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The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made

Updated August 15, 2019 52.1k votes 3.7k voters 131.5k views66 items

List RulesFeatures 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.]
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  • 1
    Despicable Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    1,048
    502

    Despicable Me

    Steve Carell, Jason Segel

    Released2010

    Directed byPierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

    Despicable Me is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    WALL-E is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    816
    733

    WALL-E

    Sigourney Weaver, Laraine Newman

    Released2008

    Directed byAndrew Stanton

    WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science-fiction comedy film produced by Pixar... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 3
    The Incredibles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    869
    831

    The Incredibles

    Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Bird

    The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated superhero film directed by Brad Bird. A... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    890
    700

    Toy Story

    Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

    Released1995

    Directed byJohn Lasseter

    Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated buddy-comedy adventure film produced by Pixar... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Despicable Me 2 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    768
    260

    Despicable Me 2

    Russell Brand, Steve Carell

    Released2013

    Directed byPierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

    Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 computer animated comedy film written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul.amazon buy button
  • 6
    Monsters, Inc. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    716
    705

    Monsters, Inc.

    Billy Crystal, John Goodman

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

    Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Pete Docter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    750
    753

    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

    Released2003

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

    Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 8
    Up is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    718
    733

    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

    Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama film produced by Pixar... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 9
    Minions is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    670
    215

    Minions

    Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm

    Released2015

    Directed byPierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

    Minions is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 10
    Toy Story 3 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    593
    728

    Toy Story 3

    Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released2010

    Directed byLee Unkrich

    Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, and the third film in the Toy... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    How to Train Your Dragon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    629
    774

    How to Train Your Dragon

    Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig

    Released2010

    Directed byDean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

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  • 12
    Toy Story 2 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    509
    690

    Toy Story 2

    Tom Hanks, Kelsey Grammer

    Released1999

    Directed byJohn Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon

    Toy Story 2 is a 1999 American computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Pixar... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 13
    Ratatouille is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    536
    737

    Ratatouille

    Peter O'Toole, Janeane Garofalo

    Released2007

    Directed byBrad Bird, Jan Pinkava

    Ratatouille is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 14
    Shrek is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    563
    766

    Shrek

    Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy

    Released2001

    Directed byAndrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

    Shrek is a 2001 American computer-animated fantasy-comedy film produced by PDI/DreamWorks,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Despicable Me 3 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    183
    83

    Despicable Me 3

    Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig

    Directed byPierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

    Despicable Me 3 is a 2017 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Illumination... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    Zootopia is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    191
    172

    Zootopia

    Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman

    Released2016

    Directed byByron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

    Zootopia is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Byron Howard and Rich... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Tangled is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    453
    677

    Tangled

    Mandy Moore, Ron Perlman

    Released2010

    Directed byNathan Greno, Byron Howard

    Tangled is a 2010 American computer animated musical fantasy-comedy film produced by Walt... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 18
    Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    115
    109

    Finding Dory

    Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks

    Released2016

    Directed byAndrew Stanton

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  • 19
    Kung Fu Panda is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    453
    717

    Kung Fu Panda

    Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu

    Released2008

    Directed byJohn Stevenson, Mark Osborne

    Kung Fu Panda is a 2008 American computer-animated action comedy martial arts film produced by... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 20
    Wreck-It Ralph is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    387
    578

    Wreck-It Ralph

    Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch

    Released2012

    Directed byRich Moore

    Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 comedy animation family film written by Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    How to Train Your Dragon: The  is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    949
    1,067

    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett

    Released2019

    Directed byDean DeBlois

    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a 2019 American 3D computer-animated action... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Big Hero 6 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    252
    390

    Big Hero 6

    Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph

    Released2014

    Directed byChris Williams, Don Hall

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  • 23
    Avengers: Infinity War is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    46
    37

    Avengers: Infinity War

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth

    Released2018

    Directed byAnthony Russo, Joe Russo

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  • 24
    Guardians of the Galaxy Franch is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
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  • 25
    Ice Age is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made
    410
    769

    Ice Age

    Jack Black, Ray Romano

    Released2002

    Directed byChris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha

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