We’ve all sat through movies so witless that we wished we could buy back the time we wasted watching them. Modern parents may have this experience often, as they endure programming meant to appeal to their children.
An overwhelming number of animated movies seem to be churned out of an automated mainframe, programmed only to distract young minds for long enough to pick their parents’ pockets. (They’re not all animated, by any means. Here are the worst G-rated movies ever made.
24/7 Tempo has compiled the 50 worst animated movies, using an index composed of several measures from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Across the board, the two common (and contradictory) critiques of animated films are that they will only appeal to young children or that they have too much adult humor. Apparently, there is a golden ratio of age-appropriate versus mature comedy-in-disguise that these feature films must achieve in order to have broad appeal.
Other common criticisms are of the overt placement of commercial products like cereals and sodas and advertisements for chain restaurants and retailers. There are also frequent complaints that a sequel is not as good as the original. (Here are the 25 worst movie sequels of all time.)
To identify the worst animated movies ever made, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 767 animated films with at least 10,000 reviews on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon; only those with a runtime of greater than one hour that had wide release in the United States were considered. To rank these movies, we created an index composed of each film’s IMDb rating as well as its Audience Score and Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator. Data was collected mid-March 2021. Data on domestic box office came from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services. Cast information comes from IMDb.
Notably, many of the worst animated movies are live action/animation combinations, where actors were filmed “interacting” with nonexistent characters who were only added to the film later — a challenge for any performer. That said, the presence in many of these movies of top-flight talent, whether in live action form or merely as voices, is unfortunately no guarantee that it will be any good.