21 Non-Disney Movies From Your Childhood You STILL Love To Watch
While Disney has been the King of Animation since Walt’s success with “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, there are other animators out there. As a child, we loved animated movies: all of them. Here are some of the best non-Disney animated movies of our childhood that most of us still own, or wish we did.
Charlotte’s Web (1973)
A touching tale of friendship and doing the right thing, even in the face of what seems like certain doom. This classic has entertained children since the early 70s and even inspired a life-action movie in the 90s, showing this story can truly stand the test of time.
Secret of NIMH (1982)
Ms. Brisby is a timid mouse, but a devoted mom. When her son falls ill, she takes on adventures only a determined mother could. Based on the best-selling book, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” her name was changed for the movie out of concerns of trademark infringement with Frisbee brand. As kids, the movie had us at the edge of our seats.
An American Tail (1986)
A mouse family portrays the perilous journey to America for Russian immigrants in the late 1800s. Fievel became an instantly beloved character that we all wanted as a pet.
The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)
The Chipmunks are challenged to a round-the-world race. But it’s really just a means to trick them into smuggling diamonds.
Land Before Time (1988)
Littlefoot the long-neck dinosaur lives in interesting times. After being losing his parents, he and his young pre-historic friends must find their way to The Great Valley together. This filmed spurred a series of 13 total films, but none of the sequels can hold a candle to the original.
All Dog’s Go to Heaven (1989)
In life, Charlie the German shepherd was a scoundrel. In death, he goes to heaven anyway. Things get interesting when he decides to go back to earth to right some wrongs. This movie encouraged an entire generation by ensuring the eternal security of man’s best friend.
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989)
After he falls asleep, a little boy’s disappointment and guilt launch him into adventures in Slumberland.
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
Fievel, now a young man goes West to find adventure. This movie showed kids that sequels COULD be wonderful, and provide brand new adventures for our favorite characters.
A proud rooster calls the sun to rise daily. When things go wrong, a boy must help him get his confidence back in order to save the farm from flood waters.
Fern Gully (1992)
Unbeknownst to her, Crysta the fairy girl teams up with a lumberjack to save the forest from industrialists. Surprisingly, the real culprit is an ancient demon that freaked us all out as kids and taught us to love our environment.
Once Upon A Forest (1993)
A tale of how environmental disaster destroys lives, as told through the eyes of animal babies. This movie was almost white noise since it came out around the same time as “Fern Gully” and “Thumbelina,” but it had a life of its own that we all loved.
We’re Back: A Dinosaur Story (1993)
Humorously, a time traveler goes back and makes dinosaurs smart and non-violent. The future will never be the same, which was great for movie-goers as this film quickly became a favorite of kids in the early 90s.
Swan Princess (1994)
She is a swan by day and a princess by night. Loosely based on the ballet “Swan Lake,” girls everywhere learned to hold out hope that their prince would come. By far, this was the best non-Disney film to encapsulate the Princess genre.
Tiny little Thumbelina attracts the love interest of the fairy prince Cornelius. To be together however, they must thwart the plans of other woodland creatures.
The Pagemaster (1994)
Richard is knocked unconscious while seeking safety from a storm. Vivid adventures follow that blur the line between imagination and reality in this life-action/animation cross-over featuring Macaulay Culkin alongside an all-star cast.
A highly fictionalized account of the true life story of the Alaskan lead dog Balto, whose tale inspired the Iditarod. Every kid wanted Balto as a pet.
Anastasia survives Rasputin’s plot to murder her entire family. Now, she must decide between living in obscurity and returning to the palace to face her destiny.
Quest for Camelot (1998)
A goofball version of a classic tale, updated to include a girl with aspirations. It brought out the adventurer in all of us.
Prince of Egypt (1998)
The Biblical story of Moses comes to life as a beautifully illustrated movie.
We all rooted for Z in his attempt to break free from the monotony of his daily life in the ant colony and pursued the princess, who was definitely out of his station.
Iron Giant (1999)
A lonely boy befriends a giant robot from space. Unfortunately the government is certain it is a foreign invasion, and trouble erupts.
The Road to El Dorado (2000)
According to Wikipedia, production on The Road to El Dorado was difficult because DreamWorks Animation had devoted all of its efforts to making The Prince of Egypt two years earlier. However, I would argue that El Dorado is the better movie. The story plays off history without creating an alternate universe the way Anastasia did. And it’s the funniest movie on this list! Unlike other animated films that rely on half-baked or immature humor, El Dorado‘s comic relief has depth. (It’s especially interesting if you read it as a love story between Miguel and Tulio, but that’s a whole other article.) The Road to El Dorado is the package deal, the best non-Disney animated musical there is.