This work intends to demonstrate the importance of geometrically nonlinear crosssectional analysis of certain composite beam-based four-bar mechanisms in predicting system dynamic characteristics. All component bars of the mechanism are made of fiber reinforced laminates and have thin rectangular cross-sections. They could, in general, be pre-twisted and/or possess initial curvature, either by design or by defect. They are linked to each other by means of revolute joints. We restrict ourselves to linear materials with small strains within each elastic body (beam). Each component of the mechanism is modeled as a beam based on geometrically nonlinear 3-D elasticity theory. The component problems are thus split into 2-D analyses of reference beam cross-sections and nonlinear 1-D analyses along the four beam reference curves. For thin rectangular cross-sections considered here, the 2-D cross-sectional nonlinearity is overwhelming. This can be perceived from the fact that such sections constitute a limiting case between thin-walled open and closed sections, thus inviting the nonlinear phenomena observed in both. The strong elastic couplings of anisotropic composite laminates complicate the model further. However, a powerful mathematical tool called the Variational Asymptotic Method (VAM) not only enables such a dimensional reduction, but also provides asymptotically correct analytical solutions to the nonlinear cross-sectional analysis. Such closed-form solutions are used here in conjunction with numerical techniques for the rest of the problem to predict multi-body dynamic responses, more quickly and accurately than would otherwise be possible. The analysis methodology can be viewed as a three-step procedure: First, the cross-sectional properties of each bar of the mechanism is determined analytically based on an asymptotic procedure, starting from Classical Laminated Shell Theory (CLST) and taking advantage of its thin strip geometry. Second, the dynamic response of the nonlinear, flexible fourbar mechanism is simulated by treating each bar as a 1-D beam, discretized using finite elements, and employing energy-preserving and -decaying time integration schemes for unconditional stability. Finally, local 3-D deformations and stresses in the entire system are recovered, based on the 1-D responses predicted in the previous step. With the model, tools and procedure in place, we shall attempt to identify and investigate a few problems where the cross-sectional nonlinearities are significant. This will be carried out by varying stacking sequences and material properties, and speculating on the dominating diagonal and coupling terms in the closed-form nonlinear beam stiffness matrix. Numerical examples will be presented and results from this analysis will be compared with those available in the literature, for linear cross-sectional analysis and isotropic materials as special cases.