In 1937, The Walt Disney Company pushed the boundaries of animation by releasing the first animated feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” to critical and commercial success. Since then, movies, anime and otherwise, aimed at younger audiences have become huge moneymakers.
Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks are three of the biggest producers of children’s films in Hollywood and all have grown into colossal entities: Disney bought Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion in an all-stock deal, and DreamWorks was acquired by NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion in 2016. (Here’s how each Pixar movie fared at the box office.)
While children’s films are ostensibly aimed at young people, in reality many of them are aimed at audiences of all ages. Some of the most profitable examples weave humor that might go over the heads of young audiences but amuse adults – and good kids’ movies tell powerful stories that anyone can appreciate.
To identify the highest-grossing children’s films of all time, 24/7 Tempo looked at total and inflation-adjusted North American box office earnings for “children’s fiction”. [sic] movies from Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. The site defines North America as the United States (including Puerto Rico and Guam) and Canada. The source material for each film also came from The Numbers. The best actors in each film come from IMDban online movie database owned by Amazon.
Click here to see the highest-grossing children’s films of all time
While there are a few live-action movies like “Night at the Museum,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and Jim Carrey’s version of “The Grinch” on the list, the majority of those movies are animated. and tell fantastic tales filled with magical princesses, strange monsters and anthropomorphic creatures. Many of them are based on old fairy tales or classic children’s books by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss. These films were massively successful at the box office and garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences. (These are the greatest animated films of all time.)