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15. Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017)
Worldwide Box Office: $197.2million
Starring: Demi Lovato, Danny Pudi, Kelly Asbury, Julia Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Gordon Ramsay
If anyone ever asks you the question: which trilogy/franchise gets progressively better with each entry? One answer you can offer (likely without dispute) is that of the Smurfs franchise.
Smurfs: The Lost Village tops our mini-table of Smurfs movies, the 2017 entry being just as underwhelming and disappointing to general audiences as most movies in this portion of the list, only slightly improved on its predecessors in almost every conceivable way; mostly in how it appeals to children.
This isn’t a movie that will cross age boundaries like a lot of animated fare, but it is one that will please children with its simple, hearty and inoffensive story and vastly improved presentation.
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14. Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Worldwide Box Office: $474.8million
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Adam Samberg, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Mel Brooks, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Keegan-Michael Key, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle, Jon Lovitz
Despite a relatively strong start to the Hotel Transylvania franchise in 2012, the sequel seemed somewhat devoid of new ideas in comparison, Sony Pictures Animation clearly taking the safest route possible to their animated sequel.
Hotel Transylvania wasn’t bad, but it was far from original and failed to capitalise on the unexpected buzz the original release received, almost derailing the franchise altogether. It’s not like you have to miss this out if you’re going to binge watch the trilogy, but it’s hardly the one you’ll revisit on a one-off either.
13. Open Season (2006)
Worldwide Box Office: $197.3million
Starring: Jane Krakowski, Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Billy Connolly, Jon Favreau, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing
Inspired by the work of cartoonist Steve Moore and directed by the directors of The Lion King (1994), Open Season looked set to be Sony Pictures Animation’s game-changing introduction to the world of animated feature films, but what came to pass was much less exciting.
The 2006 release starring the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Martin Lawrence, Iron Man director Jon Favreau and Jane Krakowski, was entertaining enough but lacked in creative visual set pieces, featured only a mildly interesting narrative and seemed too America-centric to appeal to wider audiences (whom remain vital to most animated film releases at the box office).
12. The Star (2017)
Worldwide Box Office: $62.8million
Starring: Zachary Levi, Gina Rodriguez, Steven Yeun, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Oprah Winfrey, Gabriel Iglesias, Keegan-Michael Key, Ving Rhames, Tyler Perry, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Plummer, Tracy Morgan
Telling the tale of Jesus’ birth from the perspective of the animal kingdom, The Star surpassed expectations of being an animated feature suitable only for audience members with devoutly christian beliefs to become something of a heart-warming and funny take on the tale that was suitable for the whole family.
The major issue with The Star was that when the jokes didn’t hit, they crashed, and crashed hard. Beyond that, the very concept of the movie seemed somewhat outdated and the animation could also be described as being from another era. Mediocre at best, The Star doesn’t quite cut our top 10.
11. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)
Worldwide Box Office: $528.6million
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Kevin James, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Shannon, Mel Brooks, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen
Not a perfect family animated film by any means, but a heart-warming, funny release nonetheless, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation set the HT franchise back on the right track after an underwhelming second release, offering a film that may not have hit year-best heights but was certainly an entertaining release.
Promoting positive messages, featuring the same cast of voice actors who made the original so endearing, and capturing a loving Halloween-esque atmosphere, Summer Vacation is the kind of feature you’d expect from a largely B-level animation house and would be a solid choice for a family evening in.