Youtuber Big Joel watched 34 Disney animated sequels and has posted a marathon 73-minute review of the lot.
The nature of the video and Joel’s often sarcastic or glib sense of humor can give off the impression that he’s approached the task from a cynical place, especially given his choice to start with one of his least favorite sequels, Atlantis: Milo’s Return. As one watches, however, the instinct to dismiss Joel’s video as comical or satire dissolves quickly as he offers sharp, insightful insights on many of the films’ aesthetic, narrative, musical, and more esoteric choices.
It’s not always entirely clear when Joel is being glib or when he’s being sincere, but the uncertain nature of his takes helps make the video all the more enjoyable and its long runtime fly by. That said, there are numerous segments in which it is abundantly clear that he’s offering up genuine takes which add real value to any discussion about the films he’s reviewing and the larger Disney animated sequel catalog as a whole.
Some highlights include Joel breaking down the stark differences between Bambi and Bambi II (starting at the 7:50 mark), his thoughts on how Max treats his dad in An Extremely Goofy Movie (22:00), and the problematic relationship between Belle and Beast in both Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (26:00) and especially in Belles Magical World (1:01:45).
But perhaps the most thought-provoking portion of the video is Joel’s breakdown of Fantasia 2000, the only film he says he’s watched multiple times just for fun (52:00). According to Joel, this was the most difficult film for him to talk about, so he chose to speak about each segment which appears in the film individually. The full range of Joel’s critical style and his unique sense of humor both appear in the Fantasia 2000 portion of the video and stand out as the highlight of the marathon review.
Pictured at top: Big Joel suffering through one of his least-favorite gags from Atlantis: Milo’s Return.