Pixar Pleasures

Just two years ago, Pixar had 12 truly brilliant films out and celebrated their 25th anniversary. Since then, they have come out with two more feature films for the family audience, bringing their total to a grand 14. I tend to want to watch these animated masterpieces instead of the latest blockbuster film with a star-studded cast. Why? They are feel good, funny, beautiful, and imaginative films. There is a strong following thanks to the state of the art animation, genuine plot, and company pride putting out beautiful films suited for all ages. Not many brands can claim that, let alone movies.

I came across Mary Pols ranking of the films from 12th to 1st place in 2011. And like she says in her introduction, it proves to be a challenge. Each film has a magical moment that resonates with its viewers. The fact that our opinions may differ just goes to show how versatile yet pleasing the stories are. I’ve updated the tally to the 14 and have placed my votes and reasoning, but not without difficult tiebreakers.

Be sure to check out Mary Pols list. Then mine (which includes only the films I have seen). And if you feel so inclined, make your own list. We’re all fans here so there is no ‘wrong’ ranking.


Dory and Marlin from “Finding Nemo.”

1. Finding Nemo: Beautiful sequences, adorable turtles, Dory, and just a plain old lovely story!

2. Ratatouille: Comes in at a close second. How they made a rat charming is talent. Combine that with food and a geeky French successor of an encouraging chubby chef and you’ve got excellence.

3. Toy Story: The first feature length film of Pixar must be a top three. The fact that my brother had a box full of those little green army men might have made this story that much more real to me in 1995. Luckily he did not practice Sid’s evil ways.

4. Monsters, Inc.: It made closet creatures cute and toddlers even more adorable. Screams to power Monstropolis gave a reason for scares, which eventually turned into laughs when all was said and done.

5. The Incredibles: The music is illustrious in the film, distinguished voices, and I am always a sucker for super heroes. And there have been moments when I wish I could disappear like Violet Parr.

6. A Bugs Life: A ladybug that’s actually a man, a poor caterpillar too big for its metamorphosis-ed wings, and an over-innovative ant out to save his colony. Makes you think twice before stepping on that creepy crawler.

7. Toy Story 2: Brings collectors into the story, making you realize like toys, Pixar might just be worth archiving.

8. Brave: Love the plot! I paid close attention to the film as I was headed to Scotland in the fall. I looked for wisps while there in fact. It’s cleaver and meaningful with a little heritage and a lot of girl power thrown in there!

9. Wall-E: For the two main characters not to have dialogue other than beeping and squeaks, it’s incredible what a deep connection you feel with them by the end. It’s a lesson of taking care of ourselves and the planet we live in no matter how difficult.

10. Toy Story 3: For those who have grown up with Toy Story, the audience is more mature, thus allowing for a deeper and complicated plot. It was accomplished tastefully in this case.

11. Monster’s University: It’s a cute take on where Sully and Mike met and how their friendship developed and how they were influenced by the scream team when they took a field trip to Monster’s Inc. There just wanted that warm and fuzzy cuteness the 1st one had.

12. Cars: Route 66. What a welcoming era. Hidden images in mountains and clouds made everything an illusion of the real and animated worlds. But the boasting car was a bit much for my liking.

The 2 movies missing are “Up” and “Car’s 2.”  I’ve only heard good things about “UP”, and my plane movie experience with that film just isn’t’ going to cut it for this list. I’ll give it a second try. And “Car’s 2 is influenced by my “Cars” opinion. Not on the top of my list. Next on my Pixar film radar, “Finding Dory!” Pixar’s got a fan in me.

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