Pixar has officially established itself as the master of creating animated movies with lovable characters and genuine plotlines. Up was the first animated film since Beauty and the Beast to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The ingenious story, featuring an iconic flying house, is complemented perfectly by Pixar’s stunning visuals.
2. Finding Nemo
A timeless tale of love and determination, Finding Nemo is a prime example of how a Pixar film can make even the unlikeliest of creatures (fish, in this case) into relatable heroes.
The 2016 sequel, Finding Dory, is already highly-anticipated.
Neil Gaiman’s 2002 children’s novel Coraline was turned into one of the creepiest animated films in recent memory. Its beautiful stop-motion animation sets it apart as truly unique.
The most recent release from Walt Disney Animation Studios has proven that the original creators of the animated feature are still able to produce a major hit.
One of 2013’s top-grossing movies, Frozen features a fresh take on the traditional “Disney Princess” tale, including a gorgeous score by Avenue Q and Book of Mormon composer Robert Lopez (co-written with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez).
5. Shrek 2
The 2004 sequel to the wildly popular Shrekholds the current record as the top-grossing animated film of all time. Featuring a fresh story and several new characters (many of whom are familiar from classic fairy tales), Shrek 2 established DreamWorks Animation as a major player in the genre.
6. Despicable Me
A tale of dueling supervillains, Despicable Me has constantly picked up steam as a franchise ever since its initial release in 2010.
Gru’s Minions have a fan base all their own, and it’s no surprise that the sequel, Despicable Me 2 was the top-grossing animated film of 2013.
7. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Sony Pictures Animation entered the genre relatively recently, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was the first bona fide hit for the studio.
The movie made more than a few moviegoers hungry with its depictions of food falling from the sky.
8. How to Train Your Dragon
Another major success for DreamWorks Animation, How to Train Your Dragon tells the story of an unexpected friendship between a boy and a dragon.
It also made great use of 3D technology to enhance the storytelling experience.
Perhaps the most unique animated film in recent memory, Pixar’sWALL-E tells a love story between two robots.
It has almost no dialogue in the entire first half of the film, relying instead on the power of visual storytelling to a masterful degree.
10. The Princess and the Frog
Disney made a last-ditch effort to prove that 2D hand-drawn animation wasn’t dead with the 2009 feature The Princess and the Frog.
A creative retelling of a classic fairy tale, the movie was praised critically, but it wasn’t successful enough to save 2D animation at the studio.
Disney’s first attempt to use computer animation to tell a classic princess story, Tangled made Rapunzel one of the most popular characters to come from the studio in the last decade.
The movie features a classic score by Disney stalwart Alan Menken and impressive visuals.
12. Toy Story 3
Saving perhaps the best for last, the third and final Toy Story movie has been hailed as one of the best animated features of all time.
Featuring the characters audiences have loved for more than a decade (as well as a few new additions), Toy Story 3 is something of a coming-of-age story that left its fair share of audiences in tears during its poignant climax.