Dreamworks Animation | Paramount Pictures | Pacific Data Images

Ranking DreamWorks Animated Movies from the 21st Century

DreamWorks has been around for over two decades, so it’s time we rank all of their movies from the 21st century.
Article Tags
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
The Latest
Tonic Topics
Join the Convo on Facebook!

From Madagascar to Shrek to How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks has been putting out some of the biggest franchises outside of Disney. So, I thought, “why not rank the movies?” DreamWorks put out its first animated movie in 1998, but I’m going to focus on their films from 2000 to now. That means Antz and The Prince of Egypt won’t be on this list. I’ll also be grouping together franchises because if you’re going to watch one movie, you’re going to end up watching the rest in the series, too. Let’s get into the ranking.

Never Going to Rewatch: ‘Bee Movie’ and ‘Flushed Away’

Bee Movie
DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures | Columbus 81 Productions

For some reason, I can’t stand either of these movies. While Bee Movie may have become a meme, Flushed Away just never gets talked about. Not that I’m complaining. If I had to choose between rewatching both and saving the human race, I’m sorry in advance.

Bee Movie had an interesting concept, but it’s obvious the filmmakers didn’t really know much about bees. So, looking back on a movie I didn’t like to begin with, that lack of knowledge knocked it down a few pegs. And with Flushed Away, the characters were just a bit bland.

‘Turbo’ and ‘Joseph: King of Dreams’

DreamWorks | 20th Century Fox

I’ll be honest – I wanted to like both Turbo and Joseph: King of Dreams. The only problem was they fell flat compared to other films that were released at the same time and the rest of DreamWorks library.

With Joseph: King of Dreams, I watched it several times as a child, but I will concede I only did that because I didn’t get to choose the movie. I’d much rather watch The Prince of Egypt, the predecessor to Joseph.

Now with Turbo, there are plenty of racing films – both animated and live-action – that you could choose from. Why go with a snail when you could watch Fast and Furious and its many sequels?

‘Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ (2005) and ‘Chicken Run’ (2000)

Chicken Run
DreamWorks | Aardman Animations | Allied Filmmakers | Pathe

I barely remember Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run. I think I watched them once or twice each. The only thing I can vaguely remember was the clay animation style.

But if you asked me about plot details? I’m completely lost. I had to rewatch them just to rank them…and I wish I could have those hours back. Trust me, unless you are a die-hard fan of either film, rewatching them isn’t worth the time.

‘Shark Tale’ and ‘Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie’

Shark Tale

Shark Tale had such a great concept and potential, but it just didn’t live up to the standard Disney brought at the time. The House of Mouse really did this movie dirty–and they weren’t even the ones creating it. Maybe it’s time for a long-awaited sequel like Finding Nemo got.

A little more recent, Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. Maybe it’s because I didn’t like the books growing up, but if I’m going to watch a funny superhero, I’ll watch Spider-Man or Ant-Man.

‘The Boss Baby’ and ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’

The Boss Baby
DreamWorks | 20th Century Fox

The first time I saw The Boss Baby, I watched it without audio or subtitles at a family Christmas party. When I finally got to fully experience the movie, I was a little disappointed. The animation was fun, but the writing just didn’t keep me hooked.

While I did enjoy The Boss Baby, the downfall was its sequel, The Boss Baby: Family Business. The story had wrapped up nicely in the end, so why did they stretch it out even further. And don’t even get me started on the show – I won’t be tuning in.

‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’ and ‘Over the Hedge’

Over the Hedge
DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures

Mr. Peabody and Sherman had a great concept; going in, I hoped we’d get to see a Scooby-Doo-inspired time heist. It’s not exactly that, but the film was still fun. Not the best, but okay.

Now, Over the Hedge might not be as strong in the plot department, but the music was much better than Mr. Peabody and Sherman. In Over the Hedge, we see a raccoon put together a motley group of animals to gather food to save his own skin after stealing from a bear. Not the best start, but it ended nicely.

‘Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas’ and ‘The Road to El Dorado’

The Road to El Dorado

Where Joseph: King of Dreams failed to keep my attention, Sinbad and The Road to El Dorado are films that should be considered 2000s classics. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is arguably better than most non-Princess Disney films with its music (maybe second to Tarzan).

The Road to El Dorado is a lot like Disney’s Atlantis in my eyes; both are underrated films that are finally getting the attention they deserve. There’s very little I would change in The Road to El Dorado; I’d even go so far as to wish for a sequel following the two knuckleheads.

See related: Nostalgic Animated Movies That Aren’t Disney

‘Trolls’ and ‘Trolls World Tour’

Trolls World Tour
DreamWorks | Universal Pictures

I wanted to love Trolls and its sequel, but I just couldn’t. That said, they are objectively good movies if you don’t have to watch them weekly with kids. Trolls brought in various kinds of music and a heartfelt story that had me tearing up but not quite crying.

However, the reason the Trolls movies aren’t higher up is because of Trolls World Tour. Where some sequels do better than the first movie, this film fell victim to trying too hard. While I understand it’s made for kids, an adult probably wouldn’t want to watch this more than once.

‘Abominable’ and ‘Home’

DreamWorks | Universal Pictures | Pearl Studio

I love cryptids and aliens, so it’s no surprise Abominable and Home made it this high up on my ranking. Both had me crying at the creatures bonding with humans and finding happiness in a way. I might just have to rewatch these this weekend.

Home was goofy – I won’t deny that. But it had a great message (and soundtrack). Abominable didn’t have that goofy nature; it was just a light-hearted film that had a few profound moments thrown in. What more could you want in a movie?

‘Megamind’, ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’, and ‘The Bad Guys’

DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures | Pacific Data Images

Megamind really surprised me. I didn’t watch it until a decade after it was released because the trailers never quite caught my attention, but TikTok convinced me otherwise. And I’m glad it did! Megamind was hilarious and turned the superhero film on its head.

Monsters vs. Aliens, however, seemed like it was slightly inspired by The Fantastic Four. The only thing that kept me going was the blob; he was like a funnier and better-written Jar Jar Binks. I have yet to watch the show, but I’m hoping it meets the standards set by the film.

The most recent DreamWorks movie, The Bad Guys, was based on a children’s book. That said, the film was perfect for a child and adult audience. I was hesitant to see it, but my family convinced me to. It’s pretty good, but it just wasn’t good enough to make it higher on the list.

‘Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’ and ‘Spirit Untamed’

Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit is one of my cousin’s favorite movies, so I’ve seen it hundreds of times. It paved the way for horse girls in the 2000s, but that’s not a bad thing. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron had a fantastic plot, representation, and soundtrack. You definitely need to rewatch this one day.

The only reason these two didn’t make it one level up is because Spirit Untamed wasn’t good enough. It was slightly lacking compared to the original but was still enjoyable. It didn’t have the same message, but it did focus on a girl finding a new friend in the titular horse.

See related: The Most Underrated Disney Songs

‘The Croods’ and ‘The Croods: A New Age’

DreamWorks | 20th Century Fox

As much as I love to rag on The Croods, it’s all in good fun. The movie was great and focused on a family struggling with changing dynamics. From the oldest daughter falling in love to the father not wanting anything to change, it’s relatable while still fictional.

The Croods: A New Age follows in line with its predecessor with a relatable story. While not all of us have to deal with sharing a home with another family that’s very different from our own, it’s probably easy to imagine.

‘Kung Fu Panda’ Franchise

Kung Fu Panda
DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures

I’ve heard so much hate for the first Kung Fu Panda movie, and I still don’t know why. In every film, Po is an underdog, even after he masters kung fu. The entire movie series focuses on his journey to be the best he can be in both combat and philosophy.

In addition to Po, every character has a unique background and personality that drives the story forward. From the group arguing and then coming together again to the villains with complex reasoning, I wouldn’t skip any movie in the franchise.

‘Rise of the Guardians’ and ‘Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans’

Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost
DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures

Rise of the Guardians had so much potential. Based on a series of novels, there was enough source material for DreamWorks to make this a long series like Shrek or How to Train Your Dragon. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see that.

On the other hand, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans was the end of the various Trollhunters shows. The franchise started with Trollhunters, went on to 3Below, and nearly concluded with Wizards. The movie wrapped up the lengthy (but entertaining) Tales of Arcadia franchise. And boy did it deliver!

‘Madagascar’ Franchise

Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted
DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures | PDI/DreamWorks

I loved everything about Madagascar. The movies were fun, and Chris Rock’s Marty gets me every time. Every single character that pops onto the screen in these movies is hilarious, but the zoo animals were the best parts – even better than the plot sometimes.

While Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted might not have been the best in the series, its follow-up, Penguins of Madagascar, made up for that. Instead of focusing on Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melvin, we finally get the penguins in the spotlight!

‘Shrek’ Franchise

DreamWorks | PDI/DreamWorks

I’m sorry, but Shrek isn’t the best DreamWorks franchise. But it is the second-best. From its innuendos for the adults to the fantasy aspects for the children, there’s no doubt it’s going to be popular with many people for years to come. It might even be some people’s favorites.

Out of every Shrek movie, including Puss in Boots, the best is by far Shrek 2. We get fun storylines, complicated relationships, and the villain singing “I Need a Hero” towards the end. And we can’t forget about the short film set after where the characters from Shrek 2 put on their own American Idol-style competition, complete with Simon Cowell.

The Best: ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Franchise

How to Train Your Dragon The Hidden World ending scene
DreamWorks Animation | Universal Pictures

I won’t stop talking about How to Train Your Dragon and its superior storytelling. From the animation to the shows tying each movie together to the short films to the music, there’s no shortage of nostalgic footage that will be considered a classic for decades to come.

I already ranked the shows, shorts, and movies in the franchise. However, despite some of them not being as high-quality as How to Train Your Dragon 2, the entire franchise (including the newest show) is the best DreamWorks has come out with yet.