As someone who is now a Television, Radio, and Film major it's no surprise that growing up Disney and Pixar were a huge part of my life. Sometimes I think it's where my love of movies really began. While both companies' work was quite enjoyable to watch, I think I always favored Pixar a little more.
To this day they are still some of my all-time favorite movies and I have seen them all. Since I was old enough to go to a movie theater I've only missed seeing one Pixar film in theaters (sorry "The Good Dinosaur!")
Below I ranked all 20 movies from worst (#20) to best (#1). Please remember all opinions are my own, all of these movies are still some of the best animated movies out there, and I'd happily watch any of them again.
Lastly, before I start, here's a little shameless plug. Follow me on Letterboxd (@aslagter9) for more of my reviews and opinions.
20. "Cars 2"
After the first movie, the Cars franchise became too commercial for me. The Cars movies continue to do well since they are by far the best car centered films for kids. However, this international race turned spy vs. Lightning McQueen adventure is missing all the hope and small-town charm from the first movie. This movie, unfortunately, took a turn for the worst the second McQueen and Tow Mater left Radiator Springs.
19. “The Good Dinosaur”
Personally, I was intrigued by the concept of dinosaurs just not becoming extinct and humans still evolving into what we are now. However, I think Pixar missed the mark on this one. I just found Arlo and Spot's chemistry to be missing some of that Pixar magic. To be fair the colors and the animation is still very well done and fun to look at.
18. "Finding Dory"
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think sequels are Pixar's strong suit. This movie was still enjoyable, but the whole notion that Dory is now lost/trapped/technically saving her parents just seems like a weird take on the original movie's plot. However, the characters didn't lose any of their charm from the first film and we got to see baby Dory!
17. "Cars 3"
While a lot better than the second Cars film, it still wasn't the first. However, I think Pixar knows everyone loves a good comeback story, and in this case, a come back from the plot of the second movie. Also props to the Pixar advertising department, because that first teaser of Lightning McQueen crashing crushed me.
16. “Incredibles 2”
After waiting fourteen years for the sequel it did not disappoint. However, the new-age superheroes just weren't my favorite Pixar characters and spoiled some of the fun of the Parr family. Although I will forgive all of that because Edna babysitting is now my favorite thing ever.
15. "Monsters University"
This movie isn't bad but compared to the first movie this prequel is lacking. However, the idea of a rowdy college comedy made for kids amuses me. Not to mention the bond between Mike and Sully was the best part of the first film, so seeing that origin story was worth it.
I like the way Pixar makes the princess the burden to the queen's life in their only princess centered film. It has all the typical princess movie traits, but this take on the traditional princess story is just what Pixar's known for.
13. “A Bug’s Life”
Again one of Pixar movies that no one really hates on, but yet is this anyone's favorite movie? It is the second ever Pixar movie so it did help pave the way for many more films.
I'm always changing my opinion on this one. Sometimes I think it's really slow and boring, I mean there's like no dialogue or big action in the first half of the film and Wall-e goes around picking up trash. Other time I think the social commentary told through the eyes of robots is stunning.
By far the best film in the franchise. In the end Lightning McQueen accidental journey to Radiator Springs brings him many life lessons, a new best friend, a girlfriend, one of the best coaches out there, and most importantly a new home. However, when the spoiled superstar winds up there it shows just how much help McQueen really needs from this small town, not to mention what we might all be missing now that we have interstates.
As someone whose biggest fear is mice this is hard to say, but this is one of my favorite Pixar movies. The combination of the awkward young chef Linguini trying to please his mother mixed with the father defying little chef Remy is just perfect.
9. “The Incredibles”
The family of superheroes trying to live normal lives is just the perfect mix of adventure, action, and comedy. There really is anything more to say.
8. "Finding Nemo"
Nemo, Marlin, and Dory are amazing, but the cast of secondary characters really takes this movie to the next level. From everyone Marlin meets (including Dory) on his journey, and the gang in the fish tank who all come together to help release Nemo. It really shows it takes a village to raise, or rescue, a kid.
7. “Monsters, Inc.”
The idea that the monster under your bed or in your closet isn't just real, but it's actually their job and means of existing is actually pretty funny if you think about it. Especially when the monster and child create a very special bond (I'm looking at you Sully and Boo).
6. "Toy Story 2"
Also if this isn't your favorite scene, you're wrong.
This is actually my favorite Toy Story movie, however critically it might be the worst in the franchise. All three are some of Pixar's best work and each has a unique and engaging story, but Woody accidentally being sold and rescued gives us the weird, yet exciting, invention of Al's Toy Barn and company.
Once you get past the first ten minutes this story is actually very fun and exciting. Although, the movie's opening is bound to make everyone tear up, without that backstory Carl and Russell's adventure isn't nearly as exciting and heartwarming as it turns out to be. The sadness leads to this lovely bucket list journey which makes everyone's heart happy.
4. "Toy Story 3"
By far the saddest Toy Story movie in every way, it's also one of the most exciting. Seeing the toys have a second chance at life strangely helps every teenager come to terms with growing up.
Honestly, this might be the most visually stunning movie Pixar has. Even though it appears to be Pixar's attempt at becoming more diverse in the modern world, they were able to do just that while creating a spectacular film. The mix of adventure, betrayal, and love has something for everyone. Not to mention an amazing (and Oscar-winning) soundtrack on top of everything else.
2. "Inside Out"
This is also one of my all-time favorite Pixar movies. There's something so simple about it, yet completely relatable in every way. Not to mention haven't you always wondered what's really going on up there.
1. "Toy Story"
And at number one the movie which started it all. The original Pixar movie is just as good as today as it was when it first came out (trust me, I just watched it the other week). The fun, the friendship, the social workings of toy and their child is something which every kid (and anyone who was a kid at some point) can relate to. The world met Andy, Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang twenty-three years ago and as we wait for the fourth movie to come out next year the love is still there. Although the weird scene with Woody in Sid's house still creeps me out.