It's all too easy for the movie industry to get it wrong when it comes to sequels, especially if filmmakers are looking to simply wring-out all the money they can from a mildly successful franchise until it's so far gone you don't even remember why you loved the first film to start with.
When it comes to animated movies over the last 20 years however, you can see that certain nuanced choices by studios and producers come together to make for a winning sequel that, arguably, is even better than the first.
Animated movie juggernauts Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks Animation dominate this list, and you'll see the term 'Oscar nominated' thrown around more times than you'd care to count. It's likely that the monetary and marketing backing of such large, established companies are the main reason for these movies' successes, and learning to avoid direct-to-video sequels if you want to have a commercial success on your hands (we're looking at you, Disney), but there are other secrets to success to be learned.
Managing to keep the same great cast from your first film, a broad-appeal to children and adults alike, that all-important nod (and occasionally outright rallying cry) to the nostalgic, and a strong musical soundtrack all come together to form the basis to a successful animated sequel. These therefore undoubtedly make the best animated sequels, of all time.