It has recently come to my attention that many of the Disney films that I adored when I was younger weren’t a household name. And they all had one thing in common – they were sequels.

Whether you were unaware of their existence or just didn’t feel the need to watch them, I found them to be an essential part in becoming the Disney nut I am today. Here are some of my favourites. **Possible spoilers ahead for anyone who’s not into the Disney magic and haven’t seen the originals.

Lady & The Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (2001)

Lady & The Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure

To this day I’m not sure if it was my love for Lady & The Tramp or Charmed’s Alissa Milano (voice of Angel) that brought me to this film, but I’ll thank them both immensely. Lady and Tramp’s son is transfixed by the outside world. Scamp doesn’t want to be a pet, he wants to be a down and dirty junkyard dog. When he escapes the yard, he finds more than a pack of wild dogs, he finds Angel. Awwwh.

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The Jungle Book 2 (2003)

The Jungle Book 2

The Jungle Book was a huge part of my childhood. I knew all the songs (mostly thanks to The Jungle Book: Groove Party on PS2) and that world is probably what began my fascination with animals. Thus I was happy to see Mowgli leave the man village in the sequel to see his wild friends again – and this time he brought his human buddies! But they best look out for a certain vengeful tiger. I’m curious to see if the sequel to Jon Favreau’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book will follow this story.

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The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998)

The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride

This is the one that really baffles me when people say they haven’t seen it. The characters, the mood, the songs… it’s all 100% Lion King and it’s glorious. Kiara, the daughter of Simba and Nala, begins to fall for a lion from the “outlands”, a banished part of the kingdom post-Scar incident. The feelings seem to be mutual, but could it all be just a ploy to harm the king? Embarrassing fact: many people had cartoon crushes – mine was Kovu.

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101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure (2003)

101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure

I loved this film so much that I took the tape (yes, tape) to school and begged the teacher to let us watch it (we did). A pup lost in a sea of spots feels it’s his time to shine when he has a chance to be on his hero’s show. Escaping the larger than life family, he goes out to audition and finds that Thunderbolt may not be as electrifying as he seems on TV. But there are more pressing matters, as Cruella De Vil looks to finish the job of capturing and wearing the dalmatian fur.

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Cinderella III: A Twist In Time (2007)

Cinderella III: A Twist In Time

What would have happened to poor little Cindy if the Fairy Godmother never uttered ‘bibbidi bobbidi boo’? The despicable Lady Tremaine finds the magical wand in her grasp and decides to rewrite the story, with evil stepsister Anastasia now fitting the glass slipper. Not only did I watch this more than the original, I also may have enjoyed it slightly more (I’m sorry!).

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The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

Well, we know where Moana pulled her ‘the sea calls me’ storyline from. Eric and Ariel’s daughter is kept away from the water as her parents worry about the dangers lurking in the deep. Wanting to experience life at sea, Melody finds her answer in Ursula’s sister, Morgana. The sea witch swaps Melody’s legs for a tail, allowing her to take a step in her mother’s fins, but she’s in for a shock when Morgana turns out to be evil. The giddy final song still gives me goosebumps.

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Stitch! The Movie (2003)

Stitch! The Movie

We all know Stitch – aka experiment 626. But in Stitch: The Movie we get to discover the other 625 when they are all let loose on the island of Hawaii in the contained form of pods. All it takes is a drop of water for them to be unleashed and it’s up to Stitch and his ohana to find them. This where the beloved TV series of Lilo & Stitch spins off from, and I love that they all eventually find a job that suits their ‘flaws’ turned gifts!

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Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

My love for Disney and Christmas combined in the most wondrous of ways! As the humans of the castle prepare for Christmas, we’re told the pre-prince transformation story of a vicious organ (voiced by the much-adored Tim Curry) who tries to force Belle and The Beast apart before the spell is broken. Unfortunately, this one is locked up tight in the Disney vault at the moment but will hopefully be released around the holiday time.