Disney Movies That I Appreciate More As An Adult


Growing up, we’ve all probably came across with at least a couple of shows made by Disney (or a company that is now owned by Disney). From animated features to live action, Disney makes em all. But there are a few movies that I’ve watched when I was a kid and although it was an enjoyable experience, I felt a lot of the jokes or lines were more targeted to the adults. So, I had a recent brush with COVID-19 which had me quarantined at home for 10 days, which gave me ample time to just go through the animation catalog on Disney HotStar (Disney’s streaming service in my region).

I’ve watched a bunch of Disney shows, and boy do those shows makes more sense now than I was a kid. Maybe certain situations depicted in these shows mimicked real life, and I’ve lived through it, or perhaps it’s a simple wordplay that I’m certain that no 10-year-old would get it. Well, at least in my era. So, here’s a list of animated movies from Disney that I appreciated to a whole new level watching it as an adult!

Emperor’s New Groove

Come on! This movie is so not made for kids! You don’t get David Spade to voice a character in a children show. I mean sure, talking llama, evil Yzma, lost prince, cute jungle critters, your typical heroes journey for a Disney movie. But how the dialogue is structured, bouncing off different characters while they get into whacky and zany situation that sometimes walks along the line of humor for adults. I’m not talking about dirty jokes or sexual innuendos. More on how you’re going to need to understand the nuances of certain things before getting what is up.

Emperor’s New Groove is an exciting and refreshing take on the whole selfish prince’s journey to newfound respect and humbled by the world around him. You have the fast-talking David Spade who voices Kuzco, using his cadence to deliver lines with the right amount of sass when the situation requires it. The relationship between Yzma and Kronk is not like any other evil witch and henchman. I mean they share the same seat ride into their secret lair.

disney movie Emperor's New Groove
Find an evil boss that respects you.

Check out Emperor’s New Groove for a fun, dialogue loaded and wacky experience. This is by far the most underrated Disney movie to date!

The Incredibles 1+2

The Incredibles

Superheroe movies range from billionaire orphans to struggling photographers trying to make ends meet. You probably have an image of what sort superhero I’m talking about. The bottomline is that the struggles of superheroes seem to be a very specific and brooding kind.

What we don’t see how two superheroes decide to do the nasty and settle down and try to raise a family. You have Mr. Incredible who works at a soul sucking corporate job, while Mrs. Incredible a.k.a Elastigirl is a homemaker juggling three kids as she keeps the house from falling apart. This comes after a very hilarious law suit from a person who was saved by Mr. Incredible that swung the public opinion against the superhero society, forcing them into hiding and transitioning into civilian life.

disney movie The Incredibles
Honestly, same.

We see how The Incredibles family deal with trying to fit into society without using their powers. But of course it wouldn’t be a Disney movie if we don’t get to the Incredibles actually use their powers. We have the characters getting new motivation to become the superheroes that they were meant to be. In the meantime, the superhero duo parents also have to deal with their kids who are also superpowered but never been in any real danger up to that point of their teenage lives.

The Incredibles is a great movie to be watched by all families, and I’m sure the struggles of parents and how midlife crisis creeps up out of nowhere is something relatable to a lot of parents and adults in the world. Perhaps watching an animated superhero family finally answering their true call might just push you to do something new in your life if you’re feeling stuck.

Oh, and let’s not forget Samuel L. Jackson is in the movie.

He said the thing!

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

There’s something charming about adventure movies. From the dingy surf bar in the middle of nowhere that introduces the plot of the movie to the crazy Temple of Doom (booby traps and rolling boulders) sequence that puts our heroes in jeopardy. Atlantis is about an explorer who has continued the work of his grandfather, who had been discredited in the explorer society for being some sort of nut job. And in his quest to prove the existence of Atlantis, he’s found the true location of the lost mythical city.

Me looking for purpose in life.

And thus begins our hero’s journey into the unknown. Gathering up new allies, learning more about himself as he goes. And of course, reaching Atlantis. I’m sure you’ve heard varioud interpretations of the grand city in popular media. The last one that I remember was Atlantis being the city discovered to be the place where Godzilla was recharging its batteries, like a Tesla.

Atlantis brings about the journey of discovering oneself, and building the confidence to be someone that no one thought you were. Milo, a scrawny explorer who has trouble making social connections finds the courage to defend the city that he sought out for so long, instead of selling out and clearing his family’s name once and for all. We have Kida, the princess of Atlantis who’s every inquisitive mind propelled the discovery of hidden technologies that made her people once part of the greatest civilization that has ever existed before the calamity. Now, mix all of this with a darker toner where capitalist gain has always been the reality of why explorers and missions to the unknown are funded in the first place.

No need to get savage, lady.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire has a special in my heart as I watched it during the boom of action adventure films (late 90s – early 00s). During that era, we have movies such as The Mummy redefining the action adventure genre. Being a kid in a small town growing up doesn’t really allow much excitement to happen around. So life-action and animated movies like these gave me a lens to bigger world of possiblities.


The rise of the furry in recent years made anthomrophhic animals to be somewhat of a taboo topic (thanks furries). However, rule 34 and a very disturbing community aside, Zootopia is perhaps on the best animal-based movies that I’ve watched in recent years. Sorry, the Lion King live-action missed its target by a mile, and I bet you my Disney credits Zootopia is the better experience.

Zootopia is a fictional city where animals of different species start living together in Zootopia. It was built to be a utopia for all animal species living in a harmonious society. But, just like in real life, the illusion of a perfect society is always lined with the filth that exists in the underbelly of the city.

The cool factor triples the smaller you are in Zootopia.

We follow Judy Hopps, an optimistic rabbit from a small village who has an innate sense of justice with the desire to become a cop in the big city. As she takes small hops towards her goal, she finally becomes a cop in urban Zootopia. Along the way, she meets the sly fox, Nick Wilde, who’s is busy pulling small-time hustles with his partner.

What did I say about being small and automatically cool?

Follow them in their hilarious interactions and Judy’s quest to solve a big case. And of course, as we slowly discover the reality of Zootopia and how the animalistic instincts, much like us to dominate and subjugate, rear their ugly heads in the show. We see Judy struggling to hold her ideals with the reality of the world. Zootopia is an exciting and fun experience that can be enjoyed by everyone. Main theme here is don’t judge a book by its cover. Also don’t fuck with rodents.

Lilo & Stitch

Yes, yes I know. One of the main character is a kid. But hey, don’t mean you can’t appreciate the show which has quite heavy themes. Lilo is a little girl who’s ostracized by the rest of her peers decides to get a dog. At the compound, she stumbles into Experiment 626, a.k.a Stitch, an experimental alien creature that got set loose in a crash landing.

This is how you make an everlasting impression.

Besides that, you have two other aliens who were the creator of Stitch, who’re also on Earth, looking for Stitch in order to clear their names. While I’m sure most of us are familiar with the general storyline of Lilo & Stitch and who can forget the iconic line from the movie:

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.


However, from my recent viewing, I was more focused on the struggles of Nani, the older sister who is Lilo’s caretaker after their parents have died. Struggling between her job as a waitress and trying to keep her little sister happy and out of trouble, Nani’s day to day anguish in dealing with the world around her is something a lot of us can relate. Sure, there’s a lot of “haha” moments, but seeing her trying her best to not lose her sister to the welfare agency, who has agents checking up on her ability to provide for her little sister from time to time is soul wrenching.

Try not losing your shit as your sibling’s guardian.

Seeing Nani finally clashing with her little sister who’s just trying to make a friend and not feel alone in her own chaotic way is a gut-wrenching scene. Lilo & Stitch is ultimately a story about two siblings living in two different points in life. And how they reconcile with each other and live harmoniously together with an alien is an emotional journey that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.


And that’s the end of my list. I’m sure you have your own movies that you think have aged well like fine wine over the years. Share with us with your favorite Disney movies that you’ve enjoyed more now as an adult! If you’re looking for more suggestions for shows to watch on Disney Plus/Hotstar, check out this article.



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