My Five Favorite Pixar Films

On Friday, I blogged about my favorite Disney animated films.  Since I limited that list to specifically those from Walt Disney Animation Studios, I thought I'd follow up with my top 5 favorite animated films from Pixar Animation Studios.

5. Ratatouille (2007)
Ratatouille was one of those films that I didn't originally see in the theater.  It came out during one of those times when I was extremely busy and I just didn't get to see it.  The first time I watched it was on DVD and I wasn't paying attention through most of it.  So, admittedly, I was nonplussed.  But, then, a friend of mine who's opinions I respect was telling me that they really loved this film.  So, I decided to give it another chance and I'm glad that I did because it's become one of my favorite Pixar films.  First, there's the cuisine in this film.  It all sounds so delicious.  But, in all seriousness, there's such attention and love given to the food that it becomes a character in its own right.  I love Remy's passion for cooking and the relationship he forms with Linguini.  The two learn quite a bit from each other.  And, there's a lot of great point-of-view sequences that really help shrink you down into Remy's world.  The escape from the old woman's home at the beginning, the exploration of the Paris sewer systems and the scurrying throughout the kitchen just makes this such a fun film.

4. Toy Story 3 (2010)
While I love all three of the Toy Story movies and think they make a perfect trilogy, my favorite is Toy Story 3.  I felt, by this time, not only had the Pixar creators matured in their storytelling, but so had the characters.  That made this film all that more emotional.  When the characters link hands as they faced uncertain death at the dump, I had a lump in my throat as it felt more like I was going to lose friends I've really come to love.  And, when they reach the end of their time with Andy, I feel like I am sending my own kids away to school, but, at the same time, excited for their future adventures.  The movie mixes both these more serious emotional moments well with comedy such as Ken's fashion show and Buzz's Spanish mode.  And, Lotso is a great villain.  Ned Beatty delivers a stellar performance as somebody who sounds like your grandfather, but is, in reality, a tyrant.  So many good things in this film that just make this the best of the Toy Story films and one of the best Pixar films.

3. Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo was the first Pixar film that I absolutely fell in love with.  That's not to say I didn't like the films that came before it, but, there was something about Finding Nemo that just seemed to separate it from the rest.  The visuals to this film are quite beautiful and filled with wonderful details.  But, more than that, I think there's something that I see in Marlin that I see in myself.  I sometimes think that I second guess myself and can often stop myself based on fear.  But, I try to move beyond that and watching Marlin traverse the Pacific Ocean, even though he is scared, to find his son is something I find very inspirational.  And, to do this with a character as fun and wonderful as Dory, voiced, of course, by the fantastic Ellen DeGeneres, makes this quite the buddy story.  This film will always have a special place in my heart.

2. The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles is not only one of the best Pixar films, it is one of the best superhero movies ever.  The action sequences are absolutely amazing and would hold their own against films such as the Avengers.  I've also always been a fan of the Fantastic Four and to see Mrs. Incredible's elastic powers and Violet's invisibility and force field powers made me think fondly of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman respectively.  But, beyond the action dynamics of this film is a family drama.  Two of my favorite sequences are ones that are more about family dynamics more than fighting villains - one is where Helen (Mrs. Incredible) tries to keep her kids controlled at the table and asks Bob (Mr. Incredible) to "engage" and the other is when Helen confronts Bob when she realizes he's been secretly crime fighting.  The arguments seem so real.  We all can relate to these characters.  I'm very excited that a sequel for this film has been announced.  While I'm not into making unnecessary sequels, this film and the characters definitely lend themselves to one.

1. UP (2009)
Sometimes, there is a film that comes along that you think is going to be absolutely lame and it turns out to be one of the best things ever.  UP is one of those films.  It was very difficult for me to wrap my mind around the marketing, but, interestingly enough, what made me excited for this film was learning that Russell was actually Asian American. That's actually what got me into the theater to see this film that I otherwise said I'd just wait for to be released on DVD.  But, what ended up making this my favorite Pixar film and, actually, one of my favorite films of all time, is the story, the characters and the score.  A perfect example of this is the "Married Life Suite" sequence.  While we are introduced to Ellie briefly as a child, it is in this dialogue-less sequence that we see her through the various stages of her life and how strong her and Carl's relationship was.  It is because of this sequence that we understand Carl's motivations through the rest of the film...not just understand, but support and root for him.  Add to this Russell who is wonderfully voiced by Jordan Nagai and Dug who forever redefined how we all hear the word "Squirrel" and you have yourself one fantastic film.  It would take a lot for Pixar to knock this out of my number one spot.


  1. Nice picks. My top five are probably
    5. Toy Story 2,
    4. Monsters, Inc.
    3. Up
    2. Ratatouille
    1. Toy Story 3

    My list constantly changes over the years. To be honest, I love most of Pixar's movies.

    1. Great list as well! Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 2 are definitely up there for me, too. And, yeah, my list is always changing as well. It was a really hard list to put together because, like you, I also love most of the Pixar films.


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