DreamWorks Animation Films Ranked from Worst to Best

If you do not wish to read the entire post, here is the ranking as a tier list (made using TierMaker).

A+ (THE BEST): Chicken Run, Shrek 2

A/A- (EXCELLENT): How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Kung Fu Panda, Flushed Away, How to Train Your Dragon

B+/B (SOLID): Kung Fu Panda 3, Antz, The Prince of Egypt, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie, The Croods: A New Age, Rise of the Guardians, Megamind, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Abominable, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

B-/C+ (FAIRLY DECENT): Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Madagascar, Shrek Forever After, Over the Hedge, Puss in Boots

C/C- (MEDIOCRE): The Croods, The Road to El Dorado, Trolls, Penguins of Madagascar, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Shrek the Third, Trolls: World Tour, Turbo, Monsters vs. Aliens

D+ (BAD): The Boss Baby, Bee Movie

D (AWFUL): Home, Shark Tale

Recommended Films to Watch First: Shrek, Chicken Run, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind


Wait, Wait! Before We Get Started…

ALRIGHT, so I initially sent out this ranking to my friends some months ago.

(For those of you who do not already know, I began watching movie marathons, ranking each film within them, during (and because of) the height of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.)

At that point, I had just completed watching all Pixar films (except Onward because it was not on Disney+ at the time), so I thought it would be a good idea to follow that marathon up with more animated films. Dozens of hours later, we have a DreamWorks marathon.

I haven’t seen any of these movies since creating this ranking, so everything you are about to read is my opinion as of May 2020.

Also, I’m keeping the original introduction because I don’t really want to revisit my thoughts on these films. I still stand by my ranking of Bee Movie.


Ye Olde Introduction

Friends,

When I completed my Pixar marathon and shared with you all my rankings, I had a strong feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, even in spite of disagreements that some of you have had with my choices (I’m not sorry, Ratatouille fans).  Unfortunately, that feeling was only temporary, and thus, I decided to start my next movie marathon.

I, for sure, was hoping to take a break from animated films, but most of the other marathon ideas I’ve had lacked something I wanted – variety in quality.  Most of Pixar’s films, for example, are excellent, and while that makes for a fine viewing experience, it makes the evaluation and ranking process very difficult.   Of all the ideas I had for a follow-up movie marathon, the DreamWorks Animation series was the best choice, as the studio is known for some of the best, worst, and most mediocre animated films of the last couple of decades. 

With that in mind, I entered into this marathon hoping to experience more emotions and reactions, which would ultimately lead to an easier ranking process.  This turned out to be true, and even though (spoilers) there were some films here that I hope never to see again, I grew more appreciative of DreamWorks.  At its best, the studio provides a sense of excitement, drama, brilliantly-written characters, and – most importantly – witty (and sometimes mature) humor that can appeal to all ages in ways that Pixar cannot.  Even in some of its worst films, DreamWorks also demonstrates that it is not afraid to take risks, from dabbling in traditional animation to making pure action-adventure stories with none of its trademark satire.

Of course, this variety is largely due to the work of several production companies and numerous writers, directors, and producers, which is also why, despite releasing its first film 3 years after Pixar’s first, DreamWorks released 38 39 feature films in 22 years.  I’ve watched every single one of them, from Antz (1998) to Trolls: World Tour The Croods: A New Age (2020), in what has become the most ambitious marathon I’ve done so far.  I assure you – if I do another marathon, it will not have this many movies.

Similar to the Pixar marathon, I will rank all the DreamWorks Animation films from worst to best, providing for each a “TL;DR” review, my personal letter grade for the film, its Rotten Tomatoes Score, and its Metacritic score.

If you are not interested in reading the entire list, here are the top and bottom 5 DreamWorks Animation films:

BOTTOM 5TOP 5
35. Monsters vs. Aliens5. How to Train Your Dragon 2
36. The Boss Baby4. Shrek
37. Bee Movie3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
38. Home2. Shrek 2
39. (THE WORST) Shark Tale1. (THE BEST) Chicken Run

Let’s Do This!


39. (THE WORST) Shark Tale (2004)

Shark Tale movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Help me! *gasps* I’m drowning in this sea of pop culture references, *splash splash* racial and ethnic stereotypes, poorly-written and underdeveloped characters, and *cough cough* a non-stop onslaught of fish-related puns!  *blub blub blub blub blub*

My Grade: D

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Metacritic Score: 48

38. Home (2015)

Home movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Home is unintentionally DreamWorks Animation’s first interactive film.  Whenever that annoying purple alien protagonist speaks, you react with a groan of frustration!

My Grade: D

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Metacritic Score: 55

37. Bee Movie (2007)

Bee Movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review:

Here’s an idea for a family movie night! 

  1. Watch an episode of Seinfeld.
  2. Watch Antz. 
  3. Watch another episode of Seinfeld
  4. Watch Ratatouille
  5. Finally, end your night with an episode of Seinfeld

If you do all this, then you will have experienced a much better version of everything Bee Movie has to offer. 

Alternate TL;DR Review:

yOU LikE jAZz???

My Grade: D+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Metacritic Score: 54

36. The Boss Baby (2017)

The Boss Baby movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: As an older brother myself, I can relate to how the protagonist feels about having to share his parents’ love with a younger sibling.  It’s truly a sad and lonely place, and getting over it definitely takes some time and hard work.  With that being said, this movie still sucks.

My Grade: D+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%

Metacritic Score: 50

35. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

Monsters vs. Aliens still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: This film has some solid voice performances and some well-executed comedic moments, but honestly, DreamWorks has done SO much better than this science-fiction/monster movie parody.

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Metacritic Score: 56

34. Turbo (2013)

Turbo movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review:

Visuals: impressive.

Everything else: sluggish.

*rim shot*

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Metacritic Score: 58

33. Trolls: World Tour (2020)

Trolls World Tour movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: There’s an okay message about musical diversity, and maybe this film can be a great tool to prevent kids from becoming genre-specific snobs.  However, this message is communicated through a weak plot and stereotypical, inaccurate, and problematic representations of popular music genres.

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Metacritic Score: 51

32. Shrek the Third (2007)

Shrek the Third still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: This is an unnecessary and overdrawn epilogue to Shrek 2.  The humor is what keeps this film from being a complete disaster.

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%

Metacritic Score: 58

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

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: With its take on a classic Arabic folk legend, DreamWorks gives an underwhelming sendoff to its brief stint in traditional animation.

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

Metacritic Score: 48

30. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Penguins of Madagascar movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Penguins of Madagascar has some solid satirical moments and well-crafted animated sequences, but these elements are not strong enough to compensate for a disappointingly generic and uninteresting plot.  These penguins deserve better.

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Metacritic Score: 53

29. Trolls (2016)

Trolls still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: At best, Trolls is an okay children’s film, but at its core, it’s a sad reminder that DreamWorks is losing its appeal to older audiences.  Now trailing quite behind Pixar in quality, the studio is now establishing itself as a slightly better alternative to the mostly mediocre output of Illumination Studios.  (By the way, I hope to NEVER do an Illumination marathon – I can’t stand those Minions.)

My Grade: C-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Metacritic Score: 55

28. The Road to El Dorado (2000)

The Road to El Dorado movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: No amount of solid humor, vibrant animation, or Elton John music can make up for this film’s thin and generic story.

My Grade: C

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%

Metacritic Score: 51

27. The Croods (2013)

The Croods movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: The #1 prehistoric family-comedy since The Flintstones…by default…

My Grade: C

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Metacritic Score: 55

26. Puss in Boots (2011)

Puss in boots movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: This is a pretty fun Shrek spin-off, and you know what?  It could have been worse.  Could you imagine a Donkey film?

My Grade: C+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Metacritic Score: 65

25. Over the Hedge (2006)

Over the Hedge movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: The satirical humor spices up an otherwise bland film that aptly takes place in suburbia.

My Grade: C+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Metacritic Score: 67

24. Shrek Forever After (2010)

Shrek Forever After movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: The Shrek series comes to an entertaining close with a unique, yet flawed adventure heavily inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life.

My Grade: B-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Metacritic Score: 58

23. Madagascar (2005)

Madagascar movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: A stellar voice cast and interesting set of characters help make up for this film’s pretty weak plot.  I really like those penguins.

My Grade: B-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

Metacritic Score: 57

22. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Spirit movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: It’s a good movie, but by appealing itself strictly for children, it lacks the “DreamWorks Magic” solidified in the studio’s earlier (and some of their later) films

My Grade: B-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Metacritic Score: 52

21. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Diving more deeply into character development, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a solid refinement of and improvement on its predecessor.

Alternate TL;DR Review: They do realize Madagascar is in Africa, right?

My Grade: B

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Metacritic Score: 61

20. Abominable (2019)

Abominable movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Abominable’s charm and amazing animation make up for its lack of originality.

My Grade: B

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Metacritic Score: 62

19. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Mr Peabody and Sherman movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: This is a solid film, but I just can’t help but think that this adaptation of a television series would have been better off…as a television series.

My Grade: B

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Metacritic Score: 59

18. Megamind (2010)

Megamind movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: DreamWorks entertainingly pokes fun at the superhero film genre with a humorous approach to its (likely intentionally) weak plot.

My Grade: B

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Metacritic Score: 63

17. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rise of the Guardians still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Fisher-Price My First Avengers!

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Metacritic Score: 58

16. The Croods: A New Age (2020)

Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: The Croods: A New Age is exactly the Stone Age family-adventure-comedy (seriously, this movie is really funny) that I wanted its predecessor to be – bravo!

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Metacritic Score: 56

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

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: This film is an exciting and faithful adaptation of a beloved children’s book series.

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Metacritic Score: 69

14. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Third time’s the charm!

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Metacritic Score: 60

13. The Prince of Egypt (1998)

Prince of Egypt still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: In the same year as Antz, DreamWorks released an adaptation of a well-known religious text in the form of a brilliantly animated musical drama-adventure film.

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Metacritic Score: 64

12.  Antz (1998)

Antz still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: If DreamWorks Animation had been more consistent with films like Antz, the studio would have been best defined as a mature, yet solid alternative to Pixar.

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Metacritic Score: 72

11. Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

Kung Fu Panda 3 movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Hindered primarily by a generic and underdeveloped villain, Kung Fu Panda 3 is, at the very least, a satisfying conclusion of one of DreamWorks’s best franchises.

My Grade: B+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Metacritic Score: 66

10. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

How To Train Your Dragon still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: With incredible animation and an array of interesting characters, this film presents a well-crafted world, setting the stage for one of DreamWorks Animation’s strongest franchises.

My Grade: A-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Metacritic Score: 75

9. Flushed Away (2006)

Flushed Away still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Aardman Animations, known for their stop-motion works, takes an excellent dive into CG animation.  (Yes, I know the pun stinks.)

My Grade: A-

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Metacritic Score: 74

8. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Kung Fu Panda still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: “Ski-doosh!”

My Grade: A

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Metacritic Score: 74

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

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Aardman Animations, in their second feature film with DreamWorks, literally crafts a marvelous film starring their famous short-film comedy duo.

My Grade: A

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Metacritic Score: 87

6. Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Kung Fu Panda 2 still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: With a stronger plot and added layer of emotional depth, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a refined extension of its predecessor.

My Grade: A

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Metacritic Score: 67

5. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How To Train Your Dragon 2 still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: “The world just got a whole lot bigger,” said Hiccup, the protagonist.

My Grade: A

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Metacritic Score: 76

4. Shrek (2001)

Shrek movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Shrek: The Iconic Anti-Disney Film

My Grade: A

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Metacritic Score: 84

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

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World movie still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: As is, this film is an excellent conclusion to the How to Train Your Dragon series, yet it also sets the stage for more adventures of the Berkians.

My Grade: A

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Metacritic Score: 71

2. Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek 2 still
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: Shrek 2 exceeds its predecessor by being a brilliant blend of a love story and a thrilling adventure, enhanced with rapid-fire satire.  This film is “DreamWorks Magic” at its finest.

My Grade: A+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Metacritic Score: 75

1. (THE BEST) Chicken Run (2000)

A Chicken Run sequel is coming to Netflix - CNET
Image via DreamWorks Animation

TL;DR Review: This film’s premise is so simple and somewhat absurd, but its brilliance comes from how it takes these qualities and, through this technical masterpiece, uses them to build an effective expression of heroism, wit, and charm.

My Grade: A+

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Metacritic Score: 88

Published by Miles N

Some guy with glasses.

4 thoughts on “DreamWorks Animation Films Ranked from Worst to Best

  1. Hey Miles! My name Is Stucky, and I’m somewhat of a Dreamworks fanatic. I just wanted to let you know this is the most absolute shit tier list I’ve ever seen. Your opinion on movies should be federally illegal. Please don’t ever make another tier list again. There;s no way you put the bee movie as awful. To put trolls in front of Sharktale is literally a sin. I appreciate your effort to supply the internet with good content, but you failed miserably. Thank you and have a terrible day.

    Like

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