Best 90s animated film other than Disney

The world of animation is far from limited to Disney, though it does feel a bit like that sometimes. Nowhere was this feeling felt more than in the 1990s, when Disney was in the midst of its renaissance. The company made some bonafide classics over the course of the decade. However, they were not the only animation studio to release wonderful and unique films at the time. If you want to see a 90’s animated film that the mouse did not bring to life, we have you covered.

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FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)


Image via 20th Century Fox

Where to watch it: Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Get ready for some nostalgia with this choice. FernGully: The Last Rainforest is probably a name that may not sound familiar, but the chances that you probably saw it when you were young are high. A curious fairy named Crysta (Samantha Matthis) encounters the logger Zak (Jonathan Ward), shrinks him down to her size. But the lumberjacks and the evil pollution monster Hexxus (Tim Curry) trying to destroy the forest and in turn threaten the fairies all over the world. It’s up to Crysta and Zak to gather the fairies to save their colony before it’s too late.


Cool World (1992)

cool world

Image via Paramount Pictures

Where you can stream it: Amazon Prime

Okay, controversial opinion poll: Cool world gets a lot of unnecessary slaps. Although tampered with by the legendary animator Ralph Bakshi’s original vision for the film, the end result is still an enjoyable tumult that deserves a new shot. Artist Jack (Gabriel Byrne) is currently in prison and spending his time creating a series of comics based on his visions of a mysterious comic book world. When he is released, he is transported to Cool World and meets the hardened detective Frank (Brad Pitt) and femme fatale Holli (Kim Basinger). Unfortunately, the lines between the two universes begin to merge, putting Cool World in enormous danger.

Red Pig (1992)

Porco Rosso

Image via Studio Ghibli

Where you can stream it: HBO Max

It would not be a list of the best animated films of the 90s without a Studio Ghibli shoutout. It was hard to choose between this and the equally beloved Princess Mononoke. However, only one of these movies has a flying pig with a mustache, and that’s the movie Porco Rosso. Marco Pagot (Shūichirō Moriyama) was once a successful air-bound bounty hunter, but a mysterious curse has turned him into a pig. Now wearing the name Porco Rosso, he goes to heaven to fight air pirates, even though he is being disillusioned due to Italy’s new regime. However, he begins to hit heads with the American ace Curtis (Akio Ōtsuka), leading to an epic battle in heaven. It is one of the few historical works of the famous Japanese studio, but if you are looking for something significantly easier than The grave of the fireflies, give this one a watch.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)


Image via Warner Bros.

Where you can stream it: HBO Max

This movie is widely considered to be one of the best Batman movies, whether live-action or animated, and with good reason. Takes place during the events of Batman: The Animated Series, it follows the titular hero (Kevin Conroy) as he faces a brand new villain who kills crime bosses throughout Gotham. However, not everything is as it seems, especially with the mysterious Phantasm hot on Batman’s heels. With an exciting plot and amazing animation, it’s not so strange Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is one of the best examples of Batman media ever made.

The Swan Princess (1994)

the swan princess

Picture via New Line Cinema

Where to buy it: Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

With its bizarre amount of direct-to-video sequels, it can be hard to remember the first one Swan Princess the movie is actually pretty good. Even though it’s not nearly as romantic as it thinks it is, it’s still a heartfelt story about embracing your inner beauty. After being told that her suitor Derek (Howard McGillin) only likes her for her beauty, Odette (Michelle Nicastro) is kidnapped by the powerful wizard Rothbart (Jack Palance) and turns into a swan. Unaware of the other’s continued existence, Odette and Derek must find a way to defeat Rothbart before claiming both of their kingdoms as his.

Ghost in the Shell (1995)


Image via Kôdansha

Where to buy it: Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Forget the one who clumsily wrote and sadly cast live-action adaptation from a few years back. Ghost in the shell is without a doubt not only one of the best anime films of the 90s, but one of the best anime film periods. Major Motoko Kusanagi (Atsuko Tanaka) is an elite cyborg agent who can easily track and kill ghost-hacked bodies, less than affectionately called shells. However, it is a meeting with the mysterious biohacker Puppet Master (Iemasa Kayumi), which causes Motoko to re-evaluate what really sets people and machines apart on more than one physical level. Though action-packed and violent, it’s also a gripping philosophical tale that will stay with you long after seeing it.

The End of Evangelion (1997)

the end of the gospel

Image via Toei Company

Where can you stream it: Netflix

That Rebirth movies of the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion may have been completed recently, however The end of the Evangelion helped pave the way for its resurgence in the theaters. Attempt to rewrite the last two paragraphs of Evangelion, the film follows Shinji (Megumi Ogata) as he begins to question his existence and purpose after Kawru’s death (Akira Ishida). The End of Evangelion takes the controversial existentialist themes of the original series finale and screws it up to 10. However, it also ends in a strangely positive way, or as positive of a tone, it can be taken into account under the circumstances. If you’re looking for world-class animated storytelling with a healthy dose of violence and fear, this movie is an important watch.

Perfect Blue (1997)


Image via Rex Entertainment

Where to buy it: Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

People who think that animated films can not be scary have clearly not heard of Perfect blueor maybe they think so Black swan was an original story. Either way, it is an important watch if you want to learn more about what the medium animation can accomplish. Mima Kirigoe (Junko Iwao) is a member of the successful girl group CHAM !, but wants to extend his career as an actor. While trying to break free from her image, however, she begins to be haunted by what she thinks is a disgruntled fan. However, the truth is much more complicated and darker than she expects, leading her down an inner path of destruction.

The Prince of Egypt (1998)

the prince of egypt

Image via DreamWorks Animation

Where to buy it: Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Even if you are not religious, you can not deny it The Prince of Egypt is a wonderful adaptation of Exodus and a great movie in general. Moses (Val Kilmer) finds himself thrown out of Egypt after accidentally killing a slave driver. While in exile, he received a prophecy from God that one day he would become king of Egypt and free the Hebrews from their slavery. After being assigned the shepherd’s rod of God, he sets out on his quest and gathers a loyal following along the way. You do not need to know anything about Exodus to appreciate the beautiful storytelling and catchy songs.

The Iron Giants (1999)

the iron-giant image

Image via Warner Bros.

Where you can stream it: HBO Max

I do not cry by thinking about The iron giants, you are. This iconic film centers around the timid Hogarth (Eli Marienthal), which has difficulty adapting to the concerns posed by the Cold War. That changes, however, when he discovers the titular iron giant (Vin Diesel), a 50-foot alien robot that responds defensively but still has a heart of gold. With the authorities on track, the unlikely duo team up with beatnik Dean (Harry Connick, Jr.) to try to prove that not everything that is unknown and different is inherently evil. Here is to hope that Giant will one day be recognized again by Warner Bros. outside their IP-promoting shlock.

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