8 Animated Movies Like Orion and the Dark You Must See

‘Orion and the Dark,’ a fantasy adventure film, brings an entertaining and heartfelt narrative about a young boy who learns to confront his fears after a wild night spent with naturally magical Entities. Dark is a giant, friendly Night Entity whose feelings have been bruised over the years due to everyone’s collective disdain and fear of him. As such, he decides to prove everyone wrong by inviting Orion, a kid notorious for his long-winded list of fears— topped by a fear of darkness, to accompany him on a wild adventure around the world. The journey brings big revelations for the ancient Entity, his kindred friends, as well as Orion and his successors, to come.

The film effortlessly compels the viewers to suspend their disbelief and delve into a fantastically quirky world ripe with fun and moral lessons in equal measures. As such, fans must be looking for stories with riveting themes, exciting worlds, and compelling characters similar to the one depicted in ‘Orion and the Dark.’

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The stop motion animation film, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ is a classic tale that blends the holidays into one musically-charged, fun, and spooky package. The film’s protagonist, Jack Skellington, of Halloween Town, is fascinated to discover the nearby Christmas Town, full of merry decorations and joy. As a result, to mix things up, Jack the Pumpkin King embarks on a misguided adventure to kidnap Santa Claus and take over the Christmas holiday.

This film brings a chaotically magical landscape that remains distinct from the fantasy elements in ‘Orion and the Dark,’ while sharing thematic resonances. Thus, if you’re looking for something equally endearing and entertaining as the latter but with a fresh storyline, you should give this film a try.

7. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Delving into a world of spooky, fun-loving monsters, ‘Hotel Transylvania,’ instantly transports its viewers to a different landscape where fantasy comes to life. After years of unpleasant relations with humankind, Dracula, an old vampire, decides to open a resort hidden from the natural world where supernatural beings are free to relax. However, single father Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, does not share his dislike for humans and yearns to explore the world outside her father’s hotel. As such, Dracula finds himself in a sticky spot when a human boy, Jonathan, ends up stumbling across the Hotel and falls for Mavis.

The mythical aspect of ‘Hotel Transylvania,’ paired with its themes of biased misconceptions held against certain groups, share noticeable similarities with the narrative presented in ‘Orion and the Dark.’

6. Epic (2013)

‘Epic’ is an action-adventure movie that charts the story of a hidden world where a battle between good and evil brews, holding potential for monumental repercussions in the human world. Mary Katherine’s father is a scientist obsessed with proving the existence of a civilization of tiny beings living in the forest. However, before the man, his daughter discovers this society, led by the forest’s Queen, Tara, and her army of Leafmen. Worse yet, from the looks of it, the Leafmen are preparing for an all-out high-stakes war against the Boggans and their leader, Mandrake.

Mary Katherine thrust into a brand-new world, ends up teaming up with Nod and his ragtag group to prevent the end of their world and hers. ‘Epic’ features a riveting story about a hidden world with intricate ties to humanity. The premise holds a clear resemblance with ‘Orion and the Dark,’ which fans of the latter will definitely enjoy.

5. Tinker Bell (2008)

For people who enjoyed the magical world of ‘Orion and the Dark,’ ‘Tinker Bell’s’ Pixie Hollow will make for an entertaining new environment to explore. The film revolves around its titular character, Tinker Bell, a newborn fairy with a knack for tinkering. Nevertheless, the fairy realizes her talent may confine her to Neverland with no opportunity to see the human world. Therefore, she embarks on a journey to acquire new skills and change her destiny with the help of her fellow fairy friends.

Despite a natural distinction between the rebellious Tink and perpetually anxious Orion, both characters undertake reckless endeavors in their pursuit of new adventures. Likewise, both characters’ narratives arrive at a similar conclusion of self-acceptance.

4. How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

‘How To Train Your Dragon’ is a classic Dreamworks animated film that brings the world of Dragons and Vikings to the screen and presents a story about an unlikely friendship between the two. Hiccup is nothing you would expect from the son of Stoik the Vast, the leader of Berk’s Viking village, feared and revered for his tough and macho ways. Unlike his father and the rest of his clan, Hiccup is a lanky teenager with more brains than brawns. However, the boy finds a sense of belonging when his paths cross with an injured Night Fury dragon, Toothless.

To their surprise, Hiccup and Toothless end up becoming great friends, forming a deep bond. Thus, once the Vikings attempt to close in on the dragons— their sworn enemies— it’s up to the duo to change their minds and bring a new age of cooperation. The film expertly tackles similar feelings of societal isolation and otherness that will resonate with people who enjoy ‘Orion and the Dark.’

3. Megamind (2010)

A film that revolves around a misunderstood protagonist who charts a journey that changes others’ presumptuous perception of him, ‘Megamind’ shares a thematic cornerstone with ‘Orion and the Dark’ from the get-go. Like Dark, Megamind has also persistently put up with others’ fear of him. However, the latter deals with the issue in a completely different way by giving the people what they want and becoming a feared villain in Metrocity. Yet, once he achieves the impossible and destroys the city’s beloved hero, Metro Man, he realizes there’s no goodness left for him to fight.

Thus, to squash his boredom, Megamind creates a new hero, Hal “Tighten” Stewart. Nevertheless, the plan ends up backfiring when Titan turns out to be better at playing a villain, pushing Megamind and Roxanne, Metro Man’s ex-girlfriend, to team up and find a way to save the city.

2. Inside Out (2015)

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ fashions a vivid and eccentric world that fans of ‘Orion and the Dark’ are bound to enjoy. The film follows a young girl, Riley, whose parents have just uprooted her life by moving from their Midwestern hometown to San Francisco. The tween attempts to make it work in the new environment but persistently finds herself knocked off-balance, unable to get accustomed to her new normal. As a result, the headquarters inside her mind—ruled by emotions, namely Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and their leader, Joy— goes into a frenzy. As the emotions attempt to steer Riley back on track, Joy and Sadness find themselves in a world of trouble, creating more problems for the girl.

This film shares its base premise with ‘Orion and the Dark,’ of a central cast of characters populated with embodiments of concepts. As such, the two movies end up creating similar worlds wherein the narrative gets to explore earnest topics of mental health while maintaining a fun drive.

1. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Sporting a star-studded voice cast, including Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, and more, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ brings the fascinating world of children’s myths to life. The emergence of the Boogeyman, Pitch Black, promises new threats to the world as he continues to poison children’s dreams into nightmares. Consequently, Jack Frost, the carefree winter spirit, finds himself joining the ranks of the Big Four: Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Sandman, and Easter Bunny. Officially a Guardian now, Jack must find a way to work with his new team to protect the children of the world and preserve hope, innocence, and a sense of belief.

The dynamic between Jack, the rest of the guardians, and Jamie, a human boy with a special connection to the winter spirit, will undoubtedly remind viewers of the characters from ‘Orion and the Dark.’ Furthermore, both films share similar adventurous streaks alongside narratives steeped in an innate childlike wonder.

Read More: Orion and the Dark Ending: How Does Hypatia Go Home? Who Is Tycho?