Best Animated Movie Sequels of the Past 20 Years

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With the release of "Cars 3" this weekend, I've decided to rank my favorite animated movie sequels of all-time. In the time I've been a moviegoer and movie critic, I've seen a couple dozen animated film franchises begin, reach their peaks, end and/or crash and burn. These are the best animated sequels of the past two decades:

1. "Toy Story 3" (2010)
2. "Toy Story 2" (1999)
3. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (2012)
4. "Despicable Me 2" (2013)
5. "Shrek Forever After" (2010)
6. "Cars 2" (2011)
7. "Shrek 2" (2004)
8. "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014)
9. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (2009)
10. "Kung Fu Panda 3" (2016)
11. "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" (2013)
12. "Ice Age: The Meltdown" (2006)
13. "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" (2015)
14. "Cars 3" (2017)
15. "Finding Dory" (2016)
16. "Planes: Fire & Rescue" (2014)

And there are plenty more on the way, with "Despicable Me 3" and "The Nut Job 2" out later this summer. "Wreck-It Ralph 2", "Hotel Transylvania 3", "The Incredibles 2" and "Gnomeo & Juliet" sequel/spinoff "Sherlock Holmes" are set for next year. Follows-up to "The LEGO Movie", "Sing", "The Angry Birds Movie", "Frozen", "Minions", "Trolls", "The Secret Life of Pets" and "The Boss Baby" are currently in development - not to mention third chapters in the "How to Train Your Dragon" and "SpongeBob" sagas, as well as "Toy Story 4" and "Shrek 5".

Terrific Prequels and Spinoffs:
-"Puss in Boots" (2011)
-"Monsters University" (2013)
-"Penguins of Madagascar" (2014)
-"The LEGO Batman Movie" (2017)

"Monsters University" (2013)
"Monsters University" (2013)

My ranking of Animated Movie Series with three or more installments (counting prequels and spinoffs):

"CARS"
1. "Cars" (2006) A
2. "Cars 2" (2011) B+
3. "Cars 3" (2016) B

"DESPICABLE ME"
1. "Despicable Me 2" (2013) A-
2. "Despicable Me" (2010) B+
3. "Minions" (2015) B-

"ICE AGE"
1. "Ice Age" (2002) A-
2. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (2009) B+
3. "Ice Age: The Meltdown" (2006) B+
4. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (2012) C
5. "Ice Age: Collision Course" (2016) D+

"KUNG FU PANDA"
1. "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) B+
2. "Kung Fu Panda 3" (2016) B
3. "Kung Fu Panda 2" (2011) B-

"MADAGASCAR"
1. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (2012) A-
2. "Madagascar" (2005) B+
3. "Penguins of Madagascar" (2014) B+
4. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" (2008) B

"OPEN SEASON"
1. "Open Season" (2006) B+
2. "Open Season 3" (2011) B
3. "Open Season 2" (2009) B
4. "Open Season: Scared Silly" (2016) B-

"SHREK"
1. "Shrek" (2001) A-
2. "Shrek Forever After" (2010) B+
3. "Shrek 2" (2004) B+
4. "Puss in Boots" (2011) B+
5. "Shrek the Third" (2007) B

"TOY STORY"
1. "Toy Story 3" (2010) A
2. "Toy Story 2" (1999) A-
3. "Toy Story" (1995) B

Jackson Murphy: Emmy Award-winning Film Critic / Entertainment Reporter. Broadcast Film Critics Assoc. (@CriticsChoice), SAG-AFTRA (@SAGAwards)