Pixar’s 16 Movies Ranked from Worst to Best


Despite no one seeming to have been clamoring for it prior to its announcement, Finding Dory is swimming its way to theaters this Friday, June 17th (to what appears to be good reviews) and in preparation we took a look back at Pixar’s 16 previous film and ranked them. Done through a poll held for the sites writers, I set out with this task assuming the answers would all relatively be the same (as was the case with or Marvel ranking). Instead, it would seem that Pixar films are rather divisive with some films being placed in 12th by some and the number one spot by others. The only thing we could seem to all agree on is our absolute disdain for Cars 2.

For the entirety of it’s run (most of it) Pixar has been a beacon of light in the big studio world, proof that original, conceptual ideas didn’t just work, they excelled in the cinematic universe

Take a look below of what was ranked where and let us know in the comments what your favorite Pixar film is.

16. Cars 2

The one film from Pixar that the writers on the TYF staff seemed to all be unanimous about, Cars 2 seemed both like a waste of talent and our time as viewers. Author – Ally


15. The Good Dinosaur 

Possibly unfairly, The Good Dinosaur seems to suffer mainly due to how many people forget it existed and it only just came out last year. Or, even worse, many people never got around to seeing it, especially with Inside Out having come out earlier that year. A feast for the eyes but too familiar in story to really enthuse, The Good Dinosaur was serviceable but little more. Author – Ally

14. Cars 

Cars may have been the easiest Pixar movie ever made. There’s no groundbreaking subtle commentary, no deep character revelations and nothing visually striking about the animation. It’s the most basic movie in Pixar’s canon, but that’s not saying it’s bad. Under John Lasseter and Joe Ranft and SIX writers, there is enough design to the visuals to make it the usual eye-popping affair and the voice actors have enough charisma to make the movie seem lively. Cars is more memorable for its marketing tactics and that’s maybe the first sign of Disney tightening its grip on the studio. Cars will never be remembered as a high point for Pixar, but more of a way to keep the business side of things running smoothly. Author- Jon W.


13. Brave

My poor, wild haired ginger princess. Despite some avid fans in myself and a few others, nothing was able to dispel the large amounts of apathy many of the staff had for this film, which is unfortunate (and I suggest a second viewing). Despite the naysayers, Brave is a gorgeously animated film and I’d go as far as to say that it has the best animation that Pixar has ever done. Yes, the second half of the story absolutely falters in comparison to the first 45 minutes, but did you see how vast and green the scenery was? Or how much detail went into a single strand of Merida’s red hair? Did you see the same scenes that I did where Merida walks through the overgrown forests with it’s whispering spirits? The storyline may have suffered due to development woes, but the animation remained stunning. Author – Ally


12. Monsters University

Suffering the same fate as Cars but to both a greater and lesser degree due to their respective predecessors, Monsters University isn’t necessarily bad film, but it’s a bland one and, most critically, forgettable. Much of Pixars magic has been derivative of how lasting these characters are such as Woody, Buzz, Dory and Mr. Incredible. Monsters University would have been fine had it not been a follow up to Monsters Inc., one of the more innovative creations of the Pixar talent hive. It’s hard to think these versions of Mike and Scully could possibly be the same ones as the ones in their first feature. Author – Ally 

11. A Bug’s Life 

So how does one top one of the most acclaimed and groundbreaking animated movies of all time? For John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, the plan was to think smaller….much smaller. A Bug’s Life is another “dreamer becomes a hero” story, so it’s not exactly original. Like most good Pixar movies, A Bug’s Life excels with likable characters and an interesting universe. The scrappy flea circus gang have enough likable voice talent to make them all have memorable scenes and the movies supplies enough physical comedy to drive it all home. A Bug’s Life may be the most underrated of the Pixar canon and it certainly deserves a second look. Author- Jon W.

10. Ratatouille 

Pixar movies work a strange magic. I enjoy most of each film, taking in the eye-pleasing animation and letting out a few laughs without fail. But I don’t really love the movie until that one special moment that usually happens around the end. Ratatouille’s magical moment is when something simple can warm the heart of the coldest critic. There are many important messages that Ratatouille aims to convey (all successfully), but when a classic French peasant dish is served and makes the snobbiest and most pretentious man melt, my heart gave a leap and this movie cemented its place as an all-time favorite. Because when you’re ambitious and want to make your mark on the world, it’s a nice reminder that it’s the little things that can move the biggest mountains. Author – Gaby

9. Toy Story 2

A perfect example on how to make a sequel, Toy Story 2  took what worked about it’s predecessor and built on it. Bringing in the character Jesse gave the series a whole new thematic well to dip into, with a backstory more tragic than any of the toys thus far. Action packed, gleefully working on viewers nostalgia and beautifully animated, Toy Story 2 might not tap on the emotional core that connected the third in the trilogy so strongly to millennial viewers, but it had enough laughs and even tears to still be a worthy marker between the beginning and end of the story. Author – Ally

8. Finding Nemo 

If Finding Dory is even half as good as it’s predecessor, it will be in good company. Pulling an Up opening full of melancholy and tragedy before launching into a feast for the eyes spectacle, Finding Nemo gave us Pixar at its most inventive. Addressing themes about parenthood and what it means to find yourself and conquer your fears, Finding Nemo may not break any storytelling barriers, but the story it tells is as crisp as the animation for the ocean floor and evocative. An added bonus? It delivered one of the best voice performances ever with Ellen DeGeneres as Dory. No wonder they’re building a whole film about her. Author – Ally

7. Toy Story 

Growing up, it was always a secret wish that my toys would come to life and reciprocate the affection I imbued on them. Then, of course, I saw the movie Child’s Play and that was the last thing I wanted any inanimate object to do. Toy Story rekindled that childhood feeling of wonder and curiosity by creating a world that exists within ours while we’re not around. In that world, there is fun and excitement, but just like our world there is also fear, insecurity and love. Author- Jon E.

6. Toy Story 3 

The film that collectively rendered a mass of millennials sobbing messes, Toy Story 3 has it’s flaws (like a wasted Buzz plot) but it wouldn’t matter if the film was a hackneyed mess for the first 90 minutes due to the overwhelming amount of emotion and nostalgia the film sucker punches us with in the end. Luckily for us however, the first two thirds are delightfully hectic with humor in every corner and a storyline that develops and builds on the character who we, many of us since early childhood, had grown to love.

And then there’s the near death by furnace but especially the ending where Andy parts with his toys from his past as he’s about to venture off to college but not before he takes them on one last adventure.

“So long, partner.” Author- Ally

5. Inside Out 

Dedicated to expressing a young girls emotions with delicacy, grace and humor, Inside Out reinvigorated Pixar after a few uninspired creative choices (ahem, Cars 2). Amy Poehler delivers one of the all time best and most befitting vocal performance as Joy in a world lush with color, characters who inspire some near crippling emotions (Bing Bong!) and an adventure jam packed with creativity. Author-Ally

4. Wall-E

The story of this little robot will always hold a special place in my heart, your heart, and the heart of director and screenwriter Andrew Stanton, who has divulged about the movie that, even as he was working on Finding Nemo he’d be working on this script as it was his absolute favorite pitch at the dawn of Pixar as an animation studio. The love and care put into Wall-E shines through, and while it has a message of environmentalism that beats you over the head than any subtext in other Pixar productions, it has proven itself to stand amongst some of the greatest science fiction storytellings as it tells of an Orwellian fate for humanity: We trash the earth, go to space and all get fat. Beyond this, however, we get to know Wall-E the trash compactor robot, and his new romantic interest EVE, and audiences found that they felt more empathy and adoration for two little machines that barely spoke in less than 20 minutes than they would for a massive wealth of movie’s characters in the last 8 years. Author- Evan 

3. Monsters Inc. 

Far from being the best looking Pixar film, it doesn’t matter when it’s a movie about monsters, right? With stellar voice performances from Billy Crystal and John Goodman, Monsters Inc. is a fun adventure comedy that is thoroughly engaging and surprising throughout – the most surprising being the film’s subtle but affecting emotional core. The strength of friendship, the deceptiveness of fear, and the power of happiness are the film’s strongest qualities and explain why the film is so loved by our generation. Author- Gaby

2. The Incredibles 

As the first true ‘outsider’ to direct a Pixar film, Brad Bird was able to make The Incredibles his own film while still confining to ‘The Pixar Feel.’ The retro vibe that recurs throughout Bird’s work is fully present here, and the influences that he draws on all blend together into a cohesive whole. Like a lot of superhero films, The Incredibles pulls from a variety of stories to fully flesh out the plot.  More importantly, it’s a film that truly captures what makes the Fantastic Four and X-men work at their respective peaks. While they are effective fighting teams, they are families first and foremost. By making The Incredibles an actual family, the themes of bonding and teamwork that thrive within those famous teams are brought to the forefront. The Incredibles is also aided by a strong sense of retro style and one of the most fascinating villains to come out of the superhero mythos. The approach to Syndrome as a villain is similar to how Bird approaches the overall tone of the film: serious and dramatic while still remembering to have a sense of fun. To me, that’s the essence of ‘The Pixar Feel.’ We’re along for the ride as the well balanced story take us on an infectious cinematic journey. Author – Matt


Up is arguably the best Pixar film released to date. You’ll realize this easily 10 minutes into the film while you’re desperately tryi,ng to stop ugly crying through your 3D glasses. The first 10 minutes alone are a testament to the emotional mastery the film possesses. It gives us a brief backstory by showing the origin of what would transform into a beautiful love story. It is then explored through a dialogue-less, time-elapse montage that runs the gamut of the relationship, as well as our emotions. The first 10 minutes carry more of an emotional punch than most films have in their entire length.

We are suppose to feel overcome with sadness and loss at the beginning because the entire film is meant to show the overcoming of grief. One happy-go-lucky scout, an affable dog that can speak, and a physics defying house held up by helium balloons later and you have a deep tale about life after death and never being too old for new adventures. There is also a wonderful message on the true nature of family and how it can exist beyond blood relations.  This film is one of the wisest and most mature, but also not without its leavening silliness. It is universal to anyone who has experienced a form of loss in their life and a great reminder of the imprint people leave on us, past, present and future. Author- Jon E. 


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