7 Best Non-musical Animated Disney Movies

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It is no secret that Disney has dominated the animation industry for decades. They have created some of the most iconic and beloved animated films, such as “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” However, with so many classic movies in their repertoire, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth watching.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite non-musical animated Disney movies! Let’s quickly get to the seven of the best non-musical animated Disney movies that you can watch alone or with your loved ones.

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Billboard of Big Hero 6 movie

Big Hero 6 is an animated movie about a 14-year-old boy named Hiro Hamada, who is living in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. He’s lost the most important thing in his life – his older brother Tadashi, who was killed by a mysterious supervillain. Feeling alone and desperate, Hiro falls into an incredible adventure when he meets Baymax, a lovable inflatable robot!

A genius inventor called Professor Callaghan has found what he believes to be the cure for chronic illness. But now it’s in the hands of evil man Mr. Yama, who would stop at nothing to use this nanotechnology to create an indestructible army of unstoppable robots that could kill thousands.

The movie is great for all ages due to its optimistic message. Much of the plot revolves around how science can be used for good rather than evil, which many movies have failed to do. Big Hero is able to balance comedy and drama well, making it a favorite for audiences of all ages.

Zootopia (2016)

Zootopia (2016) is a successful Disney animation movie. It was the second Disney animation movie after Frozen to be based on an original idea rather than a talking animal or fairy tale. Phil Johnston, the writer and co-director of Wreck-It Ralph, and Byron Howard, who previously directed Bolt and Tangled, led production on the film.

Disney also tapped Rich Moore and Jared Bush to head up the project due to their work with Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia’s sister film Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet.

The 3D computer-animated comedy mystery film revolves around Judy Hopps, a rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow, who moves to the big city of Zootopia and joins the police force with one goal: to make the world better for all its inhabitants. But when she’s sidelined by a scandalous incident in her past, Judy has to team up with scam artist Fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to crack an elusive case.

Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Tropical paradise island vector illustration

Lilo & Stitch is an animated movie that was made by Disney in 2002. The movie is about two different creatures, one of which is a dog-human hybrid, and the other is a Hawaiian girl. The story is set on the island of Hawaii.

Stitch, who is the dog-human hybrid, arrives on Earth in the middle of the night. Lilo, who was doing her rounds for babysitting jobs, sees him and picks him up to take him home with her. He spends his time causing trouble by destroying everything she has ever loved. She decides to teach him how to behave through “ohana,” which means family or extended family.

Treasure Planet (2002)

The movie Treasure Planet was adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel Treasure Island. Treasure Planet takes place in outer space and has an animation style that is drawn like Japanese animation. Captain Silver is a cutthroat pirate with an eye patch who wants to find Captain Flint’s treasure.

The story of Treasure Planet is about a young man named Jim. Jim is a cabin boy on board the ship of Captain Amelia and Captain Flint.

The twist happens when Flint finds out that their map is in Jim’s old cabin, and he sneaks back to the ship to get it, but before he can return with it, everything changes when a solar flare hits and power goes off on board the ship and Flint suddenly dies due to oxygen deprivation because of this.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a 2001 Disney animated film set in 1914, where a young man from a secluded, upper-class family has been chosen to lead an expedition to find the lost continent of Atlantis.

With a sword in hand and a head full of questions, Milo Thatch sets out to explore the remnants of Atlantis with his friends – tough-teacher lady Audrey, chef Mole, and the crew of the submarine Ulysses – and together they hunt for clues that will unlock the mysteries of this timeless world.

Brother Bear (2003)

Brother Bear icon art

Brother Bear is a 2003 animated motion picture based on the novel written by author Michael J. Totten. The movie starts off with two brothers, Kenai and Sitka, hunting for food in their village (Hauska).

The movie turns more serious when Kenai gets attacked by the bear (which the animators named “Nanuk”) after he shoots at it with his arrow. The Great Spirit intervenes at this point and changes Kenai into a bear, but he does not change his mindset about killing the bear.

The movie then switches back to Sitka, who is fishing when he gets attacked by a pack of wolves, which results in him becoming mortally wounded and dying after seeing his brother Kenai (who has now turned into a bear) save his tribe with the salmon they had needed for their Great Gathering.

Meet The Robinsons (2007)

Meet the Robinsons, directed by Stephen Anderson and starring Jordan Fry, is a fantastic Disney film that falls into the “non-musical” animated category.

The movie starts with what seems to be an average day for Lewis, who has no idea his life is about to change. He’s about to be abandoned by his parents and sent to live with his Uncle Jake in the city. But fate intervenes when Uncle Jake’s invention sends Lewis flying into the future.

Pixar wrote what could be their best script yet as they follow Lewis on his journey to find a way back home.

Other Great Non-Musical Animated Disney Movies

Entrance gate in Walt Disney Studios in Paris

While musicals like “The Lion King” and “Frozen” often get the spotlight, Disney’s repertoire includes a wealth of non-musical animated films that are equally enchanting and entertaining. These movies, celebrated for their storytelling, animation, and unique characters, offer a variety of adventures and narratives that deviate from the traditional musical format Disney is known for. Here are other notable non-musical animated Disney movies that deserve recognition.

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

“The Emperor’s New Groove” stands out with its humor, memorable characters, and a plot that focuses on friendship and humility. Released in 2000, it tells the story of the arrogant and self-centered Emperor Kuzco, who is transformed into a llama by his power-hungry advisor, Yzma. Kuzco’s only hope for regaining his throne lies in a kind-hearted peasant named Pacha. The film is a departure from Disney’s usual epic tales, opting instead for a fast-paced and comedic story that appeals to both children and adults. Its success led to a sequel and a television series, proving the enduring appeal of its characters and its humor.

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

“Wreck-It Ralph” (2012) dives into the colorful and dynamic world of video games, telling the story of a villain character, Ralph, who embarks on a journey to prove he can be a hero. The film is a homage to the video game industry, featuring cameos from various iconic video game characters. Its unique setting and heartfelt message about acceptance and the nature of heroism resonated with audiences, leading to critical acclaim and a successful sequel. “Wreck-It Ralph” is celebrated for its creative story, detailed animation, and exploration of themes such as identity and redemption.

Bolt (2008)

“Bolt” (2008) follows the story of a TV show superhero dog who believes his powers are real and embarks on a cross-country journey to save his co-star. Along the way, Bolt learns about friendship, loyalty, and the reality of his existence beyond the television screen. The movie is a touching tale about self-discovery and the bond between pets and their owners. With its action-packed sequences, humorous moments, and emotional depth, “Bolt” offers a compelling narrative that appeals to a wide audience.

Chicken Little (2005)

“Chicken Little” (2005) marked Disney’s first fully computer-animated feature film without Pixar’s partnership. It tells the story of a young chicken who causes widespread panic when he claims that the sky is falling. After being ridiculed by the townsfolk, Chicken Little tries to redeem himself and ends up uncovering a potential alien invasion. The film’s blend of humor, adventure, and themes of redemption and courage makes it a noteworthy entry in Disney’s animated canon. Despite mixed reviews, “Chicken Little” holds a special place for its exploration of themes like bravery and the importance of trust.

Interesting Facts About Non-Musical Animated Disney Movies

Watching Disney+ on TV

Disney’s repertoire of non-musical animated movies offers a treasure trove of creativity, innovation, and storytelling prowess. Unearthing some of the lesser-known facts behind these cinematic gems reveals the depth of Disney’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what animated films can achieve. Here are several intriguing facts about these non-musical animated marvels.

  • First Full CGI Disney Movie: Disney’s first foray into a fully computer-generated feature film was “Dinosaur” (2000). This ambitious project blended live-action backgrounds with CGI characters, setting a new benchmark for animation technology and storytelling.
  • Revolutionizing Animation with “The Rescuers Down Under”: Released in 1990, “The Rescuers Down Under” was the first feature film to employ the CAPS (Computer Animation Production System), developed by Pixar for Disney. This technology allowed for the seamless integration of traditional 2D animation with computer-generated imagery, marking a significant milestone in animated filmmaking.
  • “Zootopia’s” Detailed World-Building: Creating the diverse ecosystem of “Zootopia” involved extensive research, including trips to Kenya for the film’s creators. This effort ensured the film’s anthropomorphic characters and settings were as authentic and varied as possible, showcasing Disney’s commitment to rich, detailed world-building.
  • “Moana’s” Water Animation Innovations: For “Moana,” Disney animators developed new software called Quicksilver to create the most realistic water animations seen in any of their films to date. This technical advancement highlighted the studio’s ongoing quest for realism and innovation in animation.
  • The Unique Art Style of “101 Dalmatians”: With its release in 1961, “101 Dalmatians” introduced a distinctive art style to Disney animation, thanks to the Xerox process. This technique allowed animators to directly transfer their drawings to cels, preserving the sketchy quality of the original artwork and introducing a new level of dynamism and expression to the animation.
  • Expanding the Animal Kingdom with “Robin Hood”: Disney’s “Robin Hood” (1973) was notable for its all-animal cast, a creative decision that required animators to blend human-like traits with animal behaviors. This film laid the groundwork for future Disney movies that would feature anthropomorphic animal characters.
  • “The Great Mouse Detective’s” Groundbreaking Use of CGI: One of the first Disney films to incorporate CGI was “The Great Mouse Detective” (1986), particularly in the clock tower scene. This early use of 3D computer graphics showcased Disney’s pioneering spirit in blending new technologies with traditional animation.
  • Environmental Messaging in “The Jungle Book”: Although not its central theme, “The Jungle Book” (1967) subtly introduced audiences to the concept of environmental conservation through its depiction of the jungle and its inhabitants, reflecting Walt Disney’s personal interest in nature conservation.

Conclusion

Non-musical animated Disney movies are some of the most popular and well-known films out there. These 7 (and more) non-musical animated Disney movies should be on your list to watch if you haven’t already seen them!

Additional Suggestions

  • If you want to watch these classic non-musical animated Disney movies at home, you can do so by streaming them through the Disney+ app, which can then connect to your smart TV.
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