Highest Grossing Animated Films
Animation has come a long way since the early days of hand-drawn cartoons. Today, animated films use state-of-the-art computer graphics and integrate seamlessly with live-action.
As a result, animated movies have become hugely popular, bridging the gap between children’s entertainment and blockbuster features for general audiences. In terms of box office success, animated films have proven they can hold their own against big-budget live-action movies.
In this blog post, we will explore and look at the 25 highest grossing animated films of all time based on worldwide box office receipts.
25 Highest Grossing Animated Films
1. Frozen (2013) – $1.28 billion
Disney’s musical fantasy adventure loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen became a pop culture phenomenon. It features the iconic song “Let It Go.”
2. Incredibles 2 (2018) – $1.24 billion
Pixar’s superhero family sequel arrived 14 years after the original and broke opening weekend records for animated films.
3. Minions (2015) – $1.16 billion
The little yellow creatures from Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise star in their own spin-off origin story adventure.
4. Toy Story 3 (2010) – $1.07 billion
Pixar’s third installment in the beloved Toy Story series about a boy and his living, talking toys concludes the trilogy as the toys face an uncertain future.
5. Toy Story 4 (2019) – $1.07 billion
Pixar revived the Toy Story gang for a fourth adventure in which Woody reunites with Bo Peep and helps a new toy named Forky.
6. The Lion King (2019) – $1.66 billion
Disney’s photorealistic computer animated remake of their 1994 hand-drawn classic brings Simba’s coming of age story to life with stunning visual effects.
7. Despicable Me 3 (2017) – $1.03 billion
Gru faces off against a new villain named Balthazar Bratt as the Minions get lost in action in this second sequel to Universal’s hit about an ex-supervillain raising three girls.
8. Finding Dory (2016) – $1.03 billion
Pixar’s sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo follows amnesiac blue tang fish Dory on a quest to reunite with her family.
9. Zootopia (2016) – $1.02 billion
Disney’s animal metropolis comedy pairs a rabbit cop and a fox con artist on a missing mammal case in a clever exploration of bias and stereotypes.
10. Despicable Me 2 (2013) – $970 million
Gru returns as an undercover agent to tackle a powerful new supervillain while dealing with the antics of his Minions and three adopted daughters.
11. The Secret Life of Pets (2016) – $875 million
Illumination’s look at the misadventures pets get into when their owners aren’t home features a terrier who gets lost in Manhattan and his friends who try to rescue him.
12. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) – $886 million
The prehistoric mammals from 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age series discover dinosaurs underground in their third big screen adventure.
13. Finding Nemo (2003) – $940 million
Pixar’s heartwarming father-son underwater quest launched one of the studio’s most popular franchises, following a clownfish who crosses the ocean to find his lost son.
14. Shrek 2 (2004) – $928 million
DreamWorks’ first sequel to their hit 2001 fairy tale parody features Shrek and Fiona meeting her disapproving parents as her Fairy Godmother schemes against them.
15. Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) – $877 million
Scrat’s pursuit of that pesky acorn sets off continental upheaval again, sending Manny the mammoth and his friends out to sea on an iceberg raft.
16. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) – $840 million
Illumination’s sequel follows Max the terrier on a family vacation to a farm while his New York pals protect a tiger cub from an evil circus owner back home.
17. Finding Nemo (2003) – $940 million
Pixar’s emotional underwater quest about a father fish crossing the ocean to find his lost son spawned a major franchise and Oscar-winning sequel.
18. The Lion King (1994) – $968 million
Disney’s original hand-drawn version defined their animation renaissance, dramatizing the Shakespearean story of a lion prince’s coming of age after his father’s murder.
19. The Incredibles (2004) – $633 million
Pixar’s action-packed take on a superhero family forced into hiding who get pulled back into crimefighting action was their first venture into the superhero genre.
20. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) – $746 million
DreamWorks’ exotic animals join a failing European circus on their way back to New York in the zany third installment of the franchise.
21. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) – $521 million
Po reunites with his biological panda father and travels to a hidden panda paradise in DreamWorks’ second sequel as he faces a supernatural villain.
22. Sing (2016) – $634 million
Illumination’s all-star musical comedy follows a koala’s singing competition to restore his theater’s grandeur.
23. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) – $521 million
Hiccup discovers a dragon utopia while facing off against dragon hunters in DreamWorks’ trilogy-capping adventure.
24. Shrek the Third (2007) – $813 million
When Shrek’s father-in-law dies, the ogre has to contend with becoming the reluctant new king amid palace intrigue in this fairytale sequel.
25. Up (2009) – $735 million
Pixar’s poignant adventure pairs a grumpy old man who floats his house to South America via helium balloons with a young stowaway scout.
This list shows the immense popularity of animated features today across studios like Disney, Pixar, Illumination, and DreamWorks. Though tastes, trends, and box office numbers are always changing, animation clearly has earned its place as a dominant force in Hollywood moviemaking. From heartwarming tales to zany comedies, animation speaks to audiences young and old. With more advanced techniques on the horizon, animated films will continue pushing creative boundaries, blurring lines with live-action, and bringing memorable characters to life for future generations. learn here more about entertainment media and top listicle facts about pop culture.
Q: What is the highest grossing animated movie of all time?
A: Disney’s Frozen (2013) is the highest grossing animated film worldwide with $1.28 billion in box office revenue.
Q: What was the first animated movie to make over $1 billion?
A: Toy Story 3 (2010) was the first animated film to surpass $1 billion at the worldwide box office with $1.07 billion.
Q: What animated movie made the most money in its opening weekend?
A: Incredibles 2 (2018) holds the record for the biggest opening weekend for an animated movie, earning $182.7 million domestically in its first 3 days.
Q: Which animated film franchise is the most successful?
A: The Shrek series of 4 films has earned over $3.5 billion total at the global box office to date, making it the highest-grossing animated franchise.
Q: Which animation studio has produced the most billion-dollar movies?
A: With hits like Frozen, The Lion King, and Finding Dory, Walt Disney Animation Studios leads with 9 animated films making over $1 billion each.
Q: What was the lowest grossing film on the top 25 list?
A: Up (2009) had the “lowest” earnings out of the top 25 with $735 million, still a huge success.
Q: Which years saw the most top-grossing animated releases?
A: 2016 and 2019 each saw 4 top-grossing animated films in theaters, the most of any year on the list.
Q: How many of the animated movies won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature?
A: 9 of the 25 won the Best Animated Feature Oscar: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Frozen, Inside Out, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.