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The Top 20 Grossing Animated Films of All Time


There has always been this belief that cartoons are for children. Consequently, parents will go about their business in the house and leave the toddlers glued to the screen. What many fail to realize is that animation movies are produced to tickle everyone since laughter has always been the best medicine. Besides, if you feel that cartoons should be left to the young ones, then you have to remember that we do not stop laughing because we age. Instead, we grow old because we stopped laughing in the opinion of Maurice Chevalier. If you are still cynical, check these top-grossing anime films of all time as listed on The Wrap. You might just be tempted to grab yourself a couple and keep those wrinkles at bay.  Thanks to The Wrap and some other sources, here are the 20 highest grossing animated films of all-time.

Madagascar 3 Europe Most Wanted

20. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" - $746 Million

"Madagascar 3" is the third installment of the Madagascar franchise and so far has grossed the highest amount at $746 million. Whether there will be a fourth installment is still a matter of debate since the new policy to release only two films in a year by DreamWorks Animation will limit our dose of entertainment. A spin-off, "Penguins of Madagascar" also did well and had the highest home video sales upon its release in the first week. We know that "Madagascar 4" will also be a movie to watch out for, whenever DreamWorks Animation deems us ready to receive it.

Shrek Forever After

19. "Shrek Forever After" - $752 Million

"Shrek Forever After" is the second-highest-grossing movie at the foreign box office made by DreamWorks' Animation. It is, therefore, no wonder that after being promoted as "Shrek: The Final Chapter," the producers decide to change the name. They hope to one day give us another sequel to the movie and make some considerable amounts of money in return. This particular film grossed $752 million, and since two prequels made it to this list, the producers are right to keep the hope alive.

Shrek 3

18. "Shrek 3" - $799 Million

By combining a little legend of Arthur and Merlin as well as the fictional story of Far Far Away, "Shrek The Third" came to be. By marrying Princess Fiona, Shrek was next to take the throne after King Harold's death but who would want to be ruled by an ugly monster. The movie focuses on finding a replacement for Shrek, and it got a positive reception that resulted in $799 million against a budget of $160 million.


17. "Coco" - $807 Million

Music has always been food to the soul and therefore when Miguel seeks to lift the ban on music in his village, the journey is not at all as he expected. He interacts with the dead during the Day of The Dead, but as the movie ends, he not only has lifted the music curse but can now strum the guitar for the living and dead. "Coco" grossed $807.08 million and became the first movie with an all-Latino main cast to have a 9-figure budget.

Inside Out

16. "Inside Out" - $857 Million

We can draw all the diagrams in a biology class to explain how our bodies work and to show how they are integrated. However, not many students will tell you what it is that makes us grumpy or why we smile when we remember something that happened ages ago. Well, "Inside Out" tries to give us their version of a biology lesson and even children understood why we change our moods. The film made $857.6 million worldwide with Canada and the rest of the world, the USA excluded, accounting for most of the earnings.

The Secret Lives of Pets

15. "The Secret Lives of Pets" - $875 Million

Illumination Entertainment is always racking the creative minds of its producers to come up with the best. With "Secrets Lives of Pets," we got to know what these like creatures could be thinking and planning. It may be fiction, but sometimes, these animals never fail to surprise is in reality. Therefore when released, this film had a positive reception and grossed $875 million in the box office worldwide. Having enjoyed the massive success, the producers went ahead to give us a sequel. Unfortunately, the public was not into the movie, and it barely reached half the total figure of the first film.

Ice Age Continental Drift

14. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" - $877 Million

The moment you introduce celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Drake and Nicki Minaj to a movie to star alongside other legends such as Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo and Ray Romano, the outcome has to be mind-blowing. That was the case with "Ice Age: The Continental Drift" because when released in 2012, it grossed the highest amount of the year worldwide among the animated films with $877 million.

Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs

13. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" - $886 Million

Family is quite a touchy subject to most people due to a few issues, but at the center of it all lies love. Therefore when Ellie finally accepts that she is a mammoth too and starts a family with Manny, while Sid decides to be a parent by adopting three eggs, one hilarious movie was born. This "Ice Age" movie was the first to be released in 3D by 20th Century, so maybe that played a factor too in it becoming the highest-grossing film of the series with $886.7 million.

Shrek 2

12. "Shrek 2." - $919 Million

DreamWorks Animation has never known any more successful animation film ever than "Shrek 2." Further, for over five years, "Shrek 2" held the title of being the highest-grossing anime- movie of all time until "Toy Story 3" took the spot in 2010. It made $919.8 million, and DreamWorks animation eventually did not feel the pinch of having to pay the lead actors an additional $10 million, almost three times the amount they made for the prequel.

Finding Nemo

11. "Finding Nemo" - $940 Million

Stories inspired by actual events have always touched the hearts of viewers. However, who knew that Andrew Stanton's inspiration about his love of aquatic life and overprotective nature according to Mental Floss would rake in such massive earnings. The movie set a record for the biggest debut for an anime-film when it launched during the June 17, 2016, weekend with $135 million. So far, it has made $940 million worldwide.

The Lion King

10. "The Lion King" (The Original) - $968 Million

Old is gold is a saying that comes true for this particular film. Over two decades have passed, and still, Simba and Mufasa will make any person, child and adult alike, spend some time on the couch reliving the scenes. 25 years have indeed proven to be never too late for the film to be among the most profitable films of all time with a gross of $968.5 million

Despicable Me 2

9. "Despicable Me 2" - $970 Million

Now that Agnes has finally got her wishes fulfilled with Gru getting them a mother, the movie was bound to celebrate in its own way. It grossed $970.7 million in the box office worldwide, and it is fun seeing Gru being the nice guy instead of the villain. Besides the father-daughter relationship becomes admirable as Gru tries to keep Margo away from boys.


8. "Zootopia" - $1.024 Billion

Any chauvinist would have been against this film, considering that a female rabbit was ready to break the norm and become the first rabbit police in the city. When Shakira, who played Gazelle sang the lyrics about not giving up, it became the new fight song for every young girl who felt oppressed by the pressures of society. The film grossed $1.024 billion worldwide, and it became the fourth anime-film to surpass the $2 billion mark as reported in 2016 by Cartoon Brew.

FInding Dory

7. "Finding Dory" - $1.029 Billion

It could be that the fact that people were touched by the film's ability to portray disability as not inability. With Dory suffering from short-term memory loss, she was still able to help Marlin find his son in the prequel "Finding Nemo." Therefore as she takes the lead in looking for her way home and doing it with a little help, Dory melted the hearts of many. Besides, with Ellen DeGeneres making sure that her voice on the immigration ban is not lost, "Finding Dory" grossed $1.029 billion worldwide.

Despicable Me 3

6. "Despicable Me 3" - $1.034 Billion

"Despicable Me" started with all of us hating Gru for treating the three orphaned girls as trash and taking advantage of them. However, by the time the first sequel ends, we see a different side of Gru; a humane side and that he too was capable of loving. The second sequel therefore already had fans waiting to see what Gru would be up to as a family man. It is no surprise that it now is the sixth in the world's box office as pertains to the total gross amount. "Despicable Me 3" has amassed $1.034 billion, perhaps encouraging the producers to go ahead and make the third sequel which we are yet to know the release date.

Toy Story 3

5. "Toy Story 3" - $1.067 Billion

Children love toys, and when the story of toys is told through the eyes of one of them, then it becomes an even more appealing plot for the audience. "Toy Story" made its debut in 1995, but it is not until a decade later that it would be recognized among the highest-grossing anime-films of all time. It grossed $1.067 billion as of 2018 and still broke the record of becoming the first animated film to gross at least a billion dollars. Now that Toy Story sat at $773.9 million after only three and a half weeks in theaters, it might replace its predecessor with time.


4. "Minions" - $1.159 Billion

Sometimes, a remix version does much better than the original song. In the case for movies, it happens too since "Minions" is a spin-off to "Despicable Me", yet it did much better in the box office. You cannot hear anything they say when they speak to Gru or the girls. Still, that did not stop Illumination Entertainment from creating a movie out of the yellow odd-eyed creatures. Additionally, they publicized them so much that it ended up becoming the fourth highest-grossing anime film of all time with $1.159 billion.

Incredibles 2

3. "Incredibles 2" - $1.23 Billion

It is strange why Walt Disney takes so long to give us a sequel, but when they do, they never disappoint. Pixar went to work in producing "Incredibles 2" as a sequel to the first movie released in 2004. Anyone who loves superheroes fell in love with the family of heroes and showed us that even mothers could be superheroes too. It reminds us of the lyrics to Martina McBride's "In my daughter' eyes." "Incredibles 2" became the highest-grossing movie by Pixar and is rated the third worldwide among the animation films with about $1.23 billion.


2. "Frozen" - $1.29 Billion

Every corner of the world has every child singing "Let it go" ever since "Frozen" was released, and the song never seems to grow old. It could be due to the excitement of seeing the magic that Elsa had kept hidden for so long or the belief that the lyrics are meant to tell us to unleash our potential. Frozen took the number one spot of the top-grossing anime films of all time with over $1.29 billion but has been overtaken recently. Its sequel is underway and fans prefer that Elsa comes out as a lesbian according to Pink News. If the producers heed to these requests, then "Frozen 2" might probably overtake this anime and take the top spot.

The Lion King

1. "The Lion King" - $1.334 Billion

When the original "The Lion King" was released in 1994, it became the new favorite for all children everywhere. With only a budget of $45 million, the film grossed $968 million, but Disney was not yet done. Twenty-five years later, the film came back in full-throttle mode with a few changes that probably led to its success. For starters, the songs have been sung by artists like Beyoncé and Elton John while the animals do not look like you remember them in the original anime film. The new "Lion King" has taken the top box office spot from "Frozen" by grossing the highest amount in box office ever by August 11, 2019, with $1.334 billion.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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