Dreamworks SKG was founded in 1994 by legendary film director Steven Spielberg, former Disney animation executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and music producer David Geffen with the intention of assembling some of the most talented minds in the industry and offering the best possible competition to animated cinema’s long-standing powerhouse, Disney. Since their debut release Antz in 1998, Dreamworks have released a further thirty seven movies in theatres and have grossed upwards of $14.4billion at the worldwide box office. Now owned by NBC Universal, the same umbrella corporation that owns Illumination Entertainment (the studio behind Despicable Me), Dreamworks have asserted their intentions to stay as close to the top of the animated film industry as they’ve ever been, with a number of critical and commercial hits released as a part of this new partnership over the past few years.
In this edition of Ranked, we’re looking across Dreamworks Animation’s twenty-plus years of animated feature films to rank each and every one of the studio’s thirty eight releases from worst to best in terms of entertainment value, artistic endeavour, animation standard, critical reception and audience perception, for this: Every Dreamworks Animation Movie Ranked.
No doubt there will be some contention regarding the order, so let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to follow The Film Magazine on Twitter.
38. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
Worldwide Box Office: $80.8million
Starring: Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, Joseph Fiennes
It seems that nobody can remember this one. Even Brad Pitt, the movie’s star, has forgotten about it, stating in the build-up to the release of Megamind that he wanted to be a part of the 2010 movie so that his children could enjoy him playing a part in an animated film.
37. Shark Tale (2004)
Worldwide Box Office: $367.3million
Starring: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese, Ziggy Marley
Hugely successful, but disastrously awful. Shark Tale’s animation was almost completely lifeless, and was especially embarrassing in comparison to Pixar’s immaculately presented Finding Nemo from the previous year. Some people do have fond memories of this film, but we’ll put that down to nostalgia and Christina Aguilera’s rendition of “Car Wash”.
36. Shrek the Third (2007)
Worldwide Box Office: $799million
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake
Shrek was outstanding and Shrek 2 was a worthy follow up, but Shrek the Third lacked all the magic of its predecessors and left a disgusting taste in many a Shrek fan’s mouth: the taste of disappointment. Whose idea was it to make a children’s animated film about a middle-aged married couple with children anyway?
35. Shrek Forever After (2010)
Worldwide Box Office: $752.6million
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Walt Dohrn, Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, Lake Bell
After the franchise’s third movie, we expected this nonsense. That’s it… the only reason Shrek Forever After is above Shrek the Third on this list is because it didn’t have to follow a gem like Shrek 2 and thus didn’t leave us all disappointed in the franchise’s sudden drop in quality. It owes its standing above other films to one thing: a familiarity with once engaging characters.
34. Bee Movie (2007)
Worldwide Box Office: $287.6million
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Sting, Oprah Winfrey, Rip Torn
‘Bee Movie’ is more often remembered as a meme and a source of mockery than as a movie. That’s all you really need to know.
Recommended for you: Laika Animated Movies Ranked
33. The Boss Baby (2017)
Worldwide Box Office: $456.7million
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire
Based on a picture book with not enough content to transform into a meaningful silver screen story, The Boss Baby feels like an overly long joke that doesn’t quite pack the punch you thought it would, yet still leaves you quietly chuckling away to yourself. This makes it one of the “not so bad it’s unwatchable” movies in this list.
32. Home (2015)
Worldwide Box Office: $386million
Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez
It’s arguable that this movie’s lack of popularity can be owed to the state that Dreamworks was in at the time of its release, because with Rihanna at the centre of the picture and the ever popular Jim Parsons playing her alien friend, it seemed to have the perfect formula for success. As it turns out, the movie was pretty good too, but “pretty good” doesn’t push a movie up this list.