7 Non-Disney Animated Movies Featuring Fairytale Characters ...


When it comes to movies featuring fairytale characters, Disney definitely wrote the book on how to bring storybook characters to life by making them animated. We all love Disney for changing the ending of "The Little Mermaid" to make it a happy one, and it's amazing that animators managed to make a monster look all cute and cuddly in "Beauty and the Beast." However, Disney isn't the only company capable of making memorable movies featuring fairytale characters. Here's a look at some animated fairytale movies that weren't produced by the House of Mouse:

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The Shrek Movies

This is definitely one of the most successful series of movies featuring fairytale characters. There are four films starring Shrek the ogre and his pals, as well as a spin-off titled "Puss in Boots." It's great that Shrek is as far from Prince Charming as you can get, and I love the twisted take on Princess Fiona's curse. It's also great that a non-fairytale character, Shrek's shadow Donkey, plays such an important part in the plot (and those dronkeys are pretty darn adorable!). In addition to Puss in Boots, the extensive list of fairytale characters in the Shrek movies includes the Gingerbread Man, Peter Pan, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, The Three Little Pigs, The Big Bad Wolf, Merlin, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel.


"the Snow Queen"

If you enjoyed Disney's "Frozen," perhaps you should check out this 1957 animated Russian movie about a different Snow Queen. In this version, a boy named Kay runs away with the Snow Queen after splinters of enchanted ice pierce his eye and heart. His friend Gerda then sets out to rescue him. The story here is much closer to the original Hans Christian Andersen tale than "Frozen." I really love the design of the Snow Queen—she resembles an icy version of the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." You can find the movie on YouTube with English subtitles.


"the Swan Princess"

This 1994 movie is based on the "Swan Lake" ballet, which is based on Russian folk tales and an old German legend. In the movie, evil sorcerer Rothbart casts a spell that makes Princess Odette turn into a swan during the day. He wants to force the girl to marry him so that he can rule her kingdom. But of course there's a charming prince out there who is going to make sure that this doesn't happen. This one might look like a Disney movie to you, and there's a reason for this—it was directed by a former Disney animation director.



Disney also couldn't get its hands on the "Thumbelina" fairytale before another studio did. Fans of fairies like Tinkerbell should enjoy this 1994 movie that features a fairy prince and a tiny redheaded girl who just wants to be a part of his world. The movie stays pretty true to the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale that it's based on. This means that poor Thumbelina gets pursued by a toad, beetle, and mole before she finally gets her happy ending. And what's more romantic than falling in love with the first human-like being you meet simply because he's the same size as you?


"Peter & the Wolf"

I really love stop motion animation, and I was impressed by the amazing quality of it in this dark fairytale movie from 2006. It's based on the Russian children's tale about a boy who lives in the forest, where his only friends are a menagerie of animals that include a duck and a bird. His grandfather warns him about a wolf that roams around, but of course Peter doesn't listen. Instead he actually tries to capture the creature. I won't reveal the ending, but animal lovers should enjoy it.



"Hoodwinked!" is a very interesting take on the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale. It's been turned into a mystery featuring flashbacks that focus on different characters from the story. The Big Bad Wolf, Granny, Red Riding Hood, and the Woodsman tell their stories to the police, who show up after an incident at Granny's house. They're trying to track down a criminal known as the Goodie Bandit, and the crook just might be one of the four fairytale characters. If you're tired of animated fairytale movies featuring princesses, you might want to check this one out.


"the Last Unicorn"

Unicorns are extremely popular fairytale characters, so it's surprising that there aren't very many fairytale movies about them. This Rankin/Bass classic is based on the 1968 novel of the same name. It's about a unicorn who sets out to find out what happened to all of the other unicorns after discovering that she's the last of her kind. During her journey, she encounters a terrifying giant red bull that's said to be responsible for ridding the world of unicorns. The movie is unusual because it features a creature being turned into a human instead of the other way around (think "The Swan Princess"), but it's the movie's strange story that makes it so riveting.

Some of these movies might not be as well-known as Disney fairytale films are, but they're definitely still worth watching. Most of them differ from Disney in interesting ways, whether they do it by twisting fairytales until they're almost unrecognizable, or by using a totally different form of animation to bring the stories to life. Do you have any favorite non-Disney fairytale movies that aren't on this list?

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I loved hoodwinked and shrek but I hate the swan princess

There are actually 3 Swan Princess movies and they are all great!

I LOVE that version of Thumbelina, I watch it a good bit!

I cried during the last unicorn


Loved the swan princess movies & hoodwinked was hilarious! Having all boys, they enjoyed the extreme granny!!

I love hoodwinked. Watched it all the time when I was little. Used to know all the songs by heart ;)

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