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The Best Animated Films Ever 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 18, 2020 1M votes 49.2k voters 813.2k views 601 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite cartoon and CGI animated movies, including shorts.

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.

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list ordered by
1
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 1 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

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'The Lion King' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True #30 of 112 The Very Best Movie Franchiseslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

2
Despicable Me is listed (or ranked) 2 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

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The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked 20 Fun Facts About the Minions #190 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
Zootopia is listed (or ranked) 3 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

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The Most Satisfying Easter Eggs in Zootopia #490 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
1995

Actors: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Penn Jillette, Annie Potts, + more

Directed by: John Lasseter

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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32 Fun Facts About the Toy Story Movies #14 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

5
Monsters, Inc. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2001

Actors: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly, James Coburn, + more

Directed by: David Silverman, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich

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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Fan Theories About ‘Monsters, Inc.’ #36 of 112 The Very Best Movie Franchiseslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Big Hero 6 is listed (or ranked) 6 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

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#34 of 187 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #5 of 60 The Greatest Animated Sci Fi Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
The Incredibles is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2004

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee, Craig T. Nelson, Wallace Shawn, + more

Directed by: Brad Bird

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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The Incredibles Fan Theories #32 of 112 The Very Best Movie Franchiseslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Lilo & Stitch is listed (or ranked) 8 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

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15 Small But Poignant Details Fans Pointed Out About 'Lilo & Stitch' 18 Years Later 'Lilo & Stitch' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True #74 of 112 The Very Best Movie Franchises

9
Up is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2009

Actors: Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman, John Ratzenberger, Delroy Lindo, + more

Directed by: Pete Docter

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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The Most Adventurous Quotes From Disney and Pixar's 'Up' #402 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 10 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

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12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise #334 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #109 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

11
101 Dalmations is listed (or ranked) 11 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

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#230 of 367 The Best Movies Based On Books #292 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #707 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

12
The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 12 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

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#55 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #106 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #46 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

13
Shrek 2 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2004

Actors: Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Julie Andrews, Mike Myers, + more

Directed by: Kelly Asbury, Andrew Adamson, Conrad Vernon

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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#828 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #224 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #309 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

14
Lady and the Tramp is listed (or ranked) 14 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

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#36 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #19 of 461 The Best Duos of All Time #141 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

15
How to Train Your Dragon... is listed (or ranked) 15 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.

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#60 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #22 of 88 Animated Movies That Make You Cry the Most #59 of 322 The Best Movies for Kids

16
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2013

Actors: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds, Jonathan Groff, + more

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

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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22 Insanely Smart Fan Theories About Frozen #990 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

17
Howl's Moving Castle is listed (or ranked) 17 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

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#232 of 864 The Best Anime Series of All Time #1,066 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #363 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

18
The Aristocats is listed (or ranked) 18 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

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#882 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #110 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #51 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

19
Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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#982 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #158 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #86 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

20
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
2003

Actors: Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana, Allison Janney, Albert Brooks, + more

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

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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#29 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #55 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
The Fox and the Hound is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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#895 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #113 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #38 of 461 The Best Duos of All Time

22
Moana is listed (or ranked) 22 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

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'Moana' Fan Theories That Might Just Be Right Every Song in Moana, Ranked by Singability #47 of 123 The Most Rewatchable Movie Musicals

23
Pocahontas is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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The Most Memorable 'Pocahontas' Quotes #153 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Timelisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

24
The Princess and the Fro... is listed (or ranked) 24 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

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#135 of 729 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #1,076 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #81 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

25
Coco is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Animated Films Ever
Brendan Patrick Conway added

Actors: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renee Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguia, + more

Directed by: Lee Unkrich

Coco is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film directed by Lee Unkrich. Aspiring musician Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (Gael ...more

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