Animated Movies that Aren’t Disney
Posted on February 2, 2022
I love animation, in fact it’s probably one of my favourite forms of storytelling as the possibilities are limitless. That being said it can often feel like your only option to find good animated content is Disney. I mean they constantly sweep award shows with all the wins in animation categories and there’s rarely any buzz for an animation not created by them, and honestly it’s really frustrating. Sure there’s the odd animation that makes it through the cracks like, Into the Spiderverse, or, Fantastic Mr. Fox, but these are only the tip of the iceberg for amazing animated content. So without further ado, here are my recommendations for those looking to stray beyond Disney’s domination and watch some good animated movie content.
1. The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Image Credit: NBC News
Created by the same studio as, Into the Spiderverse, this romp of a film is not only heartwarming but visually stunning. It centers around the Mitchell family but specifically their daughter Katie who’s getting ready to head off for college. Katie is desperate to leave, partially to pursue her passions but also to get away from some unresolved family issues but her freedom is thwarted when the technology-apocalypse happens. This movie is so fun and the animation is a breath of fresh air. Though some of the jokes are already a touch outdated, I think the heart of this story makes it infinitely rewatchable.
2. The House
Image Credit: Animation Magazine
Honestly, stop motion animation doesn’t get enough credit as a storytelling art form. This movie is a great lesser-known example of the capabilities of this medium, and it’s brand new! The House chronicles three connected but separate stories centred around the same physical house at different periods in time. The animation really draws you in and presents such a hauntingly bizarre world. I personally feel like it takes advantage of the unsettling nature of stop motion in a really effective way, especially the first story.
Image Credit: IMDb
Now, in all transparency, I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid so my memory may be a little twisted. That being said, I think the fact that this movie has stuck with me for so long gives it at least some credit. I remember being obsessed with the rich and creepy tone of this world that almost feels like an extended video game cut-scene- in a good way. This movie follows 9, a sentient doll-like character who is tired of living under the threat of large robotic machines. Also, he’s voiced by Elijah Wood who has a track record of amazing animations, (ahem- Over the Garden Wall) so like, yeah you should probably watch this if you haven’t already.
Image Credit: Pinterest & IMDb
A visual masterpiece. This movie is genuinely so stunning. It may take the top place for the most beautiful animation of all the ones on this list. The story itself is also pretty interesting and leaves a lot of questions unanswered which encourages theorizing so you’ll probably be thinking about this movie long after you’ve finished watching it. It follows two orphans living in a rapidly changing city where underworld violence and the threat of gentrification come in the way of the life they’ve grown accustomed to.
Image Credit: Paste Magazine
Okay, I know it’s not Christmas anymore and no one wants to watch a Christmas movie this early in the year but I would be remiss not to at least mention this movie. Listen, Klaus is one of my absolute favourites. The story is heartfelt (translation: I cried) and the animation itself is gorgeous. I love this movie with my whole heart so write it down somewhere to remember and then watch this sometime this December- or November if you really can’t wait that long.
And there you go, five recs to get you out from Disney’s all-powerful clutches, or y’know less in them, Disney movies still slap.