When Disney first announced its all-conquering, Netflix-killing streaming service Disney+, everyone’s mind automatically raced to the big ticket items; the Star Wars, the Marvels, the Frozens, and – if you were in the right sort of mood – the Wizards of Waverly Places.
However, this week Disney announced the rest of the Disney+ catalogue in the form of a bizarrely long Twitter thread. And while everything can’t be the calibre of Dumbo or Aladdin, the list did somewhat help to remind people that Disney has also made a great swathe of crap. Especially confusing were its live action films, a genre that many moviegoers have completely forgotten about. Best of all, a great deal of these live action films had incredibly stupid names. How stupid? Glad you asked, here’s a ranking of the ten most stupid.
10. Sultan and the Rock Star (1980)
Technically an hour-long episode of Disney’s Wonderful World, Sultan and the Rock Star is so obscure that the only trace of it to be found on YouTube comes in the form of two women giddily trying to describe it. Nevertheless, Timothy Hutton from Ordinary People and the 1981 PSA Teenage Suicide: Don’t Try It! plays a burned-out rock star who befriends a tiger. It apparently does not end with the rock star being eaten, which is a disappointment.
9. Operation Dumbo Drop (1995)
Important point: this has nothing to do with the film Dumbo. Instead it’s a Vietnam war comedy where Danny Glover and Ray Liotta do their best to stop a vengeful warlord from murdering an elephant by dropping it out of an airplane. No, really.
8. Johnny Tsunami (1999)
Johnny Tsunami is a film about a carefree Hawaiian boy whose life is upended when his parents move to Vermont. But he eventually finds solace in the snowboard community, and enjoys several hi-jinx in the process. A film made in the good old days when it was OK to name a character after a natural disaster that routinely kills hundreds of people. Look out for the unmade sequel, Jonathan Bushfire.
7. Sammy the Way Out Seal (1962)
Oh Sammy! What a crazy seal you are. Look at you balancing a ball on your nose on command. Look at you standing under a shower! Look at you jumping off a diving board! Look at you literally being chased by some dogs! Watch this one quick, before someone makes a Blackfish-style documentary about the horrifying reality of using a trained seal in a film.
6. Mr Boogedy (1986)
Imagine the wacky adventures you’d endure if you inadvertently came to live in a haunted house. Oh, it’d be so zany! Toasters would fly around the room willy nilly, maybe a mummy would start breakdancing. And then you’d meet silly old Mr Boogedy who … Jesus christ, is that what Mr Boogedy looks like? God almighty, he’s terrifying. Did he die in an industrial accident? Is that why he looks like that? He looks like Emperor Palpatine with a fungal infection. No. This is far too scary for a knockabout family comedy.
5. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)
In which Sean Connery fights some leprechauns. To think, in 2019 you will be able to watch a film called Darby O’Gill and the Little People on your computer for free without being arrested for gross insensitivity. This must be what the future feels like.
4. Quints (2000)
Less because it’s a film with a silly premise or bizarre title. More because the title font of Quints is so badly designed that you’ll think it says the C-word the first 25 times you look at it:
3. The Ugly Dachshund (1966)
You’ll remember the story of The Ugly Duckling, about a swan who thought it was a duck. Well, here’s The Ugly Dachshund, a film about a dog that thinks it’s a different kind of dog! Variety called it a “thin, contrived, one-joke comedy”, but don’t let that stop you. Unless you’re not keen on the idea of dozens of people wildly overreacting to the sight of a relatively large dog, in which case please let it stop you.
2. Justin Morgan Had a Horse (1972)
Again, Justin Morgan Had a Horse is so obscure that it’s only online in the form of those women discussing it. But relax, because it’s clear what Justin Morgan Had a Horse is about. It’s about Justin Morgan, who had a horse. But wait. “Had”. Why is this in the past tense? Why doesn’t Justin Morgan have the horse any more? Did it die? Did he kill it? Does Justin Morgan murder horses? Oh god, Justin Morgan is a monster. A monster!
1. The Biscuit Eater (1972)
There’s nothing that can be done here, I’m afraid. The Biscuit Eater is the worst name ever given to a film, and that’s that. It’s a film about a boy who likes a dog, OK? So why not call it that? Why not call it The Dog Liker? Too vague? Then what about The Dog-Liking Boy? Still need more detail? What about The Dog-Liking Boy Who Had Hair And Wore Clothes? See? Much better.