These Non-Disney Movies Ruled Your Childhood

by Rachel Semigran

Growing up, I always just assumed that any cartoon or kid-friendly movie was a Disney movie. After all, most of my favorites were Disney — The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin. Heck, even Muppet Treasure Island came from Disney. However, as I grew older I became aware that many of the films that shaped my childhood were, in fact, non-Disney. I was shocked, not gonna lie — the amount of uncontrollable sobbing I did when Littlefoot's mom died in The Land Before Time was so intense, surely it had to be Disney, right? Wrong. That prehistoric tearjerker comes to you via Universal Pictures, and so many other classic films from your childhood come from similarly non-Disney sources.

My favorite non-Disney childhood flicks took me to far-off place out west, into exotic rainforests, and to times well before my own. Sure, Disney tons of theme parks, merchandise, and ownership of roughly half of the film industry, but it doesn't have these 22 films that any kid who grew up in the '80s or '90s probably adored.

Here are the best non-Disney movies from your childhood that will give you ALL of the nostalgia:

1. Charlotte's Web


2. The Land Before Time


3. FernGully: The Last Rainforest

Not only did this movie teach me to be more eco-conscious, but also, HELLO PIPS. (Yes, that is the voice of total '90s babe, Christian Slater).

4. All Dogs Go To Heaven

This movie never made me want to get a dog, but it did always make me hungry for pizza.

5. Babe

That little patch of brown hair! THE CUTENESS! A PIG THAT THINKS IT'S A DOG! *dies*

6. An American Tail

Fievel Goes West is a close second to this one, but this song just gets me every time.

7. The Pagemaster

Talking books AND Macaulay Culkin? Sign me up.

8. The Adventures of Milo And Otis

This movie was really ahead of its time, when you think about it — it's about literally everything the Internet loves, pugs and cats.

9. Free Willy

After you see Blackfish, this movie will make you want to cry even more.

10. Beethoven

I'm sure I snorted milk out of my nose the first time I saw this scene.

11. Rock-A-Doodle

How there are not more rock 'n' roll-based chicken cartoons is beyond me.

12. Thumbelina

Simply magical.

13. The Swan Princess

This movie was all about Jean-Bob for me.

14. Anastasia

Who else was totally convinced that this movie was Disney? Because honestly, I'm still shocked its not.

15. Hook

Rufio! Rufio! Ruf-iiii-oooo!

16. Space Jam

No film will ever match up to the brilliance that was Space Jam. If anyone ever attempts to reboot this one, I will riot.

17. Jumanji

Show of hands: who was actually scared to play the game after this movie? Everyone? I thought so.

18. The Secret Of NIMH

This film was making rodents lovable way before Ratatouille.

19. The NeverEnding Story

Falcor forever!

20. The Addams Family

Most relatable family EVER.

21. Casper


22. Spice World

A truly important moment in cinematic history.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go clean up the river of tears I just cried.

Image: Universal Pictures, Giphy (11), Columbia TriStar