Most people can agree on that Pixar is the best studio when it comes to animated films. They have consistently released films that are well received and have taken an Oscar for best animated film more than anyone else by a wide margin. There were a few hiccups in terms of contributions that did not get good reviews, but it has generally been overwhelmingly positive.
Pixar’s consistency is what makes it so difficult to pick their best film. Letterboxd users reviewed them all and beyond Cars 2 (2.3) and The good dinosaur (2.9), all averaging at least three stars out of five possible. Their reviews can help select the best Pixar movie.
Updated March 11, 2022 by Kevin Pantoja: Pixar’s current era is interesting. Their last few films were only released exclusively on Disney +, which hurt their ticket intake, but certainly not the quality, as the newcomers have already joined the pantheon of impressive Pixar films. With such a uniform output at a high level, it’s limiting to limit their best movies to just 10, so it’s worth expanding to get the full range of how impressive Pixar really is. As a reminder, each of these movies is available for streaming on Disney +.
15 Forward (2020) – 3.55
One of the first films to be sadly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic was Forward, who experienced that their ticket intake struggled when things shut down. It’s remarkable because it’s the kind of movie that sneaks up on you as a viewer.
You just sit and enjoy a fairy tale about two elven brothers searching for magic, and suddenly you are emotionally struck by a story of losing and finding a father. Forward is actually a bit underrated as it did not win any major awards, but Letterboxd users often gave it four stars (27%).
14 Toy Story 4 (2019) – 3.61
When Toy Story 3 came out over a decade after the previous episode, the audience was not sure how well the story worked all those years later. It worked, and then Pixar tried it again and released Toy Story 4 almost another decade after and resume where the trilogy ended.
This time the focus was on Woody and how he struggled to find a place with his new owner and life after Andy. In many ways, it is a tale of accepting the next and moving on if necessary. While Oscar winner for best animated film has four stars (30%) as the most common score, it is seen as the worst entry in the franchise.
13 Inside Out (2015) – 3.89
While everyone knows that Pixar can deliver the emotionally charged moments on the big screen better than almost anyone, Inside out leaves most audiences in more tears than ever before. The film takes the unique premise of following the different emotions in the head of a young girl facing a move.
There is of course great animation and a heartwarming tale, but it is the heartbreaking scenes that will get you. From Bing-Bong’s victim to Riley’s collapse, it’s a tear. Four stars is the rating most often given (31%), and it is one of the best films of the 2010s.
12 Luca (2021) – 3.91
Before the release in 2022 of Turns red (which had an average rating of 3.49 at its Disney + release), is the latest Pixar movie Luca. This is a story about friendship and the bond between two boys who are humans on land and sea creatures once they are in the water.
As usual with Pixar, the animation and the heartwarming storytelling are top notch and Luca was a critical treasure. It is currently ready for best animated film at the Oscars, and most reviews have it for four stars (34%).
11 Toy Story 2 (1999) – 3.94
Pixar came out swinging with the 1995s Toy Storywhich is considered an all-time classic. Doing a follow-up on it was a long task, but luckily the 1999s Toy Story 2 was more than up to the challenge. At first glance, the animation had been improved thanks to the advancement of technology.
The story was also fantastic, being about the idea of loss and keeping the theme of friendship at the center, while Woody discusses leaving his friends to become a toy in a museum. The film has four stars as the most consistent rating (33%), but the perfect five-star score is just behind (21%).
10 Toy Story 3 (2010) – 3.98
As mentioned, it was a big task to try to bring Toy Story 3 to theaters. The first two movies are highly valued, and the kids who loved it had all grown up by the time they arrived. Fortunately, Pixar told a story that was in line with audience growth.
Andy was now an adult and went to college, after not playing with his toys for years. The toy ends up in a daycare that is more shocking than expected and the adventure is loud. What makes this so special is the ending with Andy, which was the perfect way to end this trilogy. 30% of users gave it four stars, while 23% have it at five.
9 Soul (2020) – 4.04
Another Pixar film that won the Oscar for best animated film is the 2020s Soul. This was met with great praise immediately as it tells the emotionally charged tale of a hopeful jazz musician who has his soul separated from his body just before his potential great breakthrough.
Almost every aspect of this film was loved, especially the music, as it also won the Oscar for best original score. Like the previous post, most reviews have it for four stars (34%), and the second most common rating is five stars (21%), which proves how excellent this is.
8 Finding Nemo (2003) – 4.04
It was not until 2001 that Oscar for Best Animated Film debuted. Pixar lost in their first attempt, but that was in the 2003s finding Nemo who wrote history as the studio’s first of more than 10 winners in that category. This puts the spotlight on the bond between an overprotective father and his son.
The classic Pixar spin was that the characters were fish and the audience was taken on adventures as the father desperately searched for his prodigal son across the ocean. While four stars (35%) is again the most common score, five stars follow it (24%). Like most Pixar movies, almost no reviews have it below three stars.
7 Monsters Inc. (2001) – 4.06
Monsters Inc. arrived in 2001 and has undoubtedly become Pixar’s most iconic franchise outside Toy Story. The original is considered a true classic that introduces the audience to a world driven by monsters that scare children to power their cities, with the twist that they are actually afraid of children.
Grades like Sully, Mike, and Boo have all become famous names thanks to this heartwarming and funny movie. Many fans see this as a perfect movie (24%), but it is much more common to watch Monsters Inc. get a four-star rating (35%). To note, the tiebreakers on this list are determined by which movie had more perfect ratings.
6 Op (2009) – 4.07
Virtually everyone agrees that the opening five to ten minutes of the 2009s Up is the most heartbreaking way a movie has ever started. It describes the love story between Carl and Ellie through decades going from children of a married couple to Ellie’s death.
With her gone and his home threatened, Carl embarks on the adventure they had always planned to embark on together. Along the way, he ties up with a child named Russell and a funny dog named Dug. The winner of the best animated film often received four-star reviews (33%) as well as a large part of perfect results (26%).
5 The Incredibles (2004) – 4.08
After their best animated film victory for finding NemoPixar did so towards the next year with 2004’s The incredible. This was different for the studio, as instead of focusing on animals or intimate objects such as toys, it was about people, albeit those with superpowers.
The incredible follows the Parr family, who all have special abilities but live in a world where superheroes are forbidden. Even in a post-MCU era, many are still considering this one of the best superhero movies ever created. Four stars (33%) and five stars (26%) are the most common ratings.
4 Ratatouille (2007) – 4.13
It should come as no surprise that this is yet another Oscar winner for best animated film. Published in 2007, Ratatouille put Pixar’s ability to tell strange stories to the test. Would anyone be interested in seeing a rodent cook in the kitchen?
It turns out they were when the film was a huge success both commercially and critically. Everything from plot to animation to voice acting was praised. Although four stars (31%) is the rating it received most often, five stars follow very closely (30%).
3 WALL-E (2008) – 4.13
Much of what Pixar has achieved over the years has been difficult, but the 2008s WALL E was probably their most difficult task. It can be difficult to make a film aimed at children who have almost no dialogue and focus on big ideas like the doom of the world and the excessive trust people have in technology.
However, WALL E managed to pull it out and win best animated feature. The love story between the title character and EVE is incredible and one of the cutest ever put on the big screen. It is close in terms of highest average rating, with four stars (31%) hitting just five stars (29%).
2 Toy Story (1995) – 4.16
This is where it all began. Toy Story sees four (33%) and five stars (31%) almost draw, which tells about how spectacular this film is. It also stands out because it was groundbreaking and helped make Pixar a powerhouse.
Released in 1995, this is where it all began for Pixar, as before that they had only made short films. This tale of toys that come to life when people are not watching, and centered on the bond between Woody and Buzz, is Pixar’s original and without a doubt the best.
1 Coco (2017) – 4.18
Another year, another winner of best animated film. Coco hit theaters in late 2017 and may be Pixar’s most visually stunning film. In it, young Miguel dreams of becoming a musician, even though his family forbids it, and he ends in the land of the dead to meet his ancestor.
The story takes the viewer on a wild adventure with lots of twists before an emotional climax. The film also won best original song for “Remember Me”. In fact, both four and five stars are equal for the most common score of 31% each, followed by four and a half stars (16%).
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