Included on the list are charts of the top box-office earners, a chart of high-grossing animated films by calendar year, a timeline showing the transition of the highest-grossing animated film record, and a chart of the highest-grossing animated film franchises and series. All charts are ranked by international theatrical box office performance where possible, excluding income derived from home video, broadcasting rights and merchandise.
Animated family films have performed consistently well at the box office, with Disney films enjoying lucrative re-releases prior to the home video era. Disney also enjoyed later success with its Pixar brand, of which the Toy Story films, the Finding Nemo films, and Inside Out have been the best performers; beyond Pixar animation, the Shrek, Ice Age, Madagascar and Despicable Me series have met with the most success. The Peter Pan, Jungle Book, Mickey Mouse, and Bambi series saw successful returns after lying dormant for decades.
DreamWorks Animation films have grossed the most, with over $13.8 billion across 33 films, while Illumination Entertainment films have the best average with $741.4 million per film across six films. John Lasseter's films have grossed the most of any animated director, with a total of $18 billion, while Chris Meledandri has the best average $605.6 million per film across 10 films as of February 2017.
The chart below lists the highest-grossing animated films. Figures are given in United States dollars (USD). Many films that were released during the 20th century do not appear on this list as figures have not been adjusted for inflation. 88% of the films in the top 50 were released after 2000. 2016 is the most represented year on the list, with six films. Shrek is the most represented franchise, with five films. DreamWorks Animation and Pixar are the most represented studios, with 14 films on the list each.
The top 12 films on this list are also among the top 50 worldwide highest-grossing films of all time. When adjusted for inflation Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs would likely appear at the top of the chart with an adjusted gross of $1.819 billion.
The films on this list have all had a theatrical run (including re-releases) since 1993. Films that have not played since then do not appear on the chart due to ticket price inflation, population size and ticket purchasing trends not being considered.
Animated/live-action films can be considered for this list if they meet the criteria that 75% of the footage is animation and a significant number of the major characters are animated.
The following chart is a list of the highest-grossing computer animated films. 98% of films in the top 50 were released after 2000. 2016 is the most represented year on the list with seven films.
All feature films in the Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, Rio, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, and Ice Age franchises, as well as the main films in the Cars and Madagascar franchises, are on the list while the Toy Story franchise features often. Shrek and Ice Age are the most represented franchises with five films each. DreamWorks Animation is the most represented studio with 15 films on the list.
The top 44 films listed are also among the highest-grossing animated films, the top 11 are among the 50 highest-grossing films, and the top five have each grossed in excess of $1 billion worldwide.
The films on this chart have all had a theatrical run (including re-releases) since 2001, and films that have not played since then do not appear on the chart due to ticket-price inflation, population size and ticket purchasing trends not being considered.
The following chart is a list of the highest-grossing stop motion films. 85.7% of the top 35 were released after 2000. 2015 the most represented years on the list, with five films.
Aardman and Laika are the most represented studios with five films each on the list. All stop-motion feature films by Aardman, DreamWorks Animation, Laika, and Tim Burton are on the list. All feature films in the Wallace and Gromit and Solan & Ludvig franchise are on the list.
The films on this chart have all had a theatrical run (including re-releases) since 1986, and films that have not played since then do not appear on the chart due to ticket-price inflation, population size and ticket purchasing trends not being considered.
The following chart is a list of the highest-grossing traditionally-animated films. 44% of the films in the top 50 were released after 2000. 1998, 2000 and 2002 are the most represented years on the list, with 4 films each.
All films in the main Peter Pan, The Jungle Book and SpongeBob SquarePants series, while the Rugrats, Mickey Mouse and Pokémon franchises feature prominently. All of these five franchises are also the most represented with two films each. Disney is the most represented studio with 26 films on the list.
The top 4 films on this list are also on the highest-grossing animated films list. Only The Lion King is also on the list of highest-grossing films, ranking in at 31.
The films on this chart have all had a theatrical run (including re-releases) since 1972, and films that have not played since then do not appear on the chart due to ticket-price inflation, population size and ticket purchasing trends not being considered.
Every year since 1994, there has been at least one animated film grossing more than $250 million. 2010 is the year with the most animated films in the Top 10 with five. The years 1937, 1940, 1942, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1961, 1967, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2010 and 2013 were the top high-grossing films by year. Every year since 2015, there has been at least one animated film in the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year.
Computer-animated films have been the highest earners in 1995 and every year since 1998, while 1975 and 1993 are the only years when a stop-motion animated feature grossed the highest. traditional animated films has top every other year.
All films in the Toy Story, The Rescuers, and Finding Nemo were the highest-grossing animated films of the year they were released. Franchises were the highest-grossing animated films of the year they were released. Ice Age and Doraemon have the most high-grossing animated films by year, with four films each. Disney has the most top grossing by year with 30 films.( ... ) Since grosses are not limited to original theatrical runs, a film's first-run gross is included in brackets after the total if known.
*Canada and U.S. gross only.
ESSpanish gross only.
SWSwedish gross only.
NWNorwegian gross only.
AUAustralian gross only.
JPJapanese gross only.
MXMexican gross only.
TBATo be ascertained.
N/ANot applicable; no animated feature length film was released in that year
HFilms contain animated/live-action scenes.
At least seven animated films have held the record of highest-grossing animated film at different times. Four of these were Disney films and two by Pixar. Shrek 2, made by DreamWorks Animation, is the only film on the list not produced by Disney or Pixar.
Snow White held the record for the longest, with 55 years, while Aladdin held it for the shortest period of a year. The Lion King was the last non-CG animated film to hold the record. Shrek 2 and Toy Story 3 are the only sequels to hold the record. Finding Nemo was the first CG animated film.
All of these films are still among the highest-grossing animated films, and only Snow White and Aladdin are not also among the highest-grossing films.
The following chart is a list of the highest-grossing animated film franchises. The top four are among the highest-grossing film franchises of all time and, respectively, are ranked 13th, 15th, 19th and 24th of all time. The Finding Nemo has the highest per-film average, with over $984 million unadjusted and over a billion adjusted for inflation per film Finding Nemo is also the only animated franchise with every film along the highest-grossing films ever. All franchises by DreamWorks Animation, Pixar (both of whom are the most represented studio with four franchises each), Blue Sky, 20th Century Fox, Shin-Ei are on the list. A given franchise needs to have at least two theatrically released films to be on this list.