The era of Disney films known as the Disney Renaissance had the animation studio turning out some of its most successful stories including The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Mulan. This period of iconic classics lasted from 1989 to 1999, and as the new millennium dawned, so did a new period of animation.
We’re here to see how every theatrically released film created since the 2000s by Walt Disney Animation Studios stacks up. This means any movie that fits the criteria — from Fantasia 2000 to 2018’s Ralph Break the Internet — is fair game. It also means all those direct-to-video animated sequels won’t be making the list and neither will films created by Pixar.
We’ll be basing our scores on the star rating from IMDb. This ranking system uses the votes of registered members to create a weighted average score. If two films have the same rating, we'll be ranking the one with more reviews higher.
It’s time to see what Disney’s animation department has been up to in recent years. Here’s how the best modern Disney films rank on IMDb.
10 Fantasia 2000 (7.2)
The first movie from after The Disney Renaissance updated the 1940s’ Fantasia — a film full of stunning whimsical animations set to classical music. It received a 7.2 star score, with many believing it to be abstract and entertaining despite lacking depth.
The film received a nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media at the 43rd Grammy Awards but lost to Almost Famous. Nevertheless, Fantasia 2000’s nostalgia is still regarded despite its sequel, under the working name Fantasia 2006, never coming to fruition.
9 Treasure Planet (7.2)
This 2002 sci-fi adventure reimagined Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island. Rather than taking place on earth, Disney’s retelling brought the action to outer space.
Though the film was not commercially successful, it received generally positive reviews for its beautiful scenery and imaginative story. It scored itself a 7.2 star rating on IMDb, and with the voice talents of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson, and Martin Short, its no wonder why.
8 Lilo & Stitch (7.2)
Boasting the same moderately high 7.2 score of its predecessors, Lilo & Stitch smashed the box office in 2002. The sci-fi comedy told the story of a little girl in Hawaii who adopts an alien from outer space as her pet dog, all while her older sister tries to keep their two-person, one pet household under control.
Stitch quickly became a beloved character, and moviegoers praised all the sass and humor. The quirky setting and funny characters made it all the better, which led the film to spawn several sequels and spin-offs, including a TV show.
7 The Emperor’s New Groove (7.3)
One of the funniest Disney movies of all time tells the story of a young Incan emperor whose world gets turned upsidedown after he is transformed into a llama via magic potion. With the help of a village leader named Pacha, he must get back to the palace before his evil ex-advisor takes over his rightful spot as ruler.
The 2000 comedy received a 7.3 star rating on IMDb, with audiences finding the film to be hilarious, fast-paced, and loaded with memorable characters. Though the film didn't perform as well at the box office as Disney had hoped, over time it has become a favorite of many.
6 Frozen (7.5)
Frozen blew its ways into theaters in 2013 and shattered the box office, bringing in over $1.2 billion. While the film brought back the Disney Princess story, it traded its damsel-in-distress potential in favor of a fresh take on love.
The film was praised for its visuals, songs, vocal performances, characters, themes, and more, with many comparing it to the movies of the Disney Renaissance. The snow-soaked adventure received multiple awards including two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. It also ended up with 7.5 score on IMDb and will be receiving its highly anticipated sequel this November.
5 Moana (7.6)
Moana followed the story of a girl in a Polynesian village who is chosen to journey across the ocean to reunite the goddess Te Fiti with a magical relic.
Critics found the visuals to be beautiful and the story to be one that could be enjoyed by moviegoers of all ages. Though it didn't receive quite as much attention as Frozen, the 2016 adventure still attracted a decent following.
The film received a 7.6 star score on IMDb, and Moana's lead song, "How Far I'll Go," ended up receiving a Grammy Award for Best Song Written For Visual Media.
4 Wreck-It-Ralph (7.7)
This 2012 animated comedy tells the story of various video game characters who live within the systems of the Liwak Family Fun Center & Arcade. Wreck-It Ralph, the bad guy of the game Fix-It Felix Jr., decides to chase after victory of his own after he realizes he lacks his neighbors' respect.
The film introduced a variety of lovable characters, quirky worlds, and a heartwarming story. It nabbed itself a high 7.7 score on IMDb and a sequel that released in 2018.
3 Tangled (7.7)
Tangled is the 2010 retelling of Rapunzel in which a teenager journies to the kingdom to see the floating lights that fill the sky on her birthday every year with a little help from a charming criminal. Oh, and we can't forget the help they get from Maximus — a palace horse that acts like a dog, or Pascal — Rapunzel's little chameleon sidekick.
The film was loved for its comedy, adventure, and sweet romance. It nabbed itself a 7.7 rating on IMDb, and the song "I See the Light" scored an award for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 54th Grammy Awards.
2 Big Hero 6 (7.8)
Big Hero 6 is a superhero adventure based on the Marvel Comics franchise of the same name. It follows Hiro and his brother's robot creation, Baymax, on their journey to take down some villains following his sibling's untimely death. He gets some help from a few friends as they venture through the super cool futuristic city of San Fransokyo.
The film received high ratings, with many praising the film's heart and characters. The visuals were also something to brag about, and the story was solid. It was awarded Best Animated Feature at the 87th Academy Awards.
1 Zootopia (8.0)
Coming out on top is Zootopia, a film about a rabbit who joins the police force and a con artist fox who makes solving her big criminal investigation an even bigger challenge. The film performed spectacularly at the box office, bringing in over $1 billion. Critics loved it just as much, praising the detailed animation, funny script, and socially conscious themes.
The film ended up with an 8.0 score on IMDb and a whole lot of love. Zootopia was named the Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards following its release.