Five Forgotten Disney Films Worth A Watch

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Disney Plus is a big Streaming Service with plenty of Classic Films and TV Shows to watch. Sure you can watch classics like The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh and Cinderella. Or some more “underrated films” like Atlantis, The Rocketeer and Treasure Planet, but if you explore deep enough into the list of films Disney has released, be it on their streaming service or home video releases, you can actually find some stuff worth watching. Including the five examples I’m going to give you today.

Some of these films may not be on Disney Plus so you may have to look for Physical Copies either Online or Second Hand.

5 – Saludos Amigos (1943)





An Interesting little film, and I do mean little. This isg Disney’s Shortest Feature Film coming in at only 42 Minutes.

It features Four Vignettes where we follow Disney Animators as they create the short films presented.

  • “Lake Titicaca” follows Donald Duck visiting the titular locations, albeit with a few outdated portrayals.
  • “Pedro” follows a small Airplane named Pedro on a mission to deliver Air Mail.
  • “El Gaucho Goofy” featured Goofy living the life as a Gaucho or Mexican Cowboy. 
  • “Aquarela de Brasil” features the debut of José Carioca, before his more famous appearance in Three Caballeros two years later, showing Donald around South America.

This film is pretty much a predecessor to Three Caballeros, so if you are a fan of that film or the ride at EPCOT I recommend giving this a watch. 

4 – Babes in Toyland (1961)



There’s an interesting story behind this film.

Walt Disney originally wanted to make a film based on The Wizard of Oz, but MGM beat him to it which led to Disney making the 1951 Alice in Wonderland.

Later Disney greenlit a project called Rainbow Road to Oz as a continuation of the original story, but somewhere production of that was scrapped and re-worked into an adaptation of the 1903 Opera Babes in Toyland.

The film stars Mouseketeer Annette Funicello as Mary, from Mary had a Little Lamb, and Tommy Sands as Tom, from the Tom Piper nursery rhyme. Mary and Tom plan on getting married but a man named Barnaby, played funny enough by Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow from the MGM Wizard of Oz, wants to marry Mary for her money.

The film features various odd and wild visuals and feels like something more from the 1970s as opposed to the 60s. If you enjoy films like Mary Poppins or Pete’s Dragon you’ll enjoy this film, especially around Christmas Time as the film was meant to be a Christmas Film.

3 – Treasure Island (1950)




The film that gave birth to “Pirate Talk” thanks to Robert Newton.

This was Disney’s first adaptation of the Treasure Island story. Later on Disney also did 1996’s, more comedic, Muppet Treasure Island and 2002’s Steampunk Animated Adaptation Treasure Planet.

In the original adaptation Jim Hawkins is played by well known Child Actor Bobby Driscoll. He was well known for appearing in many Disney Films, and was probably most famous as the model and voice for Peter Pan.

This film has a more serious tone and follows the original novel faithfully. If you’ve ever wondered what might have been an inspiration for the original Pirates of the Caribbean Ride this would likely be it.

If you love Classic Cinema with plenty of Suspense, Action and Dramatic Storytelling this is for you. The film also received a 1954 Sequel “Long John Silver” with Robert Newton returning as the titular character. 

 

2 – Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)




Some of you may have heard of this film, but others may have not. And some consider this a simple ripoff of Marry Poppins, while others consider it a hidden gem.

Angela Lansbury stars as Eglantine Price, a Witch caring for three children during World War II. She is on a quest to learn a Magic Spell that could end the war, but she travels all across England, under the ocean, and even to an Island inhabited by talking animals.

They main method of transportation in this film is a bed. The characters tell the bed where they want to go and touch the bedknob three times and they magically travel there.

The film has live action and animation segments similar to Mary Poppins and features a battle sequence at the end which uses pretty spectacular special effects.

Yes it does have some similarities to Mary Poppins, even actor David Tomlinson appears, but a shameless copy? I think not. If you loved the Magic of Disney’s Films of the 1960’s and 70’s you’ll love this one.

 

1 – So Dear to My Heart (1948)




A film almost NOBODY remembers.

This film actually feels pretty similar to 1946’s “Song of the South”.

Now hold on, not in the kind of way you may think. What I mean is it’s a film starring Bobby Driscoll, set in the south with animated segments featuring talking animals.

This is actually a feel good film, about a young boy who decided to care for a young black sheep named “Danny” and dreams of taking him to the County Fair to win the blue ribbon.

It shows the hardship of growing up in the south and all the hard work you need to do to reach your goals. Musician Burl Ives, best known as Sam the Snowman in Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, appears as a helpful Father figure.

The film features segments where we look into a scrapbook and learn lessons of courage and perseverance, and those scenes are also really well done. This film is definitely an underrated classic and I hope more people will see.

I hope you call consider watching these films. Again not all of these are on Disney Plus so look out for a DVD Copy if you can. Hopefully you’ll enjoy these underrated classics.


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Mr. Milo
Independent Film Writer, Independent Film Maker and Film Historian. Hardcore Disney Admirer and Greatly Respects the Legacy of Walt Disney, George Lucas, J. R. Tolkien and many others. Has written a number of articles for smaller websites and is currently in the process of launching my own production company. I have a great Passion for storytelling and believes that with a paper and pencil you can many any work of art, no matter where you come from, be it in the written word or in drawing.