Walt Disney Pictures rarely has any feature that could be called forgettable. The company has had a majority of the population by the childhood for decades, and definitely won't be slowing down any time soon. That being said, Disney does have the occasional habit of relying on old classics to keep us entertained.
No, we're not talking about the gauntlet of live-action-remakes on the horizon. We're talking about the Disney rereleases and reissues of some of its famous features, some of which actually generated more acclaim for said films. To show you what we mean, here is our list of ten Disney films that were more popular rereleased.
10 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Walt Disney's first full-length animated feature was definitely one of the most successful and beloved films of its era, no questions asked. But here's the thing... Before the invention of home video, if you missed a movie in the theatres, you missed it. So, the studio re-released it to be beloved by the masses once again.
Since the film's premiere in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been re-released to theatres eight different times between 1937 and 1993. With each re-release, the film got a new collection of fans, and in 1944, a re-release helped fund the studio during World War II. Color us impressed.
The next two entries go hand in hand because they were both released during a time where color, visuals, and music had a massive new appreciation from the culture (or should we say counterculture). When Fantasia first released, it was a success but not exactly something Disney would be able to repeat, despite his wishes. It needed the right audience.
The film began with concert-style runs during its original release, but its biggest boom was in 1969, thanks to the new appreciation for art and psychedelic imagery from the hippie movement. The studio even advertized it with a psychedelic motif. It was just Fantasia's right time to shine.
8 Alice in Wonderland
If you thought Fantasia sat well with the hippies in the '60s, the rerelease of Alice in Wonderland was possibly more successful in 1974 than its original 1951 release. Again, working with the era, Disney used the new appetite for psychedelic imagery to their advantage and brought back one of the most psychedelic animated films of all time.
The '74 rerelease played for sold-out shows and was so successful, it spawned another release in 1981. With Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and the hazy, trippy sequences used throughout the film, it's easy to see how Alice could have been a product of this era. What more can we say but "feed your head."
7 Mary Poppins
Similar to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs rerelease, Walt Disney's Mary Poppins received similar treatment, and arguably the same amount of praise and delight it did when it first premiered in 1964. Audiences everywhere have called it the most beloved family film of all time, and its rereleases are certainly well deserved.
Mary Poppins is often considered Disney's magnum opus. It won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. So, in the days before we had DVD, Bluray or streaming services, it was a logical move to bring Mary Poppins back to the big screen once more.
6 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Though not exactly a rerelease in the sense you might think, 1977's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was not the first time the silly old bear had been featured on the silver screen. In fact, Pooh was introduced three times in the theatre before this film was even put to paper. How? They were all short films.
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day were all short films made by the studio as early as 1966. Walt Disney even produced them all himself, eleven years prior to the feature's release.
5 The Sword in the Stone
One of the last films to have Walt Disney's personal involvement, The Sword in the Stone was definitely a financial success and winner of an Academy Award for best score, but for the critics of 1963, it was as mixed as Merlin's bag of tricks. So why does it make our list?
Similarly to how Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland reached an audience of hippies in the '60s, The Sword in the Stone's 1983 rerelease grabbed the attention of fantasy-hungry fans everywhere. In the age of D&D and Conan the Barbarian, fantasy was beginning to become a more popular genre. What better time for the once and future king?
4 Beauty and the Beast
Like Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast was one of Walt Disney Pictures' crowning achievements, this time in the field of animation. Beauty and the Beast is not only considered to be the ideal Disney movie and the perfect Disney love story, but it remains the first animated film in history to be nominated for Best Picture. Why wouldn't they rerelease it?
There's just something different about seeing this flick on the silver screen. Since 2002, the film has been re-released three times, including an IMAX-3D cut and a sing-along edition. It truly is a tale as old as time that audiences continue to fall in love with all over again.
3 The Toy Story Series
Before the final chapter that was Toy Story 4, Disney and Pixar re-released the previous three entries in the series in 3-D for a new generation of fans. Since most of the young viewers for the first film were practically Andy's age or older, a rerelease was definitely in order.
It's not that the films weren't popular when they first premiered, but that many of the original viewers were now wanting to share the adventures of Woody and Buzz with kids of their own. Hence the increase in viewers. It was definitely the little movie that could, and it left a legacy beloved by many.
2 The Lion King (IMAX Release)
The Lion King has never been an unpopular film, even with its shot-for-shot remake. Since 1994, the film has been re-released twice to the popular demand of its audience. However, it's the second release that warrants our attention. In 2002, the film was released in IMAX-3D, to great financial success.
There was just something about seeing this already grand film on an even larger scale. Imagine being dwarfed by the sheer size of Scar's paw in the first few moments after the film's opening. The original animated classic will always be one of the studio's biggest films. Here's hoping we see the king's return.
1 The Nightmare Before Christmas
Believe it or not, there was a time when Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas was a dirty little secret Disney tried to sweep under the rug. In fact, Walt Disney Pictures didn't even release it under their main logo, but Touchstone Pictures instead, fearing that the film would be too dark and scary to make a profit. Boy, were they wrong.
Like The Lion King, it was the IMAX-3D that got it the jump in popularity. Since 1993, the film has become a cult-classic and is now one of Disney's most popular properties, warranting it four rereleases between 2006 to 2009. All hail the Pumpkin King!