10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (2024)

dreamworks

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (1)

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (2)

By Alexander Valentino & Shawn S. Lealos

Updated

Thread

Your changes have been saved

Email Is sent

Please verify your email address.

You’ve reached your account maximum for followed topics.

Manage Your List

Follow

Followed

Follow with Notifications

Follow

Unfollow

Link copied to clipboard

dreamworks

Related

Every Animated Disney Movie Ranked From Worst To Best
The Perfect Movie To Watch While Waiting For Top Gun 3 Just Got A Thrilling First Trailer
Sign in to your ScreenRant account
10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (6)

Summary

  • Megamind delivers a poignant message with stellar animation and an all-star cast of comedy actors firing on all cylinders.
  • The Prince of Egypt is an epic biblical saga with breathtaking imagery and a score that pushes the PG rating past its breaking point.
  • Chicken Run is an understated stop-motion masterpiece that reignited appreciation for the art form with charming British humor.

The best DreamWorks movies include many amazing animated films, but a select few rise to the top as the best. Often described as the jazz to Disney's classical music, DreamWorks is by far one of the most impressive and well-known Western animation studios outside of Disney's employ, telling more unorthodox stories compared to Mickey Mouse's safer narratives. Coming a long way since the release of their first feature animation, Antz, in 1998, DreamWorks' recent animated domination has added to its legacy of excellent movies.

Identifying the greatest hits among DreamWorks' impressive catalog of films comes down mainly to taste. Still, tangible variables can help measure how the best of the studio's offerings stack up. From the art style, critical response, and box office numbers of DreamWorks' best films, a solid picture of which films have been the most iconic for the animation titan begins to develop. Whether it's an original, genre-breaking trendsetter or a sequel that puts Disney's direct-to-video animated spinoffs to shame, DreamWorks' filmography is full of impressive contenders.

Related

Every Animated Disney Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

From Snow White to Ralph Wrecks the Internet, and everything in between, here are all of Disney's animated movies, ranked.

10 Megamind (2010)

An All-Star Cast Firing On All Cylinders

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (8)
Megamind

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Director
Tom McGrath
Cast
Will Ferrell , Ben Stiller , Brad Pitt , Jonah Hill

Release Date
November 11, 2010

Just as the superhero genre was beginning to establish its chokehold on Hollywood, Megamind came along to shatter audience expectations for the genre. Beyond the all-star cast of comedy actors at the top of their game (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill) and the impressively aged animation, Megamind presents a poignant message about doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, and vice versa, that many viewers need to hear.

Even though the film echoes The Incredibles and Despicable Me, it's a shame about the disappointing follow-ups without Will Ferrell. This included a sequel movie, Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate (which has a 9% Rotten Tomatoes score), and a TV series called Megamind Rules!, which premiered on Peaco*ck but brought in none of the original movie's voice cast.

While the first movie won no awards, it was still a box-office success and an underappreciated animated movie. The talented voice cast, impressive animation style, and some legitimately funny laughs have helped it withstand the test of time and remain entertaining over a decade later.

Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate and all eight episodes of Megamind Rules! are now streaming on Peaco*ck.

9 The Prince Of Egypt (1998)

An Epic In The True Sense Of The Word

The Prince of Egypt

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Director
Brenda Chapman , Steve Hickner , Simon Wells
Cast
Val Kilmer , Ralph Fiennes , Michelle Pfeiffer , Sandra Bullock , Jeff Goldblum , Danny Glover

Release Date
December 16, 1998

The Prince of Egypt is a biblical saga on par with the likes of Ben-Hur in terms of scope, beauty, and sheer awe but in animated form. The film is, at its core, a tale of faith and family told through the lens of two brothers, torn apart by their allegiances and duty to a higher power.

Hans Zimmer's euphoric score and the breathtaking imagery of Egypt's wind-swept landscape make the saga a true marvel for the senses. That said, the film pushes the PG rating past its breaking point with some macabre divine fury straight out of the Old Testament.

The Prince of Egypt was only DreamWorks' second animated film after Antz, long before it became a box office juggernaut with Shrek. Regardless, it was still a decent box office success thanks to the faith-based crowds, and it received two Oscar nominations, both for the music, one for the score, and the other for the song "When You Believe."

8 Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

A Shockingly Thoughtful Follow-Up To The Original

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (17)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Director
Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast
Jack Black , Angelina Jolie , Dustin Hoffman , Gary Oldman , Jackie Chan , Seth Rogen , Lucy Liu , David Cross , James Hong , Michelle Yeoh

Release Date
May 26, 2011

As brilliant as the quality of Jack Black's Kung Fu Panda was, few could've imagined a follow-up film would go on to nearly outdo its predecessor. Deepening Po's backstory with some surprisingly tragic drama and developing his character with fundamental Eastern philosophy, Kung Fu Panda 2 let audiences know that the franchise wasn't about to start pulling its punches.

It's the rare case of a sequel living up to what the original put out and helped establish Kung Fu Panda as a major animated franchise. While it harbors some truly standout moments, the film struggles with pacing compared to the rest of the Kung Fu Panda films, holding it back from being in DreamWorks' upper echelon of movies.

Despite this, it was still a massive success, bringing in $665 million on a $150 million budget (via Box Office Mojo), one of the highest-grossing movies ever directed by a woman (Jennifer Yuh Nelson). It also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature and ensured the franchise's future.

7 Chicken Run (2000)

An Understated Stop-Motion Masterpiece

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (23)
Chicken Run

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Director
Peter Lord , Nick Park

Cast
Phil Daniels , Lynn Ferguson , Mel Gibson , Tony Haygarth , Jane Horrocks , Miranda Richardson

Release Date
June 21, 2000

Produced in partnership with legendary stop-motion studio Aardman Animations, Chicken Run was instrumental in reigniting moviegoers' appreciation for the pain-staking art form one frame at a time.

The quirky jailbreak story of the rebellious chickens on a small Yorkshire farm has an unmistakable charm, with understated British humor that ages like a fine wine and a genuine sense of terror sure to convert many viewers into veganism. Even if it isn't the most groundbreaking story, Aardman's first foray into feature filmmaking is a feather in DreamWorks' cap.

The movie was a box office success, making $227.8 million on a $45 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). While it didn't earn Oscar attention, it did win the Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture - Animated or Mixed Media and took home awards from various film critics' associations across the country. It even spawned a sequel over 20 years later.

6 How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

A Worthy Return To A Magical World Of Dragons

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Director
Dean DeBlois
Cast
Jonah Hill , Cate Blanchett , Kristen Wiig , Jay Baruchel , T.J. Miller , Gerard Butler , Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Release Date
June 13, 2014

DreamWork's second expedition to the lands of Berk proved that the success of the first film was no flash-in-the-pan fluke, with returning director Dean DeBlois delivering another breathtaking vision of soaring above through the skies on the backs of dragons. The sequel expands on the lore of the Viking world while introducing new dragons and upping the stakes with the series' first on-screen human death.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 was utterly snubbed at the 2015 Oscars when it lost out to Big Hero 6.

The movie was another box office success for DreamWorks, and it opened up the world by introducing Hiccup's mother, who was long thought to be dead. It remained a smart animated movie and showed why the original was such a success. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was utterly snubbed at the 2015 Oscars when it lost out to Big Hero 6. If it wasn't for the forgettable villain, How To Train Your Dragon 2 could've flown even higher.

5 Kung Fu Panda (2008)

The Premiere Modern Martial Arts Comedy

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (33)
Kung Fu Panda

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

Kung Fu Panda is an animated martial arts comedy directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson. Set in ancient China, it follows Po, an overweight and clumsy panda voiced by Jack Black, who dreams of becoming a kung fu master. When an evil snow leopard named Tai Lung threatens the Valley of Peace, Po is unexpectedly chosen as the Dragon Warrior.

Director
Mark Osborne , John Stevenson
Cast
Jack Black , Dustin Hoffman , Angelina Jolie , Ian McShane , Jackie Chan , Seth Rogen

Release Date
June 4, 2008

Few could've guessed that the action comedy starring Jack Black as a food-loving Panda would be a movie of such genuine quality, but the first Kung Fu Panda blows away audience expectations.

Not only is Black's comedic timing as sharp as ever but the film's perfect hero's journey and intricately choreographed fight sequences elevate it from a passing family movie to a spectacle of animation prowess. Some of the dialogue does drag the film down at times, with Po's cringeworthy lines putting a blemish on the film's otherwise mirror polish, but the martial arts film still holds up today.

The movie was a box office success, making $631 million on a $130 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). It also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film (losing out to Pixar's Wall-E). However, it beat the Pixar film at the Annie Awards while bringing home 10 awards from the prestigious animation ceremony. It also launched a franchise that turned into three sequels and a TV series.

Related

Kung Fu Panda 4 is confirmed and has a March 2024 release date. Here's all that's known about Dreamworks' new Kung Fu Panda movie so far.

4 Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Put The Feline Fencer On Par With Shrek

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (39)
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Director
Joel Crawford
Cast
Antonio Banderas , Salma Hayek Pinault , Olivia Colman , Harvey Guillen , Samson Kayo , Wagner Moura , Anthony Mendez , John Mulaney , Florence Pugh

Release Date
December 21, 2022

After the lukewarm reception of Puss in Boots' first solo film within the Shrek universe, DreamWorks created a dazzlingly animated sequel that manages to be thoughtful, funny, and heartwarming all at once.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish uses its jaw-dropping, painting-like animation to expertly weave a narrative that manages to juggle three memorable antagonists across the perilous journey of everyone's favorite fearless hero. Although the inspiration from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn't exactly subtle, The Last Wish is undoubtedly one of DreamWorks' heaviest hitters, balancing action, comedy, romance, and fear on the tip of a sword.

The movie was a decent box office hit in the post-pandemic era of Hollywood, a sleeper hit with long legs in theaters. It also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film, losing to Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. The sequel was seen as a huge improvement over the original in everything from the visuals to the story.

3 How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

A High-Flying Smash Hit

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (45)
How to Train Your Dragon

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Not available

How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 animated film set in the Viking world of Berk, where Hiccup, the son of Stoick the Vast, befriends a dragon and defies the village's traditional dragon-slaying ways, leading to a reevaluation of the Viking-dragon conflict.

Director
Dean DeBlois , Chris Sanders

Cast
Jay Baruchel , Gerard Butler , Craig Ferguson , America Ferrera , Jonah Hill

Loosely based on the children's book of the same name, How to Train Your Dragon presents a heartwarming tale of the bond between man and beast, emphasizing the importance of questioning the status quo and sticking up for friends.

Toothless' wide eyes and playful grin greet viewers like an old friend before taking them soaring through the clouds with some of the most impressive 3D flying sequences ever created, bearing a distinctly "live-action" feel.

The poignant performances and effortlessly adorable bond between the downtrodden Hiccup and his faithful mount can't be overlooked as one of DreamWorks' strongest features. It wasn't as big of a box office success as later Dreamworks movies, but it was still successful enough to warrant sequels and TV shows linking the movies together. It also earned an Oscar nomination but lost to the Pixar masterpiece, Toy Story 3.

Toothless' wide eyes and playful grin greets viewers like an old friend before taking them soaring through the clouds.

2 Shrek (2001)

An Enduring Classic That Paved The Way For Others

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (50)
Shrek

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Director
Vicky Jenson , Andrew Adamson
Cast
Cameron Diaz , Mike Myers , Eddie Murphy , John Lithgow

Release Date
May 18, 2001

Even though Shrek has become near-ubiquitous with his meme status in the present day, there's a real beating sentiment behind pop culture's less-than-ironic love for the grumpy green ogre. The original Shrek was groundbreaking for a reason, blending modern humor that toed the line of its PG rating with a fairytale world that broke the mold of Disney's medieval fare by upsetting the status quo.

Despite the baggage of some dated animation and references, Shrek continues to be DreamWorks' most beloved and iconic film series, thanks to the layered success of its first entry. The history-making film helped solidify Dreamworks as a serious player in the world of animated big screen adventures and it never looked back.

Shrek won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

The movie finished its box office run with $492.2 million on a smaller $60 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). It is also the landmark movie that won the very first-ever Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, beating out Pixar's Monster's Inc. Its cultural impact is undeniable, with sequels, a spinoff series with Puss in Boots, and even a Broadway musical adaptation of the story.

1 Shrek 2 (2004)

Evolved The Comedy Of Shrek To New Heights

Shrek 2

Where to Watch

*Availability in US

  • stream
  • rent
  • buy

Director
Kelly Asbury , Andrew Adamson , Conrad Vernon
Cast
Eddie Murphy , Mike Myers , Rupert Everett , Antonio Banderas , Jennifer Saunders , Cameron Diaz , Julie Andrews , John Cleese

Release Date
May 19, 2004

One of the rare instances in which a sequel managed to outdo the original, Shrek 2 took everything that made Shrek work and doubled down. They added to the number of jokes per minute, hilarious modern references, musical numbers and, most importantly, the core cast with the addition of Puss in Boots

Shrek 2 elevated the franchise from a mere standout comedy film to an absolute icon. The movie came close to the billion-dollar mark, with $935.5 million at the box office, and it earned an Oscar nomination, losing out to The Incredibles.

It was the last great Shrek movie, although the second Puss in Boots installment came close to its brilliance. Between the lively musical finale, endlessly entertaining additions to the roster of fairytale characters, and the infectious energy of its humor, Shrek 2 remains DreamWorks' magnum opus to this day.

  • Movies
  • dreamworks

Your changes have been saved

Email Is sent

Please verify your email address.

You’ve reached your account maximum for followed topics.

Manage Your List

Follow

Followed

Follow with Notifications

Follow

Unfollow

10 Best DreamWorks Movies, Ranked (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated:

Views: 5612

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.