It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that can only mean one thing – another top 10 from myself and the guys from JumpCut UK, Nick and Jakob. When you’re settling down to watch a movie and a bouncing lamp starts jumping across the screen you know you are in for a treat; Pixar are renowned for their quality animations and are without a doubt the leaders in their craft. Pixar released their 16th animated feature film last weekend, ‘The Good Dinosaur’, so with that in mind we wanted to bring you our top 10 Pixar movies!
#10. Cars (2006)
‘Cars’ gets a lot of flack amongst Pixar discussions, and whilst it isn’t the first film to spring to mind when this group of animations are in question, it certainly isn’t the last. ‘Cars’ is plain and simple fun more than anything else, with funny man Owen Wilson voicing the lead character, Lightning McQueen. This film may lack a certain emotional punch that the other Pixar films offer in abundance, but it makes up for this with its wide variety of supporting characters and gasoline fueled racing sequences, which are enough to keep any petrol-head happy. For these reasons we think that ‘Cars’ deserves a spot on any Pixar top 10 list!
#9. Ratatouille (2007)
‘Ratatouille’ is perhaps one of Pixar’s most underrated animations to date; it’s not as memorable as the likes of ‘Toy Story’ or ‘Finding Nemo’ but its charm is second to none. With a fantastic play on words for a title, and a wonderfully original plot, ‘Ratatouille’ is a joy to watch from start to finish. Maybe even more so because it never gets as much attention as others. Also, who knew that Pixar could make animated food look that good?
#8. The Incredibles (2004)
Viewed by some as the best superhero movie ever, and certainly the best ever unofficial ‘Fantastic 4’ movie that we’ve seen, ‘The Incredibles’ is still a largely popular entry in Pixar’s filmography, even ten years after its release. We recently got the news of a long awaited sequel, which was music to the ears of many fans of the cape-less crusaders. With a core group of interesting and likeable characters and standout supporting performances from Samuel L. Jackson (Frozone) and Brad Bird (Edna Mode), it’s hard not to have a blast with this family adventure. Even before the whole world went superhero crazy, Pixar were able to create a massively entertaining entry into the genre, possibly proving that this animation studio is always one step ahead.
#7. A Bug’s Life (1998)
A solid entry to the Pixar portfolio of work, but one that has never quite achieved that classic status, which is somewhat surprising. It has all the elements of a successful children’s film; there are plenty of lovable characters, with Hiemlich the caterpillar immediately springing to mind, as well as a more then scary villain in Hopper, and a captivating story line to boot. Maybe the film simply suffered from being released too shortly after ‘Antz’, and audiences had seen enough on-screen creepy crawlies for one year.
#6. Up (2009)
When you think of beautiful animated films, it’s unlikely that any can rival the visual brilliance of 2009’s ‘Up’. A member of the holy trinity of animated Best Picture nominees at The Oscars, this was the first film to be released in Disney Digital 3D and arguably sparked the 3D revolution which has changed the cinematic experience forever. Pixar love to make things emotional for us, throw in a few laughs and build an unlikely friendship in the process, and ‘Up’ is a fine example of hitting all these thematic elements near-perfectly.
#5. Toy Story 3 (2010)
How do you come back to an innovative franchise 15 years after the original and produce a film which does it justice? Winning a couple of Academy Awards should indicate just how great ‘Toy Story 3’ is – not to mention an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, one of only three animated films ever to be nominated in the category. This third installment is just as fun and clever as the original, and ties up the narrative journey of the franchise nicely. Let’s hope ‘Toy Story 4’ is just as successful.
#4. WALL-E (2008)
Recognised by the Academy as the Best Animated Feature of 2008, ‘WALL-E’ is the touching love story of the titular character and fellow robot EVE. With many characters restricted to sounds rather than words, this animation relies largely on body language and visual feats for communication, and it does it wonderfully. Achieving so much with such little dialogue was very impressive and there is something about WALL-E’s isolation that immediately connects with audiences. This results in the viewers being transfixed by the little robot’s everyday life and the out of this world adventure that awaits our robotic friend as his very own film unfolds.
#3. Toy Story (1995)
Now, this could be a controversial placing, but we have ‘Toy Story’ coming in at number three in our Pixar chart. Regarded by many at the best Pixar has to offer, ‘Toy Story’ has become one of the world’s most beloved children’s films, which is still adored by new generations of kids more than 20 years after its initial release. ‘Toy Story’ is different to other Pixar films in that instead of focusing on animals or make believe creatures, it focuses on an idea that every child has imagined at some point in their life, and it is that ability to relate to the idea of your toys coming to life which makes it such magical and timeless piece of animation that people will still adore for many generations to come.
#2. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Fun fact: Jakob saw ‘Monsters Inc.’ at the cinemas as a 10 year old, and cried at the ending. Judge away. But first, bear in mind the fantastic characters we come to love in this story, and the heart-warming connection which develops between the adorable Boo and her monster minder Sully. Whether you’re 5 or 25, ‘Monsters Inc.’ is quite simply hilarious – arguably the funniest of all Pixar movies – and that’s why Mike Wazowski and the team find themselves in the silver medal spot.
#1. Finding Nemo (2003)
‘Finding Nemo’ is simply the perfect children’s film; every aspect of it is so deliberately perfect for its target audience. Perhaps the highlight is the lovable characters, from side characters like Crush the turtle to, of course, Dory, who is arguably the film’s star and is unsurprisingly the subject of her own film set for release next year, which is predicted to be a smash box-office hit. It is the comedy element that sets ‘Finding Nemo’ apart from it’s competitors though, as it works on a visual level for the children as well as a more sophisticated level to keep the adults entertained. The beautiful setting of the underwater paradise, awash with mesmerising colours, only adds to the spectacle of what is, for us, Pixar’s best film to date.
Written and edited by Nick Deal, Jakob Lewis Barnes & Hamish Calvert
Image Credit: Jakob Lewis Barnes
So, there you have it, our top 10 Pixar films. Do you agree with us? Or hate our list and want to tell us where we went wrong? Please feel free to leave a comment below, or alternatively, tweet us your thoughts @HCmoviereviews + @jumpcutUK