HEIDI SWANSON | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST
Everyone knows Disney movies like “Cinderella,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mulan” and “Pocahontas.” I would list all of the wondrous well-known Disney movies, but it could go on forever. These are amazing movies for which I probably know all the words to the songs, but there are many Disney movies that are underrated for some reason unbeknownst to me.
One very underrated movie is “The Emperor’s New Groove.” This animated movie is both funny and instructional. Emperor Kuzco (David Spade), an entitled, spoiled brat, is turned into a llama (yup – you read that right) by the evil Yzma (Eartha Kitt). Yzma wants to take the throne from Kuzco and tries to poison him, but her assistant Kronk (Patrick Warburton) mixes up the poison to kill and the potion to transform into llamas. With the help of Pacha (John Goodman), a peasant from a nearby village, Kuzco returns to his city to turn back into a human, while also becoming a better person along the way. The movie is hilarious, and each of the voice actors are perfect for their characters.
Though “The Emperor’s New Groove” is not a tear-jerker like most animated Disney movies, “Brother Bear” is. Another animated movie, “Brother Bear” centers on Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix), a young Native American. His totem, given to him by Tanana (Joan Copeland), is a bear and symbolizes love. Kenai doesn’t understand this because he believes bears to be monsters. When his brother Sitka (D.B. Sweeney) is killed by a bear, his suspicions seem to be confirmed. He vows to kill the bear but turns into one himself on the way. His only hope lies in a magical mountain, and he enlists Koda (Jeremy Suarez), a real bear cub, for help.
Phil Collins did the songs featured in the movie, such as “Look Through My Eyes” and “On My Way.” Though this movie has its funny moments, especially when two moose named Rutt and Tuke show up, prepare yourself and bring tissues. It will make you cry.
Like the last two movies, “Hercules” is an underrated Disney movie. Born a god, Hercules (Tate Donovan) lives with mortals his entire life, believing himself to be mortal, because Hades (James Woods) took away most of his godliness as a baby. To prove himself worthy to live with the gods on Olympus, Hercules must perform tasks and is guided by Philoctetes (Danny DeVito). With a truly moving score and the incredibly sarcastic character Meg (Susan Egan), this movie is a hidden gem.
Like the list of well-known Disney movies, the list of underrated Disney movies could go on forever. Other underrated Disney movies include “Meet the Robinsons,” “The Fox and the Hound,” “Dinosaur,” and “The Black Cauldron.” Take some time to watch them all: homework can wait.