Pixar: Explained...

A couple months ago, I created my ranking list for Disney/Pixar films. Then I realized that all I did was make a list. I gave no rationale for the rankings whatsoever. This might be a good time to remedy that. So, below, please find my original ranking list appended with a brief reason why...

As a quick note, not only have I added The Incredibles 2 to the list (it wasn't out yet when I created the list initially), but I have not yet seen Cars 2 or Cars 3 and, unless Nathan decides he wants to watch them, I have no real desire to do so. How one of the lowest rated and lowest grossing Disney/Pixar films netted a sequel, let alone two, is beyond me.


[image from Kotaku]

  1. Monsters, Inc. - A+++
    The story! The characters! The way Sully's fur flowed in the wind in the Himalayas! The terror! The humor! The joy! The feels! There is nothing wrong with this movie at all. It is perfection in storytelling. And no matter what else John Goodman and Billy Crystal have done or will do in the future in their careers, their voices will always be James P. "Sully" Sullivan and Michael "Mike" Wazowski to me.
  2. The Incredibles - A++
    In an era when movie studios couldn't properly do a live action superhero film to save their lives (this predates the Marvel Cinematic Universe by about four years), along comes Pixar with just about the most perfect golden age superhero film you could ever ask for. It's very timeless despite its setting and the theme of family being more important than anything resounds solidly.
  3. Coco - A+
    It's so easy for a story based on a single culture's traditions and beliefs to not get the recognition it might otherwise deserve when played to other audiences. Again, Pixar defied the odds with this tale of El Dia de los Muertos ("The Day of the Dead") and its importance to millennia of Mexican families but also gave it a very pertinent story about a young boy who wants to change his family's stalwart perceptions of musicians by becoming one himself and disappearing into the world of the dead as a result of his defiance.
  4. Toy Story - A+
    This is the movie that started it all and, much like Star Wars, it will always hold a special place in my heart. I also love that Nathan enjoys the heck out of this movie. The other fun thing is being able to see just how far the animation has come in a mere 25 years. Lifetimes' worth of improvement.
  5. Toy Story 2 - A
    For a while, this movie fell below all the other Toy Story entries and even pretty far below a lot of other Pixar films in my estimation. I don't know why. But once my son started watching it, I gained a renewed appreciation. Especially since I, at one point, was more a collector of toys while Nathan was the one who played with them.
  6. Finding Nemo - A-
    A parent losing his only child -- only family member -- and doing anything and everything to find their kid is a story I can relate to. Especially when it's one where you don't have to imagine yourself going all Liam Neeson on them. 
  7. Incredibles 2 - A-
    I wanted this movie to be great but I didn't want to put too much expectation on it as it had been 14 years that elapsed between both films. But, man o man, was it a blast! The only real change was to the voice of Dash because the kid who played him before had aged too much to viably play the same kid five minutes later in the timeline.
  8. Monsters University - A-
    Wait... a prequel to a Pixar film?? And a prequel that works! I was so happy to have Sully and Mike back and to see them as rivals in college vying to be the top scarer was so cool. Plus the music and other voice actors added to the film were just amazing. The payoff from the camp scene is great. A little scary for those kiddos who may be too young, but great for adults. A little horror element to a cartoon.
  9. Ratatouille - B+
    I still find it amazing that somehow Pixar made rats agreeable. Heck, even cute and helpful. That's what happens in this tale of human and rat pairing up to save a flailing French restaurant.
  10. Finding Dory - B+
    Here's another sequel that was far too many years in the making, but so well worth the wait. The focus here shifts from little lost Nemo to their short-term-memory-disabled friend Dory (voiced to perfection by Ellen DeGeneres) and while that could be viewed as a stretch in terms of storyline, it works.
  11. Toy Story 3 - B
    As I noted above, the Toy Story movies once were held in a different order with me. This third installment was so much higher than the second and, depending on the day, sometimes ran even with the first if not surpassed it. But since Nathan has been watching it, I've found myself dropping it down the list. Not because it's bad. I mean, I gave it a B rating. Just that there are so many others I like more, particularly the first and second movies.
  12. WALL-E - B
    This movie is an odd bird. It is so good, so emotional, so beautiful. But I don't find myself wanting to watch it often. In fact, I think I've only seen it 2 or 3 times and that's it. I've seen almost all the rest of these so many times I've lost count. WALL-E? Not so much.
  13. Inside Out - B
    I’m actually watching this film as I write this and as amazing as the storytelling and writing is, it’s just such a sad movie (yes, ultimately happy), that it’s difficult to watch on a regular basis.
  14. Up - B
    Oh dear god, the beginning of Up will have you bawling like a baby. Without a single word spoken. But this movie about loss and finding a way to cope with the rest of your life is enjoyable despite a fairly goofy adventure story shoehorned in between the perfect opening and a similarly charming ending. 
  15. The Good Dinosaur - B-
    This is such an undervalued member of the Pixar family that I feel most people forget about it and tend to include movies like Frozen (decidedly not a Pixar film) on their lists until corrected. But The Good Dinosaur is a beautiful western inspired tale of family and overcoming diversity.
  16. Brave - B-
    I actually moved this up the list a little bit after watching it a couple weeks ago for the first time in a couple years. Don’t get me wrong, this movie about traditional Scottish family values in a feudal world is still very good. B- is nothing to scoff at.
  17. A Bug’s Life - C-
    It has been a long time since I’ve seen this movie. It’s possible I haven’t seen this since I first watched it on home video as I’m fairly certain I never saw it in theaters.  It just never did anything for me... either when it was announced or when it finally came out. 
  18. Cars - C-
    I can’t say too much for this film either. I saw it once and was severely underwhelmed. As stated above, I don’t understand why it’s merited two sequels. I guess a good catch phrase goes a long way. K’chow!!

What do you think?

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How one of the lowest rated and lowest grossing Disney/Pixar films netted a sequel, let alone two, is beyond me.

One word: merchandising


I’m not even sure the merchandising worked out as well as they might have been expecting but that’s solely conjecture. I’d love to see comparisons. But, yeah, I see where you’re coming from otherwise.

Kevin Spencer

We only just watched Coco and loved it. Top 3 at least.


Told ya!

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