So, if you enjoy sounding like a snob, you may tell people that there is no true originality left in Hollywood; every film that comes out nowadays is just a sequel or a remake, a remake or a sequel. That statement may be best said while holding your nose in the air and sipping down wine, but there is a grain of truth to it. I mean, hell, Piranha Fucking 3D is getting a sequel this year (by that, I mean Piranha 3D with an obscenity thrown in for the hell of it. Apologies if you thought there was a film involving piranha sex in 3D.)
In fact, this reminds one of a similar epidemic that is hopefully dead and buried; when Disney made Direct-to-Video sequels for their animated movies. Now most of us either don't know about their existence or wish we didn't know about their existence; we may bring up the Jungle Book in conversation, but rarely King Louie's mysterious disappearance or Mowgli seeing dead people. Yet, there are some Disney sequels that remind of more famous, non-Disney sequels in some ways. Let's take a look at some of them, and then forget about them afterwards, save one.
Aladdin: Return of Jafar Terminator 2: Judgment Day
We'll begin with the first of Disney's Direct-to-Video disease. Both it and Terminator 2 shared a simiar attitude towards the antagonist of the first movie. James Cameron realised how awesome the Terminator was, so he had the good old Governor as the good guy in his great goobleglop. Disney realised how awesome Jafar and Iago were, so they made all of their Aladdin characters bland shells of their former selves while giving Iago character development and making Jafar the only entertaining character in the whole movie. Yet even with this genius thinking, Return of Jafar is not as influential or successful as T2, though it is a shame Salvation did not revolve around a visit to the opticians.
Lion King 2: Simba's Pride Batman Returns
A film is a huge success due to its impressive visuals, epic score, and great performances, especially from the villain who is played by a guy whose name begins with 'J'. The sequel, though, takes a different approach to its predecessor. The tone is darker, at least dark enough to send the kids watching to a fun time at the psychiatrist's office. Whereas the villain in the first movie was charismatic and amusing in his malevolance, the sequel's villain is more psychotic and terrifying as it work towards its goal of domination and revenge. Even the love interest has a dark side to their personality. The thrid instalment, however, is more comic and light-hearted.
If you're not praising the gods that there hasn't been a fourth Lion King, you better do so now.
The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
OK, I'm cheating here a little by including a prequel, but whatever. It was with The Phantom Menace that we realised Star Wars as we knew it was truly dead. It was with The Little Mermaid 2 that we knew the Disney sequel thing just wasn't going to work. These films not only shot our childhoods dead, they took the corpse, hung it on a wall as a trophy, and spat in its face whenever they passed. Thanks to these films, we can't look at Darth Vader without being reminded he was once a snotty little kid, and we can't look at Prince Eric without being reminded his sperm became a snotty little kid. The Phantom Menace brought a slew of embarssing Star Wars prequels, Little Mermaid 2 brought more 'kids of the stars from the originals with the latter slowly fading into nonexistence' movies.
Since most agree bashing Jar Jar has gotten old, why not start bashing that walrus and penguin. God I hated them.
Toy Story 2 The Godfather Part 2
Most sequels may be trash intended to make more money from fans of the first, but these are what all sequels should strive to be; stories that continue and deepen that of the first, making improvements along the way. These films are ranked as some of the greatest their genre has to offer, due to their emotion, the way they link the past and the present, and the fine performances. This comparison may be more apt though, if Godfather Part III was, you know, good.
It may be reaching a bit, but thinking about the Direct to Video sequels makes you want to think of good movies.
The Fox and the Hound 2 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Embarassing sequel to a movie that everyone had forgotten about prior to the sequel's release.