Animated films have always had the ability to tell incredible stories and bring incredible and exciting worlds and characters to life. As is the case with many popular films, the imaginative worlds and characters seen in animated films have made the genre ripe for sequels and further exploration of these iconic worlds.

While the standard for sequels may be that they are never compared to the original film, this does not completely diminish the value of these sequels. Many animated sequels have been scrapped and ignored over the years because the original film was of much higher quality or gave viewers no hope for a sequel.



9 “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” (2013)

Swallow falls from cloudy, meatballs are possible 2

The action takes place immediately after the events of the first film. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 follows Flint and the rest of Swallow Falls as they are forced to leave the town while it is being cleared. Flint soon accepts an offer to work for Live Corp, who have been tasked with cleaning up the island while they are away. When it is discovered that Flint’s machine is still running and creating mutant food creatures on the island, Flint and his friends return to the island to defeat the machine once and for all.

Original Cloudy with a chance of meatballs was already filled with creative charm and classic comedic wit Phil Lord And Christopher Miller. The sequel only adds to the creativity, showcasing a whole new world filled with highly creative food creatures, and also continues the style of humor that made the first film so iconic.

8 The Croods: New Age (2020)

The Croods meet the Betterman family in The Croods: A New Age (2020)
Image via DreamWorks

Released 7 years after the original film, Croods: New Age continues the journey of the Croods family and their attempts to find a safer environment to call home. In their search, they discover a beautiful heavenly home created by the Bettermans, a family further down the evolutionary chain than the Cruds. While the two families are initially at odds with each other, both sides quickly realize that they will have to work together to counter the looming threat.

Especially compared to the original film. Croods: New Age did a great job of finding its comedic foundation, making the experience notably funnier than the original. Much of this may be due to character dynamics, as the introduction of the Bettermans further builds on the themes and concepts of the first film, but allows for much more comedic potential.

7 “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” (2018)

Promotional still for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation featuring all the monster characters in summer outfits.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation sees the entire cast of ghouls and monsters go on a much-needed vacation on a luxury cruise made especially for the monsters. During the cruise, Dracula falls in love with the ship’s captain, Erika, who is secretly a descendant of Van Helsing and is planning revenge on Dracula and the rest of the cruise passengers.

Director Gendy Tartakovsky has always been great at creating Hotel Translevania the series is visually breathtaking and this installment is arguably the best animation in the series. Animation isn’t the only highlight as the comedy is also reaching new heights by taking a more offbeat approach that fits the franchise and characters perfectly.

6 “Trolls World Tour” (2020)

Main characters featured in Trolls: World Tour

Trolls World Tour follows Poppy and Branch as they go on a quest after discovering that there are many different troll worlds besides their own, each with their own style of music. However, all of these worlds will soon be in danger as the nefarious Barb and her rock and roll army plan to destroy all other worlds so that only rock and roll remains.

While the original film had more of a balance between the music and the trolls as creatures themselves, this film leans a lot more on the musical side, resulting in a much more engaging experience. The film has a really effective message about race relations and the dangers of tribalism, delivered with a surprisingly high level of dignity and grace for a rainbow troll movie.

5 “Cinderella III: Turn in Time” (2007)

A still from Cinderella III: A Turn in Time, showing her half-sister Anastasia dancing with Prince Charming.

Both a creation and a reimagining of a Disney original. Cinderella story, Cinderella III: Turn in Time sees the evil stepmother steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand. She uses the power of a magic wand to change history and rewrite the events of the original story so that Prince Charming falls in love with Anastasia instead. Cinderella soon has to restore the original timeline and save Prince Charming.

Time travel is such a strange concept that needs to be implemented in Cinderellaand yet, in the context of the film, he manages to work wonders without feeling too overbearing. Turn in time indeed is one of the strangest viewing experiences as it goes beyond a mere remix of the original film and goes as far as correcting the original’s flaws. In particular, Turn in time actually gives Prince Charming’s initially blank slate a real character, giving him a real personality and a number of great character moments.

4 Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)

Image via DreamWorks

The Boss Baby: Family Business follows brothers Tim and Ted, now adults, and Tim has a whole family to call his own. However, their now normal life comes to a halt when Tim’s youngest daughter Tina turns out to be the new baby boss and enlists their help to stop a new enemy threatening humanity. Using a new boss serum, Tim and Ted transform into their younger selves and go undercover to save their family and the world.

Original Boss Baby was already beyond praise in its concept and execution, making it one of the most pointless and insane animated films in recent memory. The sequel only manages to amplify this madness by removing the lens of memory from the storybook and making its incredible story happen in real time, with no doubt that it is actually happening. This madness is also much more self-aware and concentrated, making for a viewing experience that, although with its ups and downs, feels much more solid than the original film.

3 Lego. Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

lego movie-2

5 years after the events Lego Movie, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part sees the world of Lego as an apocalyptic wasteland after an ongoing battle with mysterious invaders. Emmett is still reckless, but he will have to turn serious when Wyldstyle and the rest of his friends are captured by the invaders.

Original Lego Movie was one of the biggest surprise animated films of the 2010s, and while the sequel will never live up to the original’s masterpiece, it still has a lot to offer. The classic animation style and comedy of the Lego movies are still present throughout, and the themes and brother/sister message are a perfect natural extension of the father/son message from the original.

2 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman stand in a circus car in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
Image via DreamWorks

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted sees Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria continue to make their way back to their home at the Central Park Zoo, this time around Europe. On their journey, they find themselves under the gun of Europe’s most formidable animal control officer and are forced to hide out in a traveling circus as a result.

While the previous two Madagascar the films were much more focused on comedy based on references and dialogue, Madagascar 3 makes a shift towards more slapstick and visual comedy style. While this new comedy style is definitely different from the previous two films, it works wonders and results in some of the best comedic moments and most striking visuals in the entire series. This improved letter can be attributed to an amazing writer. Noah Baumbachbest known for his work as a writer for Marriage history, Fantastic Mr Foxand upcoming Barbie.

1 “SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water” (2015)

Sponge out of water

Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water follows SpongeBob and the rest of Bikini Bottom in turmoil after the Krabby Patty’s secret formula suddenly disappears. With the entirety of Bikini Bottom at stake, SpongeBob and his friends set off in search of the surface to retrieve the formula from the clutches of the evil Burger Beard (played by Antonio Banderas).

At first, fans were stunned by the new 3D computer animations that were used as the film’s main publicity. Sponge out of water surprises despite this change in animation style. In particular, the film features an extended 2D section that takes up most of the film and is home to a number of classic SpongeBob comedic gags that fans love about the series. Even as the film enters its final 3D animated act, the strong comedy script and hilarious performance of villain Antonio Banderas keep it fun and entertaining.