Disney animated movies are a critical part of so many of our childhoods. The details may differ, but a lot of the motifs are the same: worn down VHS tapes, family trips to Disneyland or Disney World, toys, and patterned pajamas.
If you’re like our other quiz takers, you probably think of princesses and talking animals first – Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and so on. But Disney’s had some more unique offerings too: musicals, sci-fi adventures, quirky mixes of animation and live acting. Those might be a bit harder to remember. The biggest Disney maniacs can pull it off, but they’re rare – only 0.3% of quiz plays reflect a perfect score in our data. If you want to join their esteemed ranks, you’ll have to get a hang of the most forgotten Disney movies.
The data for this post is sourced from the Disney Animated Movies quiz on Sporcle.
The Most Forgotten Disney Movies • Percentage of Sporcle Users Who Correctly Answered
Meet the Robinsons • 22.8%
Meet the Robinsons is a sci-fi comedy story about a young orphaned inventor who gets tangled up in time travel. It was released in 2007, and the computer-generated animation style is a little unusual compared to the rest of Disney’s archives. The reviews for the movie are generally lightly positive, but you probably won’t meet many people who cite it as their number one favorite – which is why it edges into the bottom 10 here.
The Three Caballeros • 22.2%
The Three Caballeros is a movie that reads oddly to modern eyes. It’s a blend of live-action and animation, a musical, and a “package film” (several short stories presented in anthology). It was released in 1945. It’s tempting to attribute some of the obscurity to age, but other films from the era include Fantasia and Cinderella. The Three Caballeros got mixed reviews on release, but most aggregate review sites now show a positive overall rating by viewers.
Home on the Range • 22.1%
This 2004 film, set in the American West, wasn’t great at the box office. Home on the Range had some of the key elements that you’d expect in a Disney animated film – hand-drawn animation, award-winning soundtrack writers, big celebrity names for the voice acting. But it just didn’t come together. Reviews were mixed on release, and don’t seem to have seriously improved over the years.
Ralph Breaks the Internet • 21.6%
This one is a rare thing for Disney’s animated studio; Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel that didn’t go directly to home video. Released in 2018, it’s also the newest entry on this bottom ten of this list. As such, Ralph Breaks the Internet still might eventually climb out. Reviews and the box office were both generally positive, which seems like a promising sign.
Dinosaur • 19.8%
Dinosaur was released in 2000, and while the characters are computer generated, most of the scenery was shot live. It’s an unusual blend, and it was expensive to develop. But it was still considered a box office success, and reviewers compliment the visual effects in particular. The plot follows a young Iguanodon who is adopted by a family of lemurs.
Fun and Fancy Free • 19.1%
Fun and Fancy Free is another package film, which seems to be a possible factor of forgettablity. The movie got mixed reviews for its anthology of several stories, which had a blend of animated and live action characters. The lack of one overarching storyline seems to make these movies patchier for both regular viewers and critics. The two main sections are called “Bongo” and “Mickey and the Beanstalk”, both of which have been released separately and with alternate versions.
Make Mine Music • 18.4%
Make Mine Music is another package film from the 1940s. It turns out there’s a good reason for the streak of these from the ’40s: WWII. A lot of the workforce in the early ’40s was diverted for the war effort, and anthologies were a good way for a sparse group of animators to take unfinished ideas and make them work. Make Mine Music had a lot of sections – nine, in total – and most of them were later released as cartoon shorts. The image above is from the “Peter and the Wolf” adaptation part of the movie.
Melody Time • 17.6%
Melody Time from 1948 is another entry to the string of package films. The image here is from Disney’s take on “The Legend of Johnny Appleseed”. This particular one is highly musical (unsurprisingly, with a title like that) and uses folk imagery and figures. Some of the clips were released separately, like “Bumble Boogie”, and can still be found online.
Saludos Amigos • 17.2%
Saludos Amigos is one of the earlier package films, from 1943. It stars Goofy and Donald Duck as they visit South America – the four segments are called Lake Titicaca, Pedro, El Gaucho Goofy, and Aquarela do Brasil. This is another one of the anthologies with a mix of live-action and animated scenes and characters.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad • 16.9%
Unsurprisingly at this point, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a package film from the 1940s; 1949 to be exact. It consisted of two segments: “The Wind in the Willows” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. “The Wind in the Willows” was based on an early 1900s children’s novel written by Kenneth Grahame. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was based on the Washington Irving story of the same name. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was the last of the package films from that era. And apparently people were ready for a change – the very next release is actually the most remembered film in our data: Cinderella.
The next five least-guessed, in order of lowest-guessed to highest: Treasure Planet, Chicken Little, The Great Mouse Detective, Bolt, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
It seems like a lot of the forgettable movies are from certain eras. The 1940s are explained by the string of package films – but the early 2000s seem to be a point of struggle as well. That could be explained by a series of successful releases from Pixar, maybe. Whatever the reason, if you wanna brush up your Disney nerd status, a 1940s and 2000s marathon is probably in order.
If you’re a Disney buff, you might like some of our other writing on Disney – Interesting Facts About Walt Disney, Disney Pick-Up Lines, Disney Trivia Team Names and more. Or, get even more involved and play some Disney quizzes.