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Ranking All 17 Pixar Films

Ranking the Pixar Films

Here's the definitive ranking of all 17 feature films ( I didn't include Cars 3  because it is not out yet at the time I'm writing this so I have not seen it) from Pixar Animation Studios from worst to best:


17. Cars 2 (2011)

Image result for cars 2 poster

The only true misfire Pixar has made thus far, Cars 2 was made solely as a marketing strategy to sell more toys, and as a result, it doesn't feel like a lot of effort went into crafting it. Its a lazy spy spoof, and has a convoluted plot with no laughs.

16.  The Good Dinosaur (2015)

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Closer to Walt Disney Animation Studios' offerings from the early 2000s than it is to any other Pixar film, The Good Dinosaur is a rote reworking of themes touched on by nearly every animated film since The Lion King. Its world feels neither unique nor lived-in and its somewhat intriguing premise (what if dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time?) goes absolutely nowhere.

15.  Monsters University (2013)

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The prequel that nobody asked for, Monsters University is amusing throughout and has quite a few laughs. The problem is that there aren't any stakes, as we know where the characters are going to end up by the end of the movie because we know them and their dynamic already.

14. Finding Dory (2016)

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Finding Dory is what happens when Pixar tried to take the sentimentality of Up's prologue or the ending of Toy Story 3 and turn it into a whole movie. The result is a parade of maudlin cliches. Despite some very enjoyable moments, its whole existence seems manufactured for maximum tears, which in a kids movie, feels manipulative.

13. WALL-E (2008)

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I know a lot of people would rank WALL-E much higher on this list, but I have never understood what all the love is about. I find it to be excruciatingly boring and the main character to be incredibly irritating. And I find it laughable for a $200 million summer blockbuster to be lecturing its audience about the state of our culture. 

12. Cars (2006)

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I saw Cars when it was first in theaters, and I did not find it to be funny at all. But I’ve seen it multiple times since then and its grown on me, even though I still don’t like Larry the Cable Guy’s Mater character. 

11. Brave (2012)

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Pixar's entry into the princess genre, Brave is notable for being the fist film from the studio with a female protagonist. But beyond that, it's one of their most distinctive films, thanks to its verdant setting and surprisingly complex mother/daughter relationship. 

10. A Bug's Life (1998)

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Sandwiched between the first two Toy Story films, A Bug's Life is Pixar's oft forgotten and under appreciated second film. It's witty and clever, and the computer animation is leaps and bounds better than the first Toy Story, which had come out only three years earlier. 

9. Monsters Inc. (2001)

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John Goodman and Billy Crystal are the main reason to love this stunningly animated if comparatively lightweight comedy about a world of monsters. 

8. The Incredibles (2004)

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One of the greatest superhero films ever made, The Incredibles works so well because it richly mines the human aspect of the genre, while not skimping on action and excitement. 

7. Up (2009)

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The first animated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar since 1991, Up is probably best remembered for its emotional opening ten minutes, but the film is so much more than that. It's a high-flying adventure filled with big laughs and big ideas. 

6. Ratatouille (2007)

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This is the point where the ranking becomes somewhat arbitrary because I love everything about all the remaining films. Ratatouille has such a unique flavor to it that it doesn't feel like any animated movie that came before. The movie, which is of course about a rat that becomes a chef in Paris, is so much its own thing that it is hard to describe and impossible to resist. 

5. Toy Story 3 (2010)

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The trajectory of Pixar films can probably be summed up into two distinct phases: before Toy Story 3 and after Toy Story 3. The studio's track record up to and including this movie was unparalleled. They churned out classic after classic with ease. Since this movie, it's been much more hit-or-miss, with most of their offerings being middling sequels to their old hits. It's pretty amazing that the only sequels Pixar has made that have been worthwhile are those in the Toy Story franchise. The third one hits such poignant and deeply affecting heights that it's truly something to be marveled at. 

4. Finding Nemo (2003)

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Never has a Pixar world felt as immersive as the ocean does in Finding Nemo (another reason why Dory was disappointing - very little of it is set in the ocean). It's beautifully rendered, emotionally potent, and boasts tremendous voice acting from Albert Brooks and Ellen Degeneres. 

3. Toy Story (1995)

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The movie that started it all (it was the first feature length computer animated movie ever) is still among the very best. Featuring terrific voice performances from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, Toy Story set the tone for decades of movies that would try to follow in its footsteps. 

2. Inside Out (2015)

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Completely unexpected and wildly original, Inside Out brilliantly captures the melancholy process of growing up. I loved it so much I named it the best movie of 2015.

1. Toy Story 2 (1999)

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The Toy Story trilogy is the standard bearer of the Pixar catalogue, so it only makes sense that the best of trilogy is the best of Pixar. Toy Story 2 is maybe the only sequel ever to expand the world of the first movie without detracting from the characters we already know and love. The adventures of Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy's toys continue, and added to the group is Jessie, whose arc in the film is profoundly heartfelt. A thrilling adventure romp mixed with an existential drama about toys, this is Pixar at its absolute best. 

How would YOU rank the Pixar films? Put your ranking in the comments below!

Comments

  1. 18. cars 2
    17. Good Dinosaur
    16. mosnters u
    15. cars 3
    14. finding dory
    13. cars
    12. brave
    11. bug's life
    10. Up
    9.Monsters inc.
    8. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story 2
    6. The incredibles
    5. Toy Story 3
    4. Finding Nemo
    3. WALL E
    2. Inside Out
    1. Toy Story

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