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The word "animation" means, essentially, the process of bringing a non-living thing to life. Film animation has been trying to achieve that feat for more than a century. The earliest examples of film animation were created around the turn of the twentieth century. Filmmakers continued to develop new animation techniques throughout the century, ensuring that the genre remained consistently fresh and popular to the present day.

Traditional animation relies on techniques that link together a series of still images. The objects in the images change slightly from image to image. When the images are displayed in rapid succession, the objects appear to move. Stop-motion animation uses images of actual objects. The images are photographed, moved slightly, and then photographed again to produce the animation sequence. Hand-drawn animation uses a series of minutely varying drawings instead of real objects to produce the same effect. Digital animation employs computer-generated models, motion and effects. Occasionally, films combine animation with live action, overlaying live-action footage with animated elements so that animated characters can appear to interact with real actors.

Traditional hand-drawn animated films were extremely popular in the first half of the twentieth century, when Walt Disney Studios produced a number of very successful full-length animated films that featured high-quality animation and memorable musical scores. After a lull in popularity, animation had a resurgence of mainstream commercial success late in the century. 1995's Toy Story, produced by Pixar studios and distributed by Disney, ushered in the digital-animation revolution.

Although animated productions aimed at adult audiences have been successful on television, the majority of mainstream animated films produced by American studios have been targeted at younger audiences. The most commercially successful films, however, have appealed to audiences of all ages. Many Pixar films, for example, have been more able to pull in viewers from older age groups than animated films have historically been able to do.

    The Addams Family 2
    The Addams Family 2
    Corpse Bride
    Corpse Bride
    Space Jam: A New Legacy
    Space Jam: A New Legacy
    Sausage Party
    Sausage Party
    Megamind
    Megamind
    The Addams Family
    The Addams Family
    How to Train Your Dragon
    How to Train Your Dragon
    Luca
    Luca
    Moana
    Moana
    Hotel Transylvania
    Hotel Transylvania
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Frozen 2
    Frozen 2
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Coco
    Coco
    Cars
    Cars
    The Grinch
    The Grinch
    Toy Story
    Toy Story
    Kung Fu Panda 3
    Kung Fu Panda 3
    Despicable Me 2
    Despicable Me 2
    PAW Patrol: The Movie
    PAW Patrol: The Movie
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
    Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
    Vivo
    Vivo
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    Alvin and the Chipmunks
    Alvin and the Chipmunks
    Trolls
    Trolls
    The Lion King
    The Lion King
    Sing
    Sing
    Despicable Me
    Despicable Me
    Frozen
    Frozen
    Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
    Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
    Shrek Forever After
    Shrek Forever After
    Shark Tale
    Shark Tale
    Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses
    Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses
    The Lion King
    The Lion King
    If Anything Happens I Love You
    If Anything Happens I Love You
    The Croods 2
    The Croods 2
    My Little Pony: A New Generation
    My Little Pony: A New Generation
    Baby Shark songs
    Baby Shark songs
    Minions
    Minions
    Howl's Moving Castle
    Howl's Moving Castle
    The Prince of Egypt
    The Prince of Egypt
    Haircut
    Haircut
    Room on the Broom
    Room on the Broom
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
    Shrek
    Shrek
    Shrek en Espanol
    Shrek en Espanol
    The Princess and the Frog
    The Princess and the Frog
    Spookley the Square Pumpkin
    Spookley the Square Pumpkin
    The Polar Express
    The Polar Express
    Raya and the Last Dragon
    Raya and the Last Dragon
    Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms
    Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms
    Injustice
    Injustice
    Bebe's Kids
    Bebe's Kids
    Monsters, Inc.
    Monsters, Inc.
    The Croods
    The Croods
    The Good Dinosaur
    The Good Dinosaur
    The Land Before Time
    The Land Before Time
    Finding Nemo
    Finding Nemo
    Tangled
    Tangled
    Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea
    Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea
    Ratatouille
    Ratatouille
    The Emoji Movie
    The Emoji Movie
    Cars 2
    Cars 2
    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
    The Queen's Corgi
    The Queen's Corgi
    The Lego Movie
    The Lego Movie
    Hotel Transylvania 2
    Hotel Transylvania 2
    Checkered Ninja
    Checkered Ninja
    Spirited Away
    Spirited Away
    Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
    Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
    Tom and Jerry
    Tom and Jerry
    Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
    Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
    Rise of the Guardians
    Rise of the Guardians
    The Book of Life
    The Book of Life
    Shrek 2
    Shrek 2
    Up
    Up
    Cars 3
    Cars 3
    Barbie: Princess Charm School
    Barbie: Princess Charm School
    Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked
    Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked
    Despicable Me 3
    Despicable Me 3
    Mickey's House of Villains
    Mickey's House of Villains
    My Neighbor Totoro
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Wolfwalkers
    Wolfwalkers
    Monster High: Why Do Ghouls Fall in Love
    Monster High: Why Do Ghouls Fall in Love
    Over the Hedge
    Over the Hedge
    FernGully: The Last Rainforest
    FernGully: The Last Rainforest
    Inside Out
    Inside Out
    Barnyard
    Barnyard
    Toy Story 4
    Toy Story 4
    Rango
    Rango
    Bee Movie
    Bee Movie
    A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
    A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
    Ice Age
    Ice Age
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Madagascar
    Madagascar
    Coraline
    Coraline
    Barbie and the Diamond Castle
    Barbie and the Diamond Castle
    Tom and Jerry
    Tom and Jerry
    Trolls World Tour
    Trolls World Tour