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From Worst To Best: Ranking The Pixar Movies

by Drew Taylor
June 19, 2013 2:50 PM
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Bug's Life

10. "A Bug's Life" (1998)
Borrowing its template from "The Seven Samurai," this adventurous follow-up to the paradigm-shifting "Toy Story" is a widescreen retelling of the grasshopper and the ant fable. Except this time the ant is a neurotic inventor (Dave Foley) and the grasshopper is the leader of a ruthless biker game (Kevin Spacey). When the ant goes away to the big city to recruit warriors to combat the villainous grasshoppers, he ends up hiring a bunch of circus performers (including David Hyde Pierce, Madeline Kahn, Jonathan Harris and Denis Leary). The Pixar team was still relatively small when "A Bug's Life" was completed, and much of the creative team (including director John Lasseter) went straight from "Toy Story" into "A Bug's Life." Not that this kind of fatigue shows. If anything, it makes the movie, with dozens of principle characters and expansive crowd sequences, even more impressive. (Famously, Pixar re-framed the complex crowd sequences for the full frame home video, something that now seems like an incredible waste of time.) "A Bug's Life" is colorful and often quite funny (it introduced the credit sequence "bloopers" that would become a mainstay of Pixar movies for a little while), but lacks emotional resonance. More a dazzling technical achievement than a storytelling tour de force, it none-the-less proved that the computer-animated feature, more adept at crafting geometrically perfect structures, could capture the outdoors in a naturalistic way. 

Toy Story 2

9. "Toy Story 2" (1999)
One of the rare sequels that is just as good as the original, "Toy Story 2" started life as a direct-to-video sequel that the studio was producing on the down low. When John Lasseter and Disney executives saw the quality of the story, they decided it could be a theatrical release, and Lasseter stepped in to massively overhaul the movie in a little over a year, which is unheard of for an animated film, especially a computer animated film (this was still during the technology's infancy). "Toy Story 3" deepened the original film's "mythology" by exploring Woody's origins – as a highly valuable tie-in for a long lost "Howdy Doody"-type television show, and introduced a second Buzz Lightyear (still Tim Allen), who was just as delusional as Buzz was in the first film. The sequel hedged pretty closely to the original from a structural standpoint (with an obsessive toy collector standing in for the abusive kid next door, and an elaborate runway chase replacing the moving van chase from the first film) but offered some nice new flourishes, the best of which being the introduction of the cowgirl Jesse (Joan Cusack) character, whose tragic backstory makes for a moving, Sarah McLachlan-sung musical interlude. Many elements of the sequel, including the fantastical videogame-world opening and the more adult themes of loss and memory, would be expanded upon and perfected in the following film. But at the time, "Toy Story 2" was as close to a peerless follow-up as you could have asked for – visually, thematically, and emotionally rich.

Toy Story

8. "Toy Story" (1995)
The one that started it all, "Toy Story" was the rare combination of technological breakthrough and storytelling prowess. The movie, which we can't forget was not only the first feature-length Pixar movie but also the first entirely computer-generated feature (ever), was based in part on a short film Lasseter had directed called "Tin Toy" that imagined what rich interior lives toys must have when their owners are not around. From that came the creation of Woody (Hanks), a cowboy doll and the favorite toy of Andy… That is until Andy gets a brand new, high tech toy in the form of Buzz Lightyear (Allen) for his birthday. Suddenly Woody feels inadequate and outdated. In a fit of jealousy he tries to shove Buzz out of the picture (quite literally), which leads to him also getting abandoned. The movie, at its heart, is a classic buddy movie in the vein of "48 Hrs" or "Midnight Run," which was quite shocking given that it was released by Disney during the height of their Disney Renaissance period, one that was largely defined by big, Broadway-style musicals (there are songs in "Toy Story" but they're warbled by Randy Newman and played in the background, not the foreground). In a way, "Toy Story" is a metaphor for animation – with Woody representing the traditional, hand-drawn animation that the makers of "Toy Story" grew up on (and still love) and Buzz standing in for the computer animated features that would come to dominate the marketplace. While some of the imagery is overtly simplistic by today's standards, the movie still moves – and from a storytelling standpoint the movie is even more impressive when you think that the filmmakers behind the movie (besides from a few key outside collaborators like Joss Whedon) weren't traditionally trained in film. They were guys who wrote code and developed software. And yet they made one of the most exhilarating animated features of all time, full of characters that will literally live forever.

Finding Nemo - Nemo and Marlin

7. "Finding Nemo" (2003)
At the time of its release, "Finding Nemo" soon became the biggest animated feature of all time (surpassed later by one of the "Shrek" sequels) and it's easy to see why – the tale of a father clown fish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) who loses his son after years of being overtly cautious and super protective – is something that everyone can relate to (even cowboys have daddy issues). And the characters are well drawn, from Marlin's forgetful partner-in-crime Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) to the motley crew of fish that surround Nemo in the dentist's waiting room aquarium (most notably Willem Defoe). There's a reason that there are 'Nemo'-themed attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Disney California Adventure, and Disneyland theme parks and a sequel in the works – people love this movie. But upon re-watching it during its recent theatrical 3D conversion, revealed that not all of "Finding Nemo" works. The bisected storyline, split between Marlin's journey and Nemo's imprisonment, often slows down the movie's pace (at times it nearly crawls); the Marlin/Dory dynamic was too familiar at the time, when it seemed like every Pixar movie was going to be a variation of a buddy movie; and the movie's extra climax, wherein Nemo gets caught in a net (again) and has to convince the similarly captured fish to swim to the bottom of the ocean so that they could all escape, is both tedious and thematically redundant. We get it. Let's move on. Still, "Finding Nemo" has an undeniable powerful, one that can speak to anyone, really. It's also a singularly beautiful Pixar movie too, with the naturalistic style that they pioneered for "A Bug's Life" plunged under the ocean, with relatively few stylistic flourishes (comparatively, "Finding Nemo" was a low-budget movie because they blew so much R&D money on "Monsters Inc."). It's just that, like Dory, it's easy to forget some of the film's problems because it's so easy to praise the work as a whole.

Monsters Inc

6. "Monsters, Inc." (2001)
Pixar had some experience in world building by the time "Monsters, Inc." rolled around in 2001, but the worlds they had constructed where microcosmic and very much a part of our own reality. With "Monsters, Inc." they crafted an entirely separate universe, one in which monsters cultivate the screams of children to power their own modern cities, using a system of magical doors. It's an ingenious concept and one that relates to our own childhood fears of the monster in the closet (who turns out is just an employee at what amounts to a large energy corporation). There's a kind of frazzled inventiveness to every frame of "Monsters, Inc.," from the design of the characters (like the one-eyed Mike and the blue, furry Sulley) to the system of doors, which really pays off in a jaw-dropping climax where our heroes and villains ride the doors through the labyrinthine back channels of the corporation. It's also a sly take on our ongoing energy crisis and a loving homage to the monster movies of yore (a popular restaurant in the monster-y universe is Harryhausen's, named after the great, recently departed effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen). But the real reason "Monsters, Inc." works so well is the emotional connection forged between the tiny human who is unleashed in the monster world (who they nickname Boo) and Sulley, a giant, fearsome monster whose job it is to scare little kids just like Boo. The way their relationship develops, mostly wordlessly, is a testament to the confident storytelling prowess of the studio. The way the movie ends is probably one of the most powerful moments the studio has ever crafted, one that is delicate and unforced. The simplicity and emotional power of "Monsters, Inc." is what made a sequel seem (for a while at least) inconceivable. But with a world as large and immersive as the one created for "Monsters, Inc.," there are undoubtedly many, many different stories to tell.

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  • Jacob C | August 29, 2014 12:39 PMReply

    Other than the two Cars movies, I'd argue every Pixar movie is at the very least great (and the Cars movies aren't all that bad...just boring and cliche). Brave is a movie that is tainted in critics' minds because of the behind-the-scenes controversy, but I was completely unaware of it going into the film, and I found it masterful. A brilliant take on classic fairytale formula.
    ...Incredibles is definitely #1 though.

  • Sydney | August 18, 2014 10:37 PMReply

    The Incredibles will always be #1 in my opinion. You'd think with the cliche of super heros, it would be a train wreck. But even as a child I always marveled at it's visual beauty, everything was so sleek and made you feel mature and just pulled you in with suspense. I loved how it was at times realistic, those moments were rare but you knew them when you saw them.

    I'd love to know why Frozen wasn't anywhere on this list, it was so stupid and lacked richness in logic and detail. How did Elsa get her powers in a completely normal, royal, Scandinavian family? Olaf was the cliche ill-humored leftover crap of every other Disney sidekick character. Anna was just an annoying reincarnation of Repunzel from Tangled, which was another Pixar flop. Elsa's powers getting stronger was more of an all-bark-no-bite thing, they made it out like she was gonna become an evil ice witch with mad ice powers, but all she did was unintentionally leak ice on whatever she stood, sat, or touched, and ran away fearfully crying.

  • Mehek | August 12, 2014 4:37 PMReply

    WALL - E, better then Monsters Inc? Are you serious? I went to watch WALL-E in cinema, and halfway through, I fell asleep. So boring.

  • breaddeficiency | August 6, 2014 4:36 AMReply

    1 thing I'd rather do than watch The Incredibles: Watch Frozen 13 times

  • Liv | July 22, 2014 11:59 AMReply

    Lol, MoNster's

  • Liv | July 22, 2014 11:57 AMReply

    Mosters INC :b

  • Liv | July 22, 2014 11:54 AMReply

    In my opinion...

    UP was ludicrous and highly overrated. The only good part was the beginning. The rest of the story was so bogus I found myself rolling my eyes throughout the whole film. I'm surprised they didn't stick like that.

    Finding Nemo was a massive cliche but I still enjoyed it for the most part because the animation was brilliant, the cinamatography spectacular. And Dori was hillarious.

    CARS and CARS 2 shouldn't even be on this list, they were dreadful. Even UP, as bad as it was, was decent enough to make the list.

    Anthropomorphic romances are not always my cup of tea which is only one of the reasons I wasn't crazy about CARS, so WALL-E was a little odd to watch, however, i love post-apocalyptic fiction so the first part of the film was pretty entertaining. The rest wasn't bad either. I really liked the funny little vacuum who kept cleaning stuff :b

    I love THE INCREDIBLES, it was a great story and very funny but putting it at number one is a bit farfetched. I'd say, number 5 would be a better fit.

    TOY STORY will always be number one. MONSTERS INK at number two. Followed by TS2 and TS3.

  • Mandy | July 10, 2014 7:53 AMReply

    why the f-ck does everyone think wall-e is so d-mn great? Has to be the most boring pixar movie ever made!

  • Mehek | August 12, 2014 4:38 PM


  • Sarvesh | June 4, 2014 10:44 AMReply

    Dude The Incredibles @ 1?...u must be from some other planet! This list is a piece of bull-shit!

  • Cameron | May 4, 2014 11:50 PMReply

    This list is a joke, incredibles @ #1?
    Toy story 1 should be #1

  • Fuck You | April 14, 2014 12:02 AMReply

    this is bull you dont know anything about freaking pixar you ruined my whole damn childhood thanks bud

  • Brad | February 11, 2014 2:17 PMReply

    I thought Brave was a masterful movie, even by Pixar standards. To be fair, it's a departure in tone from the usual Pixar material which can sometimes be a little cornball for adult taste. It has sort of a Grim Fairy Tales narrative which can come across as odd to some but like many movies that aren't grasped easily at first, Brave benefits greatly from repeated viewings. The visuals are by far the most stunning of any Pixar movie to date and I believe the more traditional storyline will stand the test of time much more easily than something like Wall-E that beats you relentlessly over the head with political satire.

  • M | January 23, 2014 11:53 AMReply

    I'd agree with the top 3, but I'd change the ORDER of it around to Up (1), Incredibles (2) and Ratatouille (3).

    I'd place Wall-E low though (It's first half is good, but it's second half is just plain crap. And it gets forgiven for that much to often). But otherwise I largely agree with the list.

    Though Pixar delivers consistent quality I also think it's a bit to much of a critics darling and therefor tends to be somewhat overrated. (Which isn't the case for it's genuine masterpieces (particularly up) but IS the case for some of it's more middle films (like Finding Nemo, which is certainly not at all bad, but not a masterpiece either.)

    Also though Pixar stood out positively compared to early Dreamworks (Which had just plain awful films like Shark Tale) Modern Dreamworks (And some smaller studio's) stepped up their game and mad movies that certainly compare well to TYPICAL Pixar films. Therefor I think Pixar could stand to be looked at a little more critically.

    Take Ratatouille for example, it's excellent and one of my favourite Pixar movies, but even so it's far from flawless. (The biggest and easiest flaw is obvious... Linguini, who's ultimately by HIMSELF a pretty damn boring stock character. (Now REMY I think on the other hand is an excellent character and he's why I love the movie even so. (Remy is definitly one of my favourite chars from cgi films!) And there's a lot of other things I love about the movie, but flawless? No... Aside from Linguini there's also Ego the critic, I love him up until that damned ending speech he gives. I liked the idea of a sour and mean but HONEST critic. But in the end he gives a speech that amounts to 'critics suck', and that's SO the wrong message. It just drives me nuts. A lot of people love that ending speech, but I HATE it, I would have much more liked the message that being a bitter person is not necessary being a bad person, what matters is honesty. And that two honest people can definitely be bitterly adversarial (Ego's relation with Gousteau), but that that doesn't necessarily means the bitter mean person is inherently a bad person who's wrong about everything. (Which unfortunately the speech then decided IS the message. So good movie, yes... and WELL above average in spite of everything. But flawless... no.

    I guess ultimately on Pixar my opinion is what it is on many old school popular RPG series... Definitly good, definitly high end stuff... But STILL overvalued and unwarrantedly gushed over. With flaws where other studio's would be skinned alive over, completely forgiven in Pixar's products.

  • Eliot | January 2, 2014 2:17 PMReply

    I loved Brave. I don't get what everybody is complaining about. They probably can't handle a female main character or something. (kidding though it is true for some people..I know 2 buds in real life..but maybe I just have bad luck in people surrounding me lol)

    1 Brave (best pixar main character ever and for once its about a mom and daugther instead of a romance. Girls always need a guy in animation and that is boring. This one broke that tradition. A wonderfull and importand lesson and like in most pixar movies. I like that kind of fire in a gal.)
    2 Up (Second best main character, that old guy was great, it did get weaker the second part but still. Possible the animated movie I cried most on. Yeah I cried and I ain't being ashamed of that. )
    3 A bugs life (very underrated movie who deserves a lot better. I remember this being one of my fave movies as a kid. But people tend to not like bugs and might feel bad for killing them after watching this movie :3 )
    4 (almost everything else, I love these movies equaly all for DIFFERENT reasons)
    Toy Story (made me think toys where real, oh the hours I tried catching them talk..)
    Rattatoile (rat in kitchen = win)
    Incredibels (yay a family with no dead people in it)
    Wall- E (that Robot was awesome and would have scored higher if not for the last part of the film)
    Monsters Inc ( Loved the 2 friends and the little girl and monster being afraid of children)
    Toy Story 2 ( a sequal that did a good job as a sequal.)
    5 Toy Story 3 (hated the ending though)
    6 Monsters U (fun but not special)
    7 Finding Nemo...(I saw it..and I did like it but I do feel it is very very overrated. I wanted to see more son father stuff, not all this random chasing in the sea and the ''bad guys'' where lacking, Dori was annoying. I have no clue why nemo is so loved and Brave not when the reason people claim to love nemo (father son relation) is not nearly as worked out as the mother daughter one in Brave.. Perhaps because they have the wrong gender. I do wonder how people would have ranked Brave had merida been a boy and Nemo's dad been a mother. Anyway, overrated movie and would have been my least loved pixar movie if not for the last 2.
    13 Cars (but I have nothing with cars so that might be the reason, I still enjoyed the movie though. I am biased on this because I dislike cars in general. I admit had the same story happend with something different then cars I might have scored it higher. Still, despite it being low on my list it is still a fun movie to watch and still recommend to anyone who likes animated movies.)
    14 Cars 2 (Just not my thing.)

    Anyway people should igore critics and lists really. Just watch all the movies and decided for yourself. you love Nemo best? Good for you! Keep watching it and loving it and enjoy it as long as you can. :) You like Brave best? Also good for you. Don't let the critics or other people ruin it for you.

    In the end all Pixar movies are well made, and what is the best and what is the worst is something opinion based only. Everybody has their own favorites. And this is a wonderfull thing.

    I just hope more movies will keep comming. Even If I won't love them all, thats ok. Some other people will and that is wonderfull for them.

    Let go watch more movies people! And forever share our love for them, because if we agree on lists or not, we can agree on enjoying movies. In the end that is most importand. ^^

    oh the anyway I leave in peace.

  • lloyd | September 29, 2013 1:59 PMReply

    A Bugs Life. I find this film very funny and light movie. Very Entertaining.
    Monster Inc.
    Finding Nemo
    Toy Story 1 & 3

  • Blair Matsen | September 3, 2013 4:04 AMReply

    14. Cars 2 - 7.1/10
    13. Brave - 7.5/10
    12. Cars - 8.2/10
    11. Monsters University - 8.4/10
    10. Incredibles - 8.8/10
    09. Ratatouille - 8.9/10
    08. Toy Story 2 - 9.1/10
    07. WALL-E - 9.2/10
    06. Up! - 9.3/10
    05. Monsters Inc. - 9.5/10
    04. A Bugs Life - 9.6/10
    03. Toy Story 3 - 9.7/10
    02. Finding Nemo 9.8/10
    01. Toy Story 10/10

  • Kieren | July 16, 2013 12:34 AMReply

    Wall-E, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo are amongst my favourites.
    I never liked Ratatouille, it didn't feel 'Pixar' like. The Toy Story sequels didn't live up to my expectations; and I feel that the Incredibles could have been so much more.
    I always make a point on these lists, as they seem to never get it right, A Bugs Life is always, ALWAYS, underrated. It was a great film, and one of my favourites, if not my favourite, even more so than the ones I listed above. It seems it's the Pixar movie everyone but me has forgotten about.

  • Kieren | July 16, 2013 12:33 AMReply

    Wall-E, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo are amongst my favourites.
    I never liked Ratatouille, it didn't feel 'Pixar' like. The Toy Story sequels didn't live up to my expectations; and I feel that the Incredibles could have been so much more.
    I always make a point on these lists, as they seem to never get it right, A Bugs Life is always, ALWAYS, underrated. It was a great film, and one of my favourites, if not my favourite, even more so than the ones I listed above. It seems it's the Pixar movie everyone but me has forgotten about.

  • Kieren | July 16, 2013 12:33 AMReply

    Wall-E, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo are amongst my favourites.
    I never liked Ratatouille, it didn't feel 'Pixar' like. The Toy Story sequels didn't live up to my expectations; and I feel that the Incredibles could have been so much more.
    I always make a point on these lists, as they seem to never get it right, A Bugs Life is always, ALWAYS, underrated. It was a great film, and one of my favourites, if not my favourite, even more so than the ones I listed above. It seems it's the Pixar movie everyone but me has forgotten about.

  • Kieren | July 16, 2013 12:32 AMReply

    Wall-E, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo are amongst my favourites.
    I never liked Ratatouille, it didn't feel 'Pixar' like. The Toy Story sequels didn't live up to my expectations; and I feel that the Incredibles could have been so much more.
    I always make a point on these lists, as they seem to never get it right, A Bugs Life is always, ALWAYS, underrated. It was a great film, and one of my favourites, if not my favourite, even more so than the ones I listed above. It seems it's the Pixar movie everyone but me has forgotten about.

  • Hack Fraud | July 16, 2013 12:01 AMReply

    Despite being visually incredible like many of Pixar's films, Wall-E is by far their worst, not to say that it's a bad film, but to say that it wasn't enjoyable. The film kept hitting everyone over the head continuously with obvious social commentary that was horribly ignorant and unwarranted in a children's film, remember that this is not a Ridley Scott film. The Incredibles and many other Pixar films were able to successfully make subtle social commentary that didn't bog down the narrative so I'm wondering how Wall-E ruined it. It also did't help that most of the characters were underdeveloped, especially compared to Pixar standards; Wall-E's character literally has no arc other than the fact that he gets the girl in the end, something that's standard in far too many films already. This is further compounded by the fact that there are no stakes in the film, making it hard to care. In the climax Wall-E is fighting to save a ship full of selfish, ignorant, lazy, and horrible people who have done nothing to him but condemn him to an eternity of collecting their garbage. I feel like an alien, what world do I live in where people are enjoying this? Greatest animated movie of all time? No, the Incredibles is the greatest animated movie of all time.

  • Papa Osso | July 11, 2013 5:13 PMReply

    01-Monsters, Inc
    02-Toy Story 3
    04-The Incredibles
    05-Toy Story
    08-Toy Story 2
    10-Monsters U
    12-A Bug's Life
    14-Cars 2

  • DrAsawa | July 11, 2013 9:24 AMReply

    I'm not sure about UP, but The Incredibles and Ratatouille by far deserved the top spots. Wall-E, Toy Story 3, and Monsters inc. also were top 5 material.

  • Hiccup | July 11, 2013 9:20 AMReply

    I just want to add that part of Wall-E's amazing success is because of the ability and brilliance of music composer Thomas Newman to move the whole wordless beginning along. If you're going to mention how great Giacchino was for Up (and don't get me wrong, all of his work with Pixar has been legendary) you have to tip the hat to Newman's work with Pixar as well, and the way he has brought several of these stories to life sonically.

  • CJJJ | July 10, 2013 4:44 PMReply

    1. The Incredibles
    2. Toy Story 3
    3. Finding Nemo
    4. Wall-E
    5. Monsters Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story
    8. Toy Story 2
    9. Brave
    10. Cars
    11. Up (Would've been good as a short film. As a 2 hour feature though it was dull and stupid)
    12. A Bug's Life

    Haven't seen Monsters University or Cars 2 yet.

  • Priya | July 10, 2013 10:21 AMReply

    1. Toy Story - it's TOY STORY!
    2. Toy Story 3 - that scene at the end, when they're about to die.
    3. WALL-E - the space dance.
    4. Ratatouille - everything.
    5. Finding Nemo - Dory (funniest character they've created).
    6. Monster's Inc. - Sully and Boo.
    7. Toy Story 2 - Jessie's song.
    8. The Incredibles - when Bob tells his wife he's not strong enough to survive losing his family.
    9. Up - a grumpy main character that you can't help but love. And THAT scene.
    10. Monsters University - the best of the modern ones.
    11. Cars - didn't really like this.
    12. Brave - Merida is possibly the most annoying main character they've had. Great scenery.
    13. A Bug's Life - boring.
    14. Cars 2 - didn't even watch this one.

  • James Ernst | July 9, 2013 11:33 PMReply

    1. Toy Story
    2. The Incredibles
    3. Toy Story 2
    4. Cars
    5. Monsters Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story 3
    8. A Bug's Life
    9. UP
    10. Monsters University
    11. Brave
    12. Finding Nemo
    13. Cars 2
    14. Wall-E

  • James Ernst | July 9, 2013 11:33 PMReply

    1. Toy Story
    2. The Incredibles
    3. Toy Story 2
    4. Cars
    5. Monsters Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story 3
    8. A Bug's Life
    9. UP
    10. Monsters University
    11. Brave
    12. Finding Nemo
    13. Cars 2
    14. Wall-E

  • James Ernst | July 9, 2013 11:33 PMReply

    1. Toy Story
    2. The Incredibles
    3. Toy Story 2
    4. Cars
    5. Monsters Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story 3
    8. A Bug's Life
    9. UP
    10. Monsters University
    11. Brave
    12. Finding Nemo
    13. Cars 2
    14. Wall-E

  • James Ernst | July 9, 2013 11:32 PMReply

    1. Toy Story
    2. The Incredibles
    3. Toy Story 2
    4. Cars
    5. Monsters Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story 3
    8. A Bug's Life
    9. UP
    10. Monsters University
    11. Brave
    12. Finding Nemo
    13. Cars 2
    14. Wall-E

  • James Ernst | July 9, 2013 11:32 PMReply

    1. Toy Story
    2. The Incredibles
    3. Toy Story 2
    4. Cars
    5. Monsters Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Toy Story 3
    8. A Bug's Life
    9. UP
    10. Monsters University
    11. Brave
    12. Finding Nemo
    13. Cars 2
    14. Wall-E

  • Andy Peth | July 2, 2013 6:37 PMReply

    1. Nemo – Great performances by Brooks and DeGeneres, fun story, excellent pace
    2. Toy Story – Groundbreaking
    3. The Incredibles – Long-winded but spectacularly entertaining—I drop it because they could have shortened the scenes with the dad at work
    4. Cars – Excellent pacing and fun
    5. Toy Story 3 – Terrific, but the burning scene was misplaced in a kid flick—I mean, seriously…
    6. Up: Charming, paradigm-shifting for kids, but long
    7. Toy Story 2
    8. Ratatouille: Yes, I liked this more than most people did
    9. A Bug's Life
    10. Monsters, Inc.: Overrated, in my view
    11. Brave
    12. Cars 2: Truly awful on every level
    13. Wall-E: First time I’ve ever been too bored to mind a torrential downpour of preaching that much (okay, I minded)

  • Andy Peth | July 2, 2013 6:13 PMReply

    Wall-E was nonstop preaching; thoroughly boring. I don't know anyone--rightwing or leftwing--who actually enjoyed it. The lead character was a charmer, but this and Cars 2 were two horrifying episodes in the rightly vaunted history of Pixar. Because of them, I didn't even bother seeing Brave.

  • DChute | July 1, 2013 11:16 PMReply

    Great to see "Incredibles" at No. 1. Like almost everybody else, though, you missed the film's Libertarian moral underpinnings. It's almost a cartoon "Atlas Shrugged," railing against the supression of people with extraordinary abilities. "Saying everybody's special is the same as saying no-one is."

  • julie | July 1, 2013 11:45 AMReply


  • Karen | June 30, 2013 11:28 PMReply

    Walle had so much potential but ended up being the lamest lecture Pixar ever could have done considering all the crap Apple has contributed to the environmental damage to the earth. And UP was just plain stupid. They need to stop lecturing people and start entertaining them. I totally agree with the Incredibles. Loved that movie.

  • Aidan | June 29, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    Maybe I need to give Ratatouille another go (I feel it belongs much lower on the list), but The Incredibles is a big *yawn* for me. There is no way that it belongs higher than WALL-E, Up, or the Toy Story films. For that matter, I'd shove it down there in "Cars" territory. I didn't even think that it was Pixar, for some reason, and so I had an unpleasant shock at reading number one.

  • vembu | July 1, 2013 7:45 PM

    poor aidan

  • Jason | June 28, 2013 11:35 PMReply

    Loved this article. Well thought-out and articulated. I disagree with the order, but that's to be expected (I'm sure everyone has their own list). The top 10 or so of these movies are all so equally wonderful that there's no way to win.

    Finding Nemo definitely tops my list. Partially because of the influence it had on me, but I really do think it's an astounding movie. I still think the pacing is nearly flawless, but yeah I agree the fishing net extra climax at the end pushes it just a little long. Other than that it is a masterpiece, in my opinion. Along with Ratatouille and The Incredibles. Man. I need to watch these again.

  • Kyosuke | June 27, 2013 9:56 PMReply

    I don't see how films which have received much so much acclaim (Toy Story & Finding Nemo) can be ranked under such mediocre films

  • Andy Peth | July 2, 2013 6:19 PM

    Great point. Toy Story was groundbreaking, funny, nicely paced, and possessing of a perfect balance between character development and story progression. Ditto for Nemo.

    I liked Ratatouille more than most people, but I wouldn't consider putting it second--that ranking reeked of "I'm an arthouse guy judging kids movies.

    Wall-E was wretched, slow, incredibly preachy--I felt I was being punished for daring to buy a movie ticket. Thankfully, I only rented Cars 2--and made it 30 minutes in before pulling the plug and returning to my now-damaged life.

    This is an incredibly backward list; it's like an anti-list.

  • Lets be real | June 26, 2013 1:22 AMReply

    How is Ratatouille rank so high? No disrespect but seriously???? That should be near the bottom with Cars and reason why...I practically forgot that it was even Pixar. Heck, I forgot about that movie entirely. It was the least memorable of all the Pixar movies, no one even talks about that one no more. Toy Story 3 should be 1 or 2 and Finding Nemo should be like 3 and Up or Wall-e next.

  • fxjcjtms | June 25, 2013 7:27 PMReply

    How could a writer who knows how to spell things like 'aesthetic' and 'prognosticators' be unaware of the difference between 'principle' and principal'? Repeatedly.

  • Nicole Vacca | June 23, 2013 12:03 PMReply

    Monster House and Chicken Little would have been lowest ranking if they were Pixar films (they're not, though they're both still Disney). I don't see how The Incredibles is #1. The plot was a little messy and it didn't have as much heart as Monsters, Inc, and Toy Story 3 (arguably the best of the trilogy, in my opinion). At least Up was in the top 3.

  • welles80 | June 20, 2013 11:40 AMReply

    I've never understood the love for The Incrdibles, personally it does bugger all for me.

    Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Ratatouille, Up and WALL E are all exceptional films. Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo and Toy Story 2 are almost there but not quite.

    Brave, A Bug’s Life and The Incredibles have some pretty decent moments and are nowhere near “the worst” anything but in comparison to better Pixar they don't make the grade.

    Cars /Cars 2 are soulless crap.

  • brace | June 20, 2013 4:51 AMReply

    I liked Brave way more than Up - Pixar's worst in my opinion (haven't seen Cars 2)

  • krimzim | June 19, 2013 5:47 PMReply

    Hey man, I like your list.

  • Michael | June 19, 2013 5:47 PMReply

    Wow..toy story 1 must be in first position..
    It's a really bad ranking you've made in my opinion.

  • APRIL | July 11, 2013 8:58 PM

    Agreed. Toy Story 1 was the beginning of everything Pixar, in my eyes.

  • Roark | June 19, 2013 4:56 PMReply

    For me, Up and Wall-E have become rather overrated. Both fine films, but very conventional after their admittedly outstanding opening acts. Cars and Brave are rather underrated - sturdy classical storytelling with a lot going for them, but ultimately second tier Pixar, which makes them doomed to be forever slagged as disappointments.

    My top five would probably be Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, The Incredibles and Monsters Inc, but aside from Cars 2 there's no such thing as a genuinely bad or even mediocre Pixar movie. Even in decline, which they have been for a few years (Toy Story 3 excepted) they're still the closest guarantee of quality entertainment the studios have to offer.

  • Joel | June 19, 2013 4:52 PMReply

    For a guy who hates Pixar so much. You sure do write about them a lot.

  • Neil | June 19, 2013 4:40 PMReply

    1. Toy Story - How could it not be top? Just a brilliant, charming, inventive, complete movie
    2. Toy Story 3 - Just stunning, in many ways my favourite and that incinerator scene... My God
    3. Toy Story 2 - Excellent the way it moved the Toy's universe on
    4. Monsters Inc - Fun, warmth and character to spare
    5. Nemo - Visually stunning, decent storyline too
    6. Wall-E - First half great, second half, not so much
    7. Cars - Good fun. Could be my kid's love of it that's got it higher up the list than it should be
    8. The Incredibles - never really 'got' what people raved about with this. Was ok, but...
    9. Brave - Could've been great, but not as bad as people made out
    10. A Bug's Life - Mostly meh, but had its moments
    11. Up - One for the critics. Actually a really dull film
    12. Ratatouille - Missed its mark... Whatever it's mark was supposed to be
    13. Cars 2 - A blatant cash in
    14. Monsters U - haven't seen it so can't comment

  • Mike | June 19, 2013 4:37 PMReply

    Pretty Decent List.

  • Toomaui | June 19, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    Wow, am surprised how much of this list I disagree with.
    I’m with you on the Incredibles, but after that, I’m not so sure. I don’t rate Ratatouille at all – would see it as one of the worst. Not funny, twee, sentimental and didactic.
    My top five would be something like:
    1. The Incredibles
    2. Finding Nemo
    3. Toy Story 2
    4. Up
    5. Toy Story
    Then again, I’m not particularly a Pixar fanatic. I still miss hand-drawn animation... C'est la vie

  • Nathan Duke | June 19, 2013 3:38 PMReply

    All in all, not a bad list, although I don't really agree with the ranking of the top five.

    I'd go: 5. Toy Story 4. Finding Nemo 3. Ratatouille 2. Up 1. Wall-E

  • starway2001 | June 19, 2013 3:23 PMReply

    My son's favorite Pixar movies are in the reverse order of this list (with the exception of Incredibles being much higher). I'm supposing our tastes are not as sophisticated as the author's.

  • DJ | June 20, 2013 4:51 PM

    @Caleb -- I bet that you as a kid knew a heckuva lot more about what makes a movie, and story, great on an instinctive level than you as an adult.

  • Caleb | June 19, 2013 3:50 PM

    Well your kids' tastes certainly are not! Just because I loved the shit out of Hook as a child doesn't oblige me to rank it among the finest of Steven Spielberg's movies.

    Grow some thicker skin and watch one of Pixar's worst.

  • James | June 19, 2013 3:13 PMReply

    Great article! I only have one question... I can't quite follow this portion of the Ratatouille segment: "it was going to be the first film released outside of its distribution pact with Disney (which explains its international setting)." The film was released normally by Disney both in the US and overseas, Pixar didn't release it on their own as the wording seems to suggest.

  • semaj | June 19, 2013 5:48 PM

    was going to be

  • Captain Celluloid | June 19, 2013 3:04 PMReply

    I would suggest that your premise, or at least your headline, is misleading at best and flawed at worst.

    The are no WORST Pixar films . . . . there are some that are not as wonderful as

    My issue is not with your ranking the films.
    My strong issue is your use of the use of the word WORST which strongly implies that some are TOTALLY AND WITHOUT ANY MERIT BAD and that is not the case with Pixar films . . . .
    Pixar in particular and with most films in general.

    If I were your editor I would write "headline editorializes story in a negative spin; allow reader to draw their own conclusions. Is this a story or an opinion piece. Label clearly if it it is opinion of the writer" I would also note that FROM BAD TO WORST LISTS and TOP TEN WORST MOVIES EVER LISTS are weak ideas in general.


  • yod | June 20, 2013 12:02 AM

    "The are no WORST Pixar films . . . . there are some that are not as wonderful as

    Get a dictionary, idiot. What else could Best to Worst possibly mean?

  • yer | June 19, 2013 4:06 PM

    Cars 2 is fucking awful.

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