Pixar Movies: RANKED

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Pixar Movies: RANKED

Andrew Dully, Writer

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Hello, all you wonderful people! Since my last tier list went so well and wasn’t controversial at all, I’ve decided to rank something even better: Pixar movies. Pixar is very special. These movies have helped shape millions of children’s’ childhoods. However, not all of these movies are created equally. Just a warning: your favorite childhood movie might be bashed. I am in no way a film critic, so this is all a matter of opinion. Also, spoiler warning, but I’m pretty sure everyone and their mom has seen every one of these movies. 

One last thing, I’d like to explain how tier lists work. Put very simply, 

  • S tier is reserved for absolute masterpieces, 
  • the F tier is for abominations that shouldn’t exist. 

Everything else is pretty self-explanatory, as the list descends in order. Finally, for the sake of suspense, I will be writing about the movies in order from worst to best. 

Without further ado, let’s overanalyze movies made for children!! (Note: I’m not including Toy Story 4 because I only saw it once, and that’s not enough to form an opinion.)

F: 

  • Cars 2: This movie just sucks. I could go on and on about why, but I’m going to keep it brief because I’d rather talk about good movies than waste my time over a movie that nobody likes. Where to start? First off, this movie has no relevance to the first movie at all. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to turn Cars into a spy thriller?! Whoever you are, I hope you got fired. Also, this movie isn’t funny or memorable. At all. Can you tell me what the plot is? Who the antagonist is? Odds are you can’t. I’m done talking about this abomination of a movie. 3/10 – don’t watch it  
  • The Good Dinosaur: This movie is literally Finding Nemo, but worse in every way. The story is almost identical in terms of story beats and character arcs. The villain is unoriginal and VERY one dimensional. The ONLY thing this movie has going for it is the visuals, but that’s a given because it was made a few years ago, and it had a higher budget. Don’t watch it, you could have a way better time watching the original. 4/10 – copycat  

E:

D:

  • Brave: I used to like this movie but not anymore. When compared to the other Disney princesses, Merida really falls flat. It feels like Pixar saw Mulan and wanted to copy it in a way that wasn’t too obvious, so they set it in Scotland. The jokes fall flat, the plot is really weird, and the characters seem really uninspired. I can see the appeal of this movie, but in my opinion, it’s not that good. 5/10 – not as good as everyone thing

C:

  • Cars 3: Haven’t seen this one. I’ve heard that it’s better than Cars 2, but that’s a REALLY LOW bar. ?/10 – no clue
  • Monsters University: What’s the best way to ruin a story? If you said “make a prequel,” you’d be absolutely correct. While this movie is still entertaining, it’s nowhere near as good as the first movie. In my opinion, Monsters Inc. should’ve stayed as its own thing. While this movie does have its purpose ($$$), it can be charming and funny at times. However, it obviously doesn’t live up to its predecessor. 6/10 – watch the original

B:

  • Cars: Maybe I’m biased towards this movie. I have A LOT of childhood nostalgia from Cars. I remember watching this movie when I was little and being completely awestruck. Now that I’m older, I can look at this movie with a critical eye. And when looking at it with a critical eye, this movie isn’t the best. The pacing is ok, the characters are lovable, and the story is really humbling. So why is this movie ranked so low? It doesn’t really have to do with the movie but with what it started. After this movie, everyone became obsessed with talking vehicles, leading to countless rip-offs and shameless attempts from Pixar and other companies to make as much money as possible. Cars suffered from the same problem that Despicable Me suffers from now: overexposure. If Cars didn’t explode into what it is now, I would enjoy it way more. 7.8/10 – good movie, but it led to Pixar’s worst mistake
  • Coco: Gonna be honest, I haven’t seen this one. Yes, I know that I’m a terrible person for not seeing it, so I’m trying to redeem myself by putting it at a B ?/10  – pretty good (apparently)
  • Finding Dory: We waited for 13 years for the sequel to the best Pixar movie of all time. Was it worth it? Kinda. The animation is beautiful (obviously), the story is pretty touching, and the characters are compelling. Otherwise, that’s about it. There’s not a whole lot to say about this movie. It’s very middle of the line when it comes to Pixar movies. There isn’t anything that makes this movie stand out from the rest. Don’t think that I’m calling this movie bad because it’s not. It’s just pretty average when it comes to Pixar movies. 7/10 – pretty good when it comes to sequels
  • Incredibles 2: This was actually the first Pixar movie that I saw as an “adult” so I went into it with a more critical mindset. Despite doing this, I was unable to critique this movie because I was too busy having fun. I’ll admit that the plot is really weird and convoluted. But that doesn’t matter! The Incredibles 2 is everything that you could want in a sequel: more worldbuilding, more conflict for the heroes, and more jokes. The pacing keeps you on the edge of your seats, and the action is an amazing blend of humor and coolness. However, The Incredibles 2 is REALLY weighed down by its villain. It’s very obvious that Pixar wanted to create another Syndrome, but in doing this, they took away the things that made Syndrome iconic and replaced them with one-dimensional character traits that you see in every movie villain nowadays. After all that, this movie is really entertaining. If you’re looking for a good plot, don’t watch this. 7.7/10 – it’s fun, go watch it
  • Toy Story 3: This movie is really odd. It’s very different from its predecessors. Instead of focusing on the toys’ struggle to interact with humans, this movie delves into a story that is more based on toys interacting with each other. Toy Story 3 is also a prison break movie, which is a really weird and risky choice. However, I think that it pays off in the end, providing a segue between the “old Pixar” and the “new Pixar.”  7.3/10 – pretty good

A: 

  • A Bug’s Life: An under-appreciated gem. A lot of people seem to ignore this movie and that makes me really sad. This movie is a hilarious microcosm about bugs that live like people. It’s a really good concept that is executed well. The characters are endearing, the jokes hit, the plot is compelling, and there is a lack of a real message. Now people might think that a lack of a message may make a movie worse, but it works in this case. Not every movie needs to have a message about morality or saving the planet. Bug’s Life is fun, plain and simple. 8.5/10 – go watch it, it’s really good
  • Inside Out: This movie is great. After the flops of Monsters University, Cars 2, and Brave, I had lost faith in Pixar. I went into this movie really skeptical, but I was blown away. This is the most serious topic that Pixar has chosen to take on. If you didn’t cry at least twice during this movie, you’re heartless. My only problem with this movie is that it gets a little too serious at times and then quickly jumps back to humor without giving the audience enough time to cope with the serious themes. At the end of the day, Inside Out delivers a very important message about mental health in a form that is accessible for all generations. 8.5/10 – important
  • Monsters Inc.: Iconic. This is the quintessential Pixar movie. Everything about this movie is just bursting with personality and charm. This movie is hilarious and without a doubt the most quotable Pixar movie. The characters share amazing chemistry, playing off of each other with ease. 8.5/10 – classic 
  • Toy Story: The movie that started it all. Being the first movie of its kind, Toy Story had to be engaging and innovative enough for people to want more. Luckily, Pixar hit it out of the park with their first film. Every single thing from this movie is iconic. Characters. Jokes. Music. Toy Story sets the standard that all 3D animated children’s movies follow to this day. With a genius concept, a compelling story, and an all-star cast, Toy Story was bound to succeed, and I’m glad that it did.This movie helped shaped my (and countless other children’s’) childhoods.  8.8/10 
  • Up: Personally, I feel like the movie as a whole is overshadowed by its opening sequence. And let’s be honest with ourselves, if you didn’t cry during that scene, you have absolutely no soul. The fact that Pixar made such an iconic and heartbreaking scene with no dialogue at all is very impressive. But putting all of that aside, this movie is still really good. The story and characters are compelling and interesting. The theme of the power of love and empathy are meaningful and done well, but this movie leaves me wanting. 8/10 – watch if you want to cry
  • Wall-E: This movie is amazing. Before Up, Wall-E was the pinnacle of wordless storytelling. The first half of Wall-E is flawless in my opinion. So why is it in A tier? The second half of the movie. While I still love the second half, it’s nowhere near as good as the first. The second half is really weighed down by the villain. Like Up, Wall-E isn’t a movie that needs a villain, the protagonist already carries enough weight on their own and the conflict doesn’t require someone who wants to foil our hero’s plans. Despite these flaws, I still love this movie and what it represents. 8.8/10 Instant classic

S:

  • Finding Nemo: I will defend this movie until the day I die. Finding Nemo is hands down the best movies Pixar has ever made. It’s the perfect example of what a Pixar movie should be. Heartbreaking beginning, meaningful story, iconic quotes, and stunning visuals. I’d like to address all of these points. First, the beginning. As heartbreaking as it is, it sets up the story perfectly. It establishes the characters in a natural way and sets the scene for the movie. Next, the message of the story is one that is impactful and inspirational. The importance of family is undeniable, and Nemo makes it clear the someone should love and foster their relationships with their family. In addition to this, Nemo is just a really funny movie. The dialogue is so quotable, and the characters play off of each other in a very organic fashion. Finally, this movie is just beautiful. For 2003, the animation is VERY impressive. There’s a reason why this movie got me into marine biology. Once I saw this movie, I was fascinated by the ocean. Now, thanks to this movie, I was able to find my passion for the ocean and all of its creatures. 9.8/10 – life-changing 
  • Incredibles: This is how you make a good action movie for both kids and adults. The Incredibles is easily the most fun Pixar movie. Everything about this movie is iconic. From the characters and soundtrack to the dialogue and action, the Incredibles has so much to offer. The Incredibles also has an amazing story. I also have a bit of a bias towards parody movies, as I find them entertaining and hilarious. The premise of a world that has to deal with the existence of superheroes is entertaining and a breath of fresh air as most superhero films focus on the hero and their conflicts with a villain. And while we’re on the topic of villains, oh my god Syndrome is amazing. Syndrome is a perfect example of supervillain: relatable backstory, charismatic and devilishly entertaining. In addition to this, Syndrome is as goofy as he is intimidating. He builds into the plot so naturally and is just generally fun to watch. If I could sum up the Incredibles in one word, it would be fun. That’s what this movie is. Plain, simple, goofy fun. 9.5/10 – go watch it and have a good time
  • Ratatouille: Without a doubt, this is the most mature and underappreciated Pixar movie. When talking about Pixar, a lot of people seem to forget Ratatouille, and that makes me really sad. This movie is beautiful, not only in visuals but in theme and subject matter. The theme that anyone can do what they want as long as they set their hearts to it is inspirational. The fact that Pixar can make a movie about a rat, probably the third most hated animal right behind chihuahuas and mosquitos, and make the viewer relate and sympathize with a said rat is awesome. The relationship between Remy and Linguini is both hilarious and believable. Also, Pixar somehow perfectly made a movie about something boring on the surface like cooking and turned it into a flavorful (no pun intended) and delicious (hehehe) experience. And the icing on the cake (I’m not sorry) is the two antagonists: the food critic and the head chef. They both represent mastery of their craft, and they are both surprised by the amateur, once again showing that anyone can do anything. Go sink your teeth (last time, I promise) into this movie and watch it for yourself. 9/10 – go watch it 
  • Toy Story 2: How do you make an already great movie even better? You build upon what you’ve already done and improved the quality in every way. Now I know that I’m making a bold statement by putting this movie above the original, but hear me out. First, this movie just looks better, and that’s obvious. What isn’t so obvious is the story. The theme of identity is presented in a way that is realistic and important. Having Woody experience the same identity crisis as Buzz seems on the surface like it would be boring and repetitive, but it’s amazing. This movie also raises and answers questions about a world where sentient toys exist. With the awesome set up that the first Toy Story had, the only logical place to go was up, and that’s exactly where it goes. 9/10 – best Pixar sequel 
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