Watchworthy

The Best Animated Films Ever 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 18, 2020 1M votes 49.6k voters 817.7k views 568 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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

More The Lion King 

'The Lion King' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True #4 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Despicable Me 

The Best Despicable Me Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked 20 Fun Facts About the Minions #31 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

3
Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 3 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

More Toy Story 

32 Fun Facts About the Toy Story Movies #14 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

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

More Zootopia 

The Most Satisfying Easter Eggs in Zootopia #492 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More Monsters, Inc. 

Fan Theories About ‘Monsters, Inc.’ #121 of 172 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
The Incredibles is listed (or ranked) 6 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

More The Incredibles 

The Incredibles Fan Theories #17 of 172 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Big Hero 6 is listed (or ranked) 7 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

More Big Hero 6 

14 Poignant Details Fans Noticed About 'Big Hero 6' #34 of 172 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Up is listed (or ranked) 8 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

More Up 

The Most Adventurous Quotes From Disney and Pixar's 'Up' #18 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Lilo & Stitch is listed (or ranked) 9 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

More Lilo & Stitch 

15 Small But Poignant Details Fans Pointed Out About 'Lilo & Stitch' 18 Years Later 'Lilo & Stitch' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True #920 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

10
101 Dalmations is listed (or ranked) 10 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

More 101 Dalmations 

#289 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #229 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #697 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

11
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 11 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

More Hercules 

12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise #85 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #332 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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

More The Land Before Time 

#107 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #55 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #6 of 88 Animated Movies That Make You Cry the Most

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

More Shrek 2 

#812 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #15 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #224 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

14
Howl's Moving Castle is listed (or ranked) 14 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

More Howl's Moving Castle 

#218 of 736 The Best Anime Series of All Time #261 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies #1,061 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

15
Lady and the Tramp is listed (or ranked) 15 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

More Lady and the Tramp 

#43 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #25 of 114 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time #19 of 295 The Best Duos of All Time

16
How to Train Your Dragon... is listed (or ranked) 16 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.

More How to Train Your Dragon 2 

#58 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #22 of 88 Animated Movies That Make You Cry the Most #28 of 63 The Best Adventure Movies for Kids

17
Frozen is listed (or ranked) 17 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

More Frozen 

22 Insanely Smart Fan Theories About Frozen #33 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

More The Aristocats 

#32 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #864 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #33 of 317 The Best Movies for Kids

19
Finding Nemo is listed (or ranked) 19 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

More Finding Nemo 

#13 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies #29 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
The Fox and the Hound is listed (or ranked) 20 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

More The Fox and the Hound 

#72 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #104 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #879 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

21
Finding Dory is listed (or ranked) 21 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

More Finding Dory 

#976 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #85 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #69 of 120 Movies That Need Sequels

22
The Princess and the Fro... is listed (or ranked) 22 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

More The Princess and the Frog 

#133 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #77 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #116 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

23
Moana is listed (or ranked) 23 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

More Moana 

'Moana' Fan Theories That Might Just Be Right Every Song in Moana, Ranked by Singability #71 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

24
Coco is listed (or ranked) 24 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

More Coco 

10 Facinating Facts Most People Don't Know About The Dog Breed From Disney's 'Coco' #10 of 97 The Best Movies of 2017, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Happy Feet is listed (or ranked) 25 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

More Happy Feet 

#29 of 317 The Best Movies for Kids #29 of 174 The Greatest Animal Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever