End of the Cheapquels

31 Mar

From DIS News yesterday (originally from Animation World): Disney DTV Sequels, End of the Line.

Since their birth, in 1994, with The Return of Jafar, the sequels have entertained (and made) millions; they’ve also enraged no small number of Disney fans who see them as little more than desecrations of the beloved originals. After any number of official “2s” (The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Brother Bear) and “IIs” (Mulan, Pocahontas, Bambi), along with misnumbered “3s” (The Lion King 1-1/2, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch) and unnumbered “4s” (Leroy and Stitch) the studio released its first official “III” Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. Down the road a ways there’ll be a Little Mermaid III, and then… that’s it.

Now, in all fairness, the cheapquels weren’t all bad. For example, Aladdin and the King of Thieves was better than Return of Jafar (I’ll credit the improvement in large part to the return of Robin Williams as Genie). But as a whole, I agree with the oft-spoken criticism that the cheaply-produced sequels weakened the Disney brand. If I need a larger dose of Disney entertainment than the current DVD and theatrical offerings bring me, and if I can’t rush right out to see High School Musical On Ice, there’s plenty of Disney Channel and Toon Disney on my cable box ready to calm my addiction-tweaked nerves.

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