Top 20 DreamWorks Animated Movies

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Top 20 DreamWorks Animated Movies

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
How can you not love these awesome animated flicks! For this list, we'll be looking at the most impressive releases from DreamWorks Animation. Our countdown includes “The Road to El Dorado”, "Chicken Run", “Kung Fu Panda”, "Shrek", “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, and more!
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Top 20 Dreamworks Animated Movies


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 DreamWorks Animated Movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most impressive releases from DreamWorks Animation.

Which of these animated works is your favorite? Share your love in the comments below.

#20: “Puss in Boots” (2011)

After seeing the cute but deadly furball debut in “Shrek 2,” we were delighted this feline swordsman got the chance to star in his own film. The spin-off follows Puss before meeting Shrek and Donkey on an adventure to steal a Golden Egg-laying goose. The character is just as charming as he was before and voiced flawlessly again by Antonio Banderas. Given Puss’ talent with a sword and tendency for swashbuckling, it also has pretty stellar action sequences. Throw in some unique takes on popular fairytale characters to show that the well hadn’t run dry, and you’ve got an awesome stand-alone story for one of “Shrek’s” best supporting characters.


#19: “The Boss Baby” (2017)

There have been some odd DreamWorks animated movies. And then there’s “The Boss Baby,” which is on a whole other level. It follows a young boy who helps his new baby brother, a secret agent of Baby Corp., to figure out why the love of adults has been more focused on puppies instead of babies lately. See? Odd. But it’s undeniably hilarious and never shies away from its strange concept. Alec Baldwin’s work as the baby Ted is so fantastic, it unsurprisingly led to a franchise. He’s not the only talented actor to turn in great work as the cast also boasts Steve Buscemi, Lisa Kudrow, and Jimmy Kimmel.


#18: “The Road to El Dorado” (2000)

When making a movie about a famous lost city of gold, you have to really capture the sense of adventure. Thankfully, for its third animated outing, DreamWorks nailed it. “El Dorado” follows two Spanish con artists who find their way to the city, only for its citizens to mistake them for gods. The chemistry between Miguel and Tulio, voiced by Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline respectively, is incredible. While the story plays out pretty much how you’d expect, there’s no denying how fun of a ride it is. Plus, it’s elevated by a great soundtrack, with Hans Zimmer contributing to the score and Elton John and Tim Rice writing some of the songs.


#17: “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” (2002)

Plenty of films have been made about the American West, but not many are from the perspective of a horse. “Spirit” follows the titular rambunctious stallion as he’s stolen from his herd during the American Indian Wars. Unlike most animated films, the plot is played rather seriously with no cute sidekicks and an overall lack of humor. It’s rather commendable, instead putting all the focus on Spirit’s refusal to be tamed by ruthless humans. The film is gorgeously animated and its themes of freedom and staying true to yourself are something any audience member can relate to and appreciate.


#16: “The Bad Guys” (2022)

DreamWorks’ 2022 crime-comedy is another wonderful achievement. Based on the beloved book series by Aaron Blabey, it follows a group of criminal animals that try to redeem themselves in the public’s eye after being caught. Its plot and theme of striving to be good may be simple, but the rest of the movie makes up for it. The voice cast is firing on all cylinders and includes the likes of Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, and Marc Maron. Their talent could make even the lamest jokes soar, but we’re grateful that the script is genuinely funny. Additionally, the animation is sleek and stylish, fitting nicely with its heist-centric plot.


#15: “Flushed Away” (2006)

With a title like that, one might expect that “Flushed Away” would be a low-brow feature only the youngest of kids could enjoy. But that thankfully isn’t the case. When the spoiled mouse Roddy St. James is flushed down the toilet by a sewer rat, he goes on an adventure with the seasoned Rita to find his way home. Only, he also has a villainous toad to contend with. Every character is more entertaining than the last, voiced impressively by Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Andy Serkis, and Sir Ian McKellen. It was the first CGI animated movie from DreamWorks partner studio Aardman Animations, which still kept the charm and appeal of its previous stop-motion features.


#14: “Trolls” (2016)

Leave it to DreamWorks to create a movie based on a decades-old toyline and have it be a smash hit. The jukebox musical chronicles the liberation of the Trolls, who have been in hiding for 20 years from the nasty Bergens who once kept them imprisoned and ate them. Despite its dark premise, the film is exceptionally bright and colorful. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake shine in the main roles, but there’s a bevy of fantastic supporters like Zooey Deschanel and Gwen Stefani. Among the recreations of popular songs like Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” are insanely catchy original songs like the Oscar-nominated “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” And now it’s stuck in our heads again.


#13: “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (2012)

The “Madagascar” series had a solid start, but it didn’t quite reach its full potential until the third entry. “Europe’s Most Wanted” follows our heroes as they leave Africa, joining a traveling circus in Europe and fleeing a merciless Animal Control officer. As it turns out, the circus was the perfect setting for them. The various circus acts make for some marvelous sequences. And the new voices, which include Jessica Chastain, Frances McDormand, and Bryan Cranston, are delightful additions to the already zany animal cast. A sequel surpassing the original is almost unheard of. But with its manic humor and delightful plot, this one pulled it off.


#12: “The Croods” (2013)

With every strict family comes a rebellious teen, even in prehistoric times. “The Croods” follows a family of cave-people who must venture into the unknown after an earthquake destroys their home. But when his daughter seeks to explore a different life, thanks to the arrival of the intelligent and charming Guy, patriarch Grug struggles with getting stuck in the past. “The Croods” is both funny and silly for kids to enjoy, but also focuses on the vital themes of acceptance and willingness to change. It naturally features a smaller cast than many other DreamWorks Animation movies, but Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds all crush it.


#11: “Kung Fu Panda 2” (2011)

Who could’ve guessed that something as silly as a panda martial artist would spawn a heartfelt franchise? Following the 2008 original, this sequel followed Po now working with the Furious Five to stop a villainous peacock named Shen. The plot may be a bit of a retread; stop another evil animal from causing chaos. But everything else about it is stellar. The voice acting, particularly Jack Black as Po and Gary Oldman as Shen, is just as strong as it was in the original. The fight sequences are even more impressive thanks to improved animation and choreography. And it isn’t afraid to get a bit darker, offering emotional weight. It made us ecstatic for a third outing, which released in 2016.

#10: “Megamind” (2010)

In a time where only superheroes were shining on-screen, DreamWorks decided to make a movie from the perspective of a villain. The result is one of the best animated comedies the studio ever put out. Will Ferrell plays the lead perfectly, an evil alien who seemingly defeats his arch-nemesis only to feel purposeless after. He then creates a superhero to fight, only for the hero to enjoy playing a villain much more. Although some of its elements still felt a bit overdone, the voice cast and jokes never miss. There’s plenty of superheroic action and flair to keep audiences of all ages entertained.

#9: “Antz” (1998)

DreamWorks Animation began with a bang, but also with a much more serious tone and a heavy dose of existentialism. “Antz” chronicles the life of Z, a nervous worker ant who becomes a soldier despite being small and pessimistic. It was a technical marvel at the time it was released and boasted an incredible cast with the likes of Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken, and Sylvester Stallone. Although it had some darker elements, it was also incredibly funny and managed to steal some thunder from Disney and Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life,” which released the same year. More importantly, it imparted lessons about preconceived notions and believing in yourself; important for kids to learn and vital for adults to remember.


#8: “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (2014)

The “Dragon” trilogy went out on a high note, with “The Hidden World”. But this is still our favorite of the sequels. With the citizens of Berk now living harmoniously with dragons, Hiccup then has to deal with his father’s plans for the future, the return of his mother, and a bloodthirsty warlord with a dragon army behind him. The animation is jaw-dropping, particularly in flying scenes. The plot offers plenty of emotionally resonant moments, never flinching when it comes to the heavier elements. But there is still plenty of fun to be had. The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is so strong, it makes us wish that we had a dragon companion … even more than we usually do.

#7: “Shrek” (2001)

By far one of DreamWorks Animation’s most successful movies, “Shrek” took the world by storm when it released in 2001. It focused on an ogre’s rescue of a princess in order to get his swampland back from displaced fairytale characters. It was unlike any other animated film at the time, with incredibly witty dialogue, wonderful spoofs on stories we all knew, and a soundtrack of modern music that somehow blended ridiculously well with the story. While it was lovely seeing so many beloved characters in one movie, it was Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey, as well as the moral about looking past appearances, that truly made it worthwhile.

#6: “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005)

We love a good animated horror parody and “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” may just be the very best one. Based on the “Wallace & Gromit” shorts of Aardman Animation, the film follows the unusual inventor and his highly intelligent dog as they attempt to stop an oversized rabbit from destroying their town’s crops. That sounds very simplistic, but it’s actually surprising how heartwarming and hilarious the film is. It has as much charm as the stop-motion shorts that inspired it and then some, showcasing how magnificent the art form is. It’s no wonder it earned DreamWorks the Best Animated Feature Oscar, its second following “Shrek.”


#5: “Kung Fu Panda” (2008)

The original film that kickstarted the franchise followed a clumsy panda with larger-than-life dreams of becoming a renowned martial artist. Similar to other films in the DreamWorks Animation catalog, it expertly navigates themes of believing in yourself and living up to your potential in a way kids can appreciate. It helps that it has a lovable goof at its center and some dazzling fight sequences to keep everyone entertained. Beyond that, it features stunning art direction that was brought to life supremely well thanks to the animators. Of course, none of it would have worked quite so well if not for the pitch-perfect casting of Jack Black as Po.

#4: “The Prince of Egypt” (1998)

In all honesty, an animated retelling of Moses’ life has no right to be this good. For those unfamiliar with the Book of Exodus, the film follows the Hebrew Moses after he was adopted by Egypt’s Pharaoh following a mass infanticide. Raised as a Prince, Moses grows to accept his true purpose from God: freeing all the Hebrew slaves. As only the second theatrically released animated movie from the studio, it’s remarkable how gorgeous the hand-drawn animation is, putting it on par with Disney. It brought one of the Bible’s most famous tales to the big-screen in a highly unique way and earned an Oscar for Best Original Song in the process.


#3: “Chicken Run” (2000)

The first partnership between DreamWorks and Aardman Animation is equal parts animated family comedy and thrilling prison escape film. After a rooster crashlands inside an egg farm, the anthropomorphic chickens inside see him as their ticket out. With the owners planning to turn them all into meat pies, the stakes are pretty high. “Chicken Run” brings the simple but brilliant slapstick humor from the “Wallace & Gromit” shorts, which is enhanced by brilliant voice acting and exciting action sequences. Not only was it a critical darling, but it also became the highest-grossing stop motion animation film; a record that it still holds.

#2: “Shrek 2” (2004)

It was no surprise to hear that the fabulous “Shrek” was getting a sequel. What was surprising, however, was how incredible it turned out to be. The sequel obviously shared some similarities with the first, including pop culture references and fairy tale parodies. But everything “Shrek” did, the follow-up did just a bit better. It followed Shrek meeting his in-laws for the first time at Fiona’s magical home of Far Far Away. The humor pleased both children and adults, with new characters like Puss in Boots and the arrogant Prince Charming stealing the show. It also managed to one-up the original’s soundtrack thanks to one of the best covers of all time: the Fairy Godmother’s “Holding Out For A Hero.”

#1: “Bee Movie” (2007)

Jerry Seinfeld and an abundance of bee puns. What’s not to love? We’re just kidding. Our real #1 should be no surprise…

#1: How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)

“How to Train Your Dragon” is not only the best DreamWorks Animation movie, it’s one of the best animated movies period. Reluctant to become a dragon-slaying warrior like the rest of his peers, young Hiccup discovers that there’s more to the feared creatures than anyone thought. It’s a timeless tale of a misunderstood hero and his bond with an unbelievable creature. That bond is magnificently explored through charming voicework, endearing characters, beautiful animation, and an extraordinary score from John Powell. At times touching, at others amusing, and heartwarming throughout, “How to Train Your Dragon” is a movie that makes our hearts soar just as high as its characters.
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How dare you people leave out Shark Tale.