The 25 Worst Animated Movies, According to Critics

With Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks regularly creating instant classics, many people recognise we are witnessing a golden age of animated movies.

However, for every Toy Story there is an Emoji Movie and dozens of duds (according to critics) have been released over the years.

Newsweek rounds up the very worst animations ever released, according to movie review aggregator MetaCritic.

The Emoji Movie (2017) | PG

An emoji face is being deleted after he accidentally confuses a message his user texts a love interest.

The Emoji Movie was universally panned by both critics and audiences, and The New York Times' Glen Kenny dubbed the film "nakedly idiotic", adding the animation plays off an industry idea the "panderingly, trendily idiotic can be made to seem less so."

The Emoji Movie
Actors dressed as Emoji characters pose for a photo at Sony Corporation NYC headquarter. The Emoji Movie is ranked as the worst-rated animated film on MetaCritic Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment/Getty Images

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie 2004 | PG

This animation tells the story of Yugi, a boy captivated by the Duel Monsters! card game sweeping the world.

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie was also the lowest-rated animated film on Metacritic, until the film was surpassed by The Emoji Movie—and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Don't watch the TV show or play the card game? Then this movie is not for you."

Sir Billi (2012) | TV-G

Retired vet Sir Billi (voiced by Sean Connery) encounters a fugitive and decides to save his life.
The negative reaction to the film was widely reported in the British press and Variety's Peter Debruge dubbed the animation "woefully anaemic," and unimpressed by the movie's "simplistic story and non-sequitur style."

Digimon: Digital Monsters (2000) | PG

The Internet becomes a theater of war for the DigiDestined and their Digimon companions, as the pocket-sized pets begin another epic adventure.

Digimon: Digital Monsters was savaged by movie critics and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Digimon is better than Pokemon, but it's still a predictable movie with mediocre animation."

Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil (2011) | PG

Red Riding Hood is called upon to investigate the strange disappearance of duo Hansel and Gretel.

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil received very negative reviews and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "It may add 3D to the original, but Hoodwinked Too! is missing the first installment's wit and refreshingly low-budget charm."

Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil
Actresses Amy Poehler and Hayden Panettiere attend a screening of "Hoodwinked Too" during the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea on April 23, 2011 in New York City. The animated movie received very negative reviews Getty Images/Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

Silver Circle (2013) | PG-13

This futuristic thriller sees a group of rebels attempt to save America's economy from a corrupt government agency.

Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "This eccentric diatribe set in a dystopic near-future has a lot on its Ron Paul-esque mind but lacks the means or finesse to present an even remotely persuasive case."

Norm of the North (2016) | PG

Avuncular polar bear Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York after a real estate development invades their Arctic home.

The movie was not popular with critics and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "A pioneering feat in the field of twerking polar bear animation but blearily retrograde in every other respect, Norm of the North should only be screened in case of parental emergency."

Norm of the North
Actress Heather Graham attends AOL Build Speaker Series: Norm Of The North at AOL Studios in New York. Norm of the North sees four friends travel to New York after a real estate development invade their Arctic home Getty

Pokémon 3: The Movie (2001) | G

Trainer Ash and his friends travel to a stunning mountain town, where they will battle the most mysterious of all Pokémon—the Unown.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus sums up the poor reviews, stating: "Critics say that the third Pokemon movie has a better plot than its two predecessors. This is not enough, however, to recommend it to those not already fans of the franchise."

Spark: A Space Tail (2017) | PG

Teenage monkey Spark, who lives on an abandoned planet is tasked with saving the galaxy when power-hungry aliens attack.

Despite boasting an all-star cast of voice actors, critics were left unimpressed, with Peter Sobczynski writing in RogerEbert.com: "Spark: A Space Tail [is] an utterly lifeless and profoundly unoriginal animated effort that is desperately lacking the very thing in its title.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002) | PG-13

A middle-aged alcoholic is sentenced to community service to reform his bad habits, after running into trouble with the law.

The animations received generally unfavourable reviews from critics and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "[Adam] Sandler returns to his roots in this nauseating concoction filled with potty humor and product placements."

Doogal (2006) | G

This Magic Roundabout spinoff finds Florence and her animal friends threatened when an evil wizard attempts to trigger an ice age.

The movie was unpopular with critics and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Overloaded with pop culture references, but lacking in compelling characters and plot, Doogal is too simple-minded even for the kiddies".

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011) | G

The Chipmunks and Chipettes land on a deserted, tropical island and swiftly learn they are not really alone.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Lazy, rote, and grating, Chipwrecked is lowest-common-denominator family entertainment that's strictly for the very, very, very young at heart."

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Basketball player Carmelo Anthony attends the Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked New York premiere at AMC Empire 25 theater on December 8, 2011. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked finds the cute creatures marooned on a tropical island Ben Hider/Getty Images

Strange Magic (2015) | PG

A jaded fairy princess' ex-boyfriend attempts to win her back in this musical inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Like most modern animated movies, Strange Magic is lovely to look at; unfortunately, there isn't much going on beneath the surface."

The Ten Commandments (2007) | PG

This famous Biblical tale revolves around reluctant prophet Moses who was the only man in Biblical history to look upon the face of God.

The Ten Commandments received mainly negative reviews from critics, with Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus stating: "The Ten Commandments proves that not even one of humanity's most enduring tales is strong enough to overcome a biblical plague of cheap-looking animation."

Pokémon 4: The Movie (2002) | G

Pokémon trainers must save Celebi before it destroys the forest after an evil hunter arrives on the scene.

The animation received overwhelmingly negative reviews and Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Only for diehard Pokemon fans."

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014) | PG

Dorothy returns to Oz to save her friends Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man from the Wicked Witch of the West's younger brother.

The movie's all-star cast could not save it from a critical mauling, with Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus stating: "Faced with the choice between staying in or seeing Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, most filmgoers will be forced to conclude that there's no place like home."

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
Actress Lea Michele arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of Legends Of OZ: Dorothy's Return at Regency Village Theatre on May 3, 2014 in Westwood, California. The movie's all-star cast could not save it from a critical mauling Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images

Playmobil: The Movie (2019) | PG

Two siblings are transported to the fantastical world of Playmobil, where one winds up in the clutches of an evil emperor and his sister battles to rescue him.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "Much like the toys it advertises, Playmobil: The Movie seems sadly destined to be regarded as a superficially similar yet less desirable alternative to the competition."

The Trumpet of the Swan (2001 | G

The father of a swan born without a voice helps him overcome his disability and teaches him to play the trumpet.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "An uninspired E.B. White adaptation that's targeted at the very young."

Pixels (2015) | PG-13

Arcade gamers battle an alien race that presumes classic games of the 1980s are a declaration of war.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "Much like the worst arcade games from the era that inspired it, Pixels has little replay value and is hardly worth a quarter."

Pixels
Ashley Benson, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan and Adam Sandler attend Pixels New York premiere at Regal E-Walk on July 18, 2015. Pixels was savaged by critics, with one writing: the animation "has little replay value and is hardly worth a quarter"

Pokémon Heroes (2003) | G

Thieves visit an island city to steal a giant jewel once designed to defend the Pokémon city of Altomare.

Movie critic Lou Lumenick was so disappointed with the animation, he gave the film zero stars, described it as an animated form of child abuse and recommended parents to rent Spirited Away for their children.

Delgo (2008) | PG

Teenage Delgo must persuade his friends to protect their world from two warring tribes.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "Delgo features a blend of plot elements from earlier (and superior) fantasy films, with weaker animation and dull characters."

Arctic Dogs (2019) | PG

A fox and his friends race to thwart a developer attempting to drill beneath their Arctic home and destroy it in the process.

Sandie Angulo Chen of Common Sense Media wrote: "Despite an impressive voice cast, this snowy animal adventure is disappointing; it feels more suited to a shorter TV or streaming special than a feature release."

Arctic Dogs
Heidi Klum brings Arctic Dogs to Children's Hospital Los Angeles for a VIP Movie Preview on October 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Despite an impressive voice cast, the animation proved unpopular with critics Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for ARCTIC DOGS/ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES/Getty Images

Happily N'Ever After (2007) | PG

An alliance of evil-doers, led by Cinderella's wicked stepmother, attempts to conquer Fairy Tale Land.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "Happily N'Ever After has none of the moxy, edge or postmodern wit of the other fairy-tales-gone-haywire CG movie it so blatantly rips off."

Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (2000) | G

Ash and his trainer friends discover evil genius' plan to conquer the world and race to stop him.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "Despite being somewhat more exciting than the previous film, this kiddy flick still lacks any real adventure or excitement.

"What it does contain is choppy animation and poor voice acting. Doesn't match up to virtually anything out there."

Cool World (1992) | PG-13

This mixture of live-action and animation sees a comic strip temptress attempt to seduce her cartoonist creator.

Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus states: "Cool World throws a small handful of visual sparks, but they aren't enough to distract from the screenplay's thin characters and scattered plot."

Cool World
American actress Kim Basinger waves, partially obscured by a cardboard cutout of her character 'Holli Would' from the film 'Cool World' at a press event for the film, circa 1992. This mixture of live-action and animation was panned by critics Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images