It’s about time for another Top 13 list! In preparation for the February U.S. release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I decided to rewatch all of the DreamWorks Animation films. DreamWorks Animation, to me, is hit-or-miss, so sometimes it was quite a challenge watching these films. But other times, I quite enjoyed watching these films! Below, I have listed my top 13 favorite DreamWorks Animation films. A few points to keep in mind:
1) This is my personal list of which ones I liked best; it’s not necessarily which ones I think are the best made films. Also this is my list as of now; if you ask me again in the future, this list may change due to personal fluctuations.
2) For personal religious reasons, I haven’t seen The Prince of Egypt nor do I choose to. So don’t be surprised when you see it missing from this list! I’m sure it’s a wonderful film, but I choose not to watch it.
3) I also haven’t seen Joseph: King of Dreams both for personal religious reasons as stated above as well as because it’s a direct-to-video film and I don’t want to compare it alongside the theatrical films.
Now that that’s taken care of, here are my top 13! Hope you enjoy!
#13: KUNG FU PANDA 2 (2011)
This one is a bit surprising to me as I had originally included this on my My Top 13 Animated Movies That I Don’t Like, But Everyone Else Does list. Yet somehow after rewatching the film, I’ve grown to like it. I’m not in love with it as it barely made my top 13, but I do enjoy seeing Po and the gang from the first film fight a new villain, this time a peacock voiced by Gary Oldman! Some of the complaints I made against the film earlier were that it lacked kung fu and that there was a lot of similarity between it and the story of the Prophet Moses. However upon rewatch, I did realize that the film does have a good amount of kung fu in it! And the fact that Po’s origin story seems similar to that of Prophet Moses doesn’t bother me anymore. This is one of the reasons why I’m glad I rewatched the DreamWorks Animation films!
#12: PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (2014)
I’ve never been a fan of the Madgascar films (with the exception of the 3rd one), but I do enjoy the spinoff, Penguins of Madagascar! The penguins are by far my favorite characters of the Madagascar franchise and I enjoyed seeing them get their own film. I know some people claim that “making the sidekicks the main characters of a film just leads to a bad film”, but I feel it doesn’t apply in this case. The penguins still gave the humor and spy quality in this film that they gave in the previous three, so I was happy! Not to mention that Benedict Cumberbatch voices a wolf in this film AND he does so in his natural British accent! That’s a good enough reason to go see the film right there!
#11: WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (2005)
DreamWorks Animation co-produced three Aardman Animation films and all three of them have ended up on this list! That’s saying something for the quality of Aardman Animations films! I loved the British humor of this film (as I adore British humor) and loved being introduced to the characters of Wallace and Gromit via this film. The voice acting is great and I enjoyed the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-esque aspect of the film! And if you love rabbits, this is definitely the film for you!
#10: BEE MOVIE (2007)
Calm down, calm down! Yes, I know this film tends to be hated on by everybody, but I can’t lie and say that I didn’t enjoy watching it! I LIKE Jerry Seinfeld as a bee! I LIKE the animation of the beehive! I LIKE the humor in this film! Is the plot so unfocused that it seems like it’s three movies rolled into one? Absolutely! But guess what? I still LIKE the movie! I LIKE it so much that it didn’t just make my top 13; it made my top 10!
#9: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (2014)
I don’t think there is anyone in the world who DOESN’T like the How to Train Your Dragon series. They are definitely one of DreamWorks Animation’s proudest accomplishments, if not their proudest accomplishment! The 2014 sequel kept me just as interested in the story and characters as the first film did! The animation was gorgeous, the voice acting was great, and I enjoyed meeting new characters and losing old ones! I can’t say that I felt the story was a bit of a letdown compared to the first film, but it’s still good enough to make this list! I can’t wait to see the third film!
#8: FLUSHED AWAY (2006)
Another co-production with Aardman Animations, this film just pleases the inner Anglophile in me! I love the world of the rat world in the sewers, I love the voice acting, especially that of Ian McKellen, and I love the humor in this film! Sadly this film seems to get some level of dislike in the animation community though nowhere near the levels of Bee Movie or Shark Tale! If you like Aardman Animations films, you will definitely enjoy this one!
#7: MEGAMIND (2010)
This was a film that I couldn’t remember all that well prior to rewatching it. I knew the basic gist of the film, but forgot a lot of the details. And honestly, I’m glad I rewatched it as this film was…something else. If you think deeply on this film, it sure asks a lot of questions! Must we be bound to duty? Should we let ourselves be bound to duty? Can we neglect duty to fulfill our dreams? Should we neglect duty to fulfill our dreams? Can a villain change? Should we let a villain change? Can a hero take a break? Should we let a hero take a break? Am I just asking these deep pretentious questions to make people think I know stuff about film analysis? Should my readers allow me to ask pretentious questions to make them think I know stuff about film analysis? The list goes on!
#6: SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS (2003)
Calm down again! Yes, this is another film that isn’t held too highly amongst the film community, but gosh, I love that 2D animation! It’s so beautiful and makes me wish for DreamWorks Animation to do another hand-drawn animated film sometime in their life! Sadly due to the poor box office performance of this, I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon. The CG animation spread throughout the film does seem off and some of the characters’ morals and motives are questionable. But overall, I enjoyed this film! And if you’re on the fence, at least watch the film to hear Michelle Pfeiffer voice Eris! You won’t be disappointed!
#5: CHICKEN RUN (2000)
The first co-production between Aardman Animations and DreamWorks Animation is actually the one I love most! While the plot may be reminiscent of prison escape films, I haven’t seen many of them so the film does seem original enough for me! Again, I loved the Britishness of this film, the voice acting, the stop-motion animation, etc. If you haven’t seen this film yet, you definitely need to!
#4: MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (2014)
This is one of the most underrated DreamWorks Animation films, in my opinion! I’ve never grown up with the original shorts, but based on this film, I definitely would like to check them out! I love the historical and time traveling aspects of this film, the appealing art style, and the enjoyable humor! The voice acting is also great especially that of Max Charles which seemed so natural! I feel had this film not come out the same year as How to Train Your Dragon 2, it would have fared better!
#3: KUNG FU PANDA (2008)
This was probably the first DreamWorks Animation film that I saw and considered to be a masterpiece right off the bat! It wasn’t your typical comedy with Shrek-like humor. Rather it was a well-written drama with comedic elements and filled with themes such as duty, trust in teachers, trust in students, trust in self, and learning the same lesson in different ways. This was the film that introduced us to Po and the gang and it’s also my dad’s favorite DreamWorks Animation film!
#2: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (2010)
You knew this one had to be on this list somewhere! What’s there to say about How to Train Your Dragon that hasn’t been said before? It’s a masterpiece even better than Kung Fu Panda! It’s a drama with themes about village protection, uniting via differences, etc. The animation is spectacular especially the flight shots! And this film gave us one of the sweetest couples ever, Hiccup and Astrid!
AND MY #1 FAVORITE DREAMWORKS ANIMATION FILM IS:
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (2012)
Lemme first say that I don’t think this is a perfect film. I find the plot drags at times and there’s a lot of moments of just talking without anything happening, but despite all that, this is still my favorite DreamWorks Animation film! It’s wonderful seeing William Joyce’s Avengers-like group of childhood fictional characters come to life including a Russian Santa Claus and an Australian Easter Bunny! The imaginative aspect of the film lends to some gorgeous animation, some of the best that DreamWorks Animation has ever given us! This is a film that I would fully support a sequel to, but due to the below average box office performance, I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon!
And those are my top 13 favorite DreamWorks Animation films! What do you think of my list? I have a strong feeling that How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will make its way in there somewhere!
What are your favorite DreamWorks Animation films? Are you excited for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World? Let me know in the comments below!
18 thoughts on “My Top 13 Favorite DreamWorks Animation Films”
I saw “Rise of the Guardians” with my brother, his wife, and their 2 small kids. My niece was maybe 7 at the time. In the scene where the Sandman got overtaken, she leaned over to her mom and whispered, “Does that mean we won’t have anymore good dreams?” 😭😭😭😭😭
Glad to know she was invested in the plot!
Kung Fu Panda 2 is brilliant.
Penguins of Madagascar is utterly forgettable to me.
Wallace and Gromit is good, but British humour is not for me.
Bee Movie is utter trash to me, and is my least favourite for sure.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a great movie, and I think it’s better than the first one.
Megamind is painfully underrated. Still annoyed that Despicable Me has overshadowed it.
Flushed Away is okay.
I have come around a lot on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Season. Definitely kind of a guilty pleasure, though I roasted it hard on my first watch. Definitely prefer it to The Road to El Dorado.
I like Chicken Run, and is definitely a classic.
I think Peabody and Sherman is more forgettable than Penguins of Madagascar.
Kung Fu Panda is awesome.
How to Train Your Dragon is a great movie, though it does suffer from predictability at times.
It’s such a shame that Rise of the Guardians became a flop. It is a pretty good film, but the pacing definitely weakens it, and I do think some of the other Guardians are underutilized.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
You dislike Bee Movie more than Turbo?
Glad you’ve come around on Sinbad!
Well, I haven’t watched Turbo yet in my rewatch (it’s one of my next few films), so it could easily end up being worse.
DreamWorks Animation seems to be the most divisive of all the animation studios. No two people’s lists are ever similar. Although everyone seems to agree that Aardman and How to Train Your Dragon are the best things to happen to the company.
Yeah, DWA is a hit-and-miss for me!
You’re a big nerd! I love several of those; especially Kung Fu Panda.
I prefer the term, “geek”, 😛 !
Lol, glad you like many of these! Kung Fu Panda is awesome!
The only movie I’ve seen from front to back on this list was Chicken Run which I saw in theaters when I was a kid. I remember liking it back then, but I haven’t seen it in ages. Dreamworks can be a divisive studio, but sometimes the ire towards them can be egregious (let’s be honest, the main reason is because they’re not Disney) and other studios get a free pass for doing similar things. Fun fact, I heard that Sinbad was the first animated film to be created using Linux and not Macs or PCs.
That’s an interesting fact about Sinbad; I didn’t know that.
I have my reasons regarding DreamWorks being divisive, lol!
Yeah, I did find it fascinating since you don’t hear that much about Linux being used for animation purposes.
I’m sure you do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Dreamworks fan, so I’m not offended if you have negative views on when they make subpar movies. Sometimes it gets annoying when Antz and Shark Tale get called ripoffs of A Bug’s Life and Finding Nemo respectively which I know isn’t true, but I can usually counteract those arguments with certain other examples if I have to. Out of curiosity, what did you think about the link I sent you involving that list?
I do wish there would be more animation studios available so it’s not just Disney, DreamWorks, or to a lesser extent Illumination animating everything in the mainstream. No wonder I watch anime and lesser-known Western animated works.
Do you mean the link with the 7 characters called ripoffs?
Yeah, I think the issue is many of the other animation studios are still young, so it’s hard to compete with the decades of Disney output. There is also Sony Animation, Cartoon Saloon, the now defunct Blue Sky Studios, Aardman Animation, etc.
Yes, that one in particular.
Good point. Even the studios I like haven’t been around as long. I just don’t want to see some monopolies. Cartoon Saloon is my favorite of the ones you mentioned, but they aren’t really the type to be super mainstream even though they’ve had success in their native Ireland much less Europe.
I can definitely see Nosferatu as a ripoff of Dracula, lol. The whole Kimba the Lion situation again is one which I haven’t delved into much, so I can’t comment one way or the other. And I’m not familiar at all with the other characters that were mentioned as the originals.
Oh, yeah. There’s a reason why the Stoker family won that case. I didn’t even know that and I saw that movie years ago. One of those copies survived and that’s how people know about that particular movie. Haha!
While Kimba the White Lion and The Lion King have different overall plots, the biggest similarities were certain characters, and some identical scenes (the big one being the dead father lion’s spirit in the sky trying to empower his son). It gets crazy with Roy E. Disney calling Sarabi “Kimba’s mother” in a 1993 Prodigy transcript, having a white Simba in pre-production, and them trying to ban the 1997 Jungle Emperor Leo film at the Fantasia Film Festival in Canada for it’s North American debut. Also, Matthew Broderick himself saw the Kimba show when he was a kid and legitimately thought he was going to be that character at first. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those drones who say everything is identical, but I do wish Disney would own up to it. Personally, I’m more offended about the trademarking of THAT phrase and the Mbube/Lion Sleeps Tonight case.
Gotcha. I didn’t know if you knew that about the originals. Not even Darkseid? I know he was in some of the DC cartoons back in the 90s and early 00s. If you didn’t watch some of those shows, then I understand.
Yeah I wasn’t much into the DC cartoons or comic books when I was younger, so don’t really know anything about those characters.
Okay. I was just wondering. Most of the DC stuff I watched then was Batman: The Animated Series and Teen Titans with occasional Superman episodes which is how I first heard of that DC villain. Even then, I watched the Marvel stuff more often when I was a kid.
Originality is something I highly value and it does really tick me off when people blatantly steal characters, storylines, and key concepts as well as people making free passes to the “copies”, if you will. Just know the frustration wasn’t towards you in that post since it’s something I am very passionate about.