6. Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs 2 (2009)
Worldwide Box Office: $274.3million
Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Cody Cameron, Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Neil Patrick Harris, Will Forte, James Caan, Benjamin Bratt, Kristen Schaal, Al Roker
Less original than the original, but featuring a lot of the qualities that took the first movie to such heights, Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs 2 was a decent movie harmed by the significance and brilliance of its predecessor; a picture (like many sequels) too concerned with immitating something great rather than striving out on its own. There are still a number of fantastic moments, some of which are uplifting and others that are filled with the wonderment of child-like imagination, but ultimately it just wasn’t Cloudy 1 nor nearly original enough to rank higher than number 6 on this list.
5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Worldwide Box Office: £123million
Starring: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Brendan Gleeson, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Brian Blessed, Anton Yelchin, Lenny Henry, Al Roker, Russell Tovey, Kayvan Novak
British stop-motion juggernauts Aardman Animations took the wheel for this Sony Pictures Animation distributed project.
Recommended for you: Aardman Animation Movies Ranked
While The Pirates! Band of Misfits wasn’t of the standard of the animation house’s most popular silver screen releases Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (each distributed by other companies), The Pirates! remains a lot of fun for fans of Aardman’s particular sensibilities and offers something unique to the Sony Pictures Animation filmography.
This film’s entry into this edition of Ranked marks the start of the high quality animated releases from the studio.
4. Surf’s Up (2007)
Worldwide Box Office: $149million
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel, Diedrich Bader, Jon Heder, Jeff Bridges, James Woods
Sony Pictures Animation’s 2nd release Surf’s Up significantly improved upon the quality of the studio’s original release Open Season, providing a much needed shot in the arm for a studio that had got out of the blocks slower than they’d have liked, and slower than anyone had expected. The mockumentary-fused style, quick wit and exceptional ahead-of-the-curve casting of Shia LaBeouf and Zooey Deschanel, made for an enjoyable animated release that may not have been a top contender for animated film of the year, but certainly had a lot to offer nonetheless. Surf’s Up may have become a straight-to-DVD IP for the studio to rent out to different companies over the years since its original release, staining this admittedly dated movie a little, but the importance and quality of Surf’s Up remains. It had Jeff Bridges as a cool surfer dude… who needs anything else?