In 1937, Walt Disney released ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ into cinemas around the world. The animated film was the first of its kind – never before had a feature length animated film graced the silver screen. The film went on to revolutionise the world of film making. It was fantastical, colourful, and wonderful, and millions of cinema goers the world over flocked to their local cinemas to see it on the big screen. The animated film genre has gone from strength to strength since the release of Snow White. Hundreds of films have been released over the years, many of which are considered to be some of the best movies ever made. The genre has also grown to include computer generated animated films. These films, unlike the hand drawn cartoons of old, are created by skilled computer artists using sophisticated equipment.
This top 10 list will look at the top 10 highest grossing animated films of all time.
10 – Shrek Forever After – $752,600,897
Shrek, a computer animated film starring a loveable green ogre, a foul mouthed donkey, and a beautiful princess with a secret, captured the hearts and minds of animation lovers around the world when it hit cinema screens in 2001. Created by Dreamworks, the animation studio headed up by film auteur Steven Spielberg, the film received an 88% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and earned $484 million in box office receipts, making it a critical and commercial success. Shrek Forever After is the fourth and final entry in the Shrek series. Released in 2010, the film followed the adventures of Shrek as he tried to avoid being wiped out of existence by the evil Rumpelstiltskin. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with the film ultimately getting a 58% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was a huge financial success however, generating $752,600,897 in the worldwide box office.
9 – Shrek the Third – $798,958,162
Shrek the Third, the third film in the Shrek franchise, was released in the summer of 2007. The film followed Shrek as he sought to protect Arthur Pendragon, the true King of Far Far Away, from the evil Prince Charming. The film received generally poor reviews, with only 40% of critics giving it a positive review according to Rotten Tomatoes. The film was a massive success at the box office, however, with audiences paying out $798,958,162 to see the film on the big screen.
8 – Frozen – $864,035,842
Disney is no stranger to animation. Since the release of ‘Snow White’ in 1937, the animation house has released no fewer than 53 separate feature length movies, many of which are considered to be some of the finest movies ever made. Frozen is Disney’s 53rd animated feature film. An adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s book ‘The Snow Queen’, the film follows Anna, a princess of the land of Arendelle, as she sets out to rescue her sister Elsa and save Arendelle from an unending winter. Frozen was well received by critics, with 89% giving the movie a positive review according to Rotten Tomatoes. It also performed well at the box office, generating over $864,035,842 in revenue worldwide.
7 – Ice Age: Continental Drift – $877,244,782
The first Ice Age movie was released into cinemas in 2002. The film followed the adventures of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth, and Diego the sabertooth tiger as they journeyed across the frozen plains of Pangaea to return a runaway baby to his parents. The movie was a hit with critics and earned a 77% approval rating from Rotten tomatoes. It also performed well at the box office, grossing $383 million worldwide. Ice Age: Continental Drift is the fourth instalment in the Ice Age series. Manny, Sid, and Diego all returned for this outing that saw them crossing Pangaea on an iceberg while trying to evade a group of pirates led by a primate named ‘Captain Gutt’. The movie received a tepid response from critics, earning a 37% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film grossed an impressive $877,244,782 at the box office however, making it the second most successful film in the Ice Age series.
6 – Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $886,686,817
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the third film in the popular Ice Age series. Once again starring Manny, Sid, and Diego, the film saw the three friends doing battle with dinosaurs and other dangerous animals new to their homeland. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with only 45% giving it a favourable review. The film was well received by cinema goers however, earning a massive $886,686,817 at the worldwide box office, making it the most successful film in the Ice Age series and the highest grossing animated film of 2009.
5 – Shrek 2 – $919,838,758
Shrek 2, the second entry in the Shrek series, is, by far, the most successful entry in the series. The film, once again starring Shrek and his companions, saw Shrek struggling to bond with the parents of his newly wed wife. It also saw him do battle with the evil Prince Charming and his mother, the Fairy Godmother. Shrek 2 was a huge hit with critics. It earned an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the highest of all the films in the Shrek series. The film also impressed at the box office, generating $919,838,758 in box office receipts.
4 – Finding Nemo – $936,743,261
Pixar Animation Studios are one of the most successful animation studios of all time. Their first film, Toy Story, was a critical and box office darling that changed the world of animation forever, and their followups are generally considered to be some of the finest animated films ever made. Finding Nemo is Pixar’s 5th movie. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, the film followed the adventures of Marlin, a clownfish, and Dory, a regal blue tang with short term memory loss, as they journeyed to Sydney to rescue Marlin’s son, Nemo, from certain doom. Critics adored Finding Nemo, giving it a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences around the world fell in love with Marlin and Dory too, and the film went on to gross $936,743,261 worldwide.
3 – Despicable Me 2 – $970,061,265
The first Despicable Me film, released in 2010, was a surprise hit. The film followed Gru, a super villain, as he tried to steal away the moon with the help of his yellow ‘Minions’. Gru’s well laid plans soon went astray, however, when he met three young orphan girls – Agnes, Edith, and Margo – who taught him the importance of being good. Critics adored Despicable Me, giving it an 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences around the world adored it too, and the film grossed an impressive $543 million worldwide. Despicable Me 2, released in 2010, picked up where the first movie left off. Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the Minions all returned for the second outing that saw Gru attempting to track down and stop the evil supervillain El Macho from destroying the world. Despicable Me 2 was well received by critics with the film earning a respectable 74% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film blew away all expectations at the box office too, grossing $970,061,265 making it the highest grossing animated film of 2013.
2 – The Lion King – $987,483,777
The Lion King, released in 1994, is one of the most beloved animated films of all time. An adaptation of Hamlet, the film told the story of Simba, a young lion who runs away from home after being fooled into thinking he was responsible for his father’s death. The Lion King was a hit with critics and audiences alike. The film earned an impressive 90% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it was crowned the 4th best film in the animation genre by the American Film Institute. The film performed incredibly well at the box office too, earning $768.6 million during its 1994 box office run. A 3d re-release in winter 2011 saw this gross grow to an astronomical $987,483,777, making The Lion King the second highest grossing animated film of all time.
1 – Toy Story 3 – $1,063,171,911
The first Toy Story, released in 1995, was a revolutionary film. Directed by John Lasseter, it was the first ever feature length film to be created entirely by computers, making it a landmark title in the animated film genre. Toy Story followed two toys – Woody, a cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear, a space marine – as they tried to escape the house of Sid Philips and get back to Andy, their owner.
Audiences and critics fell in love with Toy Story. The film received an incredible 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it went on to gross more than $361,958,736 worldwide.
Toy Story 3, the third and final film in the Toy Story trilogy, saw Woody and Buzz returning for one more adventure on the silver screen. The film saw the twosome being accidentally dropped off at a day care centre where toys are ruled over by an evil dictator called ‘Lotso the Bear’. Wanting to return to Andy, the film followed Woody and Buzz as they fought for their survival against an army of evil toys. Toy Story 3 received a remarkable 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the best reviewed film of 2010. It also went on to gross an impressive $1,063,171,911 worldwide, making it the most successful animated film of all time.