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The top-grossing animated films

The best animated films speak to adults and children. The highest-grossing ones, well, a lot of them do the same, going for mass appeal by offering alternative jokes and interpretations for kids and parents. Of course, some of these are just plain turn-off-your brain fun, a winning box office formula no matter who the target audience is.

Here are the highest-grossing animated films worldwide per Box Office Mojo. (With an asterisk: The list only tracks films released post-1980.)

'Shrek the Third': No. 12

Shrek faces the next phase in life with
Photo Credit: Dreamworks Animation

Shrek faces the next phase in life with Princess Fiona: parenthood. The animation had evolved to slick heights by 2007, and the star-studded voice cast includes some comic greats as John Cleese and Eric Idle. Gross to date: $322,719,944

'Minions': No. 11

So many questions about the minions were answered
Photo Credit: Netflix

So many questions about the minions were answered in 2015, including: Could they carry a film? "Gru, who?" they reponded. We think. It sounded more like Pootie Tang saying "wa day tay" on helium. Gross: $336,045,770

'Zootopia': No. 10

One of three 2016 films to crack the
Photo Credit: Disney

One of three 2016 films to crack the top 10, "Zootoopia" offers proof that we love a buddy movie, especially when one's a rabbit-cop, the other a fox-con artist. Gross: $341,268,248

'Inside Out': No. 9

Critics loved it -- with a 98% Rotten
Photo Credit: Pixar

Critics loved it -- with a 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating -- as did The Academy, which gave "Inside Out" the best animated Oscar in 2015. Gross: $356,461,711

'Despicable Me 2': No. 8

We loved the minions in first
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Illumination Entertainment

We loved the minions in first "Despicable Me," so of course they got more onscreen action in the 2013 sequel. And they were happy to support Gru (Steve Carrell) as he pursued Lucy (Kristen Wiig). Gross: $368,061,265

'The Secret Life of Pets': No. 7

Released in April 2016, this NYC-set adventure follows
Photo Credit: Illumination Entertainment

Released in April 2016, this NYC-set adventure follows a pampered pooch (voiced by Louis C.K.) who needs to find a way to deal with a new canine roommate (Eric Stonestreet). Gross: $368,384,330

'Finding Nemo': No. 6

The 2003 film of a lost little fish's
Photo Credit: Pixar

The 2003 film of a lost little fish's journey home was a classic Pixar home run. Gross: $380,843,261

'Frozen': No. 5

Even if you haven't seen it, you still
Photo Credit: Disney

Even if you haven't seen it, you still can't "Let it Go." This 2013 girl power film, with lead Anna voiced by Kristen Bell, belongs to Gen Z. Gross: $400,738,009

'Toy Story 3': No. 4

It's the rare third film in a franchise
Photo Credit: Disney / Pixar

It's the rare third film in a franchise that hits the biggest, but the Oscar-winning "Toy Story 3," with its adult themes of loss and nostalgia, struck the right box office chords. (The 2010 film's 3D helped too.) Gross: $415,004,880

'The Lion King': No. 3

If only
Photo Credit: Disney

If only "The Lion King" could count Broadway ticket sales in its tally. The 1994 film weened many a musical Millenial, who may not even know why "Can You Feel the Love" occasionally pops into their brains. Gross: $422,783,777

'Shrek 2': No. 2

Usually it's the buildup to a romance we
Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Usually it's the buildup to a romance we all love. But while the 2004 "Shrek" sequel finds the title character and Princess Fiona already coupled, the post-honeymoon film get the distinction of being the highest-grossing of the franchise. Antonio Banderas joined the voice crew as Puss in Boots, along with the original cast of Mike Myers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz (Fiona). Gross: $441,226,247

'Finding Dory': No. 1

Pushing
Photo Credit: Pixar

Pushing "Shrek 2" out of the top spot, this "Finding Nemo" sequel was released on June 17, 2016. With the title character voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, we follow Marlin's buddy Dory in her search for her family. Gross: $486,295,561.

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