Disney Just Released Its First 'Rotten' Animated Movie In 18 Years

By Klein Felt Posted:
Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Brother Bear, Chicken Little, Rotten Tomatoes Rotten logo

Disney's latest animated movie is also its first to receive a 'Rotten' rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes

The maligned 'rotten' rating is reserved on the site for films that fall below 60% on the Tomatometer (an aggregate score of percentage of positive reviews). 

While Disney fare is - for the most part - held in such high regard, even the House of Mouse has its fair share of misses. 

Even a Disney-owned franchise as beloved as the MCU has had a handful of titles fall into the category of 'Rotten,' showing not even the fan-favorite studio is safe from critical missteps. 

Which Disney Animated Movies Are 'Rotten?'

Disney Wish Rotten Movie

While Disney has a fairly good success rate when it comes to its movies, its latest film, Wish, is the studio's first 'rotten' animated movie in over 18 years. 

The Ariana DeBose-led celebration of 100 years of Disney is currently sitting at 49% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 103 verified reviews, making it the first 'rotten' animated Disney movie since 2005's Chicken Little.

Here is a list of every animated Disney movie to receive a 'rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes:

Make Mine Music (1946) - 58%

Make Mine Music Disney

Released in 1946 (only nine years after Disney's first full-length movie Snow White), Make Mine Music is an animated anthology film consisting of 10 musical segments. The ideas for these short musical interludes were unfinished story concepts from the Disney company of animators who were pulled off their traditional fare during World War II to produce training and propaganda films. 

While critics deemed Make Mine Music "a pleasant collection of short subjects," its 58% rating is largely due to the film feeling disjointed and not reaching the heights of Disney's other musical anthology Fantasia

Robin Hood (1973) - 58%

Robin Hood Disney

1973's Robin Hood is yet another Disney reimagining of a classic folktale, this time setting the story of the Prince of Thieves in a world of anthropomorphic animals. The animated movie musical follows Robin Hood and his sidekick, Little John, as they take on Prince John and the overbearing Sheriff of Nottingham who is hellbent on collecting unreasonable taxes from the animal residents of Sherwood Forest. 

The film is also sitting at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critical consensus on the site calling it "one of the weaker Disney adaptations," that "lacks the majesty and excitement of the studio's earlier efforts." This comes to bear in a film that feels muted compared to the bright colors and seeping narratives of Disney's other big-screen efforts.

The Black Cauldron (1985) - 57%

The Black Cauldron Disney

Based in the world of Welsh mythology, Black Cauldron centers on a lowly sheep herder, Taran, as he aspires to become a knight of the realm. This sends Taran on a quest with his furry sidekick Gurgi and Princess Eilonwy to locate the mystical Black Cauldron and - hopefully - thwart the efforts of the villainous Horned King to raise an army of the dead. 

While described as one of Disney's darkest and most ambitious movies, The Black Cauldron comes in at 57% on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to its underbaked story (as described by Sin Magazine) that feels like "a bunch of premature ideas that are clumped together."

Pocahontas (1995) - 54%

Pocahontas Disney

Hitting theater screens in June 1995 was Disney's take on colonial America, Pocahontas. The film tells the story of a Native American woman who finds romance with an Englishman who made his way across the Atlantic to conquer the New World.

Pocahontas received mixed reactions upon release for its lack of focus and uneven tone. It currently sits at 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many modern reviews criticizing the musical for historical inaccuracies and shrugging off of the effects of colonization.

Oliver & Company (1988) - 54%

Oliver and Company Disney

While Disney had previously dipped its toes into fables, mythology, and fairy tales, Oliver & Company marked the studio's first time taking on the classical literature of Charles Dickens. Based on Oliver Twist, the 1988 animated blockbuster follows Oliver, a down-and-out street cat whose past comes to haunt him after being adopted by an affluent New York City family. 

The film has been described as "overly annoying" (via Gone With The Twins) with "ho-hum animation" (Tampa Bay Times) and lackluster, unlovable characters, earning it 54% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Home on the Range (2004) - 52%

Home on the Range Disney

Starring the likes of Rosanne Barr, Dame Judi Dench, and Jennifer Tilly, Home on the Range marked the end of an era for Disney, serving as - what was supposed to be - the last hand-drawn animated film for the studio. The movie follows three dairy cows who, after learning the dairy farm they live on is being threatened to close, take it upon themselves to collect bounty money for a local outlaw to pay off the farm's debt. 

This 2004 animated epic sits at 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling it "dull," "forgettable," and even "boring." 

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) - 49%

Atlantis The Lost Empire Disney

Supposed to be Disney's first action-oriented animated movie was the aquatic adventure Atlantis: The Lost Empire. With a stellar cast led by Michael J. Fox's Milo, Atlantis follows a crew of explorers as they venture into the deep to unlock the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis. 

While critics enjoyed the action and stunning animation of Atlantis, it received 49% on Rotten Tomatoes for some rote narrative beats, stereotypical characters, and an uninventive Jules Verne-esque story. 

Brother Bear (2003) - 37%

Brother Bear Disney

Joaquin Phoenix leads Brother Bear as a Native American brave who - after killing a bear as revenge for the death of his brother - transforms into an animal and goes on a journey of self-discovery. 

The film sits at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, being described as "gentle and pleasant if unremarkable Disney fare." The biggest critiques of this 2003 animated adventure come in its predictable plot, so-so animation, and mediocre dialogue. 

Chicken Little (2005) - 37%

Chicken Little Disney

In 2005, Chicken Little had the honor of being Disney's first full-length 3D animated movie, following the fall of its hand-drawn 2D animation division. Serving as an expanded/reimagined take on the folktale Henny Penny, this film sees young Chicken Little (whom the movie is named after) throwing his small town into panic with claims the sky is falling. However, his warnings prove to be true as he discovers a UFO is floating above his hometown. 

Chicken Little is currently Disney's lowest-rated animated theatrically released movie and the last to be named 'rotten' on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie garnered a meager 37% on the platform with the critical consensus noting the film, "expends more effort in the technical presentation than in crafting an original storyline."

Disney's Wish is in theaters now, and the rest of these movies are streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.