Illumination Animated Films: Ranked Best to Worst

  1. Despicable Me (2010):
    • A groundbreaking film that introduced audiences to the lovable villain-turned-hero Gru and his army of adorable minions.
    • Memorable characters, heartfelt storytelling, and a perfect blend of humor and heart make it a standout in Illumination’s lineup.
  2. The Secret Life of Pets (2016):
    • This imaginative film offers a hilarious glimpse into the lives of pets when their owners are away.
    • With vibrant animation, a star-studded voice cast, and plenty of laughs, it’s a delightful treat for both children and adults.
  3. Sing (2016):
    • A feel-good musical extravaganza that follows a group of anthropomorphic animals as they compete in a singing competition.
    • Boasting catchy tunes, charming characters, and themes of perseverance and self-discovery, it’s a crowd-pleaser for all ages.
  4. Despicable Me 2 (2013):
    • The sequel to the original hit, this film sees Gru adjusting to fatherhood while facing off against a new villain.
    • While it may not reach the heights of its predecessor, it still delivers plenty of laughs and heartwarming moments.
  5. Despicable Me 3 (2017):
    • In this installment, Gru discovers he has a long-lost twin brother and faces off against a former child star turned supervillain.
    • While it may feel somewhat formulaic, the addition of new characters and hilarious antics from the minions keep the franchise fresh and entertaining.
  6. Minions (2015):
    • A spin-off prequel focusing on the origins of Gru’s yellow henchmen, the minions.
    • While it provides some laughs and charming moments, it lacks the depth and originality of the main Despicable Me films.
  7. The Grinch (2018):
    • A retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss story about the grumpy green creature who despises Christmas.
    • While it boasts stunning animation and a commendable performance from Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character, it fails to capture the magic of the original tale.
  8. Hop (2011):
    • A live-action/animated hybrid film that follows the Easter Bunny’s son as he ventures to Hollywood to pursue his dreams of becoming a drummer.
    • While it has its moments, particularly for younger audiences, it falls short in terms of storytelling and character development.
  9. The Lorax (2012):
    • An adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ environmental fable about a young boy who seeks to find a real tree to impress a girl.
    • Despite its important message about environmental conservation, it’s marred by heavy-handed storytelling and lackluster execution.
  10. Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (2003):
    • While not produced by Illumination, this live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved book deserves a mention for its poor reception and departure from the source material.
    • Criticized for its crude humor and deviation from the whimsical spirit of the original story, it’s considered one of the weakest adaptations of Seuss’ work.
Despicable Me 3 poster (cropped) featuring Gru and his brother

While Illumination has produced several successful and beloved films, not all have resonated equally with audiences and critics alike.

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