Whenever a Disney film is released, it dominates the box office, but they aren’t the only studio producing great animated films.
When it comes to animated films, most people believe Disney is the only company making it work, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Many others animated movies deserve as much praise. But, sadly, they're often ignored when sharing attention with Disney's projects.
Since Disney established itself as the ultimate animation studio, many other studios' films have been mistreated. A great example is that Disney has won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature 8 out of 10 times in the last ten years. Anyone interested in watching non-Disney animations should pay attention. Sometimes it's difficult to know about certain films when Disney's blockbusters are in the way.
Directed by Jill Culton, Abominable follows the adventures of Yi, a teenager who stumbles upon a kid Yeti, who has been kidnapped by Mr. Burnish, a businessman trying to prove yetis are real. In order to protect the Yeti, Everest, and his family, she embarks on an adventure to stop the villain.
Abominable received generally positive reviews, even amidst controversies about its political statements. However, it premiered in 2019, the same year Disney released Toy Story 4, Frozen II, and The Lion King. Given this, Abominable was forgotten way too soon.
Currently streaming on Netflix, The Mitchells vs. the Machines revolves around the Mitchells, a complicated family who has to save the world from an AI takeover. During their journey, they manage to heal many wounds in their relationships, ultimately understanding their love for each other will always be bigger than anything.
The Mitchells vs. the Machines charmed everyone on the internet, thanks to its healthy queer representation. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough for the Academy, which instead gave the Oscar for Best Animated Feature to Encanto. In a way, The Mitchells vs. the Machines was lost amidst the "We Don't Talk About Bruno" fever.
Kenneth Brannagh and Kevin Kline voice-star in The Road to El Dorado as Miguel and Tulio, two con artists in the 16th century, trying to make their way into a secret city full of gold. The film, directed by Eric "Bibo" Bergeron and Don Paul, sees them as they change their criminal habits.
When it premiered on March 31, 2000, The Road to El Dorado only grossed $76 million worldwide, almost 15$ million less than its total budget. Additionally, six months later, Disney released The Emperor's New Groove, a similar film that became one of their most iconic works. Luckily for Bergeron, The Road to El Dorado has earned a cult following in recent years, especially thanks to memes. This movie bombed but became a cult classic.
Robots, by Chris Wedge, is a film set in a world where only sentient robots exist. Here, Rodney Copperbottom, a naive aspiring inventor, tries to sell his inventions to Bigweld, a famous entrepreneur who provides robots with spare parts. But, inadvertently, he ends up in the middle of a conspiracy against his hero.
Not even its great cast — including Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, and Robin Williams – saved Robots from oblivion. The movie got a decent fanbase at its time, but 20th Century Fox failed at marketing it as successfully as Disney marketed Chicken Little in the same year.
After a fox gives in to his robbing animal instincts, three farmers take it upon themselves to kill him and other creatures of his kind. Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Wes Anderson, is a beautiful stop-motion film focusing on wholesome topics, such as community and belonging.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of those films that don't decide if they're for kids or adults. Its peculiar animation makes it an incredible project. Unfortunately, it also sends the wrong message by looking more mature than it is, pushing viewers to ignore it. Given this, Up bested it in theaters and the Academy Awards.
In 1997, 20th Century Fox produced its first animation, Anastasia. Starring Meg Ryan and John Cusack, the film tells a fictionalized version of the life of the Gran Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. After losing her memory, Anastasia returns to the court in a play of fate, which enrages her family's enemies.
As Fox's first animation, Anastasia is a valuable attempt to create a princess that wouldn't belong to the Disney Princesses. However, Fox did such a great job that things went full circle. Now fans think Anastasia is, in fact, a Disney Princess. The movie received less praise than Hercules, released a few months prior.
A film based on a comic of the same name, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, is a coming-of-age story taking place during the Iranian Revolution. The film features a semi-fictional depiction of Satrapi's actual childhood, focusing on how these political events affected her perspective of life.
Persepolis is an emotional film. Its powerful story, perfect combination of a coming-of-age tale and historical documentation of war, and even its humor make it a joy to watch. Unfortunately, the Academy was incapable of seeing its true value at the time. During the 2008's Oscars, it lost the award against Ratatouille.
When Robyn Goodfellowe, the daughter and apprentice of a hunter tasked with killing every wolf in Ireland, meets Mehb, a member of a tribe that can turn into wolves, the girl learns that things aren't as simple as she thinks. Wolfwalkers follows her adventure, which puts her on the path of a magical adventure that completely changes her life perspective.
Wolfwalkers works on many different levels. The film is a coming-of-age story, but it's also a reflection on Ireland's sociopolitical conflicts during 1650 and an essay on the dichotomy between civilization and savagery. Besides, its animation is unique. Sadly, it didn't get much traction. Everyone that year heard about Disney's Soul, but few watched this beautiful film.
Diego Luna stars in The Book of Life as Manolo Sánchez, a bullfighter and aspiring musician in love with a woman who has been betrothed to his best friend. The film follows Manolo's attempt to be with María, even after he dies, and ends up in the Land of the Remembered.
The Book of Life premiered in 2014 and got mostly positive reviews. It doubled Fox's investment in the project and got nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. However, in 2017, when Coco premiered, most people forgot about it. Since both films explore similar topics, it feels like there isn't space for both of them in the media.
When a group of mobsters kidnaps her grandson Champion, obsessed with cycling, Madame Souza travels from Europe to the United States to find him. Here, she meets singers Rose, Violette, and Blanche, also known as the Triplets of Belleville, who help her in her mission.
The Triplets of Belleville is an animated film for adults that premiered in 2003. This was around 15 years before animations became the norm among adults. Obviously, in a year where Brother Bear and Finding Nemo were all the rage, kids barely noticed,t and adults didn't even consider it an option for them.
NEXT: 10 Great Animated Movies With Successful Sequels
Mayra García is a Comic Lists Writer for CBR. Her main interests include linguistics, superheroes, and food.