In honor of Frozen 2 coming out this weekend, the Top 10 Show decided to do the Top 10 Direct Disney Sequels, which means the very next movie. So there is no Captain America: Civil War or Avengers: Endgame. No Toy Story 3.
This includes all of the Disney umbrella companies: Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, animated, live action. As Matt and John did, I excluded FOX films from this list.
#10. The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again. I just rewatched this recently for my Disney Plus binge and I wanted to drop it on my list because it was a childhood favorite of mine. Sure it may be a silly film, but I always enjoyed the comedy stylings of Don Knotts and Tim Conway. Sure, this is anything but a classic, but it brought me a warm memory of childhood, seeing this film in the theater and laughing at the stupid stuff. Gotta love Amos and Theodore.
#9. Ralph Breaks the Internet. The sequel to the highly successful Wreck-It Ralph, this Disney animated film saw Wreck -It Ralph find his way into the world of the internet. It was like a much better version of the Emoji Movie, with a better story and some great internet memes. There is an amazing scene with the Disney Princesses that really stole the show.
#8. Ant Man & the Wasp. The under appreciated Marvel Studio film that was the sequel to Ant Man and was the next film after Avengers: Infinity War. Paul Rudd would never have been my first choice to play Scott Lang, but he does it beautifully and his chemistry with Evangeline Lilly carries the movie. I liked this more than many.
#7. Mary Poppins Returns. There are actually several films on my list that some people did not consider to be good, and this was one of them. However, I found this transcendent and magical in all the good ways. Emily Blunt does a fantastic job of stepping into the shoes of Julie Andrews, a huge accomplishment to be sure.
#6. Toy Story 2. I am in agreement with Matt on this one. I like Toy Story 2, but I find Toy Story and Toy Story 3 are much better. Now, I would put Toy Story 2 ahead of 4 as of now. Toy Story 2 was a great film, featuring the arrival of Jesse and the villainous Stinky Pete. There are story beats here that are similar to the ones in Toy Story 3 (where they are perfected).
#5. Incredibles 2. Incredibles 2 brings Elastigirl to the fore front of the film as she goes back to work and leaves hubby, Mr. Incredible, at home with Jack Jack and the other kids. Meanwhile, Jack Jack fights a raccoon. There are also some not-too-subtle shots at Disney as our evil overloards happening in here, which means that director Brad Byrd has some serious cojones. Incredibles 2 was long too over due.
#4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Another film that many poo-poo about, but I found tremendous. While there may have been too many jokes, that did not prevent me from having a remarkably good time and seeing these characters that I loved from the original developed even more. The scenes at the end of this movie involving Star Lord and Yondu just destroy me every time. And how about the casting of Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet? Yes, what a world we live in.
#3. Avengers: Age of Ultron. One more film that gets panned regularly for the basic reason that it is not as good as the first one. Ultron was not quite the force that he should have been, but that does not mean that this was a bad movie. Au contraire. There were a lot of really great scenes here. We got the epic “I can lift Thor’s hammer” bit, the arrival of the Vision, the sacrifice of Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch’s iffy accent, Hawkeye front and center, the appearance of Ulysses Klaw, the Hulkbuster armor… so much more. Age of Ultron is considerably better than most give it credit for.
#2. Captain America: Winter Soldier. One of the best movies that Marvel Studios have made. The sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger took the comic book movie genre and tossed it inside a political thriller that would change the MCU forever. Hydra had infiltrated SHIELD and had spread throughout the organization and it was up to Steve Rogers and friends (the awesome Falcon and Black Widow) to help bring it down. Oops, and Bucky is not dead. He is, instead, a Hydra sleeper agent/assassin. Oh, and Robert Redford is in a comic book movie! This film is the one that showed that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was taking this in a different direction. And Cap was going to be at the front and center of the trip.
#1. The Empire Strikes Back. The Episode V film that shook the Star Wars world. Who ends a film like this? Not only has Han been captured and sent back to Jabba the Hut in carbonite, Luke had his hand chopped off, but we get the most iconic Star Wars scene ever with “Luke, I am your father.” The film that would forever show that the middle film in a trilogy should be the heroes being downtrodden, Empire was also full of hope and heroism. We meet both Yoda and Lando for the first time. It is the best Star Wars movie that we have gotten as of this date and is the measuring stick that all of the Star wars movies will be graded against. It is number one easily.
Honorable Mention: I had a few. First, John had included Spider-Man: Far From Home on his list today, and, while I love that movie and would have put it on my list too, it is a Sony movie, not a Disney film. It may be Marvel Studios, but it will not ever appear on Disney Plus (unless, of course, Disney brings out the wallet again). Since I considered it a Sony film, I eliminated it from contention. I liked the Pirates of the Caribbean films, but, honestly, after the first one, they all blend together, so I did not include Dead Man’s Chest. Pixar’s Finding Dory is a film I like a great deal, but it just came up short. I wasn’t sure which Muppet film would have been eligible for this list… would it have been The Great Muppet Caper or Muppets Most Wanted? Or both? So I left my beloved Muppets off the list too. Then Thor: The Dark World had some good moments, but not enough to make the list.