Every Dreamworks Animation Movie Ranked

31. Trolls World Tour (2020)

Budget: $95million
Worldwide Box Office: $23.2million
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Jamie Dornan, Kelly Clarkson, Rachel Bloom, Chance the Rapper, Sam Rockwell, Justin Timberlake, Ozzy Osbourne, Kenan Thompson, Charlyne Yi, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Tiffany Haddish, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Trolls World Tour was one of the unfortunate victims of the cinema shutdowns of 2020, therefore being one of the first major studio releases to transition to premium video on demand. The star-studded sequel to 2016’s Trolls felt a lot more like a corporate cash grab than Dreamworks’ 2019 releases (How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Abominable), leaning heavily into its licensed music and terrifically rendered colour palette but being far from original in terms of narrative and characterisation.

30. The Road to El Dorado (2000)

Budget: $95million
Worldwide Box Office: $76.4million
Starring: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez, Armand Assante, Edward James Olmos, Elton John

A box office bomb with more heart and fun than such figures would suggest, The Road to El Dorado simply wasn’t spectacular enough to grab audiences back to classic animation following the advent of computer animated movies around the turn of the century, and can be best remembered as being part of the spate of films that waved goodbye to an art form that would be scarcely seen ever again in mainstream western animation.

29. Madagascar (2005)

Budget: $78million
Worldwide Box Office: $532.7million
Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter

Madagascar seemed a lot more like a vicious ploy to print money than many of Dreamworks’ early releases given its marketable characterisations and even more marketable stars, yet it can still be fondly remembered for featuring a story of morality that was accessible to children and thought-provoking enough for adults to at least appease some of the parents who’d sat through countless mindless family movies. Chuck in some of Dreamworks’ typically risque jokes and Madagascar earns its place above the other movies we’ve listed so far, despite being ranked the lowest of its four-film-strong franchise.

28. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Budget: $132million
Worldwide Box Office: $373million
Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Werner Herzog

A spin-off that went largely under the radar on its way to collecting over $370million at the box office, Penguins of Madagascar was actually a pretty fun movie, not least because of its cast that included the likes of Benedict Cumberbath, John Malkovich and Werner Herzog (of all people). Even if the story doesn’t do it for you, you can at least enjoy working out which characters these famous names provided their voices for.

27. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

Budget: $150million
Worldwide Box Office: $603.9million
Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin, Will. I. Am

Madagascar 2 admirably highlighted the more successful elements of its predecessor to create an even better film the second time around. This time in Africa,  Stiller’s Alex was reunited with his roots and, perhaps inevitably for an animated film, a series of strange happenings occurred, paving the way for funnier jokes and more spectacular set-pieces than in the original movie.

26. Turbo (2013)

Budget: $135million
Worldwide Box Office: $282.6million
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Samuel L. Jackson, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez

Turbo is a superhero movie about a super-fast Snail. It has all the tropes of its sub-genre, from acquiring powers via an unfortunate accident to coming of age courtesy of the journey said powers send him on, and while this may be quite tiresome in the ordinary live-action format, it felt somewhat more original in the animation realm.

25. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

Budget: $38million
Worldwide Box Office: $62.7million
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal

Dreamworks’ licensing of the Captain Underpants IP made many a fan’s dreams come true and seemed to deliver much of the goodness that those fans expected. It wasn’t a huge hit in the US by any means, but it was developed with a relatively small budget and starred only a handful of recognisable names, gifting the film a more neat and intimate feel than many of its contemporaries.

Recommended for you: Sony Pictures Animation Movies Ranked

24. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

Budget: $175million
Worldwide Box Office: $381.5million
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Paul Rudd, Julie White, Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski

The title is descriptive of all you need to know about this movie, but just in case you haven’t bought in yet, there are performances by comedy legends like Hugh Laurie, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Jeffrey Tambor, John Krasinski and Amy Poehler to look forward to, with some some A-list accompaniment in Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger and Kiefer Sutherland. But be warned, this movie could’ve been so much more.

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  • <cite class="fn">Sophie Grant</cite>

    Whilst I think The Road to El Dorado and Spirit should have been ranked higher (because those films are genius) I’m so glad The Prince of Egypt was ranked as number one! :)

    • <cite class="fn">Katie Anna-Louise Doyle</cite>

      Yeah man! Road to Eldorado deserves better than 28th!@

      • <cite class="fn">Sophie Grant</cite>

        So under appreciated… 😞

        • <cite class="fn">Katie Anna-Louise Doyle</cite>

          Surely the cult status shoukd have boosted its ranking. Prince of Egypt does deserve top place tho

          • <cite class="fn">Sophie Grant</cite>

            Definitely, Prince of Egypt has it all. And I’d agree, I always see posts and references to El Dorado online, particularly Tumblr :)

          • <cite class="fn">Joseph Wade</cite>

            El Dorado is popular on Tumblr and with people our ages because we were conditioned to like it as kids (because of cheap VHS/DVD releases following how massively it bombed at the box office). The reality is that it wasn’t nearly as good as our nostalgia leads us to believe and it remains the only film in the studio’s history that LOST money.

  • <cite class="fn">Katie Anna-Louise Doyle</cite>

    Not to disrespect all the classics on here, but Dreamworls hasn’t half produced a load of shite

    • <cite class="fn">Joseph Wade</cite>

      I actually disagree. I think a lot of these movies were fun. Apart from a few of the movies at the very bottom of the list, everything here is at least entertaining which is more than can be said for 9/10s of live-action films.

  • <cite class="fn">Katie Anna-Louise Doyle</cite>

    Jesus, i forgot Dustin Hoffman was in Kung-fu Panda 😂

  • <cite class="fn">Esther Doyle</cite>

    I never even realised that Antz was the first feature length film. does this mean I’m older than Dreamworks??

    • <cite class="fn">Joseph Wade</cite>

      Yeah it does! How crazy is that?! It’s a company that has lived fast and lived well, it would seem. Thanks for commenting!

  • <cite class="fn">Turbo Truther</cite>

    Turbo needs to be higher. Malarkey

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