Entertainment

The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated August 15, 2019 71.9k votes 3.6k voters 129.7k views 72 items

List Rules Features made entirely utilizing computer animation. No live action films with animated sequences.

Can Wall-E beat Toy Story? This list of the best computer-animated movies ever made many finally answer that question. Though it is far-reaching and includes films representing a variety of studios, nations and animation styles, it's undeniable that tastes seem to overwhelming lean towards the work of two studios in particular: Disney's Pixar Animation Studio and DreamWorks Animation. Pixar, in particular, tends to dominate the public's perception of contemporary animation style and form. This is unsuprising in some ways, considering the studio's track record for popular event films, and the fact that they initially popularized the idea of computer-animated features with Toy Story in 1995.

CGI stands for computer-generated imagery. Computer animation dates back to the 1940s and 1950s, though in this era the technique was relatively experimental. There are rare examples of the use of computer animation (often then called "computer graphics") in mainstream film and TV projects, notably the opening credit sequence of Alfred Hitchcock's film Vertigo. By the 1970s, more films - including George Lucas' Star Wars - were finding ways to utilize computer animation within the context of other, more practical special effects. (The 3D models of the Death Star, for example.)

By the early 1990s, computer animated sequences were popularly being used within live-action films to create characters that would not otherwise be possible, such as the Jurassic Park dinosaurs or the liquid metal antagonist of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. It was not until Pixar released Toy Story in 1995, however, that the world got to see a completely computer-animated feature. The genre has been massively popular ever since, with a number of the highest-grossing American films each year being entirely computer-animated. In 2012, Pixar released its 13th feature animated film, "Brave."

What are the best CGI animated movies? This list will answer that question.

[Click here for a more complete list of all computer-animated films.]
list ordered by
1
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Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee

Released: 2004

Directed by: Brad Bird

The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated superhero film directed by Brad Bird. A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into ...more

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#4 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever The Incredibles Fan Theorieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
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Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more

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#3 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #97 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand

Released: 2010

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Despicable Me is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud. When a mastermind (Steve Carell) uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand ...more

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#10 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #176 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked

4
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Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy

Released: 2008

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Andrew Stanton, the story follows a ...more

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#6 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever The Most Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About WALL-Elisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
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Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles

Released: 1995

Directed by: John Lasseter

Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy-comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by John Lasseter, Toy Story was the ...more

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#2 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever The Best Toy Story Characters in the Whole Series, Rankedlisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

6
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Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman

Released: 2009

Directed by: Pete Docter

Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an ...more

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#5 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever The Most Adventurous Quotes From Disney and Pixar's 'Up'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
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Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

Released: 2001

Directed by: David Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Pete Docter, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and released by Walt Disney Pictures. John Lasseter and Andrew ...more

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#8 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever Fan Theories About ‘Monsters, Inc.’listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
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Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton

Released: 2010

Directed by: Lee Unkrich

Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, and the third film in the Toy Story series. It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. ...more

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#334 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #329 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time The Best Toy Story Characters in the Whole Series, Ranked

9
How to Train Your Dragon... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, David Tennant

Released: 2010

Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated action-fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the British book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell. The ...more

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#20 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #68 of 107 The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members All the How to Train Your Dragon Books, Ranked Best to Worst

10
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Peter O'Toole, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett

Released: 2007

Directed by: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

Ratatouille is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the eighth film produced by Pixar, and was co-written ...more

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#16 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #277 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on List of French Inventions

11
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dimo1999 added Russell Brand, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig

Released: 2013

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 computer animated comedy film written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul.

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#471 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #124 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked

12
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Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers

Released: 2001

Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks, released by DreamWorks Pictures, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, featuring the voices of ...more

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13
Toy Story 2 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
Tom Hanks, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Allen

Released: 1999

Directed by: John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon

Toy Story 2 is a 1999 American computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Lee ...more

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#249 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Best Toy Story Characters in the Whole Series, Rankedlisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

14
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Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman

Released: 2008

Directed by: John Stevenson, Mark Osborne

Kung Fu Panda is a 2008 American computer-animated action comedy martial arts film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by John Stevenson and ...more

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#39 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #327 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #368 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

15
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Jack Black, Ray Romano, Jane Krakowski

Released: 2002

Directed by: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha

Ice Age is a 2002 American computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Carlos Saldanha and Chris Wedge from a story by Michael J. Wilson. It was produced by Blue Sky Studios and ...more

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#42 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #161 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films The Best Characters in the Ice Age Series, Ranked

16
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jsnungaray added Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton

Released: 2015

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

Minions is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and is a spin-off/prequel to the Despicable Me franchise. Minions Stuart, Kevin, and Bob are ...more

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#59 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #353 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #359 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

17
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Mandy Moore, Ron Perlman, Zachary Levi

Released: 2010

Directed by: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Tangled is a 2010 American computer animated musical fantasy-comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Loosely based on the German fairy tale ...more

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#25 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #36 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time Every Song in Tangled, Ranked by Singability

18
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Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Sheryl Crow

Released: 2006

Directed by: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft

Cars is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy-adventure sports film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed and co-written by John Lasseter, it is ...more

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#909 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #801 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

19
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Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith

Released: 2005

Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

Madagascar is a 2005 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation, and released in movie theaters on May 27, 2005. The film tells the story of four Central Park Zoo ...more

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#400 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #315 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

20
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Hayden Panettiere, Ashley Tisdale, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1998

Directed by: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton

A Bug's Life is a 1998 American computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by ...more

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#32 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #548 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

21
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Chris Abraham added Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk

Released: 2013

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 53rd animated feature in the ...more

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#56 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time 22 Insanely Smart Fan Theories About Frozenlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
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Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers

Released: 2004

Directed by: Kelly Asbury, Andrew Adamson, Conrad Vernon

Shrek 2 is a 2004 American computer-animated, comedy film directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon. It is the sequel to 2001's Shrek and the second installment in the series. ...more

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#26 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #212 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

23
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Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams

Released: 2006

Directed by: Judy Morris, George Miller, Warren Coleman

Happy Feet is a 2006 Australian-American computer-animated musical family film, directed, produced and co-written by George Miller. It was produced at Sydney-based visual effects and animation ...more

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#62 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #12 of 22 The Best Eco-Friendly Kids Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
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Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Mindy Kaling

Released: 2012

Directed by: Rich Moore

Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 comedy animation family film written by Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee and directed by Rich Moore.

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#112 of 113 The Absolute Worst Animated Movies #33 of 109 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time

25
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Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell

Released: 2010

Directed by: Tom McGrath

Megamind is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated superhero comedy film directed by Tom McGrath. It was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film premiered ...more

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#86 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #59 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #8 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies