The recent influx of live-action remakes of animated films has helped to increase my appreciation for the art form, I just keep my fingers crossed that they leave Pixar’s movies well and truly alone. As a way to show my appreciation of the skill and talent that goes into making an animated movie, I wanted to share with you my top ten Pixar films.
10. Wall-E (2008)
The battle for the final spot in my top ten was a tough one, with Toy Story 1, Monsters University and Coco just missing out but the honour of the placing goes to the cute lil ‘bot, Wall-E, who is a waste collecting robot tasked with making the planet habitable again after the human race have ravaged it to the brink of total destruction.
After hundreds of years on Earth, WALL-E has developed a personality of his own and he collects trinkets and curiosities as he goes about his working day. One of his discoveries, a living plant, leads him on a journey of love and adventure across the galaxy, and gives mankind a chance at returning home.
Although Wall-E addresses many substantial and heavy-hitting issues such as consumerism, obseity, artificial intelligence and environmental neglect, at it’s heart it is a joyous and light hearted love story that features some absolutely stunning animated sequences.
9. Ratatouille (2007)
Remy loves food, and he loves to cook, he even dreams of becoming a chef one day, like his idol Chef Gusteau but his family don’t understand or support his passion and they definitely don’t take him seriously. When his family are forced from their home, Remy finds himself on the streets of Paris, in the shadow of his idol’s restaurant, his dream is within sniffing distance; the only trouble is, Remy is a rat.
Now it might be because I love my food but I have always liked Ratatouille although it does tend to make me hungry every time I watch it. It is an amazingly fun movie that teaches us about family, staying true to yourself and to reach for our dreams no matter how unattainable they may seem.
8. Up (2009)
Carl and Ellie Fredricksen have talked about visiting Paradise Falls since they were children, but unfortunately life kept getting in the way (something I’m sure we can all relate too), and eventually time runs out and Ellie dies. Determined to save himself from being sent to a retirement home, and to keep his promise to Ellie, Carl ties thousands of balloons to his house and floats off to find Paradise Falls. Young ‘Wilderness Explorer’ Russell, finds himself as an accidental stowaway and joins Carl on his adventure.
I always knew Up would make it into my top ten but I struggled with where to place it. The first 15 minutes or so, which has the feel of a Pixar Short, would be at least top three, in fact it would in all honesty probably take the top spot. However, when I consider the film as a whole, it unfortunately drops way down into eighth place.
7. Finding Dory (2016)
A year after the events of Finding Nemo, the ever-so-forgetful Regal Tang, Dory, has a flashback about her parents and with the help of Marlin and Nemo, sets of on an adventure to find them.
I am sure I am not alone in this but Dory was my favourite character from Finding Nemo so when I heard they were doing a Dory-centric sequel/prequel I was pretty pleased, if not a little apprehensive. Thankfully, Pixar delivered the goods once again, with a story full of heart that answered so many questions about Dory that we didn’t know we had.
Toy Story 4; the unnecessary sequel that nobody wanted… but it still managed to make it into my top ten. The fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise follows on from the events of TS3 whilst also addressing the disappearance of Woody’s love interest, Bo Peep. It manages to simultaneously support the previous three installments and work as a standalone film in its own right.
5. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Andy is all grown up and is preparing to leave for college, which includes sorting out his old toys. Like many of us it seems that Andy can’t quite let go of his childhood friends and bags them up to go into storage in the attic but a mix up causes them to wind up as donations at a day-care. Unfortunately, the children do not play nice so Woody and the gang prepare for a great escape.
A perfect trilogy is hard to come by but Pixar achieved it here, with Toy Story 3 offering a perfectly poignant and emotional end to Andy’s journey, honestly I was in tears at several different points throughout its relatively short run time.
4. Monsters Inc (2001)
With Monsters Inc, Pixar have taken a typical childhood fear, the monster in the closet, and turned it into a magical adventure. Mike and Sully work on the scare floor at Monsters Incorporated, an energy company that harnesses the powers of children’s screams. When a young child, Boo, manages to cross over from our world into theirs, panic and chaos ensues. Our dynamic duo soon discover that a more sinister plot is at hand, and fight against their own to protect the innocence of the same human children that they scare each night.
3. Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo tells the story of overprotective father, Marlin, and his journey across the ocean to find his son, Nemo, who has been abducted by scuba divers. Along the way, Marlin meets a whole host of creatures, including one very forgetful, very special regal blue tang, Dory.
Before I met Mark, I was not the biggest fan of animation and Finding Nemo was one of the few animated films that I had both watched and truly enjoyed, which is why it takes my number three spot. In a way, Finding Nemo is a coming of age story that very subtly addresses issues such as bereavement, disability and mental health.
2. Inside Out (2015)
The human mind is a complex, ever evolving machine but with Inside Out Pixar have managed to simplify the complexity without undermining its scope, in yet another stunningly animated feature set to a beautiful soundtrack. The film follows young Riley, her family and her emotions as they move from her childhood home to San Francisco and learn to navigate a new city, new home and new school.
Now Inside Out may have just missed out on the top spot but it does feature, arguably, my absolute favourite animated character – Sadness. Not only is she utterly adorable but her prominance throughout helps children, and adults, to realise that it is okay to feel and show, not just sadness but all emotions.
The fight for first place was even closer than the battle for tenth, I must’ve changed my mind about a hundred times whilst I was preparing this post but my mind is now made up and my favourite Pixar film is……..
1. Brave (2012)
Brave is perhaps one of Pixar’s most underrated and under appreciated films so I am glad to be able to show it a little love. Its free-spirited heroine Merida is a Scottish princess who just wants to carve her own path in life but age-old traditions, and her mother, The Queen, are standing in her way. Determined to live her destiny Merida seeks help from a witch, but the spell does not work the way she wanted to and she must find a way to put things right.
If was quite a difficult task to narrow down my top ten Pixar films, as they have delivered pure gold so many times, and I know that they hold a special place in many people’s hearts so I would love to hear how your favourites differ from mine.
If you liked this post, don’t forget to check out my Top Ten Pixar Shorts.