I think it’s safe to say that Pixar is the best studio in Hollywood when it comes to creating animated movies. They’ve made hit after hit and all their films speak to more than just their target audience. Pixar has released fifteen movies now and in my opinion at least ten of those are worthy of being praised and arbitrarily ranked. So here’s my Top 10 Pixar Movies.
Pixar loves giving inanimate objects emotions and personalities. From toys to robots to planes and finally to cars. Cars is the pretty standard story of someone learning humility and modesty. In this case it’s a car named Lightning McQueen who on the way to a race, gets lost and ends up in a small town where he learns that there’s more to life than winning. The story’s been done a hundred times before and the characters are pretty cliche. But what makes it fun is just how interesting and alive the world is. It’s entertaining to see a world where vehicles reign supreme and where pretty much everything is some sort of car pun. Too bad it’s sequel was pure garbage.
9. Toy Story 3
When I first saw Toy Story 3 I loved it. It was funny, entertaining and heartfelt. But after thinking it over I started to realise just how similar it was to the last two films in the series, the second one in particular. They both have the same themes of growing up and being forgotten and they both hit the same story beats. But to be fair, I don’t really think they could’ve done anything to make it any more different. After all it’s the third movie in a series that started in 1995 carrying on with the same characters. So there isn’t all that much to develop. The movie is still good though with trying to escape a day care as the main focus. And it was interesting to see how the toys would cope with their owner growing up and going to college. Overall it was the best way to end the trilogy. That is until Toy Story 4 comes out.
8. Monsters, Inc.
Monsters Inc is probably the most creative Pixar has ever gotten with a movie’s world and universe yet. It’s set in a world where monsters live like normal humans. Here they get their energy off the screams of children, so it’s up to a select few monsters to go into the human world everyday and scare children in order to collect energy and power their city. Things go wrong though when a little girl is accidentally brought into the monster’s world and our two main characters have to find a way to get her back. While the setup and characters are fun the plot does get overly complicated at some points and the villain’s overall plan isn’t really all that fleshed out. What makes this movie is its two leads, Sully and Mike. Together they have an excellent rapport that’s fun to watch. But what most people seem to remember is the little girl called Boo. Her relationship with Sully is what anchors the film and drives it forward. It’s prequel Monsters University was also pretty good even though this movie never really needed any sort of follow up.
7. Inside Out
The latest film on this list, Inside Out is a movie that initially surprised me when I first went to see it. The last few Pixar films that came out were pretty lacklustre, so I wasn’t really expecting much going into this one. But I actually ended up enjoying it quite a lot. The idea of emotions being alive and seeing things from the viewpoint of someone’s brain has been done before but never as creatively as this. The movie is about a young girl who moves to a new city. Not very exciting but what’s going on within her head is. After Joy and Sadness get lost within her mind, she’s left to the control of her remaining emotions, fear, disgust and anger. The film explores everything that goes on within the mind of a young girl from dreams, ideas, memories, hobbies, family and even prepubescent lust. Hopefully Pixar learns from their latest triumph and makes their next movie just as good or even better.
6. Toy Story 1 and 2
I’m putting these two together because I hold them both in the same high regard. Toy Story is Pixar first feature length film and not only has it aged well but it’s jokes, characters and story still hold up even today. Even if the story is just about Woody and Buzz getting lost. Out of the three Toy Story movies, the second one is definitely my favourite. The main story about Woody realising he’s actually a collector’s item is easily the best and the most unique out of the three films. It introduces the idea that toys don’t last forever but it still keeps a lighthearted and fun tone. Both these films laid the groundwork for future Pixar movies and for that they should be commended.
I remember when this movie first came out everyone was talking about it. Be it about the character of Wall-E himself or the film’s environmental message. The movie is set in a future where mankind has left Earth due to pollution and the only survivor left is a robot called Wall-E. Soon another robot called Eve lands on Earth in order to find proof the world is still habitable. The two robots then go on a journey to find the human’s spaceship in order to get them back to Earth. The first half of the movie is easily better than the second. Once they reach the humans though things start to get needlessly complicated as they introduce the villain. The first half managed to remain subtle and heartfelt without any sort of dialogue, it was all through atmosphere and tone. The environmental message that everyone was talking about isn’t exactly bad but at some points it did feel kind of forced.
4. Finding Nemo
In a lot of Pixar’s movies characters get lost and have to find their way home, so why not make an entire movie about that? Finding Nemo is the story of two clownfish, a father and a son called Marlin and Nemo. After Nemo gets taken by a scuba diver and put into a fish tank, it’s up to his father to find him. The characters and fish are all very likeable and there are plenty of funny situations spread out across the movie. My favourite being the shark who is trying to go vegetarian. The movie also has a pretty good message of learning to let go and letting your kids do things for themselves. This is also one of the few movies where Pixar gets to show off just how much of a master they are at creating digital worlds and landscapes. Let’s hope Finding Dory manages to repeat this success.
You could stop this movie after ten minutes and people would still leave the cinemas satisfied. That’s how good this movie is to a lot of people. The intro for this movie is something I won’t spoil here but watching that alone would be more than enough. Luckily there’s a whole hour and a half more of movie to discuss so let’s get into it. Up is the story of an old man, who’s bitter after losing his wife and about is to lose his home. Before he gets taken to a retirement home he decides to attach thousands of balloons to his house and fly away to the place where he and his wife always wanted to go. While doing so he accidentally takes a boy scout with him and together they go on an adventure. For a lot of people this is their favourite Pixar movie and I can see why. The characters are all very likeable, the adventure itself is a lot of fun and there’s some very genuine heart to it.
2. The Incredibles
It’s no wonder why I like this movie so much, it puts together two of my favourite things, superheroes and Pixar. The Incredibles is about a super powered family living in a time where superheroes are looked down upon. But when a super villain starts to emerge the family has to get together to stop him. This was the first Pixar movie to actually feature real humans as main characters, none of that talking toy or fish stuff. It’s also the first Pixar movie where nothing felt like it was pandering to young children. You could easily make this live action and it would still remain mostly the same. But like every other Pixar movie, it’s funny, creative, entertaining and it actually has quite a bit of action in it. This is definitely one of my favourite Pixar movies and I was more than stoked when a sequel was announced.
That’s right, Ratatouille is my favourite Pixar movie. I don’t even exactly know why I love this movie so much. The movie’s about a rat called Remy who wants to become a chef and cook food but can’t because of obvious reasons. He meets up with a down on his luck garbage boy who works at one of the best restaurants in Paris. Together they team up to make Remy’s dream of cooking food a reality. Pretty much everything in this movie is great from the loveable and relatable characters to the beautiful visuals and scenery of Paris and everything in between. It’s what I think of when I think of the perfect animated movie.
So those are my Top 10 Pixar Movies. What are yours?