20. Cars 2 (2011). If you were disappointed after watching the first Cars movie, well hold on to your hat because the sequel is a lot worse. How bad? It has the distinction of being Pixar’s only “rotten” movie on Rotten Tomatoes, with 38 per cent. Does it deserve it though? Yes, for the most part. I found the film to be funnier than the first, but mostly for how silly it is. IMDB: 6.2/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 38%.
19. Cars (2006). It’s hard to understand how Pixar could sanction a film like Cars. It’s not a bad movie, but my main gripe is that it doesn’t know what the rules of its own world are. There are far too many questions and not enough answers. IMDB: 7.1/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%.
18. Cars 3 (2017). Making a third Cars movie was a risk, seeing as the first two weren’t exactly celebrated. The third was made to be grittier and more focused on racing than the goofiness of the second in particular. An improvement on the first two, but it still falters. IMDB: 6.8/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 70%.
17. The Good Dinosaur (2015). While cute and heartwarming, this film is, unfortunately, forgettable. It’s worth watching with the children at least once, but you won’t be asked to buy the DVD or Blu-Ray any time soon. IMDB: 6.7/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%.
16. A Bug's Life (1998).Many might be surprised to learn that this Pixar film about bugs battling for survival is a loose adaptation of the 1954 Japanese epic Seven Samurai, which was written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. This, to me, is the most fascinating fact about the film, mostly because I loved it when I first watched it as a child, and grew to appreciate it a lot more when I found out its story origins. It’s only Pixar’s second film, but the studio was already making strides in animation quality. IMDB: 7.2/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%.
15. Finding Dory (2016).Much like Monsters, Inc and its prequel, Finding Nemo had a growing fan base that was clamouring for a sequel. Basing the second film in the series around the beloved character Dory was a very smart move on behalf of Pixar, and fans were not disappointed. The film took us into various ocean locations once again, where we met a trove of new characters that will be loved for generations. IMDB: 7.3/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%.
14. Brave (2012). This is Pixar’s first and so far only princess-led movie. The beautiful Scottish music, colourful visuals of the woods and lively characters make it an enjoyable experience. But none of the above is a match for Merida’s chaotic red curls, which set the tone for the journey she embarks on with her mother in an attempt to reconcile their differences in opinion. IMDB: 7.1/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%.
13. Monsters University (2013). This Monsters, Inc prequel was highly anticipated. While nowhere near as good as Monsters, Inc, the film was fun. Seeing the characters we’ve come to love and how they became friends in their college days was a change to the usual output from Pixar. IMDB: 7.3/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%.
12. Incredibles 2 (2018). Although it was almost an updated version of the first The Incredibles, the sequel still hits older fans with a heavy dose of nostalgia and hooks new and younger viewers with an exciting story. The movie picks up right where the first one ended and dives straight into action. There’s more focus on the evolving superpowers of the children, especially Jack-Jack’s, which creates a lot of opportunities for funny and touching scenes. IMDB: 7.7/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%.
11. Up (2009). Up is the first animated film to have opened a Cannes Film Festival. The movie follows the adventures of a cranky, yet highly motivated, old man and an overexcited child through, or should I say above, the Venezuelan forest. While the film is a bittersweet tearjerker at times, it doesn’t fail to offer hilarity throughout. IMDB: 8.2/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%.
10. WALL-E (2008). For a studio that is famous for its witty characters with too many quotable lines to count, this movie comes as a very pleasant surprise. Wall-E succeeds in attracting audiences of all ages because of the lack of speaking characters. Instead, it is the titular character’s adorable personality, and the focus on the abandoned planet-turned-dumpster location, that speaks volumes and makes this film a Pixar gem. IMDB: 8.4/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
9. Finding Nemo (2003). There’s a meme about Pixar that suggests its writers decide how to choose their next films by giving random objects or beings “feelings”. In this case, what if fish had them? This might seem like an oversimplification, but what’s special about Pixar’s method is how much they make you care for the characters. Finding Nemo takes us on the journey of a lost clown fish and his father who is trying to find him in a touching tale of perseverance. IMDB: 8.1/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
8. Ratatouille (2007). If I told you that an animated movie about a charming rat that can cook would be one of the most beautiful and heartwarming films you’ll ever see, you’d have every right not to believe me. You put that concept through the Pixar machine, though, and you end up with a masterpiece. If nothing else, you’ll start to appreciate French cooking and maybe even start to learn more about la cuisine Francaise. IMDB: 8.0/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
7. Monsters, Inc. (2001). The beauty of Monsters, Inc is that it takes the simple premise of monsters under your bed and creates a whole universe out of it. The monsters under the bed in this film don’t scare children because they want to, but because they need to. The screams are a source of fuel, and they’ll keep scaring little ones to make it. Monsters Mike and Sully aren’t as legendary as Woody and Buzz, but they are memorable and quotable nonetheless. IMDB: 8.1/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
6. Toy Story 3 (2010). This Toy Story sequel provides a plot suitable for nostalgic viewers in their mid to late twenties who are struggling with the overwhelming nature of adulthood, and much younger viewers who will receive a profound lesson on the importance of sharing and letting go. If you were born in the ’90s, there’s absolutely no reason for you not to have watched this film. Unless you’ve been living under a rock …
IMDB: 8.3/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
5. Toy Story 2 (1999). After the success of the first, fans were champing at the bit for a second Toy Story and in 1999 we got one. The sequel did not disappoint, and most even consider it better than the first. The sequel expanded the world we were initially introduced to, and with it came masterfully placed Easter eggs that suggested an extended Pixar universe, which was proven later. The scene with Woody being renovated by an ageing toy restorer is perhaps the film’s best. IMDB: 7.9/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
4. Inside Out (2015). The “tug-at-your-heart-strings” formula for which Pixar has come to be known was absolutely perfected by the time Inside Out was released, and that film sure employs a lot of it. Set inside the mind of a young girl, the film centres around the all-important question: what if emotions had emotions? The charming Inside Out is a colourful and meaningful look at how our brains and hearts work at any given time.
IMDB: 8.2/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
3. Toy Story (1995). What technology did for the first Pixar film was a leap forward in animation. Going back and watching it now does it a disservice because of how rough around the edges it looks. Nevertheless, the story hits hard and all the characters, Woody and Buzz especially, shine through. If nothing else, it left a whole generation of children believing their toys would come to life after they left the room. And that’s powerful stuff. IMDB: 8.3/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
2. Coco (2017). Where do I start with Coco? The dreamlike setting in the Land of the Dead? Or maybe the enchanting and memorable music? Or better yet, the emotionally charged plot that is sure to make you shed a tear, or 10? Coco’s success ultimately lies in the fact that after years of making us feel all sorts of emotions for objects and animals, Pixar presents a very humanist story about love and loss. One to watch at least once a year. IMDB: 8.4/10. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
1. The Incredibles (2004). This is the apex of Pixar’s animation evolution and its storytelling abilities. The Incredibles is directed by Brad Bird, and it’s practically perfect. The fun and funny family film is one part superhero action, one part spy thriller. There is rarely a misstep in the pace, and the large action set pieces never feel overbearing. The Incredibles might have come out 15 years ago, but it has aged better than most films on this list. IMDB: 8.0/10; Rotten Tomatoes: 97%