With the release of ‘Inside Out’ and ‘The Good Dinosaur’, now seems an appropriate time to rank the films by Pixar. Pixar are geniuses when they come to animation and are yet to make a bad film – even the worst film on this list is still decent by animation standards, it’s just a let-down when compared to what Pixar can achieve.
16) The Good Dinosaur
Pixar’s most recent offering is very disjointed and a tonal jumble but as a film in its own right, it’s decent. The story is all over the place and whilst individual set pieces work, as a whole the film doesn’t quite gel together. That said, the animation here is stunning and there are many sweeping panoramic shots of landscapes that are stunning to behold. (Review here)
15) A Bug’s Life
Pixar’s second film couldn’t quite match their debut, but ‘A Bug’s Life’ is still good fun even if it doesn’t pack the emotional punch that we have come to expect from Pixar. It all feels a little too simplistic and it’s not particularly memorable. Unfortunately, it has too many parallels to DreamWorks ‘Antz’ which came out shortly beforehand.
Although it’s a disjointed film and is second-rate Pixar all the way,’Brave’ still has its moments with its relatable characters and simplistic, easy to follow story.
This would normally feature right at the top of many people’s lists, but it’s nowhere near as good as it’s made out to be. There are many dull moments in ‘Wall-E’ and its pacing is uneven, but when the film gets into its rhythm, it’s fabulous.
John Lasseter’s pet project isn’t one of Pixar’s best, but it’s still a satisfying film and good fun. As well as its sequel, the race sequences are wonderfully realised and are exhilarating to watch.
There is now a big step-up in quality…
11) Toy Story
The first ever Pixar film was an incredible debut and it has laid the foundations for sequels that are even better than this original outing. The script is outstanding.
10) Monsters University
Although the sequel to ‘Monsters Inc’ wasn’t quite as refined as its predecessor and had a wobbly first act, it managed to redeem itself half-way through and storms to the end and packs an emotional punch.
9) Finding Nemo
A very memorable and quotable entry to the Pixar canon, ‘Finding Nemo’ is an emotional journey and the characters are wonderfully developed. It doesn’t rank quite as highly as its pacing is a little uneven at times.
8) Cars 2
Many critics and audiences alike aggressively disliked this film, but I thought it was even better than the original. It’s better paced and has an interesting story. It’s barrels of fun.
7) Inside Out
Pete Docter’s most recent film out of three, although this is his worst one, it is still near-perfect. ‘Inside Out’ is extremely original and has a wonderful script but the reason it cannot quite rank as high is because the story is a little too conventional and predictable in parts. (Review here)
Brad Bird’s first of two offerings for Pixar, ‘Ratatouille’ is a tale of how anyone can do anything they want and it’s an uplifting, satisfying and mouth-watering journey of a film. It’s more mature than a lot of other Pixar films which is for the better and elevates the film.
5) Toy Story 2
The sequel that nearly ended up being a disaster, Lasseter decided to release it in cinemas as opposed to straight-to-DVD and it ended up being even better than the original. It’s better paced and features a terrific climax with the characters.
And now for the best of the bunch…
4) Toy Story 3
The 3rd ‘Toy Story’ ended up being the best one and what elevated it from the other two was its emotional heart. It is paced perfectly and the spirit that was present in the first two films lives on here. I just hope they don’t botch up the planned 4th instalment – please, Pixar, leave this perfect trilogy as it is.
3) Monsters Inc
Into the top three, Pete Docter’s first of three offerings, ‘Monsters Inc’ is hilarious and has memorable characters and is very emotional at times. The combination of John Goodman and Billy Crystal is a match made in heaven and the two bounce off each other extremely well.
2) The Incredibles
A close second, ‘The Incredibles’ is better than most superhero films out there and it has a very warm heart. Its superheroes are very relatable and the film is expertly paced. The perfect superhero film.
And the best Pixar film is…
The best Pixar film undisputedly, ‘Up’ is an emotional roller coaster yet hilarious at times and and it has a tremendous heart. The first five minutes is perhaps the best opening to a film in history. It’s an extremely memorable and quotable film and it’s just wonderful to watch. A perfect film.
So what does the future hold for Pixar?
‘Finding Dory’, a sequel to ‘Finding Nemo’ is scheduled for June 2016 and ‘Coco’, an original Pixar film directed by Lee Unkrich behind ‘Toy Story 3’ is scheduled for November 2017. ‘Cars 3’, ‘The Incredibles 2’ and ‘Toy Story 4’ are also in development.