15. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
Worldwide Box Office: $521.2million
Starring: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, JK Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Kate Hudson
“Kung Fu Panda 3 might actually be the best of the series” read many a review of the franchise’s third instalment, proving that sequels needn’t be devoid of quality. In this film, every voice is given noteworthy moments and every scene is as beautiful as the movie’s predecessors. In fact, the only reason this picture ranks lower than its predecessors is because of the historical importance of 1 & 2 (of which there is more to come…)
14. Abominable (2019)
Worldwide Box Office: $162million
Starring: Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Albert Tsai, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Izzard, Tsai Chin, Michelle Wong, James Hong
An original entry from a studio that had quickly moved into franchise sequels and popular IP adaptations in the 2010s, Abominable is a beautifully animated and hearty film that was somehow missed out on by the majority of audiences (its $162million worldwide box office total only just ensuring this film broke even). The simple and easy to understand narrative made the film accessible for children, while the quality of the genuinely crisp and inventive animation made Abominable a standout of animated fare in a very strong year.
Recommended for you: Blue Sky Studios Animated Movies Ranked
13. Puss In Boots (2011)
Worldwide Box Office: $555million
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, Guillermo del Toro
When your central franchise begins to waver and your cast proves too expensive, create a spin-off! That was, unfortunately, the entire reason for Puss In Boots coming to being. Still, the stench of Shrek 3 & 4 wasn’t enough to muffle the quality and originality of this movie, which is surprisingly very touching as well as funny.
12. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Worldwide Box Office: $665.7million
Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Jean-Claude Van Damme
Kung Fu Panda 2 was the first animated movie to ever be directed by a female, and for that reason alone it is certainly noteworthy.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s sequel to the mega success that was Kung Fu Panda 1 is a beautifully animated film with seemingly even more layers of colourful joy to be had than even the best of Disney Pixar’s output. It is also arguably a more close knit and funny picture than its predecessor, even if such advances seem to deteriorate the underdog story the original offered so effectively. In short, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a must-see animated movie for many reasons and is very unlucky to not make the top ten in this list.
11. Antz (1998)
Worldwide Box Office: $171.8million
Starring: Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Anne Bancroft, Jane Curtin, Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Jennifer Lopez, John Mahoney, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Christopher Walken
Antz was the first feature-length picture ever released by Dreamworks and starred a plethora of talent, some of whom are listed above. This movie is perhaps best remembered for being similar to Disney Pixar’s second film A Bug’s Life, though its more adult themes (such as bodily sacrifice and socialist agenda) cannot be overlooked. Aesthetically a little more dated than a number of its listed contemporaries, and even Pixar’s eerily similar 90s release, Antz isn’t regarded as a classic by any means, but it does remain an enjoyable (and at times moving) experience that should be fondly remembered for being the catalyst of everything that Dreamworks has released since.
10. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
Worldwide Box Office: $519million
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Kit Harrington, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, David Tennant, Ashley Jensen, Djimon Hounsou
A trilogy finale befitting the much-loved and critically lauded How to Train Your Dragon franchise, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brought together another stellar cast of hugely respected character actors and superstar celebrities for animation studio Dreamworks, this time operating under distributors Universal. This 2019 release was clearly a labour of love, and while it didn’t necessarily offer anything as fresh or original (visually or narratively) as the first two How to Train Your Dragon movies, it was a stellar entry into the canon of Dreamworks offerings and every bit the wrap-up to the series that fans had anticipated.
9. Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Worldwide Box Office: $306.9million
Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman
A squad of immortal guardians including Santa Claus, Mother Earth, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are led by Jack Frost in an epic Avengers-like team-up of mythical children’s characters for this incredibly popular Christmas-themed movie. Chris Pine leads the cast of talented voices that also includes Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher and Hugh Jackman for a quick-paced adventure film filled with beautifully animated magic and incredibly creative sets, precisely the sorts of things you can’t muster up in your typical live-action release. This is a good movie for children, families and those adults who haven’t quite grown up yet, and is a deserving top ten entry on this list.
Recommended for you: Illumination Entertainment Animated Movies Ranked
8. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Worldwide Box Office: $192.6million
Starring: Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Kay
When Dreamworks bought British stop-motion animation studio Aardman Animation in late 1997, a new feature-length tale from arguably the most popular stop-motion characters of all time, Wallace and Gromit, seemed like the most logical step. Instead, Aardman debuted under the Dreamworks Animation banner with Chicken Run in 2000, then made their legions of fans wait a further five years for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. For many, it was worth the wait. The promotional powers of Dreamworks and the creative talents of Nick Park and Steve Box made for a killer team, and the movie went on to earn over six times the amount of money that it was made for, clocking in just short of $200million at the worldwide box office. Telling the tale of Wallace falling in love in the midst of a supposed carrot stealing werewolf running rampant in his town, this Wallace and Gromit movie was just as unique as any Wallace and Gromit animation before or since and should be lauded for the way it countered the successes of modern computer-rendered animation with its more traditional methods.