This is Part 2 of my PIXAR ranking. If you haven’t read the first part, click this link.
15- Monsters University
This is probably the hottest take of this ranking. Monsters University is near the bottom of nearly every ranking I see, and I totally get it. It’s a safe, cliche, and forgettable movie. But also I really like it. Monstropolis is my favorite world PIXAR has created, so any chance to see more of that world is a tasty treat for me. And Monsters University has creative world building up the wazoo! The inner workings of the scaring profession is on full display here, and it’s magnificent architecture and creative character designs further develop the vibrant and lived-in world introduced in Monsters Inc. The film’s story is nothing mind-blowing, but the creative set pieces, likable characters, and subtle nods to the original make it extremely engaging and highly re-watchable. Top it off with a surprisingly powerful and character-driven third-act, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good flick.
With the overtly kiddie and silly reputation the Cars franchise has garnered over the years of spinoffs and sequels, it’s easy to forget how slow, character based, and sentimental the original film was. Acting as both a rookie sports movie, and a love letter to the small towns off of Route 66, Cars is a film that deserves to be judged on its own merits. And if you do that, you’ll find a flawed, but endearing movie that belongs among the PIXAR pantheon.
13- Toy Story
The one that started it all, Toy Story showed what PIXAR could do. Unique and complex characters, innovative technology, witty dialogue, and a heap of creativity cemented the studio as a force to be reckoned with. It’s the weakest of the franchise, but that franchise is Toy Story. So that’s not a bad thing.
12- Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 is a very mature and small-scaled movie that has a lot on its mind. It questions things about the Toy Story universe that are surprisingly existential and hard to shrug off. These ideas validate the films existence after the beautiful ‘conclusion’ that Toy Story 3 gave us. It’s also one of PIXAR’s funniest movies. Also, this film blessed the world with Forky. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Onward is the most recent film PIXAR has released, and it is also the one I had the hardest time deciding where it belonged on this very important list. It’s hard to tell what’s just “new PIXAR movie excitement”, and what I truly feel in my movie critic core. To remedy this, I tried to step back and imagine where Five-Years-Into-The-Future-Me would place it, and I think he’d put it at number 11. It’s a super fun and creative film that captures the PIXAR magic a lot more than I expected after seeing the trailers. The bond of our two main characters is really strong, and the voice work on both of them is exceptional. Tom Holland especially impressed me. He is nearly unrecognizable and gives his character a personality that most celebrities lack in animated work. The story is sweet, surprising, and clever, and it takes full advantage of the beautiful animation and creative setting. It’s not as innovative or effective as PIXAR’s greats, but it is miles above most animated films and definitely worth a watch. It’s available to purchase digitally now, and is coming to Disney+ on April 3rd.
Thanks for reading my sexy article. Part 3 will go up sometime in the future probably. So stay tuned!