Hidden Gem Animated Disney Movies You’ve Never Heard of But Must Watch


Here are 25 hidden gem animated Disney movies you should not miss. We hope these films sprinkle a bit of that Disney magic into your lives, reminding us that dreams, adventures, and happily ever afters are never far away.

The legacy of Disney’s animated movies spans nearly a century, evolving from hand drawn classics to the technologically advanced wonders of today.

Of course, there are those well know favorites like The Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Frozen.

But there are also some animated Disney sleeper gems that you may not have heard of before that are worth checking out. Movies like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Dinosaur, The Rescuers Down Under, The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective.

This is our journey through the timeless wonders of Disney storytelling with 25 lesser know animated Disney Movies!

As with all of our articles, there is a FREE interactive hidden gem Disney movie checklist for you to keep track of the movies you have seen. This would be a fun challenge with your young children to see how many you can see as a family. Any of these movies would be a perfect choice for a family movie night!

Here are 25 Lesser Know Animated Disney Movies You Should Not Miss

1. The Sword in the Stone (1963)

“The Sword in the Stone” enchants viewers with a whimsical tale set in the legendary realm of King Arthur. Follow the young, unsuspecting Arthur, commonly known as Wart, as he encounters the wise wizard Merlin. Through a series of magical lessons, Arthur discovers his destiny to become the rightful king of England. Filled with humor, endearing characters, and enchanting lessons, this classic Disney film celebrates the journey of self-discovery and the unexpected paths that lead to greatness. Join Wart on his transformative journey from an ordinary boy to a legendary king in this delightful and timeless Disney adventure.

2. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Dive into the magical world of classic Disney storytelling! “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” brings together two enchanting tales in one delightful movie. Join Mr. Toad on his wild escapades and then follow Ichabod Crane’s spooky encounter with the Headless Horseman. It’s a timeless treat for the whole family.

3. A Goofy Movie (1995)

Get ready for some father son bonding! “A Goofy Movie” follows Goofy and his teenage son, Max, on a road trip full of mishaps, music, and memorable moments. It’s a feel-good film that captures the essence of family relationships, sprinkled with humor and catchy tunes.

4. An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)

Get ready for laughs galore with “An Extremely Goofy Movie”! This sequel follows Goofy’s son, Max, as he heads off to college and discovers a wild world of skateboarding and extreme sports. It’s a goofy (pun intended) and heartwarming film that brings back nostalgic memories while delivering a whole lot of fun.

5. DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)

Quack-tastic adventure alert! “DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp” takes the beloved DuckTales gang on a quest for an ancient treasure. With Scrooge McDuck leading the way, it’s a thrilling ride full of humor and excitement. Join in and let the nostalgia flow while your kids discover the magic of Duckburg.

6. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Attention, sleuths! “The Great Mouse Detective” is a thrilling mystery that’ll have you and your little detectives on the edge of your seats. Follow Basil, the mouse detective, and his trusty companion as they unravel a captivating case filled with intrigue, suspense, and a dash of humor. It’s an underrated gem worth discovering!

7. The Rescuers (1977)

Join Bernard and Bianca on an unforgettable rescue mission! “The Rescuers” follows these brave mice as they set out to save a young girl named Penny from the clutches of an evil woman. It’s a classic Disney adventure filled with heart, suspense, and endearing characters.

8. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

Hold on tight for an adventurous journey! “The Rescuers Down Under” takes you soaring into the Australian Outback with the brave mice, Bernard and Bianca, on a mission to rescue a young boy. It’s a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage set against breathtaking landscapes.

9. Treasure Planet (2002)

Ahoy, space adventurers! “Treasure Planet” sails you across the galaxy on a thrilling quest for treasure and redemption. This unique blend of futuristic sci-fi and classic pirate adventure will mesmerize both kids and parents with its stunning visuals and compelling storyline.

10. Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar (1994)

Genie’s back and mischief follows! “The Return of Jafar” continues the magical tale from Aladdin as our heroes face off against the vengeful Jafar. It’s a fun filled adventure packed with humor, catchy tunes, and the timeless charm of the original film.

11. Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005)

Join Winnie the Pooh and friends in an adorable adventure! “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie” takes you to the Hundred Acre Wood as Pooh, Piglet, and pals set out to capture a Heffalump. It’s a heartwarming tale that teaches the value of friendship and acceptance, perfect for a cozy family movie day.

12. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

Ho ho ho! Get into the festive spirit with “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” Join Mickey and his pals as they reenact Charles Dickens’ classic story with a Disney twist. It’s a heartwarming holiday tale that’s perfect for snuggling up with some hot cocoa during the Christmas season.

13. Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)

Fly into an enchanting adventure with Tinker Bell! “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure” follows everyone’s favorite fairy as she embarks on a quest to find a magical lost treasure. It’s a captivating journey filled with friendship, magic, and the wonders of Pixie Hollow.

14. Teacher’s Pet (2004)

Calling all pet lovers! “Disney’s Teacher’s Pet” is a hilarious tale of a dog, Spot, who dreams of becoming human. Join Spot as he goes on a wild adventure to make his dreams come true. With catchy songs and playful humor, this movie is a tail wagging good time for the whole family.

15. Secret of the Wings (2012)

Chill out with Tinker Bell in “Secret of the Wings”! This magical adventure takes Tinker Bell on a journey into the Winter Woods, where she discovers a secret that could change her life forever. It’s a heartwarming story about family, friendship, and the wonders of the changing seasons.

16. Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1997)

Join Winnie the Pooh and his pals in a heartwarming journey! “Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin” follows Pooh and friends as they embark on a quest to find their missing friend. It’s a tale filled with bravery, friendship, and life lessons that resonate with both kids and parents.

17. Dinosaur (2000)

Roar into an epic prehistoric adventure! “Dinosaur” takes you on a visually stunning journey back in time, following a young dinosaur named Aladar as he navigates a world of danger and discovery. It’s a thrilling story of survival, courage, and the power of friendship.

18. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Prepare for an expedition to an ancient civilization! “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” follows a daring group of explorers on a quest to find the mythical city of Atlantis. With stunning visuals and an adventurous spirit, this film takes audiences on an underwater adventure full of mystery and excitement.

19. Brave (2012)

Enter the mystical world of Scotland with “Brave”! This tale follows the courageous Princess Merida as she challenges traditions and discovers the true meaning of bravery. Filled with magic, humor, and a strong willed heroine, it’s a captivating story about destiny and family bonds.

20. Chicken Little (2005)

Get ready for a sky high adventure with “Chicken Little”! Join Chicken Little, a little chicken with big dreams, on a quest to save his town from an alien invasion. It’s a comedic and heartwarming story about courage, friendship, and believing in yourself.

21. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Laugh out loud fun awaits in “The Emperor’s New Groove”! Follow the hilarious misadventures of Emperor Kuzco, turned into a llama by a botched spell, as he teams up with a humble peasant to reclaim his throne. It’s a comedic rollercoaster that guarantees giggles for both kids and adults.

22. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Get ready for an emotional journey of friendship! “The Fox and the Hound” tells the heartwarming tale of Tod, a fox, and Copper, a hound dog, who form an unlikely bond as youngsters but find themselves on opposite sides as they grow up. It’s a touching story about the strength of friendship in the face of adversity.

23. The Black Cauldron (1985)

Embark on a dark and mystical adventure with “The Black Cauldron”! Follow Taran, a young pig keeper, on a quest to stop the evil Horned King from using a powerful cauldron to rule the world. It’s a daring journey filled with danger, magic, and heroic deeds.

24. Oliver & Company (1988)

Get ready to groove with Oliver and his gang! “Oliver & Company” is a modern twist on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” with a cast of streetwise animals living in New York City. It’s a fun filled adventure packed with catchy tunes and heartwarming moments that’ll have the whole family tapping their toes.

25. Brother Bear (2003)

“Brother Bear” is a heartfelt journey of transformation and brotherhood. Follow Kenai, a young Inuit hunter, who is magically transformed into a bear and embarks on a quest to discover the true meaning of brotherhood. It’s a beautiful tale set against the stunning backdrop of the wilderness, emphasizing the importance of empathy and understanding.

Thanks for reading this article for family-friendly animated Disney movie inspiration!

You can visit the Disney website for more information on any of these movies.

We hope you have found some animated Disney movies to add to your next family movie night watch list!

If you’re looking for more family-friendly movies, than checkout our other articles on family movies!

We also have an article on the 100 Best Family Movies for Movie Night you should checkout next!

Remember to download the Free interactive Disney movie checklist below to keep track of those Disney movies you have seen and which ones are left to check off next!

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We hope to see you again soon!

hidden gem animated disney movies checklist

Free Movie Checklist

Click on the button below to get your FREE “Hidden Gem Animated Disney Movies” checklist that you can print or check off directly on your device!

So, what are your thoughts on the movies included in this list? What additional movies would you have included? What movies would you have left off?

We encourage all comments and discussion!

Everyone is welcome!





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