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The Best CGI Animated Films Ever Made

Updated August 15, 2019 52.3k votes 3.7k voters 131.6k 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
    1,051
    502

    Despicable Me

    Steve Carell, Jason Segel

    Released2010

    Directed byPierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

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  • 2
    WALL-E
    819
    735

    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
    872
    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
    894
    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
    771
    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
    Finding Nemo
    753
    753

    Finding Nemo

    Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

    Released2003

    Directed byAndrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

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  • 7
    Monsters, Inc.
    719
    705

    Monsters, Inc.

    Billy Crystal, John Goodman

    Released2001

    Directed byDavid Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

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  • 8
    Up
    721
    733

    Up

    Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner

    Released2009

    Directed byPete Docter

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  • 9
    Minions
    673
    215

    Minions

    Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm

    Released2015

    Directed byPierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

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  • 10
    Toy Story 3
    596
    728

    Toy Story 3

    Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released2010

    Directed byLee Unkrich

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  • 11
    How to Train Your Dragon
    630
    776

    How to Train Your Dragon

    Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig

    Released2010

    Directed byDean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

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  • 12
    Toy Story 2
    512
    690

    Toy Story 2

    Tom Hanks, Kelsey Grammer

    Released1999

    Directed byJohn Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Ash Brannon

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  • 13
    Ratatouille
    537
    738

    Ratatouille

    Peter O'Toole, Janeane Garofalo

    Released2007

    Directed byBrad Bird, Jan Pinkava

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  • 14
    Shrek
    564
    767

    Shrek

    Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy

    Released2001

    Directed byAndrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

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  • 15
    Despicable Me 3
    185
    83

    Despicable Me 3

    Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig

    Directed byPierre Coffin and Kyle Balda

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  • 16
    Zootopia
    193
    174

    Zootopia

    Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman

    Released2016

    Directed byByron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

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  • 17
    Tangled
    455
    678

    Tangled

    Mandy Moore, Ron Perlman

    Released2010

    Directed byNathan Greno, Byron Howard

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  • 18
    Finding Dory
    118
    109

    Finding Dory

    Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks

    Released2016

    Directed byAndrew Stanton

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  • 19
    Wreck-It Ralph
    390
    578

    Wreck-It Ralph

    Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch

    Released2012

    Directed byRich Moore

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  • 20
    Kung Fu Panda
    454
    719

    Kung Fu Panda

    Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu

    Released2008

    Directed byJohn Stevenson, Mark Osborne

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  • 21
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    951
    1,069

    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett

    Released2019

    Directed byDean DeBlois

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  • 22
    Avengers: Infinity War
    47
    39

    Avengers: Infinity War

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth

    Released2018

    Directed byAnthony Russo, Joe Russo

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  • 23
    Big Hero 6
    253
    391

    Big Hero 6

    Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph

    Released2014

    Directed byChris Williams, Don Hall

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  • 24
    Guardians of the Galaxy Franchise
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  • 25
    Ice Age
    411
    771

    Ice Age

    Jack Black, Ray Romano

    Released2002

    Directed byChris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha

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