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4 Non-Disney Animated Movies to Watch Over Winter Break

 As much as everyone enjoys a classic Disney movie, the way they dominate animated movie production means that some amazing movies from our childhood can be forgotten, or even overlooked completely. And with winter break finally here, now is the perfect time to catch up on some of your long-lost favorites, or discover some great movies you missed as a kid. Either way, these four films are sure to melt away any remaining stress from finals and get you in a cozy mood.


Starting off the list strong is one of my personal favorite movies, Anastasia. Though it has just been added to Disney +, it was originally created by Fox Animation Studios. With dreamy and enchanting music, a thrilling plot, and a will-they-won’t-they romance, this movie is sure to grab your attention regardless of age. Even though I’ve watched it more than a few times, I keep coming back to this movie for so many reasons. Anastasia's determination paired with some snarky remarks made her one of my favorite princesses growing up, and I stand by that.

The Swan Princess

One way that The Swan Princess manages to stand out from other princess-oriented movies is its problematic prince charming. With a slight enemies-to-lovers romance blossoming between the two love interests at the beginning of the story, their relationship is quickly snuffed out by Prince Derek’s insulting comments. Though he redeems himself throughout the movie, this deviation from the expected perfect prince kept the story fresh. The over the top, exuberant music numbers also helped.

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle is by far one of the most enchanting movies I have ever seen. Howl and Sophie are absolutely different, yet incredibly relatable main characters throughout the story. Their realism helps ground viewers as they move through the chaotic and insanely imaginative world that Studio Ghibli is known for. Elements of wild magic keep the movie entertaining for children. However, the plot is also filled with metaphors and deeper meanings, making it an engaging watch at any age.

Kubo and The Two Strings

Okay, I’ll admit that I cheated a bit by putting this movie on the list. It’s not a traditionally animated film, however, the stop-motion techniques used to create Kubo and the Two Strings make it feel just as immersive as any modern Disney animation. Regardless of style, this movie is too good not to include on the list. The story is completely unique and draws you in from the first line. With thrilling fight scenes, complex emotional undertones, and the undeniable beauty of each frame, this movie is something everyone should watch if they have the chance.

Laini is a Sophomore Writing Arts and Spanish dual major at Rowan University. She is currently working on two novels which she hopes to publish in the near future. Outside of writing, she spends her time drinking matcha lattes, skateboarding, and re-watching "The Dead Poets Society".
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