7 Sequels That Ruined Our Childhood (And 8 That Improved It)

Whenever a sequel is announced, there is always going to be that moment of panic that is felt across the fanbase.

There are seldom things that people care more about than their favorite films, and unfortunately, as you're about to read, several franchises have forever been altered because of subpar new instalments. Many of our examples are going to leave you scratching your head as you wonder how this film ever got approved, let alone actually was made into a finished project.

Here is just a little heads up Hollywood, if your idea for a sequel involves leaving most of the main cast by the wayside or is decades later, there's a good chance you're going to come up empty and do irreversible damage in the process.

But before you get too depressed about all the sequels on our list that definitely impacted some of your childhood favorites, we also make sure to focus on the flipside. After all, not every sequel is destined to ruin your favorite films. It's just unfortunate that the undeniable sequel success on our list was what inspired some of the losers to run with their idea!


15 Improved - Toy Story 2

Sometimes sequels can bring in unnecessary characters to try and fill out the plot and it can absolutely destroy the product. But Toy Story 2 hit it out of the park with several new toys to the mix including (but not limited to) Jessie, Barbie and Mrs. Potato Head.

The film literally has a perfect score on RottenTomatoes, earned hundreds of millions and we're sure was a critical part of your movie-watching experience as you grew up.While we aren't too sure how the 4th rendition of the series is going to go, there are definitely plenty of reasons to be confident in the franchise. Let's just hope that in two years we aren't writing about Toy Story 4 in a negative way.

14 Ruined - Zoolander 2


One of the biggest factors in making a successful sequel is to be able to have it be released within a few years (at most) of the first film. Zoolander 2 however, took a much different route and decided that 2016 was the perfect time to release a follow-up to the 2001 classic.

But while people may have loved Stiller's character the first go-around, the sequel offered little of value. Especially because both Stiller and Owen Wilson's career were definitely not in better places by the time the sequel hit theaters.

Then you add terrible subplots like Owen Wilson impregnating several people (including Kiefer Sutherland) and Derrick bonding with his unattractive and overweight son and you may be left with your childhood in pieces by the end of it.

The film bombed in theaters and one of the newer additions to the film Kristin Wiig took home a Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst Supporting Actress of the year.

13 Improved - The Dark Knight

While there are several actors who have stepped into the role of Bruce Wayne, your favorite may be the one you most-likely watched in theaters, Christian Bale. But when talking about the outstanding sequel to Batman Begins, we, of course, need to spend time highlighting the performance of Heath Ledger's Joker. Ledger's dedication to the role should be commended and he later received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Unfortunately, Ledger also passed away during the post-production of the film after suffering an overdose of several prescription medications. And while Ledger may have overshadowed his performance, Aaron Eckhart was also tremendous with his portrayal of Harvey Dent.

The film received widespread critical acclaim, including a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and ended up earning over $1 billion at the box office. While the 3rd film is also well respected, the 2nd is in our opinion the strongest of the series.

12 Ruined - The Phantom Menace


There may not be a movie that had ever been anticipated as much as The Phantom Menace. And at least from a financial standpoint, the film delivered tremendously; bringing in roughly $750 million (when adjusted for inflation). But you absolutely knew that this movie was going to show up on this list. And you definitely knew what side it was going to fall on.

The hatred towards the film, both from casual and hardcore fans, definitely didn't detract people from checking it out themselves. Much of the annoyance is drawn towards the character of Jar-Jar Binks, but we're sure you had your own specific annoyances with the film too.

Thank God history didn't repeat itself when The Force Awakens was released back in 2015.

11 Improved - Finding Dory

It's never an easy thing for a sequel to be released years after the original has come out. Something that we prove on this list with some of the misses. But there are exceptions to every rule, and Disney seems to be a pretty safe bet. They took their time but when Finding Dory swam into theaters it definitely didn't disappoint.

Led by the voice actors that you knew and loved such as Ellen DeGeneres, the film was aided greatly be newcomers to the franchise Ed O'Neill (as Hank, an unforgettable octopus) and Kaitlin Olson who played the whale shark Destiny.

With a RottenTomatoes score of 94%, there isn't much to hate about this animated classic.

10 Ruined - Spider-Man 3


If we wanted to, it would be very easy to make an argument for Spider-Man 2 to be one of the strongest sequels in any superhero franchise. But as true as it would be to write that, it'd be even more accurate to write about the horrific mess that was Spider-Man 3. 

The film was not only lacking in entertainment value, but the biggest fault in many people's eyes was the inclusion of too many villains and in the process the ruining of a childhood favorite in Venom.

It was bad enough that the role went to Topher Grace, but the character received not enough screentime to leave anyone satisfied. The character Venom will get another shot at redemption with a standalone movie in the near future starring Tom Hardy.

9 Improved - Jumanji 2

I need to be the first one to admit that I thought the newly released film Jumanji 2 was going to be horrific. Dwayne Johnson had recently come off some misses at the box office and the idea of re-vamping the classic Robin Williams movie without a board game seemed too baffling to take seriously.

But credit where credit is due, the film is actually being well-received with a current score of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hate on the idea all you want, but it seems like Johnson may have found his most successful "family film" so far and considering he is a father himself, we're sure that is something he cared greatly about.


8 Ruined - Hangover 2 (And 3)


Prior to The Hangover, director Todd Phillips had already shown the world he was hilarious with previous films such as Old School. But we don't know if anyone could have seen the monumental success of the first Hangover coming. Along with earning close to $500 million at the box office, the film was beloved by critics who gave it a score of 79%.

Despite this, many people thought the follow-up was completely unnecessary and even with a new setting of Bangkok, critics saw through it and scored it under 40%. While the 2nd one did well at the box office, perhaps some of those tickets were from fans who just had to see for themselves how bad it was.

By the time the 3rd one was churned out it ended up being both the worst performing financially and with critics. Which begs the question as to how amazing the original films Todd Phillips could have made in that time instead.

7 Improved - Terminator 2

If you were looking for a list of some of the best action films of all-time, the list would seem incomplete if Terminator 2 didn't land a spot near the very top. The first film which earned close to $100 million at the box office was blown out of the water with the sequel which brought in over $500 million and a score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. While Arnold Schwarzenegger has put on several tremendous performances in his career, you can't have an Arnie-Marathon without dedicating some serious time to his role in this franchise.

Unfortunately for Terminator fans, the magic ran out after the 3rd one with both Salvation and Genisys disappointing with critics.

6 Ruined - Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd


The original film Dumb and Dumber was influential in helping the careers of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels and remains a cult classic.

The sequel Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd which came out nearly a decade after was a monumental failure. Along with earning under $50 million at the box office, critics ripped into the film with a score of 10%.

As for the third one? You may have read the title Dumb and Dumber To and had yourself a little chuckle. Sadly, that's probably the extent of the enjoyment that you probably got from the film. You might not blame the actors for trying to earn a big payday from their perhaps most iconic characters, but that doesn't make these movies suck any less.

5 Improved - Beauty And The Beast (Live Action)

There were plenty of reasons to be cautious about Disney deciding to turn the animated classic Beauty and the Beast into a live-action film. But it's hard to argue that the film wasn't incredibly successful.

At the time of this writing, it remained the highest grossing film of the year, and while Star Wars will surpass that; the $500+ million brought in by Beauty is nothing to sneeze at. Fans who loved the film also gained the ability to breathe a little bit easier when looking at the upcoming slate of Disney live-action films that includes The Lion King.

Much of the accolades towards Beauty and the Beast was thrown Emma Watson's way, but special recommendation also needs to go to Ewan McGregor as Lumiere; as well as the new original song "Evermore".

4 Ruined - Son Of The Mask


If you didn't know that Son of the Mask existed, then we're very sorry that we've brought it to your attention. Just from looking at the photo we're sure you can understand why this abomination of the film had no reason to exist. Especially because all of the factors of the classic film, such as y'know, JIM CARREY, are left by the wayside.

Don't worry though, instead you get to watch Jamie Kennedy at work. Woohoo! The film very justifiably received a Golden Raspberry for Worst Remake or Sequel and also failed to turn a profit at the box-office.

3 Improved - Incredibles 2

Are we jumping the gun a little bit here? Yes, we can concede that The Incredibles 2 isn't out yet and there is a chance that it's going to ruin what is arguably people's most cherished Disney animated film. But the chances of that happening aren't very high. The main man involved with the project, Brad Bird, who wrote and directed the first one is back in both of those roles for the sequel.

Also returning to lend a hand is the talented composer, Michael Giacchino, as well as most of the primary voice cast including Samuel L. Jackson. Releasing in June 2018, this has the chance to be the biggest film of the year.

2 Ruined - Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull


It's easy to understand why the 4th Indiana Jones movie got made, after all, it made hundreds of millions, but was that really worth the price of forever impacting your childhood? Growing up and watching Indiana Jones in action was a cherished memory for many, but seeing Ford back in action 19 years later definitely changes how you may view the originals.

Especially when you learn that Ford is coming back for yet another run with the character. The film won a Golden Raspberry for Worst Remake, Rip-off or Sequel. While Spielberg and Ford loved the film, Shia LaBeouf (who also starred) was less than positive

"[It] dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished...The movie could have been updated ... we just misinterpreted what we were trying to satiate."

1 Improved - LOTR: The Two Towers

There were many people that were disappointed with The Hobbit franchise. But to be fair, they had to live up to arguably the greatest cinematic experience of all-time with the Lord of the Rings franchise. And while fans were cautious before The Fellowship of the Ring came out, it became abundantly clear that Peter Jackson was about to create something special.

All 3 films were understandably beloved by critics and fans and continued building the world until a fantastic cinematic conclusion with Return of the King. When looking at all 3 as separate films, however,  the introduction of Gollum in LOTR: The Two Towers, as well as the tremendous battle at Helm's Deep, may make #2 your favorite entry of the 3.


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