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8 bonkers things everyone forgot happened in straight-to-video Disney sequels

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Long before the House of Mouse pivoted to live-action remakes, streaming services, and releasing high-profile sequels like Frozen 2, Disney capitalized on the success of its princess and princess-adjacent animated classics by pumping out straight-to-VHS sequels to some of their most beloved films. Most of those sequels were certifiable bonkers. 

Until Disney+ launched with its massive back catalog there wasn’t a reliable way for fans to revisit movies like Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Pocahontas: Journey to a New World, but it’s here now, for better or for worse. Just in case anyone forgot exactly what these sequels were like, here’s a taste of what happened in the completely canon Disney sequels and midquels.  

1. In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin joins a gang and yeets a guy off a cliff. 

Aladdin and the King of Thieves is the third Aladdin movie, coming after the first straight-to-video sequel, The Return of Jafar. This movie opens up with Aladdin and Jasmine’s wedding, which is interrupted by the arrival of the Forty Thieves — a murderous gang headed up by Cassim, the King of Thieves and Aladdin’s father. 

To get closer to his dad (among other plot reasons), Aladdin ends up finding the Forty Thieves’ hideout and faces a challenge of one-on-one ritual combat to join their gang forever. Aladdin wins the challenge by throwing his opponent off a cliff and officially joins his father’s “fraternity of thugs.” 

The guy he threw off the cliff survives to be the movie’s main villain but still, yikes. 

2. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas ends with an attempted murder-suicide courtesy of Tim Curry.

There’s a lot going on in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. It’s a midquel, so it takes place during the winter scenes the original movie glossed over during the song “Something There,” and hoo boy, it packs a lot into those short snowy weeks.

The Enchanted Christmas introduces a new villain called Forte, a pipe organ voiced by Tim Curry who used to be the Beast’s personal composer. Unlike the other inhabitants of the castle who want to be human, Forte loves being a pipe organ and doesn’t want Belle to fall in love with the Beast, so he hatches a plan to use his sonic powers to destroy the castle and kill everyone inside of it, including himself

He fails, obviously. Beast finds out what he’s up to and violently rips his keyboard out, turning Forte’s murder-suicide into a regular ol’ murder.

3. “Ursula’s crazy sister” is the main villain of The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea.

Just when you thought there was only one evil sea witch in the ocean, The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea reminds you that there’s always something wicked coming your way. The protagonist of the movie is Melody, Ariel’s human daughter, who longs to swim in the ocean despite the water being off-limits to her and the rest of the kingdom.  

The reason Melody can’t go in the ocean is because “Ursula’s crazy sister” (those are Sebastian’s literal words) Morgana threatened Melody’s life when she was a baby, but being told not to do something is the surest way to get any child of Ariel to do it. Morgana ensnares and tricks Melody with the promise of turning her into a mermaid and… yeah, this is really just The Little Mermaid in reverse. 

4. In The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, King Triton bans music from the entire ocean because Ariel’s mom was murdered by pirates. 

But wait, there’s more mer-stuff going on here. This prequel to The Little Mermaid finally answers the standing question of “what happened to Ariel’s mom,” and in true Disney fashion… she was murdered by pirates after trying to save a treasured music box. 

Triton, King of the Ocean and wild, nonsensical overreactions, responds to this tragedy by banning music, which leads to further hijinks when Ariel discovers her father’s right-hand crab Sebastian performing rhumba numbers at an underground nightclub. OK. 

5. The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride is actually fine and contains one of the most bangin’ Disney songs ever recorded.

Nothing weird here, “One of Us” just slaps. 

6. Quasimodo gets a girlfriend and foils a gem heist in The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2.

Victor Hugo would probably have a few things to say about this sequel to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which features Quasimodo hooking up with a thief who is trying to steal a jewel-encrusted bell from the cathedral. 

One of the things he’d maybe say is, “How did we get here?” considering Quasimodo and Esmerelda both die at the end of his book. Even if he accepted that Disney changed the ending, he still might have some questions about how any interpretation of his work involves Quasimodo getting a girlfriend, or how a bell covered in diamonds is supposed to ring at all without showering the ground below with rock shards. 

Actually, he’d probably check out at the talking gargoyles. He wouldn’t even have made it to the sequel. 

7. Cinderella III: A Twist in Time completely erases the events of the original Cinderella

This one’s a doozy. As its title suggests, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time involves time travel and the creation of an alternate timeline in which Cinderella does not meet her fairy godmother or go to the ball at all. That’s all fun and Disney magic, but the really weird thing about this movie is that by the end of it, that alternate timeline still stands. 

Instead of correcting the timeline and restoring the original ending of Cinderella, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time relies on Cinderella and the Prince finding each other in the new timeline, even as he’s about to get married to Cinderella’s stepsister Anastasia. Anastasia stops her own wedding and fesses up to creating the alternate timeline with the Fairy Godmother’s stolen wand, and just hearing about their love (which, to be clear, only exists in another dimension) makes Cinderella and the Prince want to get married. So they do, despite being complete strangers. No glass slipper required. 

8. Pocahontas: Journey to a New World has an impossible cameo from William Shakespeare.

Pocahontas: Journey to a New World is unique among Disney sequels in that it shows a Disney Princess actually breaking up with her Disney Prince and ending up with someone else. Part of the reason Pocahontas dumps John Smith in Journey to a New World is because she thinks he’s dead for half the movie, but it also makes room for her to fall in love with the real Pocahontas’ historical husband and sequel character. 

Retcons aside, there’s a funky cameo during the song “What a Day in London,” which happens right as Pocahontas arrives in London to advocate for her people: William Shakespeare shows up and quotes Hamlet. It’s just a silly shoutout, but Shakespeare was actually dead by the time Pocahontas arrived in London in June 1616. 

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