Top 5 Money Earning Animated Films

Shrek & Dunkey
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It's Dunkey!

I love animated movies, who doesn’t? From the ingenious storytelling of classic Disney movies to the countless innovations of Pixar, you’re never too old for an animated feature. History shows that sequels often make more green than the originals, as is evident by Shrek and Toy Story, making kids’ favorites the gifts that keep on giving. Here are the all-time money makers in the animated world—as of October 2014.

1. Shrek 2

Shrek 2 was released on May 19, 2004 and had an opening weekend of $108,037,878. It went on to gross over 440 million dollars. The song “Accidentally in Love” was also nominated for an Oscar. That’s not too shabby for a sequel, I’d say. The original Shrek is number 11 on the all-time list, having made over $267 million. Shrek the Third is the 7th highest-earning animated film, making Shrek a billion-dollar franchise.

2. The Lion King

The Lion King was released in theaters on June 15, 1994 and earned a little under $1.6 million dollars opening weekend. While that may seem like a slow start, it continued on to make more than $422 million, with a boost from a 3-D re-release in 2011. The Lion King was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, and won for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” beating out two other songs from the movie “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.” It has also become a successful Broadway show.

3. Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 burst into theaters on June 18, 2010 making an astonishing $110,307,189, and over $415 million dollars during its entire theatrical run. It was knocked out of the #2 spot by the Lion King's re-release the following year. How does this sequel stack up? The original Toy Story clocks in at #33, while Toy Story 2 is #15 on the box office earnings list.

Toy Story 3 Trailer

4. Frozen

Frozen iced its way into theaters on November 11, 2013 with an opening weekend box office of over $243 million. During its theatrical run, it garnered a cool $400 million and countless of radio plays for the hit, “Let it Go” from the soundtrack. Frozen picked up Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song for “Let it Go” at the 2014 Academy Awards.


5. Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo opened in theaters on May 30, 2003 and quickly made $70,251,710. Obviously, word of mouth and other advertising methods were effective; as it went on to gross over $380 million. The fact that it won Best Animated Feature and was nominated for three other Oscars at the 2004 Academy Awards probably helped too.

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Comments 9 comments

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 7 years ago Author

WALL-E is #11 on the list with over $244 million. I have to agree that it is a quality movie. You should have seen it a few more times in theaters to help it crack the Top 10 :0)

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

I saw Up 3 times, and it gets better with every viewing. I agree about Wall-E. It is visually superb and the story is too sophisticated for kids. Pixar seem to cater for older audiences almost as well as they do for young'uns! Great list!

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 7 years ago Author

I love Up as well. I don't know how it will stand on this list after the new Shrek and Toy Story movies come out.

susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

We saw all the Shrek movies and loved it. High tech animated films have become such a rave and picking the right actors for the voice over's is key to a big hit. Another good hub!

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago Author

Susan, you're right, matching the right actor to the right character is key in animated films. Thanks for making that point!

eli grey profile image

eli grey 6 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa

Sad to say, Up was my least favorite film from pixar while the rest are equal. I fell in love with Toy Story. Shrek 1 was great; humor,action,romance, and awesome songs. Wall E surprised me the most. I honestly thought it to be the downfall of pixar but it blew me away. The rest of the Shreks seemed uh to contrived if that makes any sense to you.

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your thoughts, Eli! I assume you're excited for Toy Story 3 that's coming out and weren't really into Shrek 4. I think it's tough to do sequels to animated movies. Walt Disney himself was dead-set against it. I agree that Wall-E was a surprisingly great movie.

eli grey profile image

eli grey 6 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa

Toy Story 3 looks like fun but perhaps loosing its grandeur in the market now with so many new animated films? Shrek four, being the last, I will have to watch. It seems to be a totally uncessary chapter in the tale.And yeah, sequels suck unless it's a continuation of the previous film and keeps up the same pace as the first.

Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago Author

I think Toy Story 3 may have a bit of an edge because it has been so long since Toy Story 2. If they made the third installment like right after the second, it would have been too much. I am way more excited about that one than Shrek 4, but I agree that I will see it since it's the last one.

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