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Contrary to popular belief, Disney is NOT the only studio out there making animated movies. As much as I love Disney, we can’t let them take credit for movies they didn’t make! Though someone must have been cozying up to a Fairy Godmother at some point during production, because some of these movies made by other studios are just plain magical. Let me know if you agree!
1. The Swan Princess
This gets mistaken for a Disney movie more often that I can count. Some poor unsuspecting and cinematically naïve person unknowingly sidles up to a Disney fanatic and lets loose this disaster: Why isn’t Odette ever out taking pictures and signing autographs at Disney World?
Uh, because security would have her escorted from the premises?
JK. I really love this movie. I’ve loved it since I was a wee babe, and it is true, it is just as magically entertaining as any Disney movie. The music is awesome, the villain creepy (not to mention his creepy little hag sidekick), the romance sweet (although that haircut on Prince Derek, yikes). It is understandable why someone would mistake The Swan Princess for a Disney classic.
Funny enough, I own the DVD of Anastasia, and I don’t own any of the classic Disney movies (to my everlasting shame, I know). Anastasia is CONSTANTLY being mistaken for a film made by the Mouse, though I would say there are a few red flags to prove it’s not. This guy being the main one:
Rasputin is seriously a million times creepier than any Disney villain that I can think of. Though his theme song “In the Dark of the Night” is super catchy and super fun to sing along with. But aside from the master of evil, Anastasia has a brilliant score (Journey to the Past FTW), an adorable romance (one that actually isn’t quite love at first sight-another red flag) and an edge-of-your-seat conflict that is quite serious for a kids movie. If you can call it that.
Random fact: Anastasia’s score was written by Ahrens and Flaherty, the same brilliant composing duo who brought the gorgeous “Ragtime” to the Broadway stage. AKA Anastasia needs to become a Broadway show NOW.
Now, I’ve never actually seen Thumbelina, but I thought it should be on this list because when I was little, I was convinced this was a Disney movie. But then again, when I was little, I think I thought everything animated was a Disney movie.
4. The Prince of Egypt
This one doesn’t get confused quite as often as the ones mentioned above, but I’ve still heard people speculate about whether it’s a Disney film or not. Aside from the fact that it’s based on the Bible (which I feel like Disney would probably avoid), the animation style is quite different than most Disney fare. The real triumph of this movie is the score. It is possibly one of my favorite scores from an animated movie. It is emotionally moving, musically gorgeous, and just brilliantly woven into the story.
One of my favorite songs from the movie is actually the opening scene, “Deliver Us”. It’s a haunting and gorgeous song that really packs an emotional wallop. Check it out:
And BONUS, this movie has some HUGE names in it (Film and Broadway stars- Steve Martin, Michelle Pfieffer, Ralph Fiennes, Brian Stokes Mitchell), so the performances are excellent!
5. An American Tail
I don’t know when I realized this wasn’t a Disney movie, but it was probably more recently than I’d like to admit. But if cute little Fievel singing “Somewhere Out There” doesn’t tug on the ole heartstrings, you must not have a heart at all.