Ranking the Pixar Films


1: Inside Out

Inside Out

Released: 2015

Directed by: Pete Docter

People often ask the question: “Why do Pixar movies (or animated films in general) make us cry?” Inside Out is the cinematic answer to that question. In doing so, it is, fittingly, Pixar’s deepest and saddest film to date.

Inside Out tells two connecting stories. The focus of these stories is an eleven-year old girl named Riley, whose family has recently moved, leaving her old life behind. One story revolves around Riley herself, while the other takes place inside of her head, where her emotions of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger take the forms of characters, and try to handle Riley’s situation.

The story takes many unexpected turns, and travels to surprisingly deep territory, dealing with subjects like depression, the hardship of growing up, and the importance of all emotions in our lives, whether we find them pleasant or not.

It’s also Pixar’s most imaginative feature. Whereas other Pixar films have revolved around subjects like fish or cars, Inside Out has a far more abstract concept, leaving the Pixar animators to get creative like they never have before. It’s a wonderfully weird movie that can get pretty surreal, with beautiful scenery, wacky character designs, and bizarre situations.

It can be a heartbreaking movie, and it has a strong understanding of the complexity of emotion. It is an embracing, heartfelt experience. One whose understanding of childhood and imagination are topped solely by some of Miyazaki’s efforts in the world of animation.

Inside Out is Pixar’s saddest, deepest, and most imaginative film. It’s also their best. That is saying something.


Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

4 thoughts on “Ranking the Pixar Films”

  1. 1- Inside Out – Your final sentence says everything that needs to be said about it. It is indeed Pixar’s best movie.

    2- The Incredibles – An absolute masterpiece that takes a very unique look into the overly explored world of superheroes. I would place it exactly where you did. I am desperately looking forward to the sequel.

    3- Toy Story 2 – I agree that it is better than the first, and the emotiona weight it carries is astounding.

    4- Toy Story – A fantastic start, but Pixar has done better since then. The sheer creativity in creating the world the toys live in is just mesmerizing with all the details and references, and so is the plot and character development.

    5- WALL-E – Also one of my favorites. I am always blown away when I remember the first thirty minutes of this thing are almost mute cinema, and it works incredibly well. When the adventure grows bigger, busier, and crazier it also hits the nail on the head with the beauty, drama, and action. It is like two perfectly done movies in one.

    6- Ratatouille – It is one of my favorites for sure. It takes a simple and crazy concept and does amazing things with it, and it is also – like you said – a great look inside the artistic world. It has what I consider to be Pixar’s best finale; Ego’s final piece always moves me. Whoever wrote that deserves an award.

    7- Up – My problem with Up is that I feel once the house lands on its destination, the movie steps on some very cliched stones (I have a serious problem with the army of talking dogs, for example). I feel its first half is far better than what comes next.

    8- Toy Story 3 – Now here is one I would have ranked much higher. It is so powerfully emotional and touching, hilarious, and shows masterful character development.

    9- Finding Nemo – I love it as well. I just don’t love it as much as I love other Pixar movies.

    10- Monsters Inc. – From here it does get harder to rank the movies, but I think I would put it ahead of both Finding Nemo and Up. I just love the world and the whole concept of the flick, and it never stops being fun, something which the aforementioned pair of movies is not able to achieve in my book.

    11- Monsters University – I love how lighthearted and unpretentious it is, and it works exactly because of that; it is a simple and fun prequel story, but it never really had enough to reach a higher degree of greatness. It is just perfect for what it is, though.

    12- Cars – Yes, it actually has heart, something it sequel does not possess, and as far as having cars as characters goes I think Pixar did as well as they could.

    13- A Bug’s Life – It is a good movie, but forgettable. I agree.

    14- Brave – It is much better than Cars 2, but I agree with its placement. It was supposed to be a reinvention, and it had the setting and ideas to do so, but once her mother turns into a bear it all becomes one fat cliche.

    15- Cars 2 – Yeah, I fully agree. It was a movie whose production started pushed by the goal to sell merchanside (even if Lasseter says otherwise, I just don’t buy it). It is not a surprise it turned out the way it did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with pretty much every point you made. And like I said, numbers 7, 8 and 9 are basically interchangeable for me, as are 4, 5 and 6. So don’t read too much into which ones I placed over the others there.

      I totally understand your complaints with Up. I feel the same way about a lot of it. The earlier parts completely outshine the rest in terms of narrative and whimsy (talking dogs aren’t exactly a new concept in animation). And I flip-flopped with it, TS3 and Nemo up until I published this. Had I made this a couple of months ago, I definitely would have placed Up lower, but a few months back I had the opportunity to see it again on the big screen with my grandparents, and seeing their reaction to it I more understood what Up was going for. It’s a kids’ movie for old people, and that in itself is kind of sweet. It’s flawed to be sure, but I gained a revitalized appreciation for it.

      Glad to see we agree on the top two Pixar films. They are essentially two perfect movies.

      Liked by 1 person

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