Entertainment

The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made 

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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
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Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee
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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#108 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing The Incredibles Fan Theorieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana
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 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #101 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
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 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #175 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked

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Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman, Kathy Najimy
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 589 The Best Animated Films Everfeaturing The Most Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About WALL-Elisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
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 589 The Best Animated Films Everfeaturing The Best Toy Story Characters in the Whole Series, Rankedlisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

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Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman
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 589 The Best Animated Films Everfeaturing 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
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 589 The Best Animated Films Everfeaturing Fan Theories About ‘Monsters, Inc.’listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton
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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#328 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #332 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timefeaturing 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
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 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #67 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timefeaturing All the How to Train Your Dragon Books, Ranked Best to Worst

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Peter O'Toole, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett
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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#15 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #166 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on List of French Inventions

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Russell Brand, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig
Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 computer animated comedy film written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul.

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#463 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #128 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Madefeaturing The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked

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Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
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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#35 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 12 Things You Never Knew About The Making Of 'Shrek'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Toy Story 2 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
Tom Hanks, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Allen
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 Moviesfeaturing The Best Toy Story Characters in the Whole Series, Rankedlisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

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Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman
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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#37 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #327 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #368 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Jack Black, Ray Romano, Jane Krakowski
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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#45 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #172 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing The Best Characters in the Ice Age Series, Ranked

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Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton
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 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #354 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #362 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Mandy Moore, Ron Perlman, Zachary Levi
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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#61 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #37 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing Every Song in Tangled, Ranked by Singability

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Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Sheryl Crow
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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#822 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #172 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

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Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith
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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#401 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #316 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Hayden Panettiere, Ashley Tisdale, Kevin Spacey
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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#556 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #227 of 241 The Most Inspirational Movies Everlisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

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Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk
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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Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers
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 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #210 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

23
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Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams
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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#61 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #48 of 173 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicalslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Mindy Kaling
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 #68 of 107 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

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Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell
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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#87 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #60 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #8 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies