90 Best Computer-Animated Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Ever since the 1995 release of Toy Story, when feature animation bounded from paper reams and into the domain of the digital, it’s been to infinity and beyond in creative storytelling. We’ve traveled the sky by house and balloon (Up), crossed dimensions with Spider-Man (Into the Spider-Verse), swam the deepest oceans (Finding Nemo) while learning the value of family along with super glue (The Lego Movie).

In these feats of imagination, Cars rule the world, superheroes and villains can turn their lives around (The Incredibles, Despicable Me), and a squirrel chasing an acorn becomes a Sisyphean myth. It’s where we can believe in fairy tales again (Frozen, Brave)…while having a good laugh at their expense (Shrek). We’ve also witnessed processed meats do some things in Sausage Party we’d rather not speak of again.

A whole industry of is supported by this medium, including the previously mentioned Pixar, Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age), Illumination (The Secret Life of Pets), and Sony Pictures Animation (Hotel Transylvania). And let’s not forget DreamWorks Animation (How to Train Your Dragon), whose latest film Trolls World Tour, which broke streaming records when it went straight to on-demand, skipping theatrical.

Wherever the story takes us from , we’ve ranked the most critically approved films  of the genre in our list of the best-reviewed computer-animated movies. Each entry had to reach at least 20 reviews before we put them up for consideration, where we then ranked them by Tomatometer. So, enjoy our guide to the 90 best computer-animated movies ever made.

Adjusted Score: 68646%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation delivers exactly what fans will expect - which means another 97 agreeably lightweight minutes of fast-paced gags and colorful animation.
Synopsis: Your favorite monster family boards a luxury cruise ship so Dracula can take a summer vacation from the hotel. It's... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky


Dinosaur (2000)

Adjusted Score: 68450%
Critics Consensus: While Dinosaur's plot is generic and dull, its stunning computer animation and detailed backgrounds are enough to make it worth a look.
Synopsis: This is the story of Aladar (D.B. Sweeney), an iguanodon dinosaur raised by a family of lemurs. Their world is... [More]

Adjusted Score: 69039%
Critics Consensus: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor.
Synopsis: Alex (Ben Stiller), Morty (Chris Rock) and other zoo animals find a way to escape from Madagascar when the penguins... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath


Robots (2005)

Adjusted Score: 70176%
Critics Consensus: Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line.
Synopsis: In a world of sentient robots, striving young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) wants to work for the avuncular Bigweld... [More]


Epic (2013)

Adjusted Score: 68687%
Critics Consensus: Though its narrative themes are all too familiar, Epic is beautifully animated and crafted with just enough flair to make for solid family entertainment.
Synopsis: Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or M.K., is a headstrong, spirited teenager who has a strained relationship with her father (Jason... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge


Storks (2016)

Adjusted Score: 73244%
Critics Consensus: Colorful animation and a charming cast help Storks achieve a limited liftoff, but scattershot gags and a confused, hyperactively unspooled plot keep it from truly soaring.
Synopsis: Storks deliver babies -- or at least they used to. Now, they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant.... [More]


Turbo (2013)

Adjusted Score: 70149%
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

Adjusted Score: 72846%
Critics Consensus: Meet the Robinsons is a visually impressive children's animated film marked by a story of considerable depth.
Synopsis: Boy genius Lewis gives up hope of retrieving his latest invention, which was stolen by Bowler Hat Guy, then a... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Anderson


Cars 3 (2017)

Adjusted Score: 85154%
Critics Consensus: Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left.
Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that... [More]
Directed By: Brian Fee

Adjusted Score: 74552%
Critics Consensus: While not as clever or inventive as its predecessor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 compensates with enough dazzling visuals to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: His genius finally recognized by his idol Chester V, inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) gets to join Chester's company, where... [More]
Directed By: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

Adjusted Score: 81869%
Critics Consensus: A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs.
Synopsis: Poppy and Branch discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also... [More]
Directed By: Walt Dohrn


The Croods (2013)

Adjusted Score: 76448%
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Synopsis: Prehistoric family the Croods live in a particularly dangerous moment in time. Patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage), his mate, Ugga (Catherine... [More]


Rio (2011)

Adjusted Score: 77462%
Critics Consensus: This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.
Synopsis: Captured by smugglers when he was just a hatchling, a macaw named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) never learned to fly and... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha


Sing (2016)

Adjusted Score: 82503%
Critics Consensus: Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted -- albeit familiar -- storyline that lives up to its title.
Synopsis: Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. An eternal optimist, and a... [More]
Directed By: Garth Jennings

Adjusted Score: 86698%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Synopsis: Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner... [More]
Directed By: Chris Renaud

Adjusted Score: 78223%
Critics Consensus: Like its non-aerodynamic title characters, The Angry Birds Movie 2 takes improbable yet delightfully entertaining flight, landing humorous hits along the way.
Synopsis: Red, Chuck, Bomb and the rest of their feathered friends are surprised when a green pig suggests that they put... [More]
Directed By: Thurop Van Orman

Adjusted Score: 77451%
Critics Consensus: Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Plucky penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) -- the most elite spies... [More]


Flushed Away (2006)

Adjusted Score: 78574%
Critics Consensus: Clever and appealing for both children and adults, Flushed Away marks a successful entry into digital animated features for Aardman Animations.
Synopsis: After an ignoble landing in Ratropolis, a pampered rodent (Hugh Jackman) enlists the help of a sewer scavenger (Kate Winslet)... [More]
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell

Adjusted Score: 81906%
Critics Consensus: Though it doesn't approach the depth of the best animated films, Monsters Vs. Aliens has enough humor and special effects to entertain moviegoers of all ages.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]


Megamind (2010)

Adjusted Score: 78778%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath


Cars (2006)

Adjusted Score: 82670%
Critics Consensus: Cars offers visual treats that more than compensate for its somewhat thinly written story, adding up to a satisfying diversion for younger viewers.
Synopsis: While traveling to California to race against The King (Richard Petty) and Chick Hicks (Michael Keaton) for the Piston Cup... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

Adjusted Score: 82069%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Synopsis: While shopping at an outdoor market, young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his faithful dog, Snowy, buys a model... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg


Monster House (2006)

Adjusted Score: 81812%
Critics Consensus: Monster House welcoms kids and adults alike into a household full of smart, monstrous fun.
Synopsis: No adults believe three youths' (Mitchel Musso, Spencer Locke, Sam Lerner) assertion that a neighboring residence is a living creature... [More]
Directed By: Gil Kenan


Over the Hedge (2006)

Adjusted Score: 82241%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's not an animation classic, Over the Hedge is clever and fun, and the jokes cater to family members of all ages.
Synopsis: When Verne (Garry Shandling) and fellow woodland friends awake from winter's hibernation, they find they have some new neighbors: humans,... [More]

Adjusted Score: 80577%
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Synopsis: Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla... [More]
Directed By: Peter Ramsey


Trolls (2016)

Adjusted Score: 84907%
Critics Consensus: Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Justin... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn


Despicable Me 2 (2013)

Adjusted Score: 82328%
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 2 offers plenty of eye-popping visual inventiveness and a number of big laughs.
Synopsis: Now that Gru (Steve Carell) has forsaken a life of crime to raise Margo, Agnes and Edith, he's trying to... [More]


Smallfoot (2018)

Adjusted Score: 82224%
Critics Consensus: Smallfoot offers a colorful distraction that should keep younger viewers entertained - and a story whose message might even resonate with older audiences.
Synopsis: Migo is a friendly Yeti whose world gets turned upside down when he discovers something that he didn't know existed... [More]
Directed By: Karey Kirkpatrick


Happy Feet (2006)

Adjusted Score: 82050%
Critics Consensus: Visually dazzling, with a thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers, Happy Feet marks a successful animated debut from the makers of Babe.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood), a young emperor penguin, lives in Antarctica. Like others of his kind, he needs to be able... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

Adjusted Score: 83815%
Critics Consensus: The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.
Synopsis: Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sohn

Adjusted Score: 86128%
Critics Consensus: Another agreeable outing for the titular prehistoric clan, The Croods: A New Age may be the missing link for parents between more elevated family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Searching for a safer habitat, the prehistoric Crood family discovers an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of its needs.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Crawford


Ice Age (2002)

Adjusted Score: 82370%
Critics Consensus: Even though Ice Age is treading over the same grounds as Monsters, Inc. and Shrek, it has enough wit and laughs to stand on its own.
Synopsis: Twenty-thousand years ago, Earth is a wondrous, prehistoric world filled with great danger, not the least of which is the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Wedge

Adjusted Score: 83304%
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Synopsis: Animal pals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trying to... [More]


Brave (2012)

Adjusted Score: 87899%
Critics Consensus: Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth.
Synopsis: Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the impetuous but courageous daughter of Scottish King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is... [More]


Surf's Up (2007)

Adjusted Score: 84038%
Critics Consensus: Surf's Up is a laid back, visually stunning animated movie that brings a fresh twist to some familiar conventions. Its witty mockumentary format is fun and inventive, and the CGI is breathtakingly realistic.
Synopsis: Surfing means everything to teenage penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). Followed by a documentary film crew, he leaves his home... [More]
Directed By: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck

Adjusted Score: 84142%
Critics Consensus: Horton Hears A Who! is both whimsical and heartwarming, and is the rare Dr. Seuss adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the source material.
Synopsis: Animated elephant Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a speck of dust floating in the Jungle of Nool. Upon investigation of the... [More]

Adjusted Score: 87090%
Critics Consensus: Offering Monsters, Inc. fans a return visit with beloved characters, Monsters University delivers funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age.
Synopsis: Ever since he was a kid monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has dreamed of becoming a Scarer. To make his... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

Adjusted Score: 86532%
Critics Consensus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman offers a surprisingly entertaining burst of colorful all-ages fun, despite its dated source material and rather convoluted plot.
Synopsis: Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), the most accomplished canine in the world, and his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), use a time... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff


Abominable (2019)

Adjusted Score: 91096%
Critics Consensus: Working with admittedly familiar ingredients, Abominable offers audiences a beautifully animated and overall engaging adventure that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: After discovering a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building, teenage Yi and her two friends embark on an... [More]
Directed By: Jill Culton


Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson


Despicable Me (2010)

Adjusted Score: 87586%
Critics Consensus: Borrowing heavily (and intelligently) from Pixar and Looney Tunes, Despicable Me is a surprisingly thoughtful, family-friendly treat with a few surprises of its own.
Synopsis: A man who delights in all things wicked, supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) hatches a plan to steal the moon. Surrounded... [More]


Sausage Party (2016)

Adjusted Score: 95753%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the... [More]


The Book of Life (2014)

Adjusted Score: 86922%
Critics Consensus: The Book of Life's gorgeous animation is a treat, but it's a pity that its story lacks the same level of craft and detail that its thrilling visuals provide.
Synopsis: In the Mexican town of San Angel, Manolo (Diego Luna), Maria (Zoë Saldana) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) have been friends... [More]
Directed By: Jorge R. Gutierrez

Adjusted Score: 102697%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't quite as much fun as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part fits neatly into an animated all-ages franchise with heart and humor to spare.
Synopsis: The citizens of Bricksburg face a dangerous new threat when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space start to wreck everything... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

Adjusted Score: 91543%
Critics Consensus: Quirky humor, plucky characters and solid slapstick make this family comedy a frenetically tasty time at the movies.
Synopsis: When hard times hit Swallow Falls, its townspeople can only afford to eat sardines. Flint Lockwood, a failed inventor, thinks... [More]


Puss in Boots (2011)

Adjusted Score: 90677%
Critics Consensus: It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.
Synopsis: Long before meeting Shrek, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) -- just named a hero for saving a woman from a... [More]
Directed By: Chris Miller

Adjusted Score: 86084%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Raoul and Emile accidentally release a monster from an eccentric scientist's greenhouse and vow to track it down. They soon... [More]
Directed By: Bibo Bergeron

Adjusted Score: 95757%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren


Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

Adjusted Score: 96905%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]


Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Adjusted Score: 93892%
Critics Consensus: Equally entertaining for both kids and parents old enough to catch the references, Wreck-It Ralph is a clever, colorful adventure built on familiar themes and joyful nostalgia.
Synopsis: Arcade-game character Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of always being the "bad guy" and losing to his "good... [More]
Directed By: Rich Moore


Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Adjusted Score: 94519%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

Adjusted Score: 94829%
Critics Consensus: The Peanuts Movie offers a colorful gateway into the world of its classic characters and a sweetly nostalgic -- if relatively unambitious -- treat for the adults who grew up with them.
Synopsis: Life always seems complicated for good ol' Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp), the boy who always tries his best against seemingly... [More]
Directed By: Steve Martino


Shrek (2001)

Adjusted Score: 96421%
Critics Consensus: While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney's nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude... [More]


Rango (2011)

Adjusted Score: 95564%
Critics Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
Synopsis: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

Adjusted Score: 103607%
Critics Consensus: Ralph Breaks the Internet levels up on its predecessor with a funny, heartwarming sequel that expands its colorful universe while focusing on core characters and relationships.
Synopsis: Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World... [More]
Directed By: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore


Onward (2020)

Adjusted Score: 112034%
Critics Consensus: It may suffer in comparison to Pixar's classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio's formula -- and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure.
Synopsis: Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon


Bolt (2008)

Adjusted Score: 96474%
Critics Consensus: Bolt is a pleasant animated comedy that overcomes the story's familiarity with strong visuals and likable characters.
Synopsis: The days of canine superstar Bolt (John Travolta) are filled with danger and intrigue ... until the cameras stop rolling.... [More]


Tangled (2010)

Adjusted Score: 97636%
Critics Consensus: While far from Disney's greatest film, Tangled is a visually stunning, thoroughly entertaining addition to the studio's classic animated canon.
Synopsis: When the kingdom's most-wanted bandit, Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), hides in a convenient tower, he immediately becomes a captive of... [More]
Directed By: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard


Shrek 2 (2004)

Adjusted Score: 96790%
Critics Consensus: It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right.
Synopsis: After returning from their honeymoon and showing home movies to their friends, Shrek and Fiona learn that her parents have... [More]


Big Hero 6 (2014)

Adjusted Score: 98667%
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Synopsis: Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest... [More]
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams


Frozen (2013)

Adjusted Score: 100194%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna (Kristen Bell) joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Adjusted Score: 105859%
Critics Consensus: The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion.
Synopsis: When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

Adjusted Score: 112598%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

Adjusted Score: 98834%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
Synopsis: Five years have passed since Hiccup and Toothless united the dragons and Vikings of Berk. Now, they spend their time... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois, Tom Owens


A Bug's Life (1998)

Adjusted Score: 96756%
Critics Consensus: A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters - and another smashing early success for Pixar.
Synopsis: Flik (Dave Foley) is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony. His latest mishap was destroying... [More]


Antz (1998)

Adjusted Score: 97015%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.
Synopsis: Z the worker ant (Woody Allen) strives to reconcile his own individuality with the communal work-ethic of the ant colony.... [More]
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson


Arthur Christmas (2011)

Adjusted Score: 98281%
Critics Consensus: Aardman Animations broadens their humor a bit for Arthur Christmas, a clever and earnest holiday film with surprising emotional strength.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that, each Christmas, Santa Claus delivers presents to every last child on Earth. What everyone doesn't know is... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Smith

Adjusted Score: 97518%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of its classic source material, The Little Prince is a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.
Synopsis: The Aviator introduces a girl to a world where she rediscovers her childhood and learns that it's human connections that... [More]
Directed By: Mark Osborne


Incredibles 2 (2018)

Adjusted Score: 116865%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

Adjusted Score: 108699%
Critics Consensus: Another gorgeously animated, skillfully voiced entry in the Disney canon, Raya and the Last Dragon continues the studio's increased representation while reaffirming that its classic formula is just as reliable as ever.
Synopsis: Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known... [More]


Finding Dory (2016)

Adjusted Score: 115466%
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton


WALL-E (2008)

Adjusted Score: 105657%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton


Moana (2016)

Adjusted Score: 112810%
Critics Consensus: With a title character as three-dimensional as its lush animation and a story that adds fresh depth to Disney's time-tested formula, Moana is truly a family-friendly adventure for the ages.
Synopsis: An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty... [More]
Directed By: John Musker, Ron Clements


Soul (2020)

Adjusted Score: 119529%
Critics Consensus: A film as beautiful to contemplate as it is to behold, Soul proves Pixar's power to deliver outstanding all-ages entertainment remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn't quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter


Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Adjusted Score: 102923%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Synopsis: Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter


The LEGO Movie (2014)

Adjusted Score: 105889%
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Synopsis: Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary LEGO figurine who always follows the rules, is mistakenly identified as the Special -- an... [More]


Ratatouille (2007)

Adjusted Score: 106011%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and stunningly animated, Ratatouille adds another delightfully entertaining entry -- and a rather unlikely hero -- to the Pixar canon.
Synopsis: Remy (Patton Oswalt), a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

Adjusted Score: 107366%
Critics Consensus: Eye-catching and energetic, The Mitchells vs. the Machines delivers a funny, feel-good story that the whole family can enjoy.
Synopsis: Young Katie Mitchell embarks on a road trip with her proud parents, younger brother and beloved dog to start her... [More]
Directed By: Mike Rianda


The Incredibles (2004)

Adjusted Score: 106294%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird


Coco (2017)

Adjusted Score: 123816%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

Adjusted Score: 121255%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]


Toy Story 4 (2019)

Adjusted Score: 124742%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending -- and perhaps concluding -- a practically perfect animated saga.
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy... [More]
Directed By: Josh Cooley


Zootopia (2016)

Adjusted Score: 115819%
Critics Consensus: The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that's as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation -- all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live... [More]
Directed By: Byron Howard, Rich Moore


Up (2009)

Adjusted Score: 109558%
Critics Consensus: An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure, Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar treat.
Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson


Toy Story 3 (2010)

Adjusted Score: 110116%
Critics Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Synopsis: With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich


Inside Out (2015)

Adjusted Score: 113968%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Synopsis: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

Adjusted Score: 105999%
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Synopsis: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.... [More]


Finding Nemo (2003)

Adjusted Score: 108563%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton


Toy Story (1995)

Adjusted Score: 106146%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter


Toy Story 2 (1999)

Adjusted Score: 107741%
Critics Consensus: The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen from his home by toy dealer Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), leaving Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen)... [More]

Steven Spielberg’s first family movie since 1991’s Hook is in theaters this week: The BFG, adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl children’s book. The cross-pollination of two talented storytelling titans inspires this week’s gallery: 24 Certified Fresh children’s book movie adaptations!

The new year is here, everyone, and with it comes another week of new releases on home video. Many of the most anticipated films have already come out on DVD and/or Blu-Ray, and the few remaining films in that category will be released in the coming weeks. For this week, however, this means our choices are somewhat tame again. For starters, we’ve got a surprisingly well-received animated children’s book adaptation and the last installment (so they say) in a horror franchise, as well as a few indie films that flew beneath the mainstream radar. Then we’ve got a few Blu-Ray reissues of some beloved older films, and one oddball choice profiling the martial arts antics of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Read on for full details!


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Sony Pictures Animation has had a couple of big screen successes with its 2006 debut, Monster House, and 2007’s Surf’s Up. Earlier this year, they proved they had what it takes to stand out in the growing field of computer animated films when their most recent offering, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, became their highest rated release yet, earning an 85% on the Tomatometer on the way to Certified Fresh status. The story focuses on an aspiring inventor, Flint Lockwood (voiced by SNL’s Bill Hader), who succeeds in manipulating the weather so that food falls from the sky. Things go awry, of course, and it’s up to Flint and his weather girl love interest, Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), to figure out what’s really going on and put a stop to it. Critics largely felt the film was fun, quirky, and humorous enough to appeal to a wide variety of ages, as well as visually impressive. You can pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray this week.


The Final Destination

Do you like grisly, gruesome, ironic movie deaths? Yeah? Well, do you think you’d like them more…… if they were in three dimensions? That’s right, kiddies: critics say The Final Destination offers all the gore of the previous three installments, with the same amount of character development (zero) and quotable dialogue (again, zero). But this time around, all the deadly fatalities are comin’ atcha! (Oh, wait… the 3-D stuff only works on Blu-ray = which also includes a making of featurette and two alternate endings.)


Fifty Dead Men Walking

Another smallish film that went largely unnoticed this year was Fifty Dead Men Walking, which neither stars Sean Penn as a death row inmate nor features any zombies, as some might mistakenly assume the title to imply. This indie thriller centers around the civil conflict in Ireland during the late 80s and one man, Martin McGartland (21‘s Jim Sturgess), who was an undercover informant within the IRA. The film benefited from strong performances both from its lead and from supporting turns by Ben Kingsley and Rose McGowan, and it managed to earn Certified Fresh status with an 86% Tomatometer rating. For a crime drama on the road less traveled, you could do much worse.



Plenty of actors and actresses pick out tiny independent films with quirky or rough hewn characters to make a mark they can’t really make in the soft and fluffy romcoms that pad their resumes (and bank accounts). After Michelle Monaghan was handpicked for her role in Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang she seemed destined for big things-and she did have some classically Oscar-built supporting stints in North County and Gone Baby Gone thereafter. Technically those parts did get her bigger roles but in softer genre flix like Made of Honor. Crammed into the middle of this tennis match of a resume is Trucker, a low profile prestige item that hangs its drama on multiple standout performances, and though critics were mixed on it as a whole — many felt it was an overwrought collection of indie clichés — Monaghan herself won almost universal praise for her role. The DVD features a behind-the-scenes slideshow and footage of Monaghan in preparation for her role.


The Hip Hop Project

With a likely bit of support from rap mogul Russell Simmons and an unlikely hand from actor Bruce Willis, The Hip Hop Project charts the growth of two talented singer/songwriters: Cannon and Princess. Their obstacles are harrowing but their support system is determined. Critics said that, while the story is touching, the film isn’t particularly inventive and the music is fairly middle-of-the-road too, but for fans of the live-the-dream doc or fans of hip hop, it’s uplifting. DVD is pretty spare, boasting a few sound options and subtitles.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 1

By now, most are familiar with this reboot of the classic television series; it garnered widespread critical acclaim for its portrayal of real-life issues set in a distant future… in space. After recently ending its run last March and releasing its companion piece, The Plan, on home video in October, the series is now finally releasing its first season on Blu-Ray. For those of you who missed out on all the hoopla the first time around, now’s your chance to catch up on the hottest sci-fi series to hit television in recent memory. The Blu-Ray is a four-disc set that includes all episodes from the first season, as well as lots of bonus features like episode commentaries, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and an extra titled Battlestar Galactica Series Lowdown, featuring interviews with cast members.


Ten Things I Hate About You

Saddened fans everywhere more than likely revisited this teen movie gem sometime around two years ago when up-and-coming Australian actor Heath Ledger tragically passed away. Ledger played the romantic lead, Patrick Verona, in a modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, starring alongside Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Many saw early potential in Ledger, who was dashing and charming here in his star-making role. Overall, critics were somewhat lukewarm on the film, but for many, this represented some of the most entertaining teen cinema to come out of the 90s. This week, it’s available in a new two-disc special edition and, for the first time, on Blu-Ray.


Riding Giants and Dogtown and Z-BoysBlu-Ray

Alright, my fellow beach bums and California natives, these are the Blu-Rays you’ve been waiting for. Skateboard mogul-cum-documentary filmmaker Stacy Peralta made a couple of rousing documentaries in the early 2000s that clearly demonstrated his passion for surfing and skating. 2002’s Dogtown and Z-Boys and 2004’s Riding Giants were two of the most lovingly crafted pics about skating and surfing culture, respectively, and his affection for the subject matter shone through each production, earning Dogtown a Certified Fresh 91% and Giants a Certified Fresh 92%. Profiling the history of each sport, moving through their early development and culminating in modern times, Peralta focuses on famous figures and dramatic stories to inspire the same sort of awe that bystanders likely felt when witnessing them for the first time. Now that they’re both available on Blu-Ray this week, you can experience all the glory again in high definition.


Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Capitalizing on what was fast becoming a rebirth of interest in the zombie flick, Zack Snyder (that’s “visionary director Zack Snyder” to you Watchmen fans out there) took a stab at remaking a horror classic, namely George Romero’s original 1978 Dawn of the Dead. Did it succeed? Most would argue that it had a lot to live up to, what with the original currently rated at 95% on the Tomatometer, but Snyder’s vision for the film seemed to work for most audiences, and it managed to secure a healthy, Certified Fresh 76% Tomatometer score of its own. Critics felt that the reimagining of the film was fun in most of the right ways, sufficiently suspenseful, and gory when it needed to be (and sometimes more). Now available on Blu-Ray, you’ll get to pick the flaws out of the zombies’ makeup in high definition, so that’s always a plus.

Elvis Presley Gladiators: The 1974 Elvis Karate Legacy Project

Here’s a little item that might come in handy at your next trivia game. Back in the late 50s, Elvis joined the Army, and he was then introduced to the martial arts discipline of Karate. The King went on to study karate for several years, and even got into an onstage tussle with concertgoers. This documentary film seeks to chronicle those little known days of Presley’s life, and the DVD comes with lots of interesting little features, like some raw footage of Elvis, an interview with Wayne Carmen, who worked with Elvis for three years, a photo gallery, and 6 postcards of Elvis decked out in karate gear.

Written by Tim Ryan, Sara Schieron, and Ryan Fujitani

As anyone who bore witness to The Cat in the Hat can testify, children’s book adaptations can be, putting it mildly, quite hit or miss. But sometimes, with the right mix of talent, visual effects and strong storytelling, a great film is born of a beloved story. This week’s animated adaptation of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs has surprised critics to do just that, turning a kids’ favourite into a smart, energetic confection that bursts off the screen. And with Spike Jonze’s much-awaited adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are beginning its rumpus in cinemas next week, we decided to revisit 10 of our favourite children’s book adaptations.

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Alice in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written in 1865 by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. This Disney adaptation was loosely based on that book, and on elements from the writer’s 1871 sequel Through the Looking Glass. Despite the story’s nonsensical nature, Alice‘s rich fantasy elements and memorably absurd characters have seen it made into scores of film and television adaptations, including silent films, a Sesame Street special, and Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer’s dark, brilliantly surreal stop-motion version. Disney’s animation managed an adventure packed with weird visuals and eccentric characters, with the kind of trippy sequences you wouldn’t imagine the Mouse House endorsing today. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp will bring their distinctive vision to Carroll’s world with a 3-D Alice, due in March next year.

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The Neverending Story

German writer Michale Ende’s 1979 novel Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) was adapted into a feature by director Wolfgang Peterson in 1984. The film follows Bastian, a young, modern day kid who escapes his troubles when he discovers an ancient book that transports him to the land of Fantasia — and, later, on the ride of his life aboard the giant luck dragon, Falcor — where his imagination must save a land ravaged by a terrible darkness. The filmmakers chose to ignore elements of the book’s plot and characters, prompting Ende to request that they stop production or change the name of the film completely. When they did neither, he sued, only to lose and end up simply being able to remove his name from the opening credits of the film.

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Drawn from fantasy author Neil Gaiman’s awarded 2002 novel, Coraline is like a new age version of Alice in Wonderland: incorporating horror, humour and fantasy, Henry Selick’s film is blend of frights and visual thrills that impressed adults and children alike with its detailed stop-motion technique — perfectly pitched in the world of three-dimensions. Coraline’s journey through a secret door and into the amazing-but-treacherous universe of her “other” family is a stark lesson in dispelling the idea that the grass is always greener. Look out for great cameos from the likes of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders as busty, retired actresses.

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With its overload of cute pop culture references, talking animals and adult themes, it’s easy to think that Shrek was an idea conjured in the offices of DreamWorks executives. Not so — in actual fact, the movie was adapted from a picture book, written by William Steig in 1990. Shrek was such a success that it encouraged a revival in the use of fairytales for film, and a seemingly endless string of animations based in pop culture parody. Not since The Princess Bride had audiences seen so much winking adult humour in children’s films — Farquaad’s name, for one, is surely not intended for playground use.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Prisoner of Azkaban stands as the most critically acclaimed adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s entire series of books thus far. It was the first film to hint at a possible darker side to Harry as he misuses magic and hints towards the possibility of murder — shocking! The Dementors are also quite frightening, possibly due to the visual styling of director Alfonso Cuarón, who went on to make the dystopian science fiction film, Children of Men. Fantasy maestro Guillermo del Toro was also asked to direct this gloomier (and much more adult) Harry Potter instalment, but surprisingly turned it down because he found it to be too bright and happy.

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl adapted his own novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory into the screenplay for this, retitled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to promote the “Wonka Bar” and to avoid associations with the Vietnam War. This first adaptation of Charlie’s trip to the factory after winning a Golden Ticket still resonates across generations, thanks to Gene Wilder’s charming, offbeat performance, the memorably haunting songs delivered by the Oompa Loompas, and some marvellous, psychedelic sequences that border on scary. It’s a world filled with wallpaper that is lickable and tastes like Snozberries, fizzy drink that lifts you up off the ground, and a geese that lay golden eggs — not to forget Wonka’s biggest secret of all, everlasting gobstoppers.

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The Iron Giant

This atomic-era tale of friendship between a small boy and a giant robot was based on the 1968 story “Iron Man” by British poet laureate — and husband of Sylvia Plath — Ted Hughes. Adapted for the screen by animator and former Simpsons writer Brad Bird, making his feature debut, the movie tells a complex and morally curious story that both enthrals kids and satisfies the intellectual appetites of adults. Despite its pedigree and all-round excellence, however, the film was a flop at the box-office. No matter, as it’s since become a cult favourite, and paved the way for Bird’s next feature, Pixar’s fantastic The Incredibles.

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Dick King-Smith’s book, The Sheep Pig, imagines a world not unlike that of Charlotte’s Web, in which the hero Babe can speak to the other animals and uses this ability to marshal the farmer’s flock. The story gently introduces children to the politics and harsh realities of farming and country life — a valuable lesson, especially for city kids who wouldn’t otherwise know where their Saturday morning bacon and eggs originally came from. Produced by George Miller and filmed in the luscious landscape of the small Australian town of Robertson, Babe was a massive box-office and critical success, earning seven Oscar nominations — including Best Picture.

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The Witches

Some remarkable films have been made from Roald Dahl’s work — including Henry Selick’s James and the Giant Peach and Wes Anderson’s upcoming Fantastic Mr. Fox — but this certainly remains one of the best. Angelica Houston is in her element as the aloof, child-hating Grand High Witch who is on the war path to wipe out every child in England by turning them into mice. There’s no reason given for her irrational hate for children, apart from the fact that to witches, children smell of dogs droppings. Directed by British maverick Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell To Earth), this was the last film made under the supervision of the late puppet master Jim Henson, and also the last of Dahl’s book’s to be adapted before his death. Rumour has it that Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón are in the early stages of developing a stop-motion animation adaptation that promises to stay more loyal to the book — Dahl hated the happy ending and actually protested outside cinemas for people not to watch it.

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The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was based on a children’s pictorial novel written by L. Frank Baum, about Dorothy’s adventures through the Land of Oz. With the help of incredibly beautiful illustrations by W.W. Denslow, we are taken on a voyage to Dorothy’s self discovery and the friends that she meets along the way. There is a depressed Tim Man who needs a heart, a Cowardly Lion who needs courage, and a Scarecrow who needs a brain. Together they journey along the yellow brick road to find the wonderful Wizard of Oz, who will give them all that they desire. Dorothy, much like Alice and Coraline, feels bored and alienated with her reality until she experiences a terrifying and challenging other realm which teaches her that “there is no place like home”. The 1939 film adaptation was shot distinctively in three-strip Technicolor technology. There are a few notable differences between the book and the film. Firstly, in the book Oz is a real tangible place; however, in the film it is a dream land. Dorothy’s famous slippers were made ruby red to take advantage of the new vibrant Technicolor process; in the original novel, they were silver. And the Dorothy of the film is a passive damsel in distress who requires others help to get out of trouble, while the Dorothy of the book was a feminist who was actually the one to rescue everybody else! Regardless, the film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz retains its status of one of the most treasured family films of all time.

Turning into the sleeper hit of the fall, Sony’s blockbuster 3D toon
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
easily ruled the North American box office posting the second smallest sophomore decline of any number one opener this year. Moviegoers were once again unimpressed with the new films that Hollywood studios tried to push on them with the Bruce Willis sci-fi pic Surrogates leading the pack with a sluggish debut in second place. The dance remake Fame bowed in third to mild numbers while the umpteenth horror film in recent weeks Pandorum failed to scare up much business.

Sliding by an incredibly low 19%,
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
showed remarkable strength in first place grossing an estimated $24.6M in its second weekend in theaters. Sensational word-of-mouth and a lack of competing family films or comedies helped the Sony release boost its ten-day tally to a solid $60M. The only number one opener in 2009 to enjoy a better second weekend hold was Liam Neeson’s Taken which slipped by a mere 17% in early February. The revenge thriller banked $53.6M in its first ten days before continuing its leggy run which extended to an astonishing $145M final.


Cloudy also delivered the best sophomore weekend gross ever for any September release. The road ahead still looks bright and sunny for the animated food flick. Disney will provide some competition this Friday with its double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D, but it’s still unclear how big of a turnout should be expected. The next major film aimed at kids doesn’t open until October 16 when Warner Bros. unleashes Where the Wild Things Are. A domestic cume of $150M or more could be possible for Meatballs making it Sony’s top-grossing title of the year.

Bruce Willis saw mediocre results for his new $80M-budgeted action film Surrogates which debuted in second place with an estimated $15M. Averaging $5,083 from 2,951 locations, the PG-13 film about FBI agents in the future hunting down a new type of killer played to an older male audience. Studio data from Buena Vista showed that 58% of the crowd was male and 54% was over 25 — not surprising for a Willis actioner. The not-so-impressive domestic bow puts more pressure on the overseas starpower of Willis to kick in and generate cash in the weeks ahead.


The dance remake Fame didn’t win over too many fans opening in third with an estimated $10M for a mild 3,241 average from 3,096 theaters. The PG-rated update on the 1980 classic hit played primarily to young women as studio research showed that a whopping 78% of the audience was female and 55% was under 25. Fame marked the first release from MGM all year. The troubled studio last hit the multiplexes in December with the Tom Cruise pic Valkyrie which performed better than expected with $83.1M. The marketplace had few choices for young women, but Fame failed to generate enough excitement to come close to recent teen-skewing dance hits like Step Up and Stomp the Yard which both opened to more than $20M. Luckily with its low $18M production cost, the pic should fare well after factoring in foreign sales and home video revenue.

Matt Damon’s The Informant! held up well in its second weekend dipping only 34% to an estimated $6.9M and raised its cume to $21M in ten days. Look for a $40M final for the Warner Bros. release. Lionsgate followed with I Can Do Bad All By Myself which dropped 52% to an estimated $4.8M and $44.5M total.


Overture’s Pandorum was the latest horror flick to be rejected by moviegoers. The R-rated space thriller bowed to just $4.4M according to estimates and averaged a dismal $1,759 from 2,506 locations. Distributors chose to program six scary movies into a 30-day period and are now finding out the hard way that this was a bad idea. Over the previous two weekends, the films Sorority Row, Whiteout, and Jennifer’s Body opened to less than $7M each with pitiful averages below $2,600.

The Jennifer Aniston pic Love Happens dropped a moderate 46% to an estimated $4.3M in its second date putting Universal’s sum at $14.7M after ten days. A $25M final could result for the $18M production. Saturday Night Live host Megan Fox suffered a 49% fall for Jennifer’s Body which grossed an estimated $3.5M in its second weekend for a ten-day tally of only $12.3M. Look for the $16M-budgeted fright flick to end with $18-20M.


The sci-fi toon 9 grossed an estimated $2.8M, down 49%, for a $27.1M cume. Rounding out the top ten was Inglourious Basterds which slipped only 29% to an estimated $2.7M giving The Weinstein Co. $114.5M to date.

Touring the talk show circuit certainly helped Michael Moore accumulate lots of wealth as his newest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story debuted in limited release in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles but grossed a sensational estimate of $240,000 for a stunning $60,000 average per location. With multiple prints, the film is showing on a total of 11 screens in the four locations. The five-day cume since the Wednesday bow is $307,000. Capitalism more than doubled the $26,144 opening weekend average of Moore’s Oscar-winning doc Bowling for Columbine which platformed in eight locations in NY and LA in October 2002.


The polarizing filmmaker’s last pic Sicko debuted in just one Manhattan location with $68,969 in its first weekend so Love Story‘s wider launch and nearly equal average shows that audiences are still drawn to Moore’s unique brand of infotainment. Capitalism takes a look at the current economic crisis and earned mostly positive reviews. Overture will expand the R-rated film nationally on Friday into 1,000 playdates.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $79.1M which was down 4% from last year when Eagle Eye opened in the top spot with $29.2M; but up 9% from 2007 when The Game Plan debuted at number one with $23M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru

Moviegoers chose 3D fun over Hollywood stars as the animated comedy

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
powered ahead of expectations to debut
at number one grossing more than the three new live-action films combined. Matt
Damon and Jennifer Aniston generated unimpressive numbers for their debuting
films The
and Love Happens, respectively, while Megan Fox failed
to lure in ticket buyers to her horror entry
Jennifer’s Body
Overall, the North American box office did see a healthy double-digit gain over
last year.

Movie fans of all ages lined up for

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
making it the fifth 3D film of the
year to open atop the box office chart. The PG-rated toon took in an estimated
$30.1M from 3,119 theaters averaging a hearty $9,651 per site. If estimates
hold, it will rank as the third best opening in the notoriously slow month of
September trailing Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6M in 2002) and Rush Hour
($33M in 1998).[rtimage]MapID=1196077&MapTypeID=2&photo=19&legacy=1[/rtimage]As
with most 3D films before it, Meatballs set a new record for the widest
bow for an extra-dimensional pic with 1,828 (59%) of the theaters offering the
3D version including 127 IMAX 3D venues. Many of the multiplexes also devoted at
least one screen to the 2D version for those moviegoers that didn’t want to pay
the higher ticket price for 3D. The studio estimated that between $17.5M and
$18M of the weekend gross came from the 3D screens with industry leader RealD
stated that more than $16M of that figure came from their screens. IMAX sites
delivered $2.5M. Despite the cost, moviegoers still found it worthy to pay for
3D entertainment on the big screen keeping the year-long boom alive and kicking.

The forecast is bright for Cloudy as the weeks ahead should continue to
flourish. Critics raved about the film, audiences were very pleased with those
under 24 giving it an A grade from CinemaScore, and the road ahead offers few
other options for kids. Disney rolls out its double feature of Toy Story &
Toy Story 2
in 3D on October 2 but the next major new film for families
comes on October 16 with Where the Wild Things Are. Wild and
are both movie versions of popular kids books.[rtimage]MapID=1196077&MapTypeID=2&photo=16&legacy=1[/rtimage]With
studios and exhibitors still working together to put 3D into every cinema in the
country, Cloudy‘s stronger-than-expected opening proves that consumer
demand is still healthy for engaging films in the format, even if they don’t
come from DreamWorks, Pixar, or Disney. Other 3D films that opened at number one
this year include March’s Monsters vs. Aliens, May’s Up, July’s
, and August’s horror film The Final Destination. In addition,
Ice Age 3 has grossed $195M domestically since debuting in second place
in July behind the second weekend of the Transformers sequel. Those five
3D films have collectively grossed a whopping $864M from North America alone and
Cloudy stands a chance of adding in another $100M or more.

Opening in second place with a mediocre launch was the Matt Damon undercover
drama The
which grossed an estimated $10.5M from 2,505 theaters.
Averaging a so-so $4,210 per site, the R-rated Warner Bros release from director
Steven Soderbergh was marketed as a comedy caper pic and played to mature
adults. The opening was worse than the debuts for other adult-skewing
star-driven dramas from this year like State of Play ($14.1M) and
($14M) and was just barely ahead of the $9.7M of The Soloist
showing once again how difficult it can be for studios to draw in paying
customers with these types of movies. Reviews were generally good for
and Damon is a big star, but outside of the Bourne
franchise he has troubling anchoring a hit all by himself.[rtimage]MapID=1200661&MapTypeID=2&photo=32&legacy=1[/rtimage]Tyler
Perry fell two spots to third place with his latest film

I Can Do Bad All By Myself
which grossed an estimated $10.1M,
off a steep 57% in its second weekend. The sophomore drop was almost identical
to the 58% fall that the filmmaker’s The Family That Preys suffered one
year ago this weekend and was slightly better than the 61% tumble that
February’s Madea Goes to Jail witnessed. After ten days, Myself
has banked a solid $37.9M and looks headed for a $50-55M final.

Jennifer Aniston found herself in fourth place with the new romantic drama
Love Happens

which bowed to an estimated $8.5M. The Universal release averaged a mild $4,455
per location and launched in the fewest theaters among the new films with only
1,898 sites. The PG-13 love story had little appeal outside of its core audience
of adult women. Studio research showed that 78% of the crowd was female and 71%
was 30 or older. Budgeted at only $18M, Love was not too expensive of a
gamble and did show that outside of comedies, the former Friends star
Aniston is not necessarily a bankable draw at the box office.[rtimage]MapID=1213771&MapTypeID=2&photo=3&legacy=1[/rtimage]Having
the least bite among the weekend’s four new releases was the Megan Fox-led
horror flick
Jennifer’s Body
which collected just $6.8M, according to estimates, from
a very wide 2,702 theaters for a dismal $2,517 average. Despite being one of
Hollywood’s most followed celebrities, the Transformers starlet failed to
pull moviegoers into the multiplexes. Body had a strong marketing push
from 20th Century Fox and even some starpower from Oscar-winning writer Diablo
Cody. But the overabundance of horror films in recent weeks took its toll and
Fox could not flex any muscles when it came to anchoring her first major film.
Her agents will now have difficulty landing big paydays for future films.

With its R rating, Jennifer’s Body skewed towards young adults and
successfully played to both genders. Studio research showed that 70% of the
audience was under 25 and 51% was female. Reviews were not too good, but most
horror films are treated that way from critics. Produced for only $16M, Body
should be able to break even when it reaches DVD where it should connect with a
larger fan following.[rtimage]MapID=1190943&MapTypeID=2&photo=14&legacy=1[/rtimage]The
sci-fi toon 9
fell 49% in its second weekend to an estimated $5.5M giving Focus a decent
$22.8M in 12 days. Look for a final take of about $35M.

reached two milestones this weekend becoming Quentin
Tarantino’s top-grossing film both domestically and internationally by
surpassing two previous hits. The Nazi flick grossed an estimated $3.6M, down
41%, for a $109.9M cume for The Weinstein Co. That edged out the director’s
previous best in North America, 1994’s Pulp Fiction with $108M from the
Weinstein-led Miramax. Of course, ticket prices were much lower 15 years ago so
Fiction has still sold about 73% more stubs. Overseas where Universal is
handling the release, Basterds upped its total to $115.7M beating the
$111.4M of 2003’s Kill Bill Vol. 1 which was Tarantino’s previous high.
The global tally for the Brad Pitt starrer stands at $225.6M on its way to at
least $260M.[rtimage]MapID=1200615&MapTypeID=2&photo=66&legacy=1[/rtimage]Dropping 40% to eighth place was Sandra Bullock’s
All About Steve

with an estimated $3.4M and $26.7M total for Fox. Summit’s horror misfire
Sorority Row
slashed by 51% in its second weekend to an estimated $2.5M giving the fright
flick just $8.9M in ten days. Bookending the top ten with 3D pics, the horror

The Final Destination
landed in tenth with an estimated $2.4M, down 57%,
for an impressive $62.4M cume to date.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $83.3M which was up 14% from last year
when Lakeview Terrace opened in the top spot with $15M; and up 11% from
2007 when Resident Evil: Extinction debuted at number one with $23.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru

This week at the movies, we’ve got a possessed student body (Jennifer’s Body, starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried); an oddball snitch (The Informant!, starring Matt Damon and Scott Bakula); food from the heavens (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, with voice work by Bill Hader and Anna Faris); and unlikely love (Love Happens, starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart). What do the critics have to say?


Jennifer’s Body

Megan Fox is the “it” actress of the moment, and Diablo Cody (Juno) is one of Hollywood’s hottest writers. Unfortunately, critics say their combined efforts can’t elevate Jennifer’s Body above typical teen horror fare. Fox stars as a high school student who’s possessed by a demon, one that implores her to feast on her fellow students. The pundits say Jennifer’s Body doesn’t quite work as a horror flick or as a satire; despite flashes of wit, it’s not all that funny, nor is it ever particularly scary.


The Informant!

Steven Soderbergh is one of mainstream cinema’s most enigmatic, unpredictable directors. It’s a good thing, too, because his latest, The Informant!, is about an enigmatic, unpredictable guy, and the result, critics say, is odd but offbeat and entertaining. Based upon a true story, The Informant! stars Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, an executive for a massive agri-business. He discovers a price fixing scheme within the company, and becomes an FBI informant; however, he’s got some problematic secrets of his own. The pundits say Damon is outstanding – nerdy, manic, and in way over his head – and though the film occasionally strains for wackiness, it’s ultimately both light-hearted and thoughtful.


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

It’s tough to adapt a beloved (and relatively brief) children’s book into a feature length film while maintaining the spirit of the original. Luckily, critics say Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs avoids most of the potential pitfalls, and the result is a laugh-filled, mouth-watering family treat. Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is a small-town inventor who constructs a machine that turns precipitation into sustenance, much to the confusion of his fellow citizens – particularly the spunky meteorologist Sam Sparks (Anna Faris). The pundits say Cloudy‘s CGI is remarkably detailed and whimsical, and the film features plenty of absurdist touches and riotous slapstick – as well as sharp vocal performances from Bruce Campbell (!) and Mr. T (!!).


Love Happens

In a romantic comedy, chemistry is an elusive thing — you know it when you see it. Unfortunately for Love Happens, critics say the chemistry between its leads is almost non-existent. Aaron Eckhart stars as a self-help author with a secret, and Jennifer Aniston plays a lonely florist who stumbles into his life; will these two crazy, messed-up kids make it? The pundits say Love Happens is bland, sad, and bereft of laughs – a downbeat, clichéd mediocrity that can’t be salvaged despite the presence of two appealing stars. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run don some of cinema’s most iconic couples.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, a documentary about the Pentagon official who leaked Vietnam documents to the press, is at 100 percent.

  • Claire Denis35 Shots of Rum, a drama about an aging subway driver and a neighbor with a crush on him, is at 93 percent.

  • Harmony and Me, a lo-fi indie comedy about a lovelorn hipster, is at 86 percent.

  • Disgrace, starring John Malkovich as a college professor whose affair with a student has broad societal implications, is at 85 percent (check out Malkovich’s Five Favorite Films here).

  • Jane Campion‘s Bright Star, starring Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw in a period drama about poet John Keats’ young love, is at 81 percent.

  • Paris, starring Juliette Binoche in a family dramedy that doubles as a love letter to the City of Lights, is at 71 percent.

  • The Burning Plain, starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger in a time-jumping drama about a woman with a mysterious past, is at 44 percent.

  • Finally, props to Jared A.
    Jared A. for coming the cloeset to guessing I Can Do Bad All By Myself‘s 59 percent Tomatometer.

    Happy Friday Harvest, a weekly round-up of the
    best pictures, posters, and videos that have become available for
    viewing/download on Rotten Tomatoes. Each section features the favorite or most
    interesting item we’ve
    added for the week, along with several other new highlights. Enjoy!


    Picture Gallery of the Week:
    The Illusionist

    Jacques Tati, one of those great wonderful filmmakers, gets the animation treatment with the upcoming The
    . Sylvain Chomet, who did sharp work with The Triplets of
    , is adapting an unreleased Tati script about an aging,
    increasingly irrelevant magician who has to keep the illusion that magic is
    real to his newest fan: a little girl. Though Chomet can succumb to
    narrative slack, his work always hold extreme promise.
    Browse the gallery

    More New Pictures

    Gentlemen Broncos
    New pic-anous
    Red carpet pics
    The Informant!
    New pics! OMG
    Sorority Row
    Red carpet pics


    International Film Festival


    Poster of the Week:


    This poster isn’t perfect (the faces on the scissor handles arguably
    upsets the ugly simplicity of the rest of the poster) but, damn if it isn’t
    attention-grabbing. People who have seen the movie (or been on the
    Wiki) knows how every element of this poster comes together,
    but for the uninitiated, it’s enough to get the mind swimming with disgust
    and possibility. View the poster.

    More New Posters

    Red Cliff
    John Woo returns

    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    First poster
    The Road
    Coming soon at last
    This is

    MJ’s final concert doc
    The Private

    Rebecca Miller’s latest


    Video of the Week:

    The Princess and the Frog trailer

    With Ponyo back in the pond, Disney continues this year’s 2D
    animation revival with their flagship release, Princess and the Frog.
    Even though much is banking on this movie, it continues to look a bit much
    on the safe side. Let’s hope Disney can work that magic and wow all of us
    this holiday.
    Watch the video.

    More New Videos


    Mind-boggling teaser for the Christiopher Nolan thriller

    Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

    New clips

    The Men Who Stare at Goats

    First clip from the George Clooney/Ewan McGregor comedy

    Love Happens

    Clips and trailers from the romantic drama

    Want to keep up to date on ALL the pictures, posters, and videos that are added to Rotten Tomatoes throughout the week? Then check out the
    Trailers & Pictures page,
    which is automatically updated as material is uploaded.

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