When Toy Story debuted in 1995, it marked a new era in filmmaking: the computer age. Since then, computer generated animation has become the standard for cartoons on television and in film, even if they are drawn to look two-dimensional. Moreover, not only did the movie advance animation technology, it was also a splendid film in any form. Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys rank with Ariel, Belle, Aladdin and Shrek as some of the most memorable and beloved characters in the movies. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences even awarded Toy Story a special Oscar for its watershed moment in film history.
Since then, Pixar has turned out blockbuster after blockbuster of critically lauded films--a feat unmatched in Hollywood. At times, they've even produced modern classics. Along with Toy Story, movies like The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E have earned loyal fan bases, while the studio's filmography has won a combined 13 Academy Awards and two nominations for Best Picture: Up, and Toy Story 3. But if the Pixar films stand tall above most of Hollywood's output--animated or otherwise--how do they stack up against one another?
That's what we're here for. Submitted for your consideration, approval, derision or just a fine way to spend some time, here is our ranking of the Pixar filmography.
16 The Good Dinosaur
15 Cars 2
Pixar had trouble marketing Ratatouille, a movie about a French rat who wants to be a chef courtesy of its esoteric title. The plot also didn't help--the talking rat makes friends with a human by pulling his hair, and helps him become a famous chef as well. A movie that focuses on recipes, a love triangle between two people and a rat, and frozen food marketing doesn't exactly play to a family audience. A petty swipe at critics, embodied by the character Anton Ego (notice the last name) also comes off antagonistic. It's as if director Brad Bird wanted to say to the audience "hey, my work is great, and if you don't like it, it's because you're stupid and a catty b*tch!"
12 Monsters University
10 Toy Story 2
9 Inside Out
8 Monsters, Inc.
7 A Bug's Life
4 The Incredibles
3 Toy Story
2 Toy Story 3
1 Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo isn't just the best film in the Pixar canon; it is, quite simply, the best film of the 2000s and one of the best in history. A movie that works as a buddy comedy, a road movie, a coming-of-age tale and a rip-roaring adventure, the film features nonstop splendid visuals, hilarious comedy and a score of great performances, lead by Ellen DeGeneres as the forgetful Dory. Finding Nemo subverts expectations at every turn, telling a story about a nurturing father, a plucky special-needs child, a man-woman bond that isn't a love story, and a group of vegetarian sharks! Heartwarming, hilarious, exciting and original, it will remain a classic film for viewers of all ages for years to come.
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