Jane McGuire

The most expensive animations ever

The most expensive animations ever

First published date November 25 2015 Amended date February 03 2016

When you think of the most expensive films in the world, your mind instantly wanders to the likes of King Kong and The Titanic. Yet, some of Hollywood’s biggest budgets are, in fact, animation. As the likes of Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks pay a team of animators to work on each character and a cast of A List actors millions to bring their animations to life, the budgets sky rocket. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest animation blockbusters to hit our screens in the past few years.


Frozen - $150 million

Image via wordpress.com

The world went mad for Disney’s Frozen, ‘Let it go, let it go’ sold 10.9 million copies and the film won two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.  The second animated film to break the billion barrier in box office hits, the cool $150 million budget doesn’t seem so bad after all.


Wall-E - $180 million

Image via wikipedia.com

A slightly unusual Disney hit, Wall-E tells the story of a lonely robot, designed to clean up the planet. Despite the lack of dialogue in the first forty minutes, the film was still a massive success.


Cars 2 - $200 million

Image via wikipedia.com

Adding a second film to the Cars empire was always a risky move, however Pixar pulled out all the stops when it came to special effects animation. Unfortunately, the slightly dull plot seemed to affect box office revenue.


Toy Story 3 - $200 million

Image via apple.com

When you compare this to the $30 million budget of the first Toy Story film, the much anticipated 2010 film was expected to break box office records. Produced by Pixar, $15 million of this budget was spent on the film’s lead actor, Tom Hanks. Nominated for five academy awards, including Best Animated Feature, Toy Story 3 was the first film to make more than a billion dollars in worldwide sales. Mission accomplished.


Monsters University - $200 million

Image via fotonin.com

The world fell in love with Monsters Inc in 2001 and in 2013; millions flocked to the cinema to see the prequel, telling the story of Mike and Sulley at university. The film made $743 million all over the world, making it the third highest earning film of Pixar.


Tangled - $274 million

Image via luonggiaviet.com

After being six years in production, Tangled is the most expensive animated film ever made. Apparently part of the delay was down to years of program writing going into creating the perfect hair for the film’s star. Who knew a good hair day could be so expensive.


If this has inspired you to get back into the classroom and learn the art of animation, why not take a look at some of the courses listed here? Who knows, your work could be breaking box office records one day too... 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.