The Top Ten Pixar Movies

With the release of “Brave” this last weekend, Pixar Animation Studios has now released 13 animated films, and each of them have opened at #1 at the box office. A full six of them – almost half of their releases – have won the Academy Award for Best animated Feature, a feat that’s EXTRA impressive considering that 3 of the 13 were released prior to the category being added to the Oscars.

With a pedigree like that, there’s plenty of quality films to round out a top ten list. In fact, almost all of them would be worthy of inclusion. Let’s take a look at how the rankings shake out though shall, we? Click “Continue Reading” to check out my list of the Top Ten Pixar Movies.


10) “Brave” 2012

Pixar’s entry into the “Princess” sub-genre. “Brave” ‘s Merida is head strong, opinionated and independent. When she’s offered in marriage to the sons of the clans of the kingdom, she runs off in search of a way to change her fate.

Though she faces challenges that feel like familiar ground, Merida is still a memorable character, and the movie is gorgeous, funny and full of genuine heart. _______________________________________________________________________________

9) Toy Story 2 (1999)

A more than worthy sequel to the original. “Toy Story 2” continues the adventures of Woody, Buzz and the rest of Andy’s toys, while adding in newcomers to the fold in Jesse and Woody’s horse, Bullseye.

It’s a great animated action/adventure movie with tons of laughs and lots of soul. It may get a little lost between the greatness of chapters 1 and 3, but this is a fantastic movie as well. ______________________________________________________________________________

8) “Ratatouille” (2007)

The story of a Parisian rat who wishes to be a chef, and finds his way to doing so by developing a puppeteer-esque relationship with a busboy, who does the cooking as his proxy.

It’s a story about the power of chasing your dreams, the drive to create, and the power of believing in yourself. If a rat can become a top-chef, what else is possible? Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


7) “Monster’s Inc” (2001)

Characters don’t get more creative or colorful than this. Mike Wazowski and “Sully” Sullivan are blue-collar workers, just doing a job. Populating kids nightmares by being the monsters in the closet. Of course, when things go “wrong”, they find themselves opening their hearts.

Unique, original, inspired, emotional, funny… there’s an enormous amount of positive superlatives that can be brought in to play here. “Monsters, Inc.” deserves ’em all. ____________________________________________________________________________________

6) “The Incredibles” (2004)

Pixar’s take on the Superhero genre, except that it’s really an examination of the family dynamic. The Incredibles fight together, but more importantly they fight FOR each other. Along the way, each of them learns their own true value within the unit, and within the family.

Action packed and family friendly, “The Incredibles” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


5) “Finding Nemo” (2003)

A “lost child” is a fear all parents can relate to… even if it’s a fish. “Finding Nemo” took this primal story and set it under the sea, which gave them the opportunity to use fanciful aquatic characters and a gorgeous underwater setting.

Massive sharks, stoner turtles, forgetful friends, and a slightly crazy menagerie of fish tank dwellers make “Finding Nemo” a remarkable movie. Winner of Best Animated Feature.


4) “Toy Story 3” (2010)

The incredible conclusion (for now) of the “Toy Story” saga. A jail break film parody for most of its runtime, “Toy Story 3” shifts gears at the end and delivers a poignant moment about childhood attachments, and growing up.

“Toy Story 3” parlays the character attachments built in the first two films into an incredibly emotional ending for the trilogy. Best Animated Feature winner.


3) “Up” (2009)

A truly rare gem of the animated genre, “Up” focuses on a geriatric protagonist and focuses not only on his quest, but on how his outlook on life changes.

It’s got all of the humor, action and cute characters you’d expect from a kid’s movie, but it also has a message about living life with an open heart regardless of how old you are. An exceptional movie in every way. Winner of the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, also nominated for Best Picture.


2) “Wall*E” (2008)

A bold, unique movie that features long stretches with little or no dialogue, and characters that communicate via body language. In addition to creating sweet, robotic characters, Pixar gets to explore the beauty of space.

Strong environmental overtones, but at its heart it’s about finding love, no matter what you are. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


1) “Toy Story” (1995)

Earning massive credit for being a pioneering, influential film in the realm of computer animation, and launching not only a great franchise, but a great Studio – “Toy Story” is still my number one.

With an incredible voice cast, loveable characters, and a great original song by Randy Newman, “Toy Story” is a legendary movie. It changed the very fabric of animation in movies, while also giving us the unforgettable duo of Woody and Buzz Lightyear. “To infinity… and beyond!”


Well, there you have it everyone.

My ranking of the ten best Pixar movies.

What do YOU think? Wish you could shuffle the order? Miffed that “Cars” didn’t make the cut? Feel that “Toy Story 3” is better than “Toy Story”? Let me hear it! 😀

What do YOU think?


148 thoughts on “The Top Ten Pixar Movies

  1. I’m kind of disappointed to see all the Cars hate. I won’t try and defend Cars 2 that much, but I really enjoyed the first Cars, it still has all the typical Pixar heart to it, and it really did justice to the small town, Route 66, and NASCAR. Maybe you just have to connect to those things, I’m not a fan of NASCAR myself, but my dad is, and we went on road trips along Route 66 nearly every year. So for me, it totally worked and I think it would be on my top 10, maybe around #7ish.

    I think the question you’re really asking is “What 2 Pixar movies would you leave off a top 10 list, because I’m assuming no one’s putting Cars 2 up there?” I think I’d leave off A Bug’s Life and Ratatouille, both good movies, I just like the other 10 better.

    • There’s an argument to be made That this is an exercise in asking “What 2 Pixar movies would you leave off a top 10 list”, but there’s also the ranking/prioritzing element. It’s bringing a lot of interesting points to the fore…

      I had no idea there was any kind of Wall-E dissention out there whatsoever, for example. I thought it was universally loved.

      Meanwhile, I dont hate Cars, although somewhere or somehow I must be coming off that way – or maybe the comments are. I just dont think its as good as the other ten. Maybe it could beat out Brave, but that’s the only one I could see…

      If anything I think a lot of people have MENTIONED Cars being excluded today. That movie got a lot of support. 😀

      • I just skimmed over the previous comments, but any time I saw Cars mentioned, they were agreeing that it should have been left off the list. So I was referring to the comments rather than your list. Going back through now I do see some slight Cars love, though it’s still never going to crack a top 5 list.

      • Like I was just trading with Jason – who’s very passionate about the Cars love… this is a tough group. 10 Strong movies! Good grief, its a murderer’s row!

  2. Confession time… I haven’t actually seen most Pixar movies. Somehow they were always out at the wrong time for me to catch them in theatres (for example, my car just broke down), they seldom turn up on TV, and I just haven’t gotten around to picking them up on DVD. So my list is… rather short. If it’s not on here, you can assume I haven’t seen it.

    4. Ratatouille
    3. The Incredibles
    2. Toy Story
    1. Monsters Inc.

      • I liked the characters of Mike and Sully more than I liked Woody and Buzz — which is not to say I didn’t like Woody and Buzz, because I did, but I connected more with Mike and Sully. The film also had more of a “fun romp” feel to it, really exploring the world of the Monsters.

        Also, while Toy Story was the first computer-animated feature, I was familiar with 3D rendering before then, including rendered animation (the TV series ReBoot, for example.) Toy Story is big and important, of course, but on a technical level, Monsters Inc. was a big, big step up from their previous work, while Toy Story was notable more for length than for an increase in technical quality.

  3. Nice. I’m happy to see Toy Story as #1. Between that trilogy and Wall-E, those are the only Pixar movies I have really enjoyed. We’ll see if Brave can change that trend this weekend…

      • I haven’t seen all of them, but yeah, I’m just not a big fan of “family-friendly” animated films. I loved the first ten minutes of Up, but didn’t like the direction it took after that point. And I *hated* Finding Nemo when it came out.

        Maybe my tastes have changed since then. I’m willing to give some of them another shot at some point.

  4. Now I see what you meant by your comment Fogs, lol I thought you might have talked about Pixar in your podcast. I like your list other than I would have to remove Finding Nemo for the reasons mentioned in my post today. 😉

    • Yeah, I had to laugh when I saw that we both posted Pixar topics today. LOL.

      Its funny to see what everyone really thinks on these. PG isnt a Nemo fan either, although I’m sure you would like it more if you hadnt gotten “toddler tortured” by it. 🙂

  5. I’d have to go Incredibles as top. It wasn’t just a great Pixar film but a brilliant superhero film. I’d much rather see a decent sequel to The Incredibles than the new Spiderman reboot to be honest.

    • You know? I’d agree with that – wanting to see Incredibles 2 over new Spidey. LOL That’s really, really true. New Spidey in T Minus two weeks and counting. Excitement? Next to nothing. Incredibles 2? I’d be stoked!

      So yeah…

      It was a tough list for me Ben, because they’re all so awesome, really. Having Incredibles at 6 shouldnt be taken as me not loving the crap out of it, in any way. LOL

  6. Wall E is my favorite followed closely by Nemo/Up. I think Rat is truly underrated and does better on repeat viewings, i think it is a beautiful film

    • You know, Kloipy… on Ratatouille, I havent seen it since it hit DVD so I should revisit.

      I agree, I like it a lot. I just cant envision moving it up that list for me. It’s pretty tight up there!

      • I wouldnt even say that, I think it IS top tier, its just that Pixar’s top tier is like 8 or 9 movies deep now. This list is absolutely loaded. Their filmography is absolutely ridiculous.

  7. Please don’t hate me, but I really, really don’t like WALL-E. I thought your list was great, except I would remove WALL-E, move everything up one spot (keep in mind I haven’t seen Brave yet) & I would put Cars in 10 & switch Toy Story 2 & 3. I’m really sorry about WALL-E, although there are cute moments, the lack of dialogue for this movie just misses the mark for me.

    • Little gunshy on the Wall E bashing? Have people been giving you a lot of backlash on that or something?

      I wouldnt hate you, cmon now. 😀

      I cant agree, I mean, I cant on that really. But it’s ok. I understand… I guess LOL 😀

    • I’m seriously surprised that more people haven’t been calling that out Dave.

      I thought that was going to be today’s battle relating to this, I definitely did. Not getting as much heat for having it at 4 as I thought, though, definitely.

  8. This is tough!! Like I said to the Guys–NOOOO! It’s like picking your favorite m&m color! 😀

    I rank my list by the ones that resonated with me more deeply for various reasons:

    1. Wall-E –(One of the best Sci-fi films period.)
    2. Ratatouille –(I am foodie and this film speaks to me. Beautifully directed.)
    3. UP! –(The first 20 minutes are brilliant.)
    4. The Incredibles –(One of the best superhero films period.)
    5-6-7. Toy Story trilogy–yes, as a whole! It is one of the best, satisfying trilogy in the history of film–animated or not. Hard for me to separate.
    8. Monsters, Inc –(Creative and hilarious.)
    9. Finding Nemo –(I am a mom. I get it.)
    10. Brave –(Gorgeous and not what I expected…in a good way!)

    • LOL [Bridge Keeper] What is your favorite color?? [/Bridge Keeper]

      Sorry, still got “Holy Grail” on the brain.

      I understand, seriously I do. The good thing though is that on this one its almost a no lose. There’s so many awesome ones, whatever the top pick was would have its supporters.

      I’m not going to give you grief about not choosing between the Toy Stories, but down the road I definitely think I’m starting a poll and making people have to choose! 😀

      • LMAO!! Holy Grail! That was perfect without even trying…

        Yes…yes…I see a debate topic in the horizon.

        But I seriously feel like the Toy Story films build on each other. TS2 wouldn’t be as good without TS1 and definitely TS3 would not have the emotional punch it has if not for the other two. See? (My dizzying intellect at work…) 😀

  9. I pretty much agree with your list. I haven’t seen Brave yet, but it looks like a blast. Come on, strong female lead, I’m super supportive.

    I would’ve put Monsters, Inc. a little higher on my list, but you pretty much hit the nail on the coffin. Why am I talking about coffins….how terrible.

  10. So I’m not sure how much parsing is left on a top ten (out of a possible 13) list, but here’s my two bits…
    1. I just think Cars belongs there. Beyond the emotional connection ( I think I have mentioned previously, my first full movie at the theater with my son), it is the classic Pixar movie in that is entertaining for kids with just enough “inside jokes” for the grown, for example, George Carlin and as the VW microbus with the marijuana references. Beyond that you got Paul Newman….oh yeah, did I mention Paul Newman was in it….
    2. Totally my opinion here, but Toy Story 3 was the best of the bunch…back to that Pixar mode of inside jokes for the grown ups…it was just such a surprisingly enjoyable and at times laugh out loud (hysterically) funny movie…

    • Ok, Now Toy Story 3 is starting to get the props it deserves. LOL. I expected people to be pushing that all day long.

      Cars is the big story of the day though. The omission has drawn a LOT of controversy. LOL Personally, even if I put it on, it would be like last spot at best, I think its arguable that it could replace brave, but I cant push out… Ratatouille or Toy Story 2 or The Incredibles or Monsters Inc for it… I cant. Those are all way better, to me.

      I guess I underestimated people’s love for it, I will admit. It’s got some staunch support out there. LOL

  11. Definitely agree with Wall E and Up being high on the list… but Ratatouille needs to be higher! That movie made me cry!

    And ironically, I don’t find The Incredibles to be THAT good despite being a fan of superheroes… I might have to check that movie out again

    • Yeah, definitely. Cause it was pretty solid. Lots of fun, a good family movie (as in movie about a family) and some great action. Definitely check it out again if you havent latched on to it!

  12. Awesome list. For me the winner is Wall-E. I like Toy Story, sure, but Wall-E was just so unique – there was barely any dialogue and the story was incredibly engaging, lovely, moving and funny. I really need to see Ratatouille this weekend, though I’m scared of rats 🙂

    • LOL. Well… this Rat is the cute and cuddly variety. And he can cook. That will probably help I bet, no? LOL

      And I hear you on Wall E… Very cool movie, very very cool. I like it a lot. 😀

  13. Without overthinking it (I’m terrible at top *anything* lists)…Also, I haven’t seen Brave yet

    10. Cars
    9. Finding Nemo
    8. A Bug’s Life
    7. Monster’s Inc.
    6. Ratatouille
    5. Wall-E
    4. Toy Story 2
    3. Incredibles
    2. Toy Story
    1. Up

    Ask me again tomorrow and I’m sure my list will be different

    • LOL. It’s not as easy as it seems at first glance. 😀

      Toy Story 3 – oversight or omission?

      Other than that, I continue to be pleased with how well “The Incredibles” fares amongst visitors these past few days, that movie is great.

      Thanks for tossing your two cents in Andy!!

      • Omission…But the only reason Cars made my list in Toy Story 3’s stead was because I was fine with Toy Story 2 being the end of the story.

        The Incredibles is one of those films that I think I could just watch any day. I couldn’t say the same for Up or even Wall-E.

  14. My favs are the Toy Story series, and I really was entertained by Monsters Inc. Have not seen Up, Ratatouille, or Brave, Really liked Wall-E, before we see humans in the story, you almost forget it’s animated. I guess my list is as follows:
    1 Toy Story
    2 Monsters Inc.
    3 Toy Story 3
    4 Toy Story 2
    5 The Incredibles
    6 Wall-E
    7 Finding Nemo
    8 Cars
    9 A Bug’s Life

    I can’t put Cars 2 in the list because I really didn’t enjoy it and I am sure the one’s I haven’t seen will move up in the list.

    • BIG Toy Story fan! Boom!

      “Up” is a major recommendation. I believe you would enjoy it immensely. Brave and Rataouille are certainly worth your time too if you get a chance.

      Dont sweat not having Cars 2 on your list. LOL. I… wouldnt support it cracking anyone’s list, even if they couldnt fill out a roster of ten. LOL!! 😀

  15. Pingback: Brave is gorgeously told fairy tale! And the short La Luna is amazing! « nediunedited

  16. Agree with your #1 and #2 picks Fogs!! I’m not that crazy about UP though, so probably won’t be in my top 5. Glad to see BRAVE made the list.

    • I think its more a fact of I havent SEEN a Bugs Life in so long. Its easily ben ten years.

      So I should revisit. Definitely. But from what I do recall I think it’d have a lot of trouble beating out anything but “Brave”

      Meanwhile, damn, man, I cant believe all the crap Wall*E is taking today! What’s up? Et Tu Brute? LOL I thought people LOVED that movie. But its getting a little beat up! No love for the droid, T, cmon man… that movie is SWEET!!

      • LOL at the Caesar cry of treason!

        Yeah…Wall-E was “cute”…sure. But it remained rather hum/drum and boring. Didn’t enjoy the whole social messages and whatnot. I just wanted to enjoy a cartoon.

        It just didn’t do it for me for several small reasons that amounted to a big “no thank you.”

      • Hmm.

        Hard to be dismissive of your opinions when I know you just saw the Tumbler…. LOL. I want to be like “Bah! Blasphemy!” but then I’m like, “Damn, it’s T, he’s too cool”


      • hahahahahaha! *takes bow!

        Seeing the Tumbler was pretty sweet man! Glad I got to share it. Not sure it makes ME cool, but it sure was a cool highlight of my day! But if that gives me an extra leg to stand on in my anti-love for the droid, then I’ll take it!

  17. Hmmm… no one’s going to have the same top 10, but here’s mine:

    1. Up – Probably the best scored of all Pixar movies, and the one that genuinely made me cry (when Carl is flipping through the scrapbook). It was really personal, too, as my wife and I are in a similar situation regarding childbirth. What can I say? This movie really spoke to us.
    2. Cars – The one that everyone sees to bag is my second favorite Pixar movie! I’m an engineer, so I love all the car humor. Plus, I love to explore America’s back roads, so I loved the setting, too. It’s weird how different Pixar movies can speak to different people.
    3. Toy Story 2 – It’s all about Stinky Pete. And that great scene where Mr. Potatohead loses all his parts.
    4. Incredibles – A better Fantastic 4 movie than Fantastic 4.
    5. Toy Story 3 – “No one appreciates clothes here, Barbie! No one.” Also, Mr. Tortilla-head. He’s the secret MVP of Toy Story movies.
    6. Finding Nemo – Probably the best use of minimalistic visuals in a Pixar movie.
    7. Wall-E – It’s amazing how much of this was basically a silent movie.
    8. Monsters, Inc. – The scenes with the hundreds of doors remains a great visual.
    9. Ratatouille – I think someone summed it up best when they mentioned that, if you replace Remy with a lower-class immigrant who can’t speak French instead of a rat, you’d have a pretty solid indie movie.
    10. Toy Story – Weird how I ranked it so low, but the franchise really never caught on with me until the second movie. Still, it gets points for being the first CGI animated movie.

    • Nice.

      You’re right, no one is going to have the same top ten, but I know through this debate I’m learning a LOT about how people think about the Pixar movies.

      Toy Story 2 is NOT the forgotten Toy Story film. People love that one. Surprising amount of support this week. Crazy.

      Cars remains Pixar’s most devisive movie. Some hate it, some love it.

      IS Wall-E overrated? I continue to be shocked at how low people have it ranked. I thought a lot of people would be giving me grief over not having it 1. Nope. LOL

      Thanks for adding your voice to the discussion Santo. This has been an enlightening week for me in regards to these movies. No doubt.

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