…A friend of mine, in honor of Pixar’s fifteenth feature film, Inside Out, ranked all of Pixar’s films in order of how much he liked them, from his least favorite to his most favorite. Between the blanket-challenge he sends out, and how often I disagreed with his picks, and, I must confess, how much I just want to, I thought I’d answer his challenge with my own list! 🙂
So, without further ado, I present my personal ranking of Pixar’s fifteen films!
No contest. Cars 2 is easily the worst Pixar film ever, and hopefully the worst one they will ever produce. My friend and I are in perfect agreement on this one, at least!
I’m not sure what they thought they were doing, though my friend’s theory that it was a grab for quick cash holds some validity, but this film is just terrible, and a shining example of how sequel-mania sucks. It had none of the virtues of its predecessor. It was just one of those annoying ‘Mater shorts extended far, far, far too long. I could feel my brain atrophying as I watched this film, and there was nothing emotional to draw me in. It was terrible.
I actually haven’t seen this one. (yes, I put Cars 2 behind something I haven’t seen, it’s that bad) So I can’t really say anything bad about it, but, for obvious reason, I can’t say anything good either! 🙂
You could say I’m disqualifying this one due to circumstances beyond its control. I might see it sometime, but Cars 2 rather put me off Pixar sequels for a good long time, ya know?
This is another one I can’t really judge, as I’ve only seen bits and pieces, specifically the ending bits and pieces. Based on that, I think I’ll enjoy it whenever I get around to seeing it. I just haven’t yet.
“Yet” being the operative word in that sentence, of course. 😉
I suppose that rank 15 on this list is “the worst,” while ranks 14 and 13 were just automatic, being non-competitors, but the next rank is where I can really talk about what’s good and bad.
I can already hear people disagreeing with me about this one. Surely Toy Story 3 should rank higher than twelve out of fifteen, right? Well, not so much for me. While I don’t “hate” this movie, I do dislike it a little.
This is another Pixar sequel that put me off of such. I’m not really sure what it was, but this movie just felt too long to me, too convoluted, too drawn out… and way too serious. I mean, between that petty, angry, malevolent teddy bear and that moment where the toys are facing the inferno, and the extended sequence of Andy giving his toys to that little girl, well, it was just too much of a good thing, ya know?
Not to mention it was the third time in a row where everything revolved around the toys just wanting to not be discarded. Which is both monotonous to watch and terrifying to contemplate.
Now, we start getting to the good stuff, as we move away from the films I don’t like, to the ones I do like. However, where I like these films, I just don’t love them quite so much as the top ranks on this list, for whatever reason.
I very much like Brave, not least because it’s about a family on the verge of breaking being repaired, with a terrible foe who is a walking epitome of what’s left when one turns against one’s own kin: nothing but empty, mindless anger. However, it felt a bit unsteady in the pacing, among other things, like they had the idea of where to begin, but weren’t quite sure how to wrap things up neatly, or keep things moving towards that conclusions, ya know?
Oh, I also liked how the three suitors for the princess all sided with her, wanting to win her, or not, on their own merits, rather than having her as a prize for whichever of them was the best brute. She was strong, and there was nothing wrong with that!
I really liked Finding Nemo. Between Marlin’s journey as a father and Nemo’s journey as a youth, plus how endearing and hilarious the characters were, and just how good a story this was, there’s a lot going for this movie.
Though I could not get that chant out of my head for at least a full day. LOL
There are really only two things which bug me a bit. One is the bit with the fishing trolley, as I’ve long since grown out of my environmentalist phase, but I can appreciate the dramatic purpose of it. The other is Dory the Annoying. She can get a bit tiring after awhile, and I’m not sure I’d have been heartbroken if she went up in the net with the rest of the fish.
Favorite line: “SQUIRREL!”
An enchanting tale, mostly, about an old man rekindling the kindness in his heart as strangers love him and inspire a return of that love. While, opposite him, a young boy resolutely does the right thing, and finds a surrogate father-figure in this crotchety old man he has stubbornly helped.
Oh, and they totally made fun of the action genre!
But, on the downside, it also felt a bit long, they took forever to really introduce the antagonist, and it was heart-breaking when I saw this old man’s childhood hero, the one who inspired his lifelong quest to go adventuring, had gone mad and murdered anyone who crossed his path in the middle of nowhere. Harsh, man. Harsh.
Dead in the middle of the pack, we have the tale of a humble trash compactor who fell in love with a graceful angel who descended from the sky! This was a very well-told, and well-executed, story, complete with a growing number of interweaving plots, gripping tension, touching, tender moments, lovable characters, and laughter galore!
I didn’t much care for the part where humans magically made the entire environment totally toxic, but whatever. I did like the flip-side of the environmentalist argument, that we are part of the Earth, and it falls to us to take care of it. You can’t just get rid of the humans and technology and such and expect everything to turn out all right. Still, with the competition of this ranking as fierce as it is, that’s enough to knock it down to number 8. Oh well.
The latest Pixar film, and currently in the forward-middle section of the pack, Inside Out is a hilarious, heart-warming tale of a girl learning to let her parents be there for her as much as the other way around.
It did feel a little lukewarm, at times, though, particularly when Riley’s emotions (and Riley herself) were making such obvious mistakes. There wasn’t an antagonist to spur her ill-advised actions, after all. And, really, there’s nothing that we just permanently forget about forever, so the peril of the subconscious felt a bit forced.
So while I really liked Inside Out, and give it a pretty good rating, it’s not my favorite. It was pretty difficult to put this one behind or ahead of Wall-E, so I figure it’s a good “average” example of Pixar work.
And now we start moving into the titles I love! The competition gets really fierce from here on, so forgive me if the difference between rankings are relatively minor things. 😉
Oh, this one just barely missed being in my top five!
This adventure of Mike and Sully protecting a little girl, and trying to get back to normal life, is hilarious, and heart-warming, and hilarious again. I love this movie.
I suppose this one didn’t score even higher just because of some little things. Sully doesn’t seem to have that much of a developing journey, the boss he admired is, of course, the true villain, and it all seems like a little too much just to say, “A laugh is more powerful than a scream.” I mean, when you sum-up your own moral to the story in a single sentence like that, it kind of takes just a little bit of fun out of it, ya know?
Small things, and I love this movie, but just enough to knock it behind my top five Pixar films.
Pixar’s original masterpiece! Who could not love this film?
We have two main characters who have lived much of their lives believing certain things, and when those beliefs are challenged, their worlds shatter. They face the worst about themselves and come out of it together, best friends, having found a greater truth to live by. It’s all good!
This one could have easily taken the number one spot on this list. I suppose I just dislike how Woody acts so entitled for so much of the movie, and makes things so much worse for himself while he’s still complaining and blaming Buzz.
Another one I love! The action was great! The adventure was gripping! And I loved the little touch where the kids were talented amateurs while the parents were professionals. The soundtrack and action also gave it this sort of 60’s Bond feeling at times, which was just cool.
Most of all, I love Mr. Incredible’s journey, where he learns to let go of the old glory days and appreciate his family more. True, he’s given up a lot for them, but he’s never really let go of the past, and that’s only increased his frustrations.
What I didn’t like about this film can be summed up in one word: Mirage. She is fully complicit in the deaths of many, many superheroes, people who saved lives every day, Mr. Incredible’s friends, and she only turned against Syndrome when he proved he wouldn’t protect her. Yet we never saw her face any sort of justice. Which annoys me.
Best part of the film: EDNA! 😀
Not that there’s anything wrong with Antz, but I prefer A Bug’s Life. 😉
What I really love about this film, much like Toy Story, is that it’s about the protagonists, all of them, finding their own self-worth. The villain, Hopper, is set on keeping the ants beaten down, believing they are weak and worthless and in need of a greater power to get by, all so he can exploit them. However, through the actions of a few failed clowns and a crazy, defiant inventor, everyone learns that they matter, that they are strong, and they do not need to take Hopper’s crap!
I love it!
This one just gets nudged out of first place because it subscribed to the whole “villains die” trope at the very end. I mean, it’s well-justified and necessary, but it feels “typical.”
Neither of my top two picks, I now notice, resort to anything lethal.
Speaking of, these top two were clearly my personal frontrunners, the best of the best, and choosing between them was really tough!
This is a great film, and, as I see it, the peak of the franchise.
Now that the characters have been established, there’s so much more that can be done with them, ya know? The sequel also lacked the disadvantage of Woody’s entitled attitude. He was just looking forward to a special time with Andy, lost it, things got out of control, he was beguiled… and then his friends helped him come back to himself.
I can’t point to anything wrong with this one. It only comes in number two because the characters don’t do much growing, ya know? And sometimes, that’s just fine. When done right. 🙂
And now we are at the finish line!
A personal journey where the main character grows and becomes a better person. Clear themes about the costs of always going too fast, and the strength that comes from slowing down a bit, not to mention taking responsibility for one’s actions and treating others as your equals instead of your servants. The value of friendship, integrity, and respect. A sweet little love story. Great music!
What’s not to love?
…so… what are your favorite Pixar films? In order? 😉