Since the success of the 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney is well known and revered for his dominance of the animation industry, with countless classics that will forever be etched in viewers’ memories.
With Disney films with a particular flair about them, although each one explores characters, stories, cultures and more, it is still often easy to notice whether or not a film is in the name of Disney or not. However, there are several examples of films, both animated and live-action, that defy this logic, actually owned by other production studios, despite popular belief.
ten Anastasia’s Magical Journey To Rediscover Her True Self Is As Disney As They Come (1997)
Released in 1997, Anastasia is the captivating story of a young Grand Duchess who suffers from amnesia and forgets all of her past, her status and her family. She then goes on an adventure to find her grandmother and resume her real life.
With everything from the initial devastation of losing his family and the bizarre nature of villainous Rasputin, to the general air of romance and magic, it all makes for a true Disney-type experience. Additionally, the 20th Century Fox movie was even added to Disney + in 2020, leading audiences to mistakenly assume that it is a Disney product.
9 The stories and overall charm of The Road To El Dorado scream various Disney influences (2000)
Following DreamWorks’ own response to various Disney masterpieces from the mid to late 90s in The prince of Egypt, they released another animated film to challenge their rivals in the year 2000, that being The Eldorado road.
The Eldorado road has it all from protagonists who start out with bad intentions but grow into lovable characters to an exaggerated, fantastical plot that screams Disney. It appears to be a mix of several different Disney movies in terms of overall aesthetics and music, but with its own definitive cachet. The adventures and journey of Tulio and Miguel from crooks to heroes make up a compelling story of Disney proportions.
8 Mowgli: The Legend of the Jungle is a Non-Disney Tale from The Jungle Book (2018)
The original animation The jungle Book went on to become one of Disney’s most beloved and successful films, with a much anticipated live-action adaptation in 2016, following a previous performance in 1994. In 2018, however, another adaptation was made, called Mowgli: legend of the jungle. Despite The jungle Book Being omitted from the title, it kept many of the major actors and characters from the original story, although it strayed from the narrative direction and musical numbers of the original Disney adaptation.
Given how much The jungle Book has become with Disney over the years, it’s easy to forget that the initial film was based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book, meaning it could definitely be adapted by someone other than Disney. Mowgli: legend of the jungle was produced by Warner Bros, who then sold the rights to Netflix.
seven Paramount’s animated, live-action adaptations of the Charlotte web could easily be Disney (1973 & 2006)
Charlotte’s canvas is a renowned book written by American author EB White who has seen adaptations of animated and live-action films since its release in 1952.
While it has all the hallmarks of a Disney movie, with its talking animals and general sense of wonder, the 1973 animation and its 2006 live-action counterpart are products of Paramount Pictures. The 1973 animated version particularly captured the essence of Disney with its spontaneous musical numbers and general aesthetic. However, this assumption stems from Walt Disney’s dominance in animated films throughout the 20th century.
6 The original Swan Princess animated film had similarities to various Disney films (1994)
The swan princess graced the big screen in 1994 and came up with a quintessentially Disney storyline and overall presentation. It was even directed by former Disney animation director Richard Rich, which explains the similarities.
The swan princess has everything from a budding romance to spells that turn a character into a creature, a swan in this case. Despite all of its Disney tropes, this is actually not a Walt Disney product. Based on ballet Swan Lake, The swan princess has since grown into a film series, with the latest installment, The swan princess: a royal wedding, released in 2020, with Richard Rich still at the helm.
5 The original land before time is often looked back with fond memories even if its sequels are not (1988)
The land before time is still considered a classic animated film to this day, its release in 1988 placing it perfectly in the same vein as several successful Disney films released in the 80s and 90s.
It may have a story revolving around a tragic loss and a hopeful adventure, in the true spirit of a Disney storyline. However, The land before time is a product of Universal Pictures, as well as the production companies of Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth, Amblin Entertainment and former Sullivan Bluth Studios, respectively. The land before time is an enthralling adventure involving dinosaurs that has strayed somewhat with its many sequels, but the original still holds a special place in the hearts of many.
4 Mirror Mirror & Snow White And The Huntsman Saw Very Different Take On Snow White (2012)
With Sleeping BeautyWith the main villain of Maleficent getting his own Disney film series, with Angelina Jolie in the lead role, it is often assumed that the Disney-made equivalents Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs followed the same path and also belonged to Disney.
The story of White as snow has gone through many different adaptations over the years, but both Mirror mirror and Snow White and the Hunter (2012) picked up dramatically different narratives from classical history and its characters. Mirror mirror starred Julia Roberts as Snow White’s evil mother-in-law, Queen Clementianna, while Universal Pictures Snow White and the Hunter had Charlize Theron as the evil stepmother, but with a different name from Queen Ravenna.
3 An American Tail Has The Classic Disney Plot Of Longing And Discovering The Outside World (1986)
Two years before they collaborated to bring Universal The land before time to the world, Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth, among others, have worked together to bring An american tail to live. An american tail is another example of an animated film with many Disney features, but not actually a Walt Disney product.
An american tail can be considered a Disney hybrid Rescuers and Robin Hood, with stories centered on animals and, in particular, the feud between mice and cats. While songs from Disney films are often the most memorable in the realm of animated film, songs such as “Somewhere Out There” are always considered fond memories, as are the general adventures of young Fievel.
2 The Prince of Egypt Was the Idea of a Former Disney President (1998)
DreamWorks’ 1998 The prince of Egypt stems from former Disney president Jeffrey Katzenberg’s wish to create an animated adaptation of the Ten Commandments, an idea reportedly rejected during his time at Walt Disney. The formation of DreamWorks in 1994 allowed his dreams and ideas to be heard once again, and The prince of Egypt was born.
Besides Katzenberg linking the two companies, The prince of Egypt also has Disney touches added to its overall aesthetic. The Ten Plagues scene in particular not only has a passionate and powerful musical number, but the combination of the music with its stunning visuals draws similarities to the explosive moments from Disney movies like Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
1 Hook is one of many non-Disney adaptations of Peter Pan (1991)
Peter Pan is another example of a story that Walt Disney turned into a Disney classic from a popular book, written by JM Barrie. The 1953 Disney animated film became one of Disney’s most beloved due to its magical aesthetic reflecting the true wonder that is often sought after in Disney films.
1991 saw the release of To hang up, starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts and several other awesome names, in what has become a memorable adaptation of the Peter Pan and the story of Neverland. Steven Spielberg’s ideas regarding the adaptation floated with Walt Disney and Paramount, but just as some creative roles changed hands over and over, the project was eventually picked up by TriStar Pictures.
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