Sponsored
3.7k voters

The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made

Updated December 8, 2020 50.9k votes 3.7k voters 132.8k views67 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.]
Photo:
...more
  • Despicable Me1
    1,026
    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Despicable Me 

    The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked#92 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • WALL-E2
    819
    710

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More WALL-E 

    The Most Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About WALL-E#35 of 317 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

  • The Incredibles3
    860
    805

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More The Incredibles 

    The Incredibles Fan Theories#18 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises

  • Despicable Me 24
    747
    264

    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....  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Despicable Me 2 

    #5 of 59 The Best Movies Released July 4th Weekend#15 of 15 American Movies That Will Never Be Shown in China

  • Toy Story5
    881
    677

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Toy Story 

    Toy Story Fan Theories That Are Actually Believable#2 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • Finding Nemo6
    747
    731

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Finding Nemo 

    Small But Interesting 'Finding Nemo' Details That Fans Noticed#9 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • Monsters, Inc.7
    715
    680

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Monsters, Inc. 

    Fan Theories About ‘Monsters, Inc.’#8 of 105 The Best Halloween Movies for Kids

  • Up8
    711
    711

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Up 

    Small But Poignant Details From Pixar's 'Up' That Deserve The Ellie Badge#1 of 15 Super Sad Pixar Moments That Can Devastate You With A Single Frame

  • How to Train Your Dragon9
    623
    754

    How to Train Your Dragon

    Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig

    Released2010

    Directed byDean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

    How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated action-fantasy film by...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More How to Train Your Dragon 

    All the How to Train Your Dragon Books, Ranked Best to Worst#55 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • Minions10
    647
    223

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Toy Story 311
    586
    709

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Toy Story 3 

    25 Weird 'Toy Story' Thoughts That Actually Make A Good Point#5 of 136 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series

  • Toy Story 212
    506
    670

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Toy Story 2 

    Small Details From The 'Toy Story' Movies Tougher To Catch Than The Claw#9 of 154 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

  • Ratatouille13
    530
    715

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Ratatouille 

    20 Small, Succulent Details & Trivia About 'Ratatouille' That Leave Us Hungry For More#152 of 221 List of French Inventions

  • Shrek14
    557
    742

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Shrek 

    Shrek Fan Theories That Add Another Chapter To The Fairytale#32 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • Despicable Me 315
    185
    88

    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
    Amazon buy button
  • Tangled16
    449
    656

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Tangled 

    Small But Poignant Details Fans Shared About 'Tangled' That Gave Us Our Happily Ever After#65 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels

  • Zootopia17
    190
    174

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Zootopia 

    13 'Zootopia' Fan Theories That Make A Lot Of Sense#8 of 136 The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

  • Finding Dory18
    117
    109

    Finding Dory

    Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks

    Released2016

    Directed byAndrew Stanton

    Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Finding Dory 

    #47 of 59 The Best Disney Movies Starring Animals#8 of 25 The Best Comedy Movies of 2016

  • Wreck-It Ralph19
    383
    558

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Wreck-It Ralph 

    15 'Wreck-It Ralph' Fan Theories That Might Break The Internet#113 of 113 The Absolute Worst Animated Movies

  • Kung Fu Panda20
    448
    696

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More Kung Fu Panda 

    #26 of 190 The Greatest Animal Movies Ever Made#46 of 60 The Best Kid Movies Catered to Adult Humor

  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World21
    952
    1,073

    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
    Amazon buy button

    More How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 

    #18 of 70 The Greatest Supernatural & Paranormal Teen Films#13 of 46 The Best Family Movies Streaming on Hulu

  • Big Hero 622
    245
    373

    Big Hero 6

    Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph

    Released2014

    Directed byChris Williams, Don Hall

    Big Hero 6 is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated superhero action comedy film produced by...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Big Hero 6 

    14 Poignant Details Fans Noticed About 'Big Hero 6'#7 of 80 Animated Movies That Make You Cry The Most

  • Avengers: Infinity War23
    47
    43

    Avengers: Infinity War

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth

    Released2018

    Directed byAnthony Russo, Joe Russo

    Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo....  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Avengers: Infinity War 

    The Objectively Worst Decisions Made In 'Avengers: Infinity War'#2 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time

  • Ice Age24
    409
    744

    Ice Age

    Jack Black, Ray Romano

    Released2002

    Directed byChris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha

    Ice Age is a 2002 American computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Carlos Saldanha...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Ice Age 

    The Best Characters in the Ice Age Series, Ranked#128 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Frozen25
    281
    504

    Frozen

    Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel

    Released2013

    Directed byChris Buck, Jennifer Lee

    Frozen is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy–comedy film produced by Walt...  more
    Amazon buy button

    More Frozen 

    22 Insanely Smart Fan Theories About Frozen#228 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever