Best to Worst: DreamWorks Animation

by christophershobris | created - 20 Dec 2014 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

To recognize the successes of DreamWorks Animation created in 1994 by David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, I will list all of them from best to worst. And worst will be difficult since they haven't made many bad films. Which is a win for us audience. But, they do have a few bumps in the road nonetheless. These will be determined by the percentage given by Rotten Enjoy!

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1. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

PG | 98 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

75 Metascore

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders | Stars: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson

Votes: 637,876 | Gross: $217.58M


Here it is the best film ever made by DreamWorks Animation. And rightfully so, this offers a legendary friendship between two unlikely individuals, a Viking and a dragon. The strength of the film is undoubtably the friendship between the Viking named Hiccup, and the dragon known as a Night Fury, Toothless. In my opinion this friendship is just as strong if not stronger then E.T. and Elliot. Because at least Toothless doesn't leave Hiccup once they become friends. They however get seperated but manage to get back together through trust and a really strong friendship that seems unbreakable. I also need to talk extensively about Toothless, he is amazing in every aspect of the word. I love how DreamWorks didn't make him colorful and peaceful. He is actually at first a threatening and dark presence. Then when he meets Hiccup, he softens up and quickly becomes the coolest character ever made by DreamWorks. In fact people loved Toothless so much, he brought upon sequels and tv shows due to the popularity, because people wanted to see more of Toothless. He is amazing in every way, and so is the film.

2. Chicken Run (2000)

G | 84 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park | Stars: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Phil Daniels, Lynn Ferguson

Votes: 170,346 | Gross: $106.83M


A well made and dark film, me like.

3. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

G | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

87 Metascore

Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.

Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park | Stars: Peter Sallis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Kay

Votes: 120,552 | Gross: $56.11M


A classic indeed.

4. Antz (1998)

PG | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

72 Metascore

A rather neurotic ant tries to break from his totalitarian society while trying to win the affection of the princess he loves.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson | Stars: Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone

Votes: 142,501 | Gross: $90.76M


Sometimes the first isn't the worst, in this case, the now classic film Antz and rival of A Bug's Life (released the same year) makes you want to watch both without problems which is a win-win for us.

5. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

PG | 102 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

76 Metascore

When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

Director: Dean DeBlois | Stars: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson

Votes: 292,396 | Gross: $177.00M


This beats any DreamWorks film before it and probably any coming after it, because this really rose the bar very high. Great music, great animation, great characters, and a great bond between characters especially, Hiccup and Toothless. I also got to say, bravo to the fellas at DreamWorks. This is how you do it!

6. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

71 Metascore

When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, he must seek "The Hidden World", a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.

Director: Dean DeBlois | Stars: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett

Votes: 89,973 | Gross: $160.80M


7. Shrek 2 (2004)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

75 Metascore

Shrek and Fiona travel to the Kingdom of Far Far Away, where Fiona's parents are King and Queen, to celebrate their marriage. When they arrive, they find they are not as welcome as they thought they would be.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews

Votes: 401,436 | Gross: $436.47M


10 years previously from HTTYD 2 Shrek 2 still holds up as one of the best DreamWorks has to offer. Ironically the sequels have token the top spots.

8. Shrek (2001)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

84 Metascore

A mean lord exiles fairytale creatures to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess for the lord in order to get his land back.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson | Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

Votes: 588,373 | Gross: $267.67M


The first animated movie franchise theatrically since Toy Story. The first for DreamWorks.

9. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)

PG | 89 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

69 Metascore

Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

Director: David Soren | Stars: Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll

Votes: 23,627 | Gross: $73.92M


Is it possible DreamWorks has found their next Shrek? No. However, the humor is clever, the idea is familiar but done in a creative new way. This is what I love about DreamWorks. They are so unpredictable, you just don't know what you are going to get next. Went from The Boss Baby, which was one of DreamWorks weakest films, to this surprising delight. Actually maybe it's Kung Fu Panda all over again. Sadly this will be the last DreamWorks animated film until How to Train Your Dragon 3 in 2019. Oh boy, can't wait!

10. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

74 Metascore

The Dragon Warrior has to clash against the savage Tai Lung as China's fate hangs in the balance. However, the Dragon Warrior mantle is supposedly mistaken to be bestowed upon an obese panda who is a novice in martial arts.

Directors: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson | Stars: Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman

Votes: 400,231 | Gross: $215.43M


Besides HTTYD this is a pretty good franchise.

11. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

PG | 95 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

66 Metascore

Continuing his "legendary adventures of awesomeness", Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to home.

Directors: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson | Stars: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie

Votes: 125,290 | Gross: $143.53M


DreamWorks comes with a 1-2-3 punch with this film that ends another astounding franchise made by DreamWorks. Lets hope they stop here, or if a 4th is coming, make it good, don't ruin a stellar franchise. Please!

12. Puss in Boots (2011)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

65 Metascore

An outlaw cat, his childhood egg-friend and a seductive thief kitty set out in search for the eggs of the fabled Golden Goose to clear his name, restore his lost honor and regain the trust of his mother and town.

Director: Chris Miller | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton

Votes: 138,766 | Gross: $149.26M


The most successful spin-off ever, and one of the most popular side-characters ever. Puss In Boots offers heart, adventure, romance, and many surprises.

13. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

67 Metascore

Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past.

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson | Stars: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Dustin Hoffman

Votes: 240,988 | Gross: $165.25M


One thing DreamWorks knows how to do is sequels. With the expection of Shrek the Third.

14. Abominable (I) (2019)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

61 Metascore

Three teenagers must help a Yeti return to his family while avoiding a wealthy man and a zoologist who want him for their own needs.

Directors: Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman | Stars: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Joseph Izzo

Votes: 20,423 | Gross: $20.61M


15. The Prince of Egypt (1998)

PG | 99 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

64 Metascore

Egyptian Prince Moses learns of his identity as a Hebrew and his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.

Directors: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells | Stars: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock

Votes: 112,869 | Gross: $101.22M


DreamWorks shows it can do hand-drawn animations as well. Not only Disney, and now they are a legit rival of Disney. The biggest movie rivalry ever. Sweet.

16. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

60 Metascore

The Madagascar animals join a struggling European circus to get back to New York, but find themselves being pursued by a psychotic animal control officer.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer

Votes: 154,948 | Gross: $216.39M


The only Madagascar film that I personally like, the others I can care less for.

17. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

59 Metascore

The time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son, as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.

Director: Rob Minkoff | Stars: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann

Votes: 59,575 | Gross: $111.51M


From the same guy who made The Lion King, Rob Minkoff makes his most successful film since then 20 years ago. It's not bad, but nowhere near as good as Lion King obviously, but it's nice to see him back.

18. Over the Hedge (2006)

PG | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

67 Metascore

A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.

Directors: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick | Stars: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes

Votes: 153,362 | Gross: $155.02M


A film that has had a surprising success rate. And its a good film too. Funny, creative, and the characters are likeable. Another underrated classic made by DreamWorks.

19. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

58 Metascore

When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.

Director: Peter Ramsey | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine

Votes: 150,815 | Gross: $103.41M


A weird twist on the familiar holiday characters.

20. Trolls (2016)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

56 Metascore

After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

Directors: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn | Stars: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Votes: 66,847 | Gross: $153.71M


Another mediocre film from DreamWorks. And a weird direction for them to go. But its neither great like How to Train Your Dragon or as bad as Shark Tale, just in between along with films like Bee Movie and Turbo.

21. Flushed Away (2006)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

74 Metascore

The story of an uptown rat that gets flushed down the toilet from his penthouse apartment, ending in the sewers of London, where he has to learn a whole new and different way of life.

Directors: David Bowers, Sam Fell | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno

Votes: 107,684 | Gross: $64.67M


They did a good job making this look like Wallace and Gromit but it's not the same. Possibly due to DreamWorks and Aardman splitting midway during production. The film is computer animated but looks like an Aardman-styled film. Even through the distractions DreamWorks still managed to make a pretty decent film.

22. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

53 Metascore

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith | Stars: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon

Votes: 75,567 | Gross: $83.35M


A fun and silly film with our favorite penguin stooges.

23. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

PG | 94 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

56 Metascore

A woman transformed into a giant after she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day becomes part of a team of monsters sent in by the U.S. government to defeat an alien mastermind trying to take over Earth.

Directors: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Seth Rogen

Votes: 141,414 | Gross: $198.35M


Not the most inspirational film, but durable. The film was successful enough to garnish a TV show. Seth Rogan does a great job as BOB. And some scenes are pretty funny, like with Seth Rogan and yes, Stephen Colbert.

24. Megamind (2010)

PG | 95 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

63 Metascore

The supervillain Megamind finally defeats his nemesis, the superhero Metro Man. But without a hero, he loses all purpose and must find new meaning to his life.

Director: Tom McGrath | Stars: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey

Votes: 217,315 | Gross: $148.42M



25. The Croods (2013)

PG | 98 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

55 Metascore

After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.

Directors: Kirk DeMicco, Chris Sanders | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener

Votes: 183,313 | Gross: $187.17M


A very underrated film by DreamWorks. Directed by Chris Sanders who also did Lilo & Stitch, and How to Train Your Dragon. This film is beautiful, almost like an animated Avatar. The imagination that went in is superb, and the story has a nice flow to it. Very good indeed.

26. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

G | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

52 Metascore

A wild stallion is captured by humans and slowly loses the will to resist training, yet, throughout his struggles for freedom, the stallion refuses to let go of the hope of one day returning home to his herd.

Directors: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook | Stars: Matt Damon, James Cromwell, Daniel Studi, Chopper Bernet

Votes: 61,342 | Gross: $73.28M


This movie isn't bad, until you watch it 200 times, and when you live with a 4 year old. But it is one of the best hand drawn films by DreamWorks. A very mature film indeed that wasn't about comedy and a film that took itself seriously. Nicely refreshing.

27. Turbo (2013)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

58 Metascore

A freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500.

Director: David Soren | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Samuel L. Jackson

Votes: 79,204 | Gross: $83.03M


There is something about these film about racing that doesn't seem to click with people. This, and Cars both were not as successful as it's predecessors or successors. This one is forgetable.

28. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

PG | 89 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

61 Metascore

The Madagascar animals fly back to New York City, but crash-land on an African nature reserve, where they meet others of their own kind, and Alex especially discovers his royal heritage as prince of a lion pride.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath | Stars: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith

Votes: 194,753 | Gross: $180.01M


This films is way too much like Lion King. Nice try, for trying to make another one, but better luck next time. It doesn't when you mimic another film that has the same story, characters and everything. Way too much like Lion King. Movie good, idea bad.

29. Shrek Forever After (2010)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

58 Metascore

Rumpelstiltskin tricks a mid-life crisis burdened Shrek into allowing himself to be erased from existence and cast in a dark alternate timeline where Rumpelstiltskin rules supreme.

Director: Mike Mitchell | Stars: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas

Votes: 176,091 | Gross: $238.37M


At least this was better then the third. But, Shrek could have gone out with a bigger bang then this. The idea is creative, but the execution is sloppy. Nowhere near the greatness of Shrek 2, or the charm of Shrek. This serves as the middle-of-the-road film of the franchise. Not great but, ok.

30. Madagascar (2005)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

57 Metascore

A group of animals who have spent all their life in a New York zoo end up in the jungles of Madagascar, and must adjust to living in the wild.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath | Stars: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith

Votes: 349,522 | Gross: $193.60M


Very underrated by critics in my opinion. This is on the same level of cleverness in comedy as Shrek. That seems to be a common trait, many DreamWorks films are very underrated, this is one of them. Great film.

31. The Boss Baby (2017)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

50 Metascore

A suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his 7-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

Director: Tom McGrath | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow

Votes: 101,470 | Gross: $175.00M


This one makes no sense. Especially considering the projects DreamWorks canceled in trade for this film. Larrikins, Me and My Shadow, and Mumbai Musical all canceled, and yet they green-lit this film. Perhaps DreamWorks' most cringeworthy idea yet. This is just a talking baby voiced by Alec Baldwin...ok am I supposed to be impressed. I like DreamWorks as a company, but this is not convincing me that this is a good film. But, to their credit, this is their first bad movie in a while, in the last decade DreamWorks has released some stellar films (How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda) so, I forgive them. Lets hope the next one is better.

32. Home (II) (2015)

PG | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

55 Metascore

An alien on the run from his own people makes friends with a girl. He tries to help her on her quest, but can be an interference.

Director: Tim Johnson | Stars: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez

Votes: 88,640 | Gross: $177.40M


Cute, but considering that I've seen what DreamWorks can do with films like How to Train Your Dragon 2, this is a lackluster. Not a blockbuster. But I'm confident DreamWorks will go back to being more of risk-takers like with the Dragon franshise or entertaining like Kung Fu Panda. They seem to always do this, where they make a few mediocre films, then they explode with a classic film like How to Train Your Dragon, I mean they're really on a role with that, but this, no.

33. Bee Movie (2007)

PG | 91 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

54 Metascore

Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry's life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.

Directors: Simon J. Smith, Steve Hickner | Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton

Votes: 134,495 | Gross: $126.63M


This could have been the B movie of DreamWorks, but it wasn't. Still not good though. Jerry Seinfeld as a bee isn't my idea of a good comedic pair.

34. The Road to El Dorado (2000)

PG | 89 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

51 Metascore

Two swindlers get their hands on a map to the fabled city of gold, El Dorado.

Directors: Bibo Bergeron, Don Paul, Jeffrey Katzenberg | Stars: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez, Armand Assante

Votes: 79,661 | Gross: $50.86M


Another unappreciated film by DreamWorks. Is it perfect? No. It has many flaws but it was a lot better then people give credit for. The animation is beautiful as always, and all the actors do a great job voicing the characters. When I saw this, it was thinking "this isn't so bad" I found myself laughing a few times so this is a good film overall.

35. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

48 Metascore

The sailor of legend is framed by the goddess Eris for the theft of the Book of Peace, and must travel to her realm at the end of the world to retrieve it and save the life of his childhood friend Prince Proteus.

Directors: Patrick Gilmore, Tim Johnson | Stars: Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joseph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer

Votes: 46,915 | Gross: $26.48M


Eh, could have been a lot better. After this, DreamWorks stopped hand drawn animation and went strictly computer animation. And due to the financial struggle...can you blame them? But DreamWorks didn't abandon hand-drawn animation entirely. This garnishes major respect for me to DreamWorks, they still use hand-drawn animation like in Book of Dragons, and Kung Fu Panda. It's nice to see that!

36. Shrek the Third (2007)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

58 Metascore

When his new father-in-law, King Harold falls ill, Shrek is looked at as the heir to the land of Far, Far Away. Not one to give up his beloved swamp, Shrek recruits his friends Donkey and Puss in Boots to install the rebellious Artie as the new king. Princess Fiona, however, rallies a band of royal girlfriends to fend off a coup d'etat by the jilted Prince Charming.

Directors: Chris Miller, Raman Hui | Stars: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas

Votes: 268,484 | Gross: $320.71M


Nearly, the worst of the worst, a huge disappointment considering the success of the second film. I think DreamWorks just took a crap on this one. Horrible. And for the fact it is a sequel to one of DreamWork's best films "Shrek 2" you'd think they'd try a lot harder.

37. Shark Tale (2004)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

48 Metascore

When a son of a gangster shark boss is accidentally killed while on the hunt, his would-be prey and his vegetarian brother decide to use the incident to their own advantage.

Directors: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman | Stars: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie

Votes: 160,607 | Gross: $160.86M

35% This may be the worst by DreamWorks. The characters I think are the real problem. The idea and storyline isn't all that bad. But I can't stand looking at these characters that look exactly like the actors playing them. It was meant to be funny, but is not. The ugliness of Will Smith Fish (courtesy of Nostalgia Critic), is one of the reasons why this movies suffers.

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