Pixar has been in the enviable position for many years now of being a company that can sell movies on name alone. Much like Marvel has earned trust and belief, Pixar’s name has been attached to so many top animations since 1995 that there’s clearly something special in the water there. Their stories have stood the test of time to the point that many of us watched Toy Story as a child and now we’re introducing it to our own children. Nothing like it to make you feel old!
Their latest effort Coco is released this year worldwide, apart from in the UK where we get it in January. We’re trying to not be too bitter about that. The reviews are solid so their legacy seems to remain intact. While we’re waiting we’re going to address one of the most difficult questions in film history – what’s the best Pixar release of all time? Let the arguments begin.
This story of a rat who loves cooking is a heartwarming and humourous example of exactly what Pixar is capable of dishing up. It never really hits the emotional heights of other films but it’s something you wish to consume over and over and you’ll never get sick of.
- Finding Dory
No one expected this sequel to be as good as the original but in true Pixar style they found a way to capture the heart of the original and put a new and enjoyable twist on it. It manages to be aware of how the world is changing attitudes to places like Sea World and play perfectly on that to deliver a message of love and freedom.
- Inside Out
Perhaps the most ‘adult’ themed release, Inside Out is so deeply cerebral and thought-provoking rhat it works on many different levels. The bright and exciting characters appeal to younger viewers but adults relate to so much of the battle between Joy and Sadness and the other emotions. And let’s not even discuss Bing Bong because I’m not ready yet.
- Monsters Inc
Sometimes you can be blown away by something simple like how ridiculously good Sulley’s fur looks. It’s a testament to how far Pixar have come over the years – and actually, it looks even better in the prequel – but there’s much more to Monsters Inc than the sensational animation. The monsters and their relationship with Boo is a real treasure to watch develop.
- Toy Story
We’ve certainly come a long way since being mesmerised by how good Woody and co looked in the original. It may be showing its age now but the wit and warmth of the entire script – potentially the best thing Joss Whedon ever did – is something that keeps this classic one to watch.
5. Finding Nemo
Who knew the ocean could look so good? Not only does Finding Nemo manage to tug on the heart strings with its narrative of abandonment, anxiety and friendship but it’s a genuinely laugh-out-loud movie that you can’t help but fall in love with. Beautiful visuals with memorable characters you’ll be quoting for years.
- Toy Story 2
You almost didn’t know you needed a Toy Story sequel until it happened and now it’s difficult to imagine life without the numerous adventures of Buzz and Jessie and the gang. Instead of simply remaking the original Pixar managed to examine its characters and build relationships while remaining compelling and hilarious. A perfect example of how to do a sequel.
It’d be easy for Pixar to rest on its laurels and deliver safe projects but clearly that’s not their style. There’s no better example than Wall-E, choosing to tell a lot of its story without any dialogue at all. Instead we’re thrown into Space for an ambitious tale taking a look at consumerism, the environment and even a little time for love too. A stunning and truly imaginative masterpiece that is unsurprisingly considered the peak of Pixar’s creativity by many.
This was a tough choice. While something like Wall-E is no doubt a huge leap in pushing boundaries, if you’ve seen Up then you’ll know that there’s very little that compares to the emotion of the opening sequence. That alone makes it one of the best Pixar films, but what follows is just as good and
- Toy Story 3
How many third movies could you honestly say are the best? Or even decent? Yet somehow Pixar captured everything that was good about Toy Story and built on it in such a natural way, understanding how the audience had grown up too. Where Up created a quick emotional response Toy Story 3 had the emotions that people have shared with these characters for years. The perfect way to end a trilogy.