Believe it or not, I've been considering this post for quite a while, as if it is of any real value at all. I know it's not, but I do so love to talk about movies. Humor me.
Every so often in the entertainment industry, someone will look at a perfectly good movie and think, "Gee, this was a great film. Let's make a sequel!" (Or you know, it was a book and already HAD a sequel, but that's neither here nor there.) The point is, some movies get sequels made, and sometimes sequels are GREAT. And sometimes, they make you hate the sequel AND the original, even if the original wasn't so bad. So let's visit a few sequels, shall we?
1. We'll start with a good sequel. Father of the Bride II is the sequel of... you guessed it... Father of the Bride. And as hilariously awesome as Father of the Bride was, Father of the Bride II is all that and MORE. Seriously, it's so, so funny while being sweet and poignant in places and holds a prestigious place in the Baines Family Film Canon as one of our most-often quoted movies. Because Martin Short as Franc? There is no character in any movie that is more fun to imitate (and I do, frequently.) So, good move, movie people. This sequel was a winner.
2. Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies. The story and songs are great, Eddie Murphy as Mushu is hysterical, and it's another one that I quote almost subconsciously now. So, as a kid, when I found out that a sequel could be found in Mulan II, I was super excited. NO! No, no, no, no, no! All I can remember clearly about this unfortunate sequel is the terribly cheesy line, "In an ideal world, everyone would marry for love" and a decided lack of the charm of the first movie. Bad idea, Disney... Dishonor! Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow!
3. Sometimes I actually like a sequel better than the first movie, and such is the case with The Santa Clause 2. While Charlie is kind of a whiny brat in the first movie, the sequel is so good, especially the jokes between Tim Allen's Scott Calvin and his ex's new husband, Neil. Also, Spencer Breslin is great (he was still cute back then.) However, one good sequel doesn't guarantee another, which leads me to...
4. The Santa Clause 3 is another sequel that should not have been made, in my opinion. I just didn't like it. And while Martin Short can obviously be hilarious (see #1) this movie has just always fallen flat to me (so flat, in fact, that I'm pretty sure I only made it through the whole thing once or twice.) I don't have any particular grievance with it, other than the fact that it just seemed significantly less funny than the other two. No bueno.
5. One of the funniest movies I've ever seen is Home Alone, and, if you can believe this, I hadn't seen it until a few years ago. So after I cackled my way through it, imagine my delight in watching the very excellent sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Equally funny, equally spotlighting the talent of Macaulay Culkin (who is really weird now, I think), and equally sweet ending. Winner!
6. But all good things must come to an end, which brings me to the next couple of mistakes: Home Alone 3 (a lukewarm microwaved version of the same plot with a way less cute kid) and Home Alone 4 (epitomizing what is wrong with sequels... just plain stupid. Made-for-TV, indeed.)
7. I vividly remember watching Toy Story for the first time and being so enamored by the "computer animation" (I was seven, okay?) so when Toy Story 2 came out I was super excited but not sure it would live up to the awesomeness of the first movie. OF COURSE it did... new but lovable new characters (although, even though my niece would kill me, I have to say Jessie wasn't my fave) and a strong plot, hilarious toy store sequences (the Tour Guide Barbie still cracks me up) and the coolest airport scene (seriously, I've always wondered what the secret baggage portals look like!). And....
8. If a good sequel is rare, than a third one is even more so... but when I sat in an IMAX theater as a 21-year-old married woman, eagerly anticipating Toy Story 3, it entirely lived up to the hype and I was reduced to a nostalgic, snotty puddle of tears by the end. (This scene? Chokes me with emotion.) The entire trilogy is a masterpiece. Bravo, Pixar. Bravo.
9. So, if you know me very well, you probably know that I really love Aladdin; it's one of my very, very favorites. And while it pains me to include The Return of Jafar (the second in what would become a trilogy) as a bad idea... well, I'm not sure. I know that the songs are horrifically cheesy and the animation, for whatever reason, is a little off. My biggest complaint is that some sort of show biz politics kept Robin Williams from voicing the Genie in this film and that kinda kills it. BUT I do love Iago in it and the cheesy music is still sweet.
10...And the third movie, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, totally redeems the franchise with the return of Robin Williams and some great (still cheesy) songs. I love this movie; I can't deny it.
11. Obviously, one of the most famous Disney princesses is Cinderella. Knowing this, and considering the fact that the movie was made in 1950, should have warned moviemakers that revisiting a beloved classic might not be a terrific idea, especially in 2002. But, with Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, revisit they did, while the dear old men who created the original rolled over in their graves over the pop music that replaced the gorgeous symphonic score of the first movie and the "modern teen lingo" that was suddenly (and jarringly) coming from Cinderella's mouth. Why? WHY? More like dreams are crushed and broken. (Okay, that's a little much, but really. This was a terrible idea.)
Other terrible sequels include, but are not limited to, the Air Bud series (a dog playing basketball? Cute. A dog playing baseball, soccer, volleyball, and football? Make it stop!), the Land Before series (yes, all the way through number XXIX or however high they went...I feel like the dinosaurs would have been extinct by the time the movies ended), the Rocky movies (I know, I know, but really... what's next? Rocky- the Retirement Home Years?), The Little Mermaid II, Return to Neverland, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, Bambi II (seriously, let's just leave the classics in the vault where they belong!), Cars 2 didn't really do much for me, Pocahontas 2 (why stray from the historical inaccuracies of the original?).... am I picky or what? No, I just think that some sequels, especially those of classics, are a mistake...
...especially if what began as a cute story of a dog who could make a basket turns into a decade-long collection of sports-playing puppies OR takes a beautiful princess and turns her into a pop diva. I mean, really. But, I digress. What are your least favorite (or favorite- I'm open to positivity here) sequels?