With the release of Pixar's latest hit "Finding Dory", I decided to count down all 17 Pixar Films, ranked from my least favorite to my favorite.
I know most people say Cars 2 is Pixar's worst film, and they might be right. Spoiler alert, we will talk about it right after this, but, Cars 2 was nonsensical and dumb, and so many people had talked up how bad it was that it ended up not being that hated by me. However, I got really excited for Brave. It looked like if a Miyazaki film, Tangled and How to Train Your Dragon had a baby, and the first half was great. Then, the mom turns into a bear and she rides her mom around in the forest. I'm not the only one who thanks that's weird, right? All in all, Brave was the biggest let down Pixar has done. It promised to be an original take on the Disney Princess, and all in all it just didn't resonate with me personally.
16. Cars 2
This movie isn't honestly that bad. It was just the first time Pixar didn't make a masterpiece in a decade in it's time of release, so, of course it will look bad in comparison. Don't get me wrong, this movie is dumb, I'll admit it, but, it seems to still have passion and love behind it from John Lasstner, and if you turn your brain off, it's not the worst way to slaughter 90 minutes. So, take that as you will.
15. Monsters University
Monsters University is fantastically okay. It's just okay. A movie couldn't be more then just, okay. Like, it's not bad, it's not good, it's fine. Passable I guess. Following up one of my childhood favorite movies Monsters Inc though, you gotta do better then that. It's entertaining and a lot of fun for sure. The music will hit your nostalgia bones if you grew up with the first one, and there's a really nice message at the end of this film that shows that maybe what you planned and dreamed might not always work out, but, other then that it's for sure one of Pixar's weakest.
14. A Bug's Life
This movie is good. The animation is solid for the year it came out in, the story works well, the characters are fun, the score is incredible, yet, that's all I can really say about it. After the smash hit of Toy Story, Pixar was still trying to find their niche. That being said, for a follow up to a film that made cinematic history, it pales in comparison. It's still solid and underrated for sure though, check it out if you haven't.
Among Pixar's hayday, they released Cars, which was liked, but, heavily criticized for being a film 'just for kids', which is actually kinda sad. Cars is a wonderful film about nostalgia and trying to find your roots, with a scenic Route 66 setting. This film gets a bad rap. I do have nostalgia with it, but, I still think it holds up as a solid movie. Even if not as good as Pixar's best, but, what is?
12. The Good Dinosaur
The Good Dinosaur is one of the most misunderstood and underrated films I've ever seen. It's not perfect, I admit, but, it's a simple concept seen before that's executed in a whole new way. There's photographic looking world that's being occupied by cartoony looking Pixar characters. It's kinda jarring, but, it's style actually lends itself to visual storytelling. Several scenes are very quiet and nice moments, some of them even super emotional. I really felt the friendship between the two main characters Arlo and Spot as well, and what this film had to say about finding yourself is kinda bold. Yes, it's borrows heavily from The Lion King, but, The Good Dinosaur is still great by it's own means. Not Pixar's best, but its most underrated for sure.
11. Finding Dory
The newest released film of the bunch, Finding Dory is a worthy follow up to Finding Nemo, even if it doesn't surpass it. It doesn't reach the dramatic heights as some of the films I have above it, but, it does have it's chill worthy moments for sure. The nostalgia of the score and familiar characters is great, but, unlike Monsters University, they do a lot with this sequel and build on the world. It's so delightful that I smiled the entire time, yet, just like Pixar's best, it's about a bit more then your typical kids movie. It's so much fun, and such a crowd pleaser, and I can't wait to watch it again, I loved it.
The Top 10 Pixar films are hard to rank. It could literally be a coin toss to determine 10-6. I put WALL-E at number 10 because the second half isn't as solid as the first. It kinda becomes a watered down 2001: A Space Odyssey type of film. Yet, it's still really good. The first half however is masterful. It's a wonderful Charlie Chaplin type tribute about love and the fall of humanity. It's beautiful visual poetry, and easily among my favorites. That's right, these Top 10 are that good.
9. The Incredibles
The best Fantastic Four movie that's never been made, The Incredibles is one of the best superhero films of all time, and once again, another one of my favorites. (up to this point, all these films are all time favorites.) This film is complex, easy to relate to and visually stunning. The writing is superb (being the first animation to get a Screenplay nom at the Academy Awards) and the entire thing is as close to perfect as an action film can get. That is because it's an actual action film with real substance and weight. It also says some interesting things about The Government in general. It's kinda dark in some aspects, and even more awesome for it.
8. Monsters Inc.
This is a childhood favorite, I even got the toy set of this for one of my birthdays and was terrified of it. This is a quirky and fun office type film about monsters scaring children. Not only is this one of Pixar's funniest films, but, it has a real soul and a real arc. It's probably the most inventive films they have ever made, and it was one of the earlier films to come out and show that the success Pixar was going to become.
7. Finding Nemo
When you describe Finding Nemo to people leaving out the whole fish and ocean thing, it sounds like a thriller. A man who watched his wife and kids murdered except for one, who is now disabled because of it. Because of his inability to let go, Nemo gets kidnapped and now he must team up with a mentally handicapped woman to find him. Like dang, that could get intense, and in this film, it does. This film gets dark, yet, it's able to be so incredibly imaginative, fun and charming. It's an absolute masterpiece, and an instant classic.
6. Inside Out
Inside Out is one of the most original concepts I've ever seen in a film. It's execution is just perfect. It's perspective of a pretty standard coming of age story coming from the emotions in protagonist Riley's head, this is the perfect way too keep the story fresh, new and even more impactful then ever before. It's bright colors, fully utilized world and masterful storytelling is enough to make Inside Out one of the most mind blowing films I've ever seen. This film blew me away so much I saw it twice opening weekend, and several times after that, and it doesn't get old. It's one of the finest films of the decade, and an all time favorite (of course).
5. Toy Story
This is the one that started it all. It completely changed film. It's innovative animation, incredible storytelling and unforgettable characters make this one of the most beloved films of all time, for good reason. The fact this movie happened was a miracle, and it's one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. I've loved it all my life, and will continue to until I die.
4. Toy Story 2
The Empire Strikes Back of animated sequels, Toy Story 2 is bigger and better in ever way. It's more emotionally impactful, it's storytelling is even better and the world is even more fleshed out in this one. It continues to show as long as you have a good story and characters, any story can go on as long as they need to. Toy Story and it's sequels will continue to enthrall several generations to come.
Easily one of the best films I've ever seen, and sadly overlooked, Ratatouille is an incredible masterpiece that displays the reason why I love film criticism. It's that moment you bite into the Ratatouille, that moment when you find something new about yourself. This film was for sure my ratatouille, as I'm sure it was for a few others as well. I mention it all the time, and it has honestly been a huge inspiration for me. For sure in my Top 10 of all time.
Top 5 talk of all time for Up. The beginning is a visual storytelling feat with all of the feels, yet, the rest of the film shows a harrowing story full of adventure, laughs and self discovery. This film is so wacky and insane, and the way it's able to balance it all into a sustainable story is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen on film. It reminds me why I like to go to the movies in the first place.
1. Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 is not only my favorite Pixar film, but film period. If you can tell, I love Pixar. The company means so much to me, and has gotten me interested in animation and film. The day I walked out of Toy Story 3 for the first time, I knew what I was going to do when I was older, become a filmmaker. 6 years later and its passion and inspiration hasn't died down a bit. This film is just as poignant, life affirming and dramatic as any R rated war film I've ever seen. It's a film about childhood, and how to let go of certain aspects but keep some close to your heart. It's about sticking together, doing what's right. It's a film that everyone at any age needs to see. It's honestly my single favorite film. It's resonant themes doesn't keep the film from being a ton of fun, and it's just as inventive as all of the other Pixar films. Toy Story 3 means a lot to me, as much as Pixar. It is my dream to work at Pixar someday thanks to this film, what more can I say?
Do you agree or disagree with my list? This is my first Movie Pilot post! You can also find me at @artpigstudios on Instagram and just Artpig on Letterboxd. I decided to introduce myself here and talk about my favorite film studio, the reason I'm even on this site. Also, Finding Dory just came out and so this topic is relevant anyways. I might do a Top 20 Favorite Movies of all time post soon to further show my taste in movies, but, until then guys, thanks for reading!