Special Report

The Highest-Grossing Kids’ Movies Since the Original ‘Toy Story’

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

24. A Bug’s Life
> Box office: $162,798,565 (inflation-adjusted: $314,349,012)
> Release date: Nov. 20, 1998
> Main cast: Kevin Spacey, David Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
> Directed by: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton
> Production company: Disney-Pixar; Walt Disney Pictures

Based on ancient Greek fabulist Aesop’s “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” “A Bug’s Life” is about an anthropomorphic ant trying to fight back against a group of exploitative grasshoppers. The film was part of a feud between Disney and former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg who left the company to start DreamWorks and make the film “Antz,” a strikingly similar animated film about anthropomorphic ants struggling to save their colony. However, “A Bug’s Life” did almost twice as well at the box office.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

23. Cars
> Box office: $244,082,982 (inflation-adjusted: $341,716,171)
> Release date: June 9, 2006
> Main cast: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman
> Directed by: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft
> Production company: Disney-Pixar

Owen Wilson voices a car named Lightning McQueen in a world made up of anthropomorphic talking vehicles. McQueen is a brash racing rookie looking to dethrone longtime champ Strip “The King” Weathers in the Piston Cup racing series. John Lasseter, the director of “A Bug’s Life” and the first two “Toy Story” movies, directed the film.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

22. Night at the Museum
> Box office: $250,863,268 (inflation-adjusted: $342,140,394)
> Release date: Dec. 22, 2006
> Main cast: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Ricky Gervais
> Directed by: Shawn Levy
> Production company: 20th Century Fox; Ingenious Film Partners; 1492 Pictures; 21 Laps Entertainment

Live-action “Night at the Museum” follows Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), a man who gets a job as a night security guard at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. However, he quickly learns that at night the exhibits come to life and it’s his job to keep them under control. “Night at the Museum” was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend and was shown in many IMAX theaters that were connected to museums of science and natural history.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

21. Zootopia
> Box office: $341,268,248 (inflation-adjusted: $361,783,790)
> Release date: March 4, 2016
> Main cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
> Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
> Production company: Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Animation Studios

“Zootopia” is a tale about an anthropomorphic rabbit named Judy who moves to the city of Zootopia to follow her dream of being a big city cop, and finds herself leading an investigation into the disappearance of several animals. The Disney production became the fourth animated film to pass $1 billion at the worldwide box office and won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

20. Minions
> Box office: $336,045,770 (inflation-adjusted: $365,544,453)
> Release date: July 10, 2015
> Main cast: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton
> Directed by: Kyle Balda
> Production company: Universal Pictures; Illumination Entertainment

“Minions” is the spin-off prequel to “Despicable Me” and the third film in the franchise. The movie tells the history of the little yellow guys, who have served supervillains since time immemorial, leading them through some of history’s biggest moments. At the time, it was only the third animated film to pass $1 billion at the worldwide box office, along with “Toy Story 3” and “Frozen.”

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