Deemed Walt Disney’s folly at the time of its creation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animated film ever. Based on Grimm’s Fairy Tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has some of the most ravishing artwork out of any animated film. Meanwhile, it also balances between different art influences like German Expressionism (common in the 1920s), romance, fantasy, and horror.
Winning an Oscar and having the status of being a blockbuster, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs created a whole genre of movies and had a massive effect on the film industry as well as popular culture in general. Fans of it will likely also enjoy these movies.
10 The Land Before Time (1988) – Stream On Starz
As different in content as possible, it may seem weird to have this Don Bluth dinosaur favorite as a suggestion for fans of Snow White. However, the two have one very important thing in common; the gorgeous hand-painted animation. Both films have exceptionally beautiful backgrounds that look more like pretty paintings than backgrounds in animated movies.
1988’s The Land Before Time is about an orphaned Brontosaurus named Littlefoot that must endure a dangerous journey with other juvenile dinosaurs to safety and to their families in a faraway valley after an earthquake displaces the young dinos.
9 Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Stream On Starz
Sharing the genre of gothic fantasy, Sleepy Hollow is a darker suggestion for fans of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Based on Washington Irving’s story, Sleepy Hollow looks at Ichabod Crane, who is sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate grisly murders.
Upon investigation, many fingers start to point at the mythical Headless Horseman as the culprit. This Tim Burton fantasy-horror hybrid marriages the dark gothic atmosphere with a fantastical sense of reality. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton made some beguiling movies together, this being one of them.
8 Fantasia (1940) – Stream On Disney+
Much like the risk Walt Disney took when he made Snow White, there was 1940’s Fantasia; a hybrid of animation and classical music. The film contains animated vignettes with accompanying orchestral music as the guiding force between the content and style of the sections. The most remembered episode of the film is “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in which Mickey Mouse must stop an army of sentient brooms.
There was never a film like this before or after Fantasia’s release. As a result, audiences were a bit befuddled when it originally came out. Since though, Fantasia has been noted as being one of the most innovative and daring films of the Disney catalog.
7 The Swan Princess (1994) – Rent From Amazon Video
The film revolves around a princess that falls in love with a kingdom’s prince. But, a jealous sorcerer intervenes and curses Princess Odette to become a swan. In order to become human again and reunite with her true love, Odette must travel on a perilous quest to reverse the spell.
The film is not recognized much post-’90s. However, The Swan Princess’s likable characters, interesting plot, and hand-drawn animation make the film worthy of a watch.
6 The Wizard of Oz (1939) – Stream On HBO Max
One of the most renowned classics of all of cinema, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who has never seen the 1939 film. But for those who possibly haven’t, the film is the story of farm girl Dorothy who is thrust into the magical Land of Oz, where she must see the wizard of Oz in Emerald City to get back home to Kansas. Along the way, she meets a scarecrow with no brain, a tinman with no heart, and a cowardly lion, who must pass through obstacles posed by the Wicked Witch.
The film’s sumptuous production design transports the viewer to the otherworldly Oz. The costumes, especially the noted ruby red slippers and the gingham pinafore are enmeshed in the collective consciousness of popular culture. The songs of the movie are earworms that refuse to leave one’s head after hearing them. In that way, it’s a lot like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
5 Enchanted (2007) – Rent From Google Play
A sweet satire of Disney princess films like Snow White and Cinderella, Enchanted is about a princess who is tricked into leaving her utopic fairy tale world and forced into modern-day New York City, circa the late 2000s. This was the film that launched Amy Adams to household name status.
It’s easy to see why as she gives a fantastic performance that is funny while being sweet and innocent. The cast of the film is spot on with the talents of Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel boosting the film’s clever script even further. Of course, the music and fairy tale concept are all right in line with the Disney animated classic.
4 The Princess and the Frog (2009) – Stream On Disney+
In this familiar tale, an ambitious young woman kisses a frog prince to turn him human again. Instead, they both are frogs and must find a way to become human again in order for her dreams to finally come true. A twist on the well-known Frog Prince fairy tale, this movie brings the setting to jazz-age New Orleans. The change of setting brightens the movie and adds another dimension to a traditional story.
In addition, the songs of the film are wonderful, perfectly tying in the film’s place with the personalities of the characters. Much like how Snow White was the first Disney princess, The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana was Disney’s first Black princess.
3 Sleeping Beauty (1959) – Stream On Disney+
In this film, wicked fairy Maleficent casts a curse on the newborn Princess Aurora to prick her finger on a spinning wheel on her 16th birthday and fall into a deep sleep that only her true love’s kiss can wake her from. The artistic direction of the film is distinct, setting this apart from other similar Disney films. The animation style used inspiration from medieval art, giving the film its Middle Ages feel.
Along with the virtuous animation, the characters are a standout. Maleficent is one of the best Disney villains of all time thanks to her aloof cruelness. The fact that Maleficent is extremely petty about a lack of an invitation also makes her very relatable for some.
2 Corpse Bride (2005) – Stream On HBO Max
The film follows a shy groom, who when practicing his vows for his arranged wedding, accidentally marries a dead young bride that rises from the grave to be his wife. The stop motion animation is awe-inspiring, especially when considering the painstaking process of doing it.
The voice performances of the film are top-notch, as expected by the likes of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard E Grant, Joanna Lumley, and many other talents of the acting industry. Tim Burton’s film is a guaranteed success for those who enjoy fantasy stories.
1 The Black Cauldron (1985) – Stream On Disney+
The Black Cauldron follows a young farmhand along with his misfit pals who go on a quest to stop a tyrannical evil king from obtaining a powerful cauldron that will release an army of dead soldiers. The film features a delightful cast of characters, two highlights being the oracle piggy HenWen and mischievous furry creature Gurgi. The Black Cauldron was condemned when released as it was thought too dark for a Disney film.
Yet, the same could have been argued for Snow White in the evil queen scenes as well as the forbidden forest scenes, showing the clear bias The Black Cauldron faced solely due to its association with Disney. The animation of The Black Cauldron pushed the boundaries of animation technology, being one of the first films to use CGI. Meanwhile, the dark tone is perfect for fans of Disney films that are on the older side.