Since its debut release Despicable Me in 2010, Universal’s animated studio arm Illumination Entertainment has forged a path for itself as one of the industry’s most lucrative animated film producers, earning over $6.5billion in worldwide box office receipts from only 10 movies and establishing one of the biggest franchises in all of Hollywood, the Minions.
Financially, Illumination is already a legitimate rival to the animation powerhouses Disney, Disney Pixar and Dreamworks Animation, but how do their movies shape up? In this edition of Ranked, we’re ordering every Illumination Entertainment feature-length cinematic release from worst to best in terms of entertainment value, artistic merit, critical reception and audience perception, for this: the Illumination Entertainment Animated Movies Ranked.
Let us know what you think about Illumination Entertainment’s films and which film you would have ranked as number one in the comments at the end of this article, and be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with more lists like this from The Film Magazine.
10. Hop (2011)
Worldwide Box Office: $184million
Starring: James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Russell Brand, Elizabeth Perkins, Hugh Laurie, Gary Cole, David Hasselhoff, Hank Azaria
So far Illumination’s only step into the world of live-action/animation hybrids, Hop was a flop critically and with good reason. The movie, starring James Marsden (X-Men; Sonic the Hedgehog) and ‘Big Bang Theory’ actress Kaley Cuoco, as well as a slew of famous names including Russell Brand, Hank Azaria and Hugh Laurie, was unremarkable in almost every aspect apart from how cheesy it was, with the high-end list of actors seemingly knowing how bad the movie was destined to be and therefore playing it like a purposefully terrible spoof movie.
Hop was an early misfire for a studio looking to prove its credentials, and though it does still pass as an acceptable movie for children to enjoy, it doesn’t even come close to the rest of Illumination’s catalogue and is by far the worst of their releases to date.
9. Minions (2015)
Worldwide Box Office: $1.16billion
Cast: Pierre Coffin, Steve Carell, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush, Jennifer Saunders
A review of Minions, published by The Film Magazine, describes the film as follows:
“The only way to accurately describe Minions to any reader of this review over the age of 18 would be to suggest to them that the story is so bizarre that it’s almost fixating despite its ridiculousness, and that the only conceivable way to understand the processes of the writer are to assume he – Mr. Brian Lynch (Hop; Puss In Boots) – was on some kind of acid trip when he wrote it.” – Joseph Wade
Minions was the sort of movie that made even less sense than the language the popular little creatures use to communicate, yet it was beautifully animated and almost charming in how frighteningly random it was. It was hardly a good movie, but it gave fans of the Minions all they could have asked for: more Minions. Besides, it wasn’t as bad as Hop, so that’s something… and did you know that it’s the fourth highest grossing animated film of all time? You do now.