes down my cheek every time. Meet the Robinsons was not well received but I love it. It has a small presence in the Disney Parks. The Bowler Hat Guy appears among other Disney villains sometimes and Doris has a card in the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card game. Watch Meet the Robinsons it is really worth a watch.
So there we have it. Those are the Disney animated movies that came out during the 2000 Slump era. But like all eras this one came to an end and rose with the era that we are currently in the Revival Era. More on that era next time. Please share which of the 2000 Slump era is your favorite. But for now this is Trey saying see ya real soon.