2016 has already been a terrific year for animation movies and this week The Secret Life of Pets hits the big screen, which looks set to be another huge hit.

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets sees Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney in the director's chair and the movie is brought to us by the team that brought us Despicable Me.

We take a look at some of the highest-grossing animation films... it is fair to say that this genre isn't doing too badly at the box office.

- Frozen - $1,287 billion

It was back in 2013 when Frozen hit the big screen and it went on to be a juggernaut of a film. Frozen was the fifty-third feature from Disney and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen.

The movie saw Chris Buck team up with Jennifer Lee in the director's chair. Lee became the first female director of a Disney feature film with this project.

Frozen follows Anna who sets off to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel voiced the characters of Anna and Elsa and they were joined on the cast list by Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, and Ciaran Hinds.

Frozen was met with critical acclaim and went on to be a massive box office smash. It became only the second animated feature to gross over $1 billion, following in the footsteps of Toy Story 3.

By the end of its theatrical run, Frozen was the highest-grossing film of 2013, the highest grossing animation film of all time and the highest-grossing Disney animation of all time.

As if all of that success was not enough, the movie went on to dominate the awards season and it was no surprise when it won the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Sadly, it was overlooked when the Best Picture nominations were announced.

Short film Frozen Fever was released last year and a sequel is believed to be in the pipeline with Buck and Lee returning to the director's chair. However, no release date for the film has yet been announced.

Frozen

- Minions - $1,159 billion

Minions was one of 2015's biggest films as these popular characters got their own solo movie for the first time. We were introduced to the Minions for the first time in Despicable Me in 2010 and then the sequel in 2013... now they were off on an adventure of their own.

Pierre Coffin, who had directed the Despicable Me films, was back at the helm as he teamed up with Kyle Balda for the first time. Minions was the feature film directorial debut for Balda.

Minions Stuart, Kevin, and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.

Minions was an even bigger success than the Despicable Me movies as the first grossed $1,159 billion by the end of its theatrical run.

Minions ended the year as the most successful animation movie of 2015 and the fifth highest-grossing film of the year; behind Star Wars: the Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Fast & Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

It is currently the eleventh highest-grossing film of time and the second most successful animated feature. Don't be surprised if we do see a sequel in the pipeline at some point.

Minions

- Toy Story 3 - $1,063 billion

When it comes to animated films breaking $1 billion at the global box office, Toy Story 3 was the first to do it back 2010 - hard to believe that that movie is already six years old.

Toy Story 3 came ten years after the success of the second film and saw Lee Unkrich take over the director's chair in this franchise for the first time. Unkrich had co-directed Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. but this was his first solo feature movie project.

The movie follows Woody, Buzz, and co as they are mistakenly delivered to a day-care centre. This was one of the movies of 2010 and explored themes of growing up and leaving childhood behind, something we can all relate to.

For me, Toy Story 3 was the best film in the series and was a true animation triumph. The movie went on to be both a critical and commercial success storming to $1,063 billion at the global box office.

Toy Story 3 was one of just two films to join the $1 billion club in 2010 - the other being Alice in Wonderland - as it ended the year as the highest-grossing film.

It was the highest-grossing animated film of all time until it was overtaken by Frozen three years later. It remains the most successful Pixar film, overtaking Finding Nemo.

Toy Story 3

- Zootropolis - $1.007 billion

Zootropolis is one of this year's big animation successes and it continues to bring in the money at the box office.

Zootropolis is the fifty-fifth animated feature film from Disney and sees Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush in the director's chair.

The modern mammal metropolis of Zootropolis is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighbourhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it's a melting pot where animals from every environment live together - a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything.

But when rookie Officer Judy Hopps (Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn't so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde (Bateman), to solve the mystery.

Zootropolis continued Disney's hot-streak of movies as it comes after the success of Frozen, Wreck-It-Ralph, and Big Hero 6. This really is the best-animated film to be released so far this year and is one not to miss if you haven't seen it.

So far, the movie has grossed $1.007 billion at the box office and it is currently the second highest-grossing film of the year - second only to Captain America: Civil War.

Zootropolis

- Despicable Me 2 - $970 million

In 2013 the character of Gru returned to the big screen in Despicable Me 2, which came three years after the success of the first.

Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud reunited in the director's chair while Steve Carell was back to bring the character of Gru to life.

The director's assembled a great voice cast as Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, and Ken Jeong we all also on board.

Gru is not the super villain that we met in the first film, and is called into action by The Anti-Villain League to investigate a theft.

Despicable Me 2 was one of the biggest hits of 2013 and went on to surpass the success of the first film.

The movie would go on to gross $970 million at the global box office and it was the third highest-grossing film of the year; behind Frozen and Iron Man 3.

A third Despicable Me is in the pipeline and is set to hit the big screen in summer next year.

Despicable Me 2

- The Lion King - $968 million

The Lion King is one of Disney's most loved movies and it was back in 1994 when the film was released - yes, it really was over twenty years ago.

Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff were in the director's chair for the film, which is as popular now as it was when it was first released.

Set to a backdrop of unforgettable songs from Elton John, The Lion King follows cub Simba as he grows into the future King.

The Lion King was the thirty-second feature film from Disney and was a movie that was met well critically and went on to win over audiences around the world.

The movie grossed $968 million at the box office and ended 1994 as the highest-grossing film. Until Frozen came along, it was the most successful Disney film but has now been surpassed.

The Lion King was nominated for four Oscars and went on to win Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Can You Feel the Love Tonight.

The Lion King

Other successful animation movies include Finding Nemo ($936 million), Shrek 2 ($919 million), and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($886 million).

The Secret Life of Pets is out now.


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