Entertainment

The Best Animated Films Ever 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 27, 2020 948.1k votes 46.8k voters 792.4k views 595 items

List Rules The Best Animated and CGI Movies

The best animated movies of all time are an assortment of animated movies that rank among the best movies ever made. While the characters might be brightly colored and possess abilities most real people could only wish to ever have, the stories and imagery speak to everyone and have set these movies up to become the best animated films ever.

Far from simply being movie versions of cartoons, these are movies with some of the best characters, most compelling stories, and some of the overall most memorable movies in the history of cinema. With great animated movies, the sky's the limit (literally, for characters in movies like The Incredibles and WALL-E) for the story being told. Many of these top animated and cartoon movies are comedies with a message (like Toy Story) while others are heartbreaking dramas (like The Lion King). There's no story that can't be told through these amazing animated films.

What are the best animated movies ever? What makes one animated film better than another? What is the greatest animated film? There are many varied answers to what makes good animated movies (story, characters, animation style), but there's no question that these are some of the best animated movies ever made. If you don't see your favorite animated movie on the list, make sure to add it to the list of the greatest animated films so that it might become someone else's favorite animated film someday.

Not all animated films are for kids, but if you are looking for some more animated and live-action kid friendly fare, check out the best movies for children.

list ordered by
1
Despicable Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2010

Actors: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, + more

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
2
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1994

Actors: Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Rowan Atkinson, + more

Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more
3
Big Hero 6 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2014

Actors: Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph, Génesis Rodríguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, + more

Directed by: Chris Williams, Don Hall

Big Hero 6 is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated superhero action comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 54th film in the Walt ...more
4
Zootopia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2016

Actors: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, + more

Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Zootopia is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy film directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore. A rabbit police officer (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a red fox con artist (Jason Bateman) form an ...more
5
How to Train Your Dragon... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
JuanGabrielGomezAlvarado added 2014

Actors: Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Craig Ferguson, + more

Directed by: Dean DeBlois

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a 2014 animation action adventure film written and directed by Dean DeBlois.
6
Howl's Moving Castle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2004

Actors: Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura, Chieko Baisho, Ryunosuke Kamiki, + more

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Howl's Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is based on the novel of the same name by British writer Diana Wynne Jones. The ...more
7
The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
midnightq2 added 1988

Actors: Diana Ross, Frank Welker, Judith Barsi, Pat Hingle, Helen Shaver, + more

Directed by: Don Bluth

The Land Before Time is a 1988 American-Irish animated adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and ...more
8
The Aristocats is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1970

Actors: Eva Gabor, Ruth Buzzi, Scatman Crothers, Sterling Holloway, Nancy Kulp, + more

Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman

The Aristocats is a 1970 American animated feature film produced and released by Walt Disney Productions and features the voices of Eva Gabor, Hermione Baddeley, Phil Harris, Dean Clark, ...more
9
101 Dalmations is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1961

Actors: Rod Taylor, Paul Frees, J. Pat O'Malley, Tom Conway, Dallas McKennon, + more

Directed by: Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman

One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often written 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and adapted from Dodie Smith's 1956 novel of the same ...more
10
Minions is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
JuanGabrielGomezAlvarado added 2015

Actors: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan, + more

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
11
Moana is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
Connor34 added 2016

Actors: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, + more

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Moana is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-adventure film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. With the help of a demigod (Dwayne Johnson), Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), the ...more
12
Spider-Man: Into the Spi... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2018

Actors: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, + more

Directed by: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a 2018 American computer-animated superhero film directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, based on the Marvel Comics character. ...more
13
Happy Feet is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2006

Actors: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, + more

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
14
Pocahontas is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1995

Actors: Mel Gibson, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly, Linda Hunt, Frank Welker, + more

Directed by: Eric Goldberg, Mike Gabriel

Pocahontas is a 1995 American animated musical romantic-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 33rd film in the Walt Disney Animated ...more
15
Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2016

Actors: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence, Ed O'Neill, Kaitlin Olson, + more

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Finding Dory is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Andrew Stanton, and a sequel to Finding Nemo. The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory (Ellen ...more
16
Lilo & Stitch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2002

Actors: Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, Kevin Michael Richardson, Daveigh Chase, David Ogden Stiers, + more

Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated action-adventure comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 21, 2002. The 42nd ...more
17
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinc... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
but chickens double d added 1966

Actors: Boris Karloff, June Foray, Hal Smith, Dallas McKennon, Thurl Ravenscroft

Directed by: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam

This special is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is based on the eponymous children's book by Dr. Seuss, the story of The Grinch trying to take away ...more
18
Anastasia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1997

Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Meg Ryan, Kelsey Grammer, Lacey Chabert, Christopher Lloyd, + more

Directed by: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Susan Beak, Geoff Beak

Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy drama film produced by Fox Animation Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Directed by former Disney animation directors Don Bluth ...more
19
Lady and the Tramp is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
Freak_Show1 added 1955

Actors: Peggy Lee, Stan Freberg, Dallas McKennon, Verna Felton, Alan Reed, + more

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated musical romance film directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske. The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog ...more
20
The Prince of Egypt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1998

Actors: Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Val Kilmer, Helen Mirren, Ralph Fiennes, + more

Directed by: Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells, Steve Hickner

The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated epic musical biblical film and the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures. The film is an adaptation of ...more
21
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1997

Actors: Danny DeVito, James Woods, Charlton Heston, Keith David, Paul Shaffer, + more

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Hercules is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 35th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated ...more
22
The Fox and the Hound is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
AndrewW.Curley added 1981

Actors: Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Corey Feldman, Sandy Duncan, Jack Albertson, + more

Directed by: Richard Rich, Art Stevens, Ted Berman

he Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated drama film based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in the United States on July ...more
23
The Sword in the Stone ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1963

Actors: Alan Napier, Sebastian Cabot, Norman Alden, Karl Swenson, Jimmy MacDonald, + more

Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman

The Sword in the Stone is a 1963 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney and released to theaters on December 25, 1963 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 18th film in ...more
24
A Charlie Brown Christma... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1965

Actors: Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Geoffrey Ornstein, Sally Dryer, Karen Mendelson, + more

Directed by: Bill Melendez

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a musical animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the program ...more
25
The Princess and the Fro... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2009

Actors: Oprah Winfrey, John Goodman, Terrence Howard, Randy Newman, Keith David, + more

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

The Princess and the Frog is a 2009 American animated musical romantic fantasy-comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 49th film in the ...more