For years, Walt Disney Pictures has been synonymous with animation and family movies. However, plenty of successful CGI-animated films come from outside of Disney these days. Dreamworks has had a string of hits including franchises like Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung-Fu Panda, and Madagascar. Sony Pictures Animation has scored with films and franchises like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Hotel Transylvania.
Just before the CGI movement became mainstream though, Disney reigned supreme in the realm of hand-drawn animation. However, here are a few great movies released outside of Disney in the 1990s when multiple studios attempted to cash-in on the Disney Renaissance.
5) Quest for Camelot
Quest for Camelot was a 1998 film from Warner Brothers Feature Animation that introduced a new take on the King Arthur legend. Jessica Gilsig starred as Kayley, a young girl who dreams of becoming a knight like her father. Kayley gets a chance to prove herself when Excalibur is stolen. The all-star cast also included Cary Elwes, Pierce Brosnan, Jane Seymour, Eric Idle, Gary Oldman, and Don Rickles. There are a lot of great new songs for musical fans. Country artist LeAnn Rimes covered the song “Looking Through Your Eyes” on the soundtrack.
4) Titan A.E.
Titan A.E. was an animated science-fiction epic from Fox Animation Studios and legendary director Don Bluth (The Land Before Time, An American Tail) in 2000. Essentially an anti-Disney animated film, it was everything the House of Mouse wasn’t. Titan A.E. was actually a fairly straightforward sci-fi action movie, just in animated form. Featuring the voices of Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, and Drew Barrymore, and music by rock bands like Powerman 5000, The Urge, and Lit, Titan A.E. is really a visual masterpiece.
3) The Prince of Egypt
Dreamworks Pictures released their first ever animated film, The Prince of Egypt, in 1998. It was an epic adaptation of the biblical book of Exodus, featuring the life story of Moses and his family. Val Kilmer and Ralph Fiennes starred as Moses and Ramses, respectively, along with Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, and many others. Composer Stephen Schwartz, who had previously worked on the Disney films Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, contributed several memorable new songs, including the Oscar winner, “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Anastasia is a 1997 animated film from Fox Animation Studios and once again directed by Don Bluth. Based on the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, it has all the highlights of a Disney classic. Composer David Newman wrote a host of new ballads for the movie. “Journey to the Past” was covered by Aaliyah on the film’s soundtrack.
1) The Iron Giant
The Iron Giant was a box-office bomb when it was released in 1999, but it’s now considered on the of the greatest animated films of all time. Director Brad Bird made his debut with this film before going on to helm The Incredibles for Pixar and Disney. The Cold War tale about a boy and his new robot friend features the voices of Vin Diesel, Jennifer Aniston, and Harry Connick, Jr.