Everyone knows the story of sisterly love in Frozen, of the lost slipper in Cinderella and of the mysteriously animated toys in Toy Story. But, once a certain age is reached, these classics are labeled as childish and rudimentary; unworthy of a teenager’s time, though they might not necessarily be so.
Sure, these movies can seem a little repetitive and overplayed, but surprise! There are plenty more Disney movies out there that everyone should seriously be watching.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are five Disney gems you should watch right now:
The Princess and the Frog tells the story of Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose, a black girl from New Orleans who works harder than anyone. Her dream is to own a restaurant just like her “Daddy always wanted.” But, because she’s black, the white men of the time try and stop her from reaching this goal, making fun of her for even trying.
Not only is Tiana pretty badass but she also teaches kids that in the end, hard work and determination are what get you to where you want to be, not some fancy, affluent prince that promises to hand it to you. Also, the songs are great, the jazzy New Orleans flair in “When We’re Human”? Like come on, it’s a masterpiece.
Starring Michelle Trachtenberg as Casey Carlyle, Ice Princess is probably one of my favorite movies of all time. The story’s based on a teenage girl who only wants to please her mom, played by Joan Cusack. The only problem is her mom wants her to go to Harvard University to study physics while she just wants to figure skate. Real talk, who can’t relate to this? Though her mom loves her, she can’t handle the fact that Casey’s dream does not match up with the dream she has for her daughter. Side note, Casey’s love interest, played by Trevor Blumas, is adorable. Like seriously I just want to take him home with me.
This movie combines the stress of choosing which college you want to attend and pleasing your parents with the happiness of finding a passion and following your heart. If you’re struggling with deciding what you want to do with your life WATCH. THIS. MOVIE!
I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who has even heard of this movie, let alone seen it, which is really sad because it’s seriously beautiful. There are so many overlapping stories that are both heartfelt and inspirational, and funny and sorrowful, it’s basically a rollercoaster of emotions.
There’s lost loves and cruel parental figures, juxtaposed with a new guardian that only wants to love the protagonist, Pete (Sean Marshall). All in all, it teaches viewers about the importance of friendship and acceptance, things that really hit home to life as a teenager in a society where so many times we find ourselves begging to be accepted and crushed over discovering the fakeness of once true friends. Make sure to keep a box of tissues close by during this movie though, they’ll definitely be needed.
4. Brave (2012)
I’m an avid Disney fan and not even I know all the songs to this movie, that’s how underrated it is. But why? Like Ice Princess, Brave tells the story of a young girl who is torn between being the princess that her family tree tells her she should be or being the bada** archer that she wants to be.
The movie highlights her rebellious teenage phase in which she’s convinced her mother hates her- another thing that I bet everybody can relate to at some point in their lives. Kelly Macdonald does an amazing job as Merida and the magical storyline is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat at all times.
First of all, this movie is based on the life of dogs, featuring Oliver (Joey Lawrence), the orphaned kitten. Just that alone should be enough to get you to go watch this movie, because who doesn’t love dogs? It’s adorable, it’s funny, and it edifies on comradery and friendship. The dogs adopt Oliver into their gang and through thick and thin they do nothing but support each other. This is truly a life lesson that people of all ages need to know, because at the end of the day it’ll always be the true friends and family that stay by your side, and that alone can make you the luckiest person in the world.
Of course, there are hundreds more underrated Disney movies, but these are a few to get you started on your journey to becoming a Disney connoisseur. Happy movie watching!