We check out the best Pixar films as the Studio prepares to release its 20th film – Incredibles 2. What makes the list and where do they appear on our top 10? Read on to find out…
With the release of everybody’s favourite animation studios’ 20th film, Incredibles 2, it’s time we listed the best Pixar films. The studio has an unbelievable track record with some of the most emotional and visually stunning animations ever crafted. And the best Pixar films find that perfect balance of entertainment for both the young target audience and their accompanying adults.
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10. Toy Story 2 (1999)
The middle chapter of not only Pixar’s best trilogy, but one of the best cinematic trilogies of all time. The less said about the Cars trilogy the better. The fact this film only makes number 10 highlights the calibre of the list. The lovable gang of toys are joined by Jesse and Bullseye as they embark on a great adventure avoiding Al the toy collector, Stinky Pete and the evil emperor Zurg. Woody remains one of the best animated characters ever created, elevated by Tom Hanks‘ great voice work.
9. Inside Out (2015)
A great example of Pixar at their very best. Set in the mind of an 11-year-old girl as she copes with moving to a new city through the central characters of her emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear and Disgust. The exploration of child psychology through the islands of personality is worthy of a place in a medical textbook. And the film will make you shed a tear for a pink cotton-candy nougat-filled cat-elephant-dolphin called Bing Bong.
8. Toy Story 3 (2010)
The emotional climax of a great trilogy that will feature higher on the list for many. A generation of fans grew up with Andy and were at college as Andy was. This was an emotion farewell and once again the additional cast are superb such as Michael Keaton’s Ken doll. No-one else executes the balance of storytelling, emotional heft, charm and fun as well as Pixar; Spanish Buzz Light-year is a great example.
7. Wall-E (2008)
Another astounding piece of originality that not only tackles environmental and other humanitarian issues, but does so with an opening act devoid of speech. Through its charming protagonist, Wall-E borrows much of its humour from the silent film era such as the work of Buster Keaton. The use of movement music and the emotional communication makes this more than just an enjoyable fare but a huge feat of filmmaking.
6. The Incredibles (2004)
Pixar can even make a superhero film seem original but with the added family twist. The once great reign of the superheroes has ended forcing this super family into hiding allowing for the film’s funniest moments as the heroic individuals cope with the mundane routine of everyday life. A fun caper that will hopefully produce the same level of entertainment in its long awaited sequel.
The best Pixar films find that perfect balance of entertainment for both the young target audience and their accompanying adults.
5. Coco (2017)
A beautiful and utterly charming film that explores a colourful culture as young Miguel is confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music in the land of the dead. A sensitive cultural experience through music that will melt even the hardest heart as Coco does indeed “remember me”. A truly amazing family film that is equally surprising in its level of fun and emotion.
4. Finding Nemo (2003)
A film that starts with the Disney parental curse as mum and siblings are quickly dispatched but the underwater adventure to rescue his only son is a firm favourite for many. The fantastic setting and multitude of colourful characters like Dory, Crush, Bruce and Gill make this an unforgettable classic with a raft of quotable lines, “my bubbles”, “fish are friends not food”. A film that you can watch endlessly and still laugh through the adventure.
3. Monsters Inc. (2001)
Another very original but somewhat complicated concept for a kid’s film as the monsters that inhabit your closet at night must scare children in order to collect screams to power Monster City. A very inventive idea carried by the visual detail and a great central paring. Best friends Mike and Sully are voiced to perfection by Billy Crystal and John Goodman, that’s what makes this film a resounding triumph and is perhaps what is lacking from the lesser follow-up film, the prequel Monsters University.
2. Up (2009)
The first five minutes of this film make it worthy of this high ranking alone. As the montage kicks in accompanied by a wonderful score titled “Married Life” we see a couple fall in love and grow old together persistently missing out on their dream as life gets in the way. A real emotional gut punch that manages to make you cry before the first act. The opening montage adds huge weight to the film’s actual journey as the fun adventure kicks in with a cast of lovable characters, especially Doug the talking dog, “I have just met you and I love you”.
1. Toy Story (1995)
The rest of the list doesn’t exist unless this masterpiece comes first. The film not only launched a film studio set to dominate the animated genre, but it raised the standard of the genre and family entertainment. An intricately crafted story as Woody the cowboy doll is threatened by the arrival of Buzz Lightyear, a new space toy set to supplant him as top toy in Andy’s room. Amazing voice acting from Tom Hanks and a great supporting cast of characters elevated by a detailed, charming and hilarious script. A film no-one dislikes and everyone appreciates and recognises it as the spark that ignited the modern generation of kids’ animated films.
Written by Lyndon Wells
What are the best Pixar films in your opinion?