The Ultimate Disney MovieToons Animated Film Guide: 2000-2003

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The Ultimate Disney MovieToons & DisneyToon Studios Animated Film Guide

1990-1999 | 2000-2003 | 2003-2005 | 2006-2009 | 2010-2015

Between 1990 and 2015 the Walt Disney Company had two film studios using the Disney name. The prestigious Walt Disney Animation Studios made films were classed as 'Walt Disney Classics' while the other animation studio, Disney MovieToons, later renamed DisneyToon Studios, had a more modest agenda. A division of Walt Disney Television Animation, it adapted Disney's popular television cartoon series and made sequels to recent Walt Disney Animation Studios films, largely as direct-to-video productions but occasionally their films were released in cinemas. This was because of a change in Walt Disney policy in the 1980s introduced by a new Chairman, Michael Eisner, who had reversed Disney's decision not to make either animation for television or sequels. Disney MovieToons, also releasing their films using the title Disney Video Premieres, had since its foundation been headed by President Sharon Morrill, the most senior woman at Disney.

The key to their ability to vastly increase the amount of animation they were producing was by outsourcing the television animation work to newly-opened animation studios in countries all around the world1. By utilising all these facilities they could churn out low-budget animated films quickly as the first half of a film may be made in one studio, for example Australia, while the second half was made in Japan. By 2000 Disney MovieToons had successfully released two films in the cinema to a modest reception and had an unprecedented success with direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar. Their output to date were all inspired either by Disney Classic Animated Films of the 1990s or by their recent animated television series, such as The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-1991).

Competitors

Yet by 2000 the animation landscape had completely transformed since 1990. There were now several animation studios, including the prestigious friendly-rival Pixar. Yet in the competitive market there were both winners and losers, including among big named studios. Warner Brothers formed Warner Brothers Feature Animation and released Space Jam (1996), Quest for Camelot (1998), The Iron Giant (1999), Osmosis Jones (2001) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). All but one of these films flopped; only Space Jam made a profit. Twentieth Century Fox founded Fox Animation Studios which made two films; the successful Anastasia (1997) and the disastrous flop Titan AE (2000). Fox also owned computer animation company Blue Sky Studios, which started releasing CGI films in 2002. The biggest threat to Disney was DreamWorks SKG whose animation department was led by Jeffrey Katzenberg who had been Chairman of Film Production for Walt Disney during the 'Disney Renaissance', the successful period between the release of The Little Mermaid (1989) and Pocahontas (1995). Determined to compete with Disney head on, it made traditional, CGI and stop-motion animated films. It even briefly competed against Disney MovieToons in the direct-to-video market, yet Joseph: King of Dreams (2000) flopped and so plans to make more full-length direct-to-video productions were abandoned.

Disney themselves seemed to have lost direction and were determined to compete by increasing the quantity and decreasing the quality of their animated films, leading to Walt Disney Feature Animation's films flopping or underperforming. Disappointments included Fantasia 2000 (2000), Dinosaur (2000), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Treasure Planet (2002), Home on the Range (2004) and Chicken Little (2005). How would the fledgling, low-budget Disney MovieToons fare in a market where their big brother was struggling and Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox had failed? Especially at a time when the traditional cel animation style Disney MovieToons specialised in seemed to be supplanted by computer animation?

The Films

Below is a summary of the films made by Disney MovieToons during this period. Recurring characters and actors are shown in Bold as well as whether the films were released in the cinema or went direct-to-video. Please note that Disney use both numbers and Roman numerals interchangeably, so that a film titled 'II' on screen may have '2' on the front cover of home media releases and vice versa. Also mentioned is whether the films pass the The Bechdel Test. This can be summarised as whether the film involves two or more named female characters who have a conversation together that does not include or mention any male characters. The film's European runtime is also included2.

12. The Tigger Movie (2000)

DirectorJun Falkenstein
ReleaseCinema
PlotTigger is tired of being the only Tigger and, lonely, wishes to find his family. Though winter is coming to the South of England, Tigger, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore try to find Tigger family members instead of preparing, only for Tigger to sink into depression. After Roo writes a letter supposedly from his family hoping to cheer him up, Tigger is convinced his family are coming to visit.
Length74 minutes
SettingHundred Aker Wood, Ashdown Forest, Sussex
Animation TypeCel
InspirationAA Milne's books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
Characters
  • Tigger (Jim Cummings)
  • Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings)
  • Roo (Nikita Hopkins)
  • Eeyore (Peter Cullen)
  • Rabbit (Ken Sansom)
  • Piglet (John Fiedler)
  • Kanga (Kath Soucie)
  • Owl (Andre Stojka)
  • Narrator (John Hurt)
  • Christopher Robin (Tom Attenborough)
MusicComposed by the Sherman Brothers, Robert and Richard Sherman:
  • 'The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers'
  • 'Someone Like Me'
  • 'Whoop-de-Dooper Bounce'
  • 'Pooh's Lullabee'
  • 'Round My Family Tree'
  • 'How To Be a Tigger'
  • 'Your Heart Will Lead You Home' by the Sherman Brothers and Kenny Loggins
Spin Off Of
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), comprising:
    • Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
    • Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
    • Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974)
BechdelFail

This film gave a strong start to the decade. The Disney animators travelled to Sussex to ensure that the film reflected the real places that Christopher Robin knew, yet there are Americanisms such as US mailboxes rather than postboxes. The Hundred Aker Wood is also hit by an avalanche, which is not a phenomenon common to the Sussex countryside. This film marks the first time that the Sherman Brothers returned to Disney since Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), 28 years earlier. John Fiedler is the only actor to have reprised his role from the first animated film.

The Tigger Movie enjoyed a highly-successful cinematic release and was the sixth most successful animated film of the year, ahead of bigger budgeted films such as Walt Disney Feature Animation's Fantasia 2000, DreamWorks Animation's The Road to El Dorado and Fox Animation Studio's ambitious Titan AE, behind only Disney's Dinosaur, Aardman's Chicken Run, Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, Pokémon: The Movie 2000 and Nickelodeon's Rugrats in Paris. Not bad for a film originally conceived as a direct-to-video film to be titled Winnie-the-Pooh and the Family Tree.

13. An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)

DirectorDouglas McCarthy
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
Plot

Max is off to university, finally able to live outside his father Goofy's shadow. Instead of having Halls of Residence the university has cult-like Frat Houses where the members have strange ceremonies and one, Gamma Mu Mu House, traditionally wins everything and looks down on everyone else. Max and his friends PJ and Bobby challenge Gamma House, competing with them at the college's X Games – events include cycling, skateboarding and rollerblading – which Gamma have always won.

Goofy, distraught that he is no longer living with Max, accidentally destroys the factory he works in and is unable to get another job as he does not have a degree. He therefore enrols in university – the same one as Max – much to his son's dismay. Particularly as Goofy uses it as an excuse to relive the 1970s, arousing the affections of the college librarian. The more Goofy tries to get closer to Max, the more Max desperately tries to get away, until Goofy decides to compete in the X Games representing Gamma House. Who will win, father or son?

Length79 minutes
SettingFictional town of Spoonerville
Animation TypeCel
InspirationGoof Troop (1992-3)
Characters
  • Goofy, Max's clumsy, well-meaning father (Bill Farmer)
  • Maximillan 'Max' Goof, perpetually-embarrassed son (Jason Marsden)
  • Bradley Uppercrust III, head of Gamma Mu Mu House (Jeff Bennett)
  • Pete, Goofy's neighbour and PJ's father (Jim Cummings)
  • Beret Girl, mysterious beatnik poet and PJ's love interest (Vicki Lewis)
  • Sylvia Marpole, university librarian and Goofy's love interest (Bebe Neuwirth)
  • PJ, Pete's son and Max's best friend (Rob Paulsen)
  • Robert 'Bobby' Zimuruski, Max and PJ's friend (Pauly Shore)
  • Tank, member of Gamma frat gang (Brad Garrett)
Soundtrack
  • 'Future's So Bright Gotta Wear Shades' by Pat MacDonald
  • 'Don't Give Up' written by Steve Bartek
  • 'Nowhere to Run' by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland
  • 'Pressure Drop' by Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert
  • 'Shake Your Groove Thing' by Frederick J Perrin and Dino Fekaris
  • 'You Make Me Feel Like Dancing' by Leo Sayer and Vincent Poncia
  • 'Come On Get Happy' by Wes Farrell and Danny Janssen
  • 'Knock On Wood' by Eddie Floyd and Stephen Lee Cropper
  • 'Right Back Where We Started From' by Pierre Tubbs and J Vincent Edwards
Spin Off Of
  • A Goofy Movie (1995) – 5 years earlier
BechdelFail

A heart-warming tale of parental relationships, this is one of only two DisneyToon Studios films to be rated as better than the original film it is a sequel to. While it seems unlikely that a backwater college sporting event would be broadcast on a sport channel, ESPN became 80% owned by Disney in 1996 when they purchased Capital Cities Communication/ABC Inc, including their share of ESPN.

14. The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)

DirectorJim Kammerud
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotOn the birth of their daughter Melody, Prince Eric and Princess Ariel sail to introduce her to her grandfather King Triton, ruler of the mermaid's city of Atlantica. Yet Morgana, sea-witch sister of Ursula from the first film, gives a vague threat to harm Melody unless she is given Triton's trident, which contains all the power of the ocean. Though Morgana is defeated, Ariel decides to build a giant wall around her castle in order to stop Melody from going to sea. After her 12th birthday Melody, tired of being lied to, flees to the sea and meets the manipulating Morgana. She promises to turn Melody into a mermaid if she agrees to steal Triton's trident. Who will triumph?
Length72 minutes
SettingUnnamed mediæval coastal kingdom and Atlantica
Animation TypeCel
InspirationThe Little Mermaid (1837) by Hans Christian Anderson
Characters
  • Ariel, former mermaid and mother (Jodi Benson)
  • Melody, Ariel and Eric's twelve-year-old daughter (Tara Charendoff)
  • Sebastian, a crab (Samuel E Wright)
  • Morgana, octopoid sea witch (Pat Carroll)
  • Prince Eric, Ariel's husband (Rob Paulsen)
  • King Triton, Ariel's father (Kenneth Mars)
  • Flounder, a fish (Cam Clarke)
  • Scuttle, a gull (Buddy Hackett)
  • Undertow, Morgana's giant shark (Clancy Brown)
  • Tip, an emperor penguin (Max Casella)
  • Dash, a walrus (Stephen Furst)
  • Grimsby, butler (Kay E Kuter)
  • Chef Louis (Rene Auberjonois)
MusicComposed by Michael and Patty Silversher unless stated
  • 'Down to the Sea'
  • 'For a Moment'
  • 'Tip & Dash'
  • 'Here on the Land and Sea'
  • 'Part of Your World' by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
Spin Off Of
  • The Little Mermaid (1989) – Eleven years earlier
BechdelPass

Who would have thought that Ariel would turn out to be an overprotective parent who builds a wall to keep her daughter inside the castle (which already had walls) and then never talks to her? The whole plot of the film revolves around Ariel never mentioning to Melody that there's an evil sea-witch after her and instead she repeatedly denies the existence of mermaids to her daughter even though she used to be one. The characters deserve better than this plot.

Most of the original cast return, and Pat Carroll had previously voiced Ursula. There are some differences, with Christopher Daniel Barnes not returning to play Prince Eric and Jason Marin is replaced by Cam Clarke as Flounder. Ben Wright, the original Grimsby, had died in 1989 and this was the final film for Buddy Hackett who played Scuttle.

15. Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001)

DirectorsDarrell Rooney with Jeannine Roussel
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotTired of oppressive rules, regulations and 4th of July celebrations, Lady and the Tramp's son Scamp wants his own independence and live a life of freedom. He meets a pack of junkyard dogs led by Buster, who set him a series of challenges that will lead to his acceptance into the pack, where each dog must fend for themselves. Also in the pack is Angel, a young female dog he develops feelings for who longs to have a home of her own. Will Lady and the Tramp find Scamp, is Buster the hero that he believes him to be and is freedom really romantic? Will Scamp get damp and/or deny his father three times before dawn? Will Lady have any impact, no matter how microscopic, on the plot whatsoever?
Length66 minutes
SettingJuly 1911, New England
Animation TypeCel
Characters
  • Scamp, Lady and the Tramp's mutt son (Scott Wolf, Singing: Roger Bart)
  • Angel, Pomeranian/Chihuahua street dog (Alyssa Milano, Singing: Susan Egan)
  • Buster, King of the Junkyard mutt (Chazz Palminteri, Singing: Jess Harnell)
  • Tramp, mutt and Scamp's father, former street dog (Jeff Bennett)
  • Lady, Cocker Spaniel and Scamp's mother (Jodi Benson)
  • Mooch, street Old English Sheepdog (Bill Fagerbakke)
  • Sparky, Irish Wolfhound (Mickey Rppmeu_
  • Ruby, street Afgham Hound (Cathy Moriarty)
  • Francois, street Boston Terrier (Bronson Pinchot)
  • Annette, Danielle and Collettte, Scamp's sisters (Debi Berryberry and Kath Soucie)
  • Jim Dear, Darling, Lady and Tramp's owners (Nick Jameson and Barbara Goodson)
  • Tony and Joe, staff at Tony's Restaurant (Jim Cummings and Michael Gough)
MusicComposed by Melissa Manchester and Norman Gimbel
Spin Off Of
  • Lady and the Tramp (1955) – 46 years earlier
BechdelFail

This was the first time that Disney MovieToons released a film that was not a spin-off of one their television series or a sequel to a recent release. Every other sequel to date had been to a Disney Renaissance film and had primarily involved the original voice cast. Not a single character for Lady of the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure was played by the original cast. Made in Los Angeles and Sidney Australia, the look of this film is directly inspired by the original, with the backgrounds flawlessly recreated. The attention to detail ensures that this is not a bad film, however it remains a superfluous one.

16. Return to Never Land (2002)

DirectorRobin Budd
ReleaseCinema
PlotWendy has grown up and is married with two young children, but she always believed in Peter Pan. During the London Blitz Wendy's husband has been enlisted in the army and her children are to be evacuated. Seeing the world at war, Jane has stopped believing in magic until she is kidnapped by Captain Hook, who mistakes her for Wendy, and taken to Neverland. There she is rescued by Peter Pan but, longing to go home, agrees to help Hook recover his treasure on the condition he does not hurt a hair on Pan's head in exchange for being returned to London. Yet after Jane tells Tinker Bell that she doesn't believe in fairies, Tinker Bell's light is fading. Will Tinker Bell die? Can Captain Hook wrap Jane around his little finger - erm, hook? Will Jane become the very first Lost Girl? Will Peter Pan tell Wendy's daughter, 'Me Peter Pan, You Jane'?
Length69 minutes
SettingLondon 1940 and Neverland
Animation TypeCel
InspirationPeter Pan, 1904 play and Peter and Wendy 1911 novel, both by JM Barrie
Characters
  • Jane, Wendy's daughter who has outgrown fairytales (Harriet Owen)
  • Peter Pan, boy who never grows up and can fly (Blayne Weaver)
  • Captain Hook, a pirate captain and Pan's nemesis (Corey Burton)
  • Wendy, mother who lives in the same house she did as a child (Kath Soucie)
  • Mr Smee, Captain's Hook's loyal right hand, er, hook. A pirate (Jeff Bennett)
  • Tinker Bell, a fairy
  • Cubby, Nibs, Slightly, Tootles and Twins, Lost Boys (Spencer Breslin, Bradley Pierce, Quinn Beswick, Aaron Spann)
  • Daniel, Wendy's baby brother (Andrew McDonough)
  • Edward, Wendy's husband and Jane and Daniel's father (Roger Rees)
  • Nana Two, St Bernard dog
  • Pock Pock Ock, octopus wishing to eat Hook
Music
  • 'Do You Believe in Magic?' by John Sebastian
  • 'Second Star to the Right' by Sammy Fain and Sammy Cahn
  • 'I'll Try' by Jonatha Brooke
  • 'Here We Go Another Plan' by Randy Rogel
  • 'So To Be One of Us' by They Might Be Giants
Spin Off Of
  • Peter Pan (1953) – 49 years earlier
BechdelPass

Also known as Peter Pan: Return to Neverland, the title Return to Neverland is rather a misnomer as Pan, Hook and Tinker Bell had never left Neverland for long enough for their return to it to be noteworthy, nor had Jane been there before. Tinker Bell is modelling a new, yellow look. The character of Tiger Lilly, central to Peter Pan, has been removed as the first film's stereotypical 'Indian' characters are now considered offensive.

The geography of London seems very distorted, with Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament next to each other. Similarly numerous historical mistakes are made in the opening scene set during the blitz. Within the same day in the film we learn that Jane and her brother are to be evacuated (which took place in September 1939 and September 1940) because of the London blitz (which began in September 1940), yet the blackout has not yet come into effect (these were enforced in law in September 1939) and their father Edward drives an American lorry (the first US troops arrived in Britain in January 1942).

Though a fairly forgettable sequel, the film was the fourth most successful animated film of the year, behind only Blue Sky's Ice Age, Disney's Lilo & Stitch and DreamWorks Animation's Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Costing only $20 million, it made more than Disney's Treasure Planet, which was made for $140 million.

17. Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002)

DirectorJohn Kafka
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotThree tales set after Cinderella's marriage to Prince Charming sharing the theme of being yourself.
Component Parts
  • Aim to Please

    Immediately after returning from honeymoon Cinderella must organise a formal banquet. Will she do it the way banquets have always been done, or do things her way?

  • Tall Tale

    Jaq the mouse feels too small to help Cinderella any more, and wishes he was a human. His wish is granted, and when he tries to tell Cinderella who he is, saying 'I'm human' she mishears him and assumes his name is 'Sir Hugh'. Will he be happy now as a human? Is Jaq a man or a mouse?

  • An Uncommon Romance

    Cinderella's wicked stepsister Anastasia falls in love with the local baker, even though her mother says he is a commoner and therefore beneath her.

Length70 minutes
Setting An unnamed mediæval kingdom
Animation TypeCel
Inspiration The French fairy tale popularised by Charles Perrault, 1697
Characters
  • Cinderella (Jennifer Hale)
  • Prince Charming (Christopher Daniel Barnes)
  • Grand Duke, Baker, Bert & Flower Vendor (Rob Paulsen)
  • Prudence, expert on protocol (Holland Taylor)
  • Anastasia Tremaine, stepsister in love with the baker (Tress MacNeille)
  • Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's wicked stepmother (Susanne Blakeslee)
  • Fairy Godmother, Drizella Tremaine (wicked stepsister), ladies-in-waiting Beatrice and Daphne (Russi Taylor)
Animated Animals
  • Jaq, a mouse, also Sir Hugh (Rob Paulsen)
  • Octavius 'Gus', a mouse (Corey Burton)
  • Mary Mouse (Russi Taylor)
  • Lucifer, a male cat, Pom-Pom, a female cat and Bruno, a dog (Frank Welker)
MusicComposed by Randy Rogel unless stated:
  • 'Put It Together (Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo)' by Michael Bradford, Mack David, Alan Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
  • 'Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo' music by Mack David and Alan Hoffman, lyrics by Jerry Livingston
  • 'Follow Your Heart by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner
  • 'The World Is Looking Up To You'
  • 'It's What's Inside That Counts
  • 'A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes' by Mack David, Alan Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston
Spin Off Of
  • Cinderella (1950) – 52 years earlier
BechdelPass

A compilation film made up of three tales about Cinderella, set after her marriage. These are tenuously linked by the tale of Cinderella's mice friends wanting to write a book about her married life and choosing stories to go into it. Although the film is titled Dreams Come True there are no dream sequences in the film and it is hard to see how the title actually applies. The person whose wish is granted is Jaq, who quickly regrets it. With the exception of any fans of Cinderella who have spent 52 years wondering whether Cinderella prefers prunes or chocolate cake it is hard to see how this release can be anyone's dream come true. This release was surprisingly successful but does not add anything to the story of Cinderella. None of the original film's cast reprise their roles.

18. The Hunchback of Notre Dame II: The Secret of the Bell (2002)

DirectorBradley Raymond
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotSix years after the events of the first film Esmerelda and Captain Phoebus have a six-year-old son Zephyr, who is Quasimodo's best friend. In the days leading up to Le Jour d'Amour, the Festival of Love, Sarousch's circus arrives in Paris. This coincides with a string of thefts. Sarousch dreams of stealing the biggest bell in Notre Dame, La Fidèle, as it is made of gold and encrusted with giant jewels. He forces his reluctant assistant Madellaine to befriend and distract Quasimodo, the bell ringer, and gain information from him. Yet once Madellaine looks beyond Quasimodo's appearance she discovers that there is more to him than at first appears. Will Madellaine betray Quasimodo and will Sarousch steal the bell or do the fandango?
Length63 minutes
Setting15th Century Paris around Le Jour d'Amour
Animation TypeCel
InspirationNotre-Dame de Paris, better known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (1831)
Characters
  • Quasimodo, hunchbacked bell ringer (Tom Hulce)
  • Madellaine, thief and circus assistant (Jennifer Love Hewitt)
  • Esmeralda, gypsy married to Captain Phoebus (Demi Moore)
  • Sarousch, vain circus troupe leader and thief (Michael McKean)
  • Zephyr, Esmerelda and Phoebus' son (Haley Joel Osment)
  • Captain Phoebus, Captain of the Guard (Kevin Kline)
  • Clopin, leader of the Gypsies (Paul Kandel)
  • Victor, a gargoyle (Charles Kimbrough)
  • Hugo, a gargoyle (Jason Alexander)
  • Laverne, a gargoyle (Jane Withers)
  • Achilles, Captain Phoebus' horse
  • Djali, Esmerelda's goat
MusicBy Walter Edgar Kennon unless stated:
  • 'Le Jour D'Amour' by Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn
  • 'An Ordinary Miracle
  • 'I'd Stick With You'
  • 'Fa-la-la-la Fallen In Love'
  • 'I'm Gonna Love You (Madellaine's Love Song)' - by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Chris Canute
Spin Off Of
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) – 6 years earlier
BechdelFail

Made six years after The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the difference in the quality of animation is apparent as this film cannot match the original's dynamism. The story, in which Quasimodo finds a love interest, both rectifies and detracts from the original film's ending. Work on making the film began in 1999 but it took five years for it to be released. Almost the entire original cast returns for this films, although Mary Wickes had died in 1995 while making the first film, with Jane Withers finishing her last lines uncredited. Now she was fully credited as Laverne.

Jennifer Love Hewitt was disappointed that her character, Madellaine, did not have a song when she was offered the role, especially as she was trying to launch a singing career. She therefore wrote a song for her character to sing, which made it into the film.

19. A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002)

DirectorsJamie Mitchell
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotWinnie the Pooh and his friends celebrate Christmas and New Year without Owl.
Component Parts
  • Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991)

    When the letter the friends had written to Santa Claus fails to reach the North Pole, Pooh decides to impersonate Father Christmas himself with Piglet disguised as a reindeer.

  • Happy Pooh Year (2002)

    Rabbit gets very angry when Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger pop round and mess up his house. He swears he is going to move somewhere where there are no nervous Piglets, honey-obsessed bears, depressed donkeys and bouncy tigers. Desperate not to lose their friend, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger make New Year's resolutions to give up honey, being afraid, being gloomy and bouncing respectively. Will they be able to keep it up, and will it be enough to stop Rabbit from leaving?

Length 61 minutes
SettingHundred Aker Wood, Sussex, between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day
InspirationAA Milne's books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
Characters
  • Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings)
  • Tigger (Jim Cummings & Paul Winchell)
  • Eeyore (Peter Cullen)
  • Rabbit (Ken Sansom)
  • Piglet (John Fiedler, singing: Jeff Bennett)
  • Christopher Robin (William Green, singing: Jeff Bennett)
  • Roo (Nikita Hopkins)
  • Kanga (Kath Soucie)
  • Gopher (Michael Gough)
  • Narrator (Michael York)
  • Singer (Carly Simon)
MusicComposed by Michael and Patty Silversher unless stated:
  • 'Winnie the Pooh' by Richard M and Robert B Sherman
  • 'Snow Snows'
  • 'Happy Pooh Year'
  • 'Hunny, No Not For Me'
  • 'Auld Lang Syne' by Robert Burns, additional lyrics by Carly Simon
  • 'Jingle Bells' by James Pierpont
Spin Off Of
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), comprising:
    • Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
    • Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
    • Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974)
BechdelFail

Another Winnie the Pooh compilation, however this one works better than previous direct-to-video release Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1999). Strangely Owl is not present in the film at all, with Kanga and Roo having only very minor roles. This was the first Winnie the Pooh release to have the theme tune sung by Carly Simon, best known for James Bond  songThe Spy who Loved Me.

20. 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (2003)

DirectorsJim Kammerud & Brian Smith
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotAs the Radcliffe family are moving from London to their Dalmatian Plantation in Devon, young Patch is tired of feeling one of 101. Accidentally left behind on moving day, Patch learns that Thunderbolt, the dog star of his favourite television show, is in London where they are holding auditions for dogs to appear on the show. Sidekick Lil' Lightning convinces Thunderbolt that he is being replaced. Thunderbolt, with Patch, heads out into London to find a way to be a real-life hero and get enough publicity to secure his job. Meanwhile Cruella de Vil is out of prison on probation and once again plans to kidnap the puppies. Can Thunderbolt and Patch save the day?
Length70 minutes
SettingLondon in the late 1950s
Animation TypeCel, similar in style to the original.
InspirationOne Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956) by Dodie Smith
Characters
  • Patch, Dalmatian struggling to find his own identity (Bobby Lockwood)
  • Thunderbolt, German Shepherd star of Thunderbolt Adventure Hour (Barry Bostwick)
  • Cruella de Vil, Dalmatian-obsessed villain (Susanne Blakeslee)
  • Jasper and Horace, Cruella's henchmen (Jeff Bennett and Maurice LaMarche)
  • Lil' Lightning, Thunderbolt's corgi sidekick (Jason Alexander)
  • Lars, French artist (Martin Short)
  • Pongo and Perdita, Dalmatian parents (Samuel West and Kath Soucie)
  • Roger and Anita Radcliffe, Dalmatian owners (Tim Bentinck and Jodi Benson)
  • Nanny (Mary MacLeod)
MusicComposed by:
  • 'I See Spots' by Randy Rogel
  • 'Dalmatian Plantation' by Mel Leven3
  • 'Thunderbolt Adventure Hour' music by Richard Gibbs, lyrics by Brian Smith, Martin Lee Fuller) and Dan Root
  • 'Kanine Krunchies Kommercial' by Mel Leven
  • 'Cruella De Vil' by Mel Leven
  • 'Try Again' by Richard Gibbs and Dean Pitchford
  • 'One of a Kind' by Noko, Trevor Gray, Howard Gray, Richard Gibbs and Mel Leven
Spin Off Of
  • 101 Dalmatians (1961) – 42 years earlier
BechdelFail

This was not the first 101 Dalmatians sequel, following live-action films 101 Dalmatians (1996) and 102 Dalmatians (2000), which were set in contemporary rather than period (1950s) England. In fact the plot has much more in common with Disney film Bolt (2008), which is about a dog television star called Bolt in the real world who has adventures similar to this film's dog television star Thunderbolt and his adventures in the real world.

The earliest this film can be set is 1955 as that is when ITV, the UK's first commercial television station, launched in London. However on launch, advertising and particularly sponsorship was strongly regulated and the American style Thunderbolt's Adventure Hour is Sponsored by 'Kanine Krunchies' would not have been permitted under the 1954 Television Act as it would have broken the Independent Television Authority's regulations ensuring adverts and programme content were clearly separate.

21. The Jungle Book 2 (2003)

DirectorSteve Trenbirth
ReleaseCinema
PlotMowgli has found an adoptive family in the man village and a close friend in Shanti, but hearing the call of the wild, longs for the freedom of the jungle. Meanwhile Shere Khan the tiger has returned, seeking vengeance on Mowgli. Shanti stops Mowgli showing his village's children the jungle, saying it is not safe, leading to Mowgli's punishment. Can Baloo adapt to life without Mowgli? Will Mowgli be able to return to the jungle?
Length69 minutes
SettingA jungle in India, late 19th Century.
Animation TypeCel
InspirationThe Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895) by Rudyard Kipling
Characters
  • Mowgli, an orphaned 'man cub' boy (Haley Joel Osment)
  • Baloo, a bear (John Goodman)
  • Shanti, Mowgli's best friend in the village (Mae Whitman)
  • Bagheera, a panther (Bob Joles)
  • Shere Khan, a Bengal Tiger (Tony Jay)
  • Lucky, a vulture (Phil Collins)
  • 'Ranjan's father' [sic], Mowgli's adopted father (John Rhys-Davies)
  • Kaa, a python (Jim Cummings)
  • Colonel Hathi, an elephant (Jim Cummings)
  • Ranjan, Mowgli's adoptive brother (Connor Funk)
  • Hathi Jnr, young elephant (Bobby Edner)
MusicComposed by Lorraine Feather and Joel McNeely unless stated:
  • 'I Wan'na Be Like You' by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman
  • 'Jungle Rhythm'
  • 'Bare Necessities' by Terry Gilkyson
  • 'Colonel Hathi's March' by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman
  • 'W-I-L-D'
  • 'Right Where I Belong'
Spin Off Of
  • The Jungle Book (1967) – 36 years earlier
BechdelFail

At the start of The Jungle Book 2 Mowgli gives his adopted family and friends a shadow puppet show all about his life in the jungle. His autobiography completely ignores the many years he spent being raised with the wolves and instead Mowgli only seems to remember the couple of days he spent with Baloo. Inexplicably Baloo's fur has all turned blue and animals seen in India now include African hippopotami and American ocelots.

Popular film character King Louie does not appear as the character did not appear in Kipling's novel but was created for The Jungle Book. In the 1960s Walt Disney had originally hoped that Louis Armstrong would play the role, just as he had hoped the Beatles would play the vultures, however when it was realised that having a black man playing an ape might be interpreted as racial stereotyping, Louis Prima was cast instead. After Prima's death his widow Gia Prima, sued Disney for lack of royalties following the home media release of The Jungle Book and the use of the character in television series TaleSpin, claiming that Jim Cummings was impersonating her husband's voice without permission. Disney settled out of court and agreed not to use impersonations of Louis Prima's voice, which is why King Louie does not appear in Jungle Book 2.

The Jungle Book 2 was the third most successful animated film of the year, behind only Pixar's Finding Nemo and Walt Disney Feature Animation's Brother Bear.

22. Piglet's BIG Movie (2003)

DirectorFrancis Glebas
ReleaseCinema
PlotPiglet feels unappreciated when his friends say he is too small to help and goes for a walk by himself. When his friends notice he is missing they look for him at to his house, but find only Piglet's scrapbook containing drawings of his adventures. Worried about Piglet and believing that as the scrapbook contains Piglet's memories it must know where he is, they decide to head to the places drawn in the scrapbook, carrying it with them. As they think about all the events that Piglet has taken part in they soon start to realise how big a role he is played in their lives.
Length72 minutes
SettingHundred Aker Wood, Ashdown Forest, Sussex
Animation TypeCel
InspirationAA Milne's books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928)
Characters
  • Piglet (John Fiedler)
  • Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings)
  • Tigger (Jim Cummings)
  • Rabbit (Ken Sansom)
  • Roo (Nikita Hopkins)
  • Kanga (Kath Soucie)
  • Eeyore (Peter Cullen)
  • Owl (Andre Stojka)
  • Christopher Robin (Tom Wheatley)
MusicSongs by Carly Simon unless stated:
  • 'Winnie the Pooh' by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman
  • 'The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers' by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman
  • 'If I Wasn't So Small (The Piglet Song)'
  • 'Mother's Intuition'
  • 'Sing Ho for the Life of a Bear (Expotition March)' by Carly Simon, lyrics adapted from Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
  • 'The More It Snows (Tiddely-Pom)' by Carly Simon, lyrics adapted from The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne
  • 'With a Few Good Friends' by Carly Simon and Brian Hohlfeld
  • 'The More I Look Inside'
  • 'Comforting to Know'
Spin Off Of
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977), comprising:
    • Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
    • Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
    • Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974)
BechdelFail

This film shows many of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories written by AA Milne in flashback, and also has songs written with his lyrics. Unusually there isn't a narrator. Piglet's BIG Movie was the third Winnie-the-Pooh film released in cinemas following The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Tigger Movie, but the weakest to date. It nevertheless was the sixth most successful animated film of the year, behind Pixar's Finding Nemo, Walt Disney Feature Animation's Brother Bear, DisneyToon Studios The Jungle Book 2, DreamWorks Animations' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Warner Bros' Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

23. Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003)

DirectorsVictor Cook, Toby Shelton & Tad Stones
ReleaseDirect-to-Video
PlotQueen Kida of Atlantis is using the crystal known as the Heart of Atlantis to restore the city to its former glory, but worries whether this is the right path. She and her husband Milo learn that Atlantean creatures and technology may be rampaging around the Earth and they reunite with Milo's former companions including Whitmore, Audrey, Vinny, Mole to investigate various monsters worldwide. These include the Kraken, dust coyotes, Ice Giants and Lava Creatures. Would these monsters have got away with it if it wasn't for the meddling kids?
Length77 minutes
SettingEdwardian Atlantis, Norway, Southwestern United States and Iceland
Animation TypeCel
Characters
  • Queen Kidagakash 'Kida' Nedakh, ruler of Atlantis (Cree Summer)
  • King Milo Thatch, Kida's husband (James Arnold Taylor)
  • Preston B Whitmore, millionaire patron (John Mahooney)
  • Audrey Rocio Ramirez, mechanic and pilot (Jacqueline Obradors)
  • Vincenzo 'Vinny' Santorini, demolitions expert (Don Novello)
  • Gaetan 'Mole' Molière, smelly minerologist (Corey Burton)
  • Dr Joshua Strongbear Sweet, medical officer (Phil Morris)
  • Wilhelmina Bertha Packard, communications officer (Florence Stanley)
  • Jebediah Allerdyce 'Cookie' Farnsworth, prospector (Jim Varney)
Spin Off Of
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – 2 years earlier
BechdelPass

Disney Television Animation began making a television series spin-off titled Team Atlantis based on Atlantis: The Lost Empire. When that film completed flopped the spin-off series was cancelled, but three episodes had been finished. These episodes were combined and released as a direct-to-video sequel with new bookending and linking material. This just about works weakly, although there is no denying that the whole is episodic in nature as the crew face three monsters in three different locations, suddenly switching from Atlantis to Norway to a desert in America's Southwest and then to Iceland. Michael J Fox was replaced by James Arnold Taylor as Milo and, as Jim Varney had died, Cookie was now played by Steven Barr although he only appears in the middle instalment.

The Future

In 2003 Disney MovieToons transferred from being a division of Walt Disney Television Animation to become a division of Walt Disney Features under the name DisneyToon Studios. Though the standard of some of their output had been below what would be expected of anything associated with the Disney name, by splitting from being a department within Disney Television Animation, the studio now had a chance to develop its own identity, still led by Executive Vice President Sharon Morrill.

1Disney Animation Australia, Disney Animation France also known as Disney Animation Paris, Disney Animation Japan and Disney Animation Canada.2There are different video standards – NTSC in America, which has 525 scan lines and 30 frames per second (fps) and PAL in most of Europe (except France, which uses SECAM) with 625 scan lines and 25fps. When converted from film NTSC duplicates every fourth frame to compensate for the higher frame rate while PAL does not, meaning that unedited films released in Europe are 4% shorter than the same unedited film in America; a film with a 100-minute runtime in the US is 96 minutes long in Europe.3Also known as Mel Levin.

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