my definitive ranking of {almost} every Pixar movie

I say ‘almost’ because I haven’t seen A Bug’s Life or Brave yet.  But I don’t feel like waiting to do this post.

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Pixar is awesome.  End of story.  However, not every one of its films has reached the same level of spectacularness (sad to say) so I thought it would be fun to finally decide where each movie stands in my mind + heart.  Expect a few surprises and lots of fangirling.  And feeeeeels because it’s Pixar, for crying out loud. (Please excuse the terrible pun.)


~The Good Dinosaur~

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Where did you go so wrong, Pixar?  The story is predictable, the characters are dull, and the mix of realistic scenery and cartoon-like dinosaurs is more than a little weird.

~Cars 2~

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Wayyyy too much focus on Mater, a story that feels more like an Illumination Entertainment Studies plot-line, and no emotional grip. (A must for Pixar, in my opinion.)

~Finding Dory~

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The story is all over the place (I really dislike how the characters spend more time out of the water than in the water) and the new characters don’t really make their mark on the list of Epic Secondary Pixar Characters.  The new short film that came on the DVD, Piper,  is almost perfection, though.


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The food looks delicious, but I don’t like rats.  And the whole rat-controlling-the-human thing (I forget names so easily) was a little odd, I thought.  Favorite part?  Peter O’Toole voicing the exacting food critic.

~Toy Story~

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This is where the rankings get tricky.  And this is also the point where the positions on this list become more fluid, depending on my mood.  Toy Story is fresh and funny and the characters are unique and lovable (BUZZ), but it still kinda falls flat for me.


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Most of UP is not particularly interesting (for me, anyway).  It’s good fun, very entertaining and colorful, but when my siblings watch it, I usually just stick around for the prologue, the bit where Carl discovers the other half of Ellie’s scrapbook, and the ending.  Still, it’s a charming film.

~Monsters, Inc.~

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I know so many people go on and on about Tom Hanks and Tim Allen’s rapport in the Toy Story films, but I think John Goodman and Billy Crystal deserve to be mentioned just as often in that respect.  And the world of MI is endlessly fascinating.  (Plus, y’know, JAMES COBURN.)

~Finding Nemo~

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The visuals in this film are stunning and I really like how Marlin and Nemo’s stories are given equal time/importance throughout the movie.  Pixar has a knack for creating great minor characters and I love all the fish in the tank that Nemo ends up in – they’re so funny.

~Toy Story 2~

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I enjoy the Western element of this film.  Also, Buzz’s unfailing devotion to finding/rescuing Woody.  ALSO the whole subplot with the other Buzz and Zurg and that ridiculously funny “No, Buzz, I am your father!” scene.  I’m definitely not as attached to the Toy Story movies as some other people, but the second movie is one of Pixar’s best.

~Toy Story 3~

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Stuff I like in this one: Ken and Barbie’s romance (I know it’s unbearably cheesy, but still…), the Very Elaborate Escape Plan, the final scene, Bonnie, and Buzz and Jessie’s relationship.  Oh, and all the end credits scenes.

~Monsters University~

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Mike makes me laugh a lot, tear up a little, and cheer inwardly as he navigates the world of Monsters University, all while in the shadow of some big guy who’s inheriting good grades while Mike has to work extra hard to earn his.  Plus, I just happen to love prequels.


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The music in this one, guys.  You can’t beat it.  Swingin’ songs like ‘Put on Your Sunday Clothes’ and ‘La Vie en Rose’ and Thomas Newman’s delicately beautiful score. (Just listen.)  Add to that one of the tenderest love stories ever portrayed on the big screen, and you’ve got a great snapshot of what makes Pixar so amazing.

~Inside Out~

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Sure, a lot of the concepts are too big and complex for little kids to understand, but what makes Inside Out work so well is the colorful characters (literally), the fantastical road trip through Riley’s mind, and, let’s be honest, Bing Bong.  Definitely a winner in every way.

~The Incredibles~

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Love the prologue, love the sixties spy movie-esque soundtrack, and I love the themes of family and married love and not hiding who you really are.  And the characters are golden and beautiful.


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I’ll just let my review do the gushing talking when it comes to Cars. (Which a lot of people view as one of Pixar’s weakest films.  What even???)


You’ve been a brick to read through all of this.  Thanks so much!  Now let’s discuss the wonders of Pixar in the comments, shall we?


30 thoughts on “my definitive ranking of {almost} every Pixar movie

Add yours

  1. I agree with some of these rankings but I pretty much disagree with most of it. *wince* (Sorry.)

    ‘Up’ is my favorite Pixar film of all time followed closely by ‘Coco’ and ‘The Incredibles’. And ‘Toy Story’ should be so much higher. I loved that movie! But we all have our opinions and I respect yours.

    Great post!


  2. Oh, I SO agree with you about Cars 2! While I wouldn’t say that I LOVE a lot of Pixar movies, every one I’ve seen other than Cars 2 has sweet, touching moments, a scene where you’re like “awwwwww!” Such is not the case with this one. It is entirely devoid of those defining Pixar moments. MATER IS ANNOYING IN THIS ONE AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT HIM. So there, whoever wrote that story.

    The kids I babysit ALWAYS pick the sequel over Cars, and I’m like “Guys, come on! The first one is so much better.” (Seriously, it kills me.)

    (Just found your blog, btw, and it’s really fun!)


    1. Yep, you’re so right about Cars 2. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      (Thanks! Glad you enjoyed your time here. :))


  3. I haven’t seen soooooooooooooo many Pixar movies, but my rankings as far as favorites would be:

    1. Toy Story
    2. Cars
    3. The Incredibles
    4. Toy Story 3
    5. Toy Story 2
    6. Finding Nemo
    7. Brave
    8. Monsters, Inc.
    9. A Bug’s Life


    1. You don’t like A Bug’s Life very much, eh? I want to see it mostly because it’s based on The Seven Samurai. 😉


      1. Yeah, and I do like that angle, but it just doesn’t live in my heart like many of the others. I’ve seen it twice, and that’s enough. Ditto with Monster’s Inc.


      2. Well, I’ve got A Bug’s Life on hold at the library, so I’ll probably be watching it soon. I’ll let you know what I think. 🙂


      3. Well, I’ve got A Bug’s Life on hold at the library, so I’ll probably be watching it soon. I’ll let you know what I think. 🙂


  4. I think I just not as big a Pixar fan as Disney. I think they are often too complex for my taste; I like my animated movies just a tad fluffy (I mean they are for kids). I disliked Cars and Finding Nemo overall (boring and annoying), but I grew up on Toy Story and Toy Story 2 but I haven’t watched those or kept up with that series.

    I enjoy some of the others sometimes, like Inside Out, but its SO sad and a bit scary. I’m a wimp. Like I said, I like light and fluffy for animated. I like parts of Up. The first little storyline and a few bits and pieces (lines from Russel and Doug). Interesting side fact, my sister is having and Up/Travel Themed wedding. She has little grape soda lids for the table numbers, a “Our Adventure Book” for the sign in, an up thumbprint artpiece for another sign in, and up themed gear for a photobooth.


    1. I can get why you don’t like Pixar’s films – animated movies should be a great escape when you need them to be. 🙂

      Your sister’s wedding sounds ADORABLE. Will you be posting any photos of it on your blog?


      1. I will try to at least get some iphone snippets if I’m not too overwhelmed.


  5. The Good Dinosaur is at the bottom of my list as well. Wall-E, Up, Cars, Brave, and Monsters, Inc. are my top five, in that order. And yes, The Piper short animated film is marvelous and as close to perfection as is possible! So fun to read your list and reasons.


    1. I don’t have much interest in seeing Brave, but it looks like most of your favorites are my favorites, too. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this post!


      1. I loved Brave because it was nothing like what I was expecting from the previews I had seen, and it’s probably the Pixar film that makes me cry the hardest. I can’t survive the finale of that movie without Kleenex at hand! I loved that there was no romance in it, and that it’s all about family. 😀


      2. Oh, I love family-themed films. Like Big Hero 6. (Have you watched/do you like that film?) Or Finding Nemo.

        You know, I’m always saying that I like it when stories either don’t have a romance (or at least just a minimal amount) but I read a WWII book recently that had zero romance in it and I really missed that element. And I keep watching period dramas and Disney films like the newer Cinderella and the original Beauty and the Beast, so maybe I AM a romantic at heart. 🙂


      3. Yes, I love Big Hero 6!! That movie had so much more depth and heart than I was expecting. Not so much a fan of Finding Nemo. It’s a very good movie, so well done, just not my personal cup of tea.


      4. I think I mainly watch Finding Nemo for the aesthetics. It’s such a beautiful film.


  6. Pixar is amazing. The end.

    “Toy Story 3” is special to me . . . really, really special. You know how I grew up basically never watching movies; and even after I started watching them on my own (a couple of years ago), it took me a while to really get emotionally involved in them, if you know what I mean? Like, I used to never cry over any movie, and I couldn’t understand why anybody else would do the same. Well, “Toy Story 3” changed all that. As soon as I heard Andy say, “he’s been my friend for as long as I can remember,” for the first time in my life, I started crying–like, really crying. I was devastated, and yet I was so happy . . . it’s hard to explain, but it meant a LOT to me.

    Because he’s giving up his toys and they’ve been friends forever but he knows he has to move on now and they may never see him again and WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

    Basically, yeah 😉

    I agree–“Cars” is a wonderful movie.

    I should probably watch “Wall-E” . . .


    1. Oh, yes, I totally get why people would cry over Toy Story 3. It’s just that I don’t. 😛

      Wall-E is such a beautiful, gentle movie. *siiiiigh*


      1. *nods* And I love me some robots, too–so there’s really no reason why I wouldn’t enjoy it.


  7. I’ve only seen 5 of these movies, which shows me that I need to watch more Pixar movies. 🙂

    Out of all these movies, which one is your favorite?


    1. Cars is definitely my favorite, though I think The Incredibles is Pixar’s best, overall. (But this list was in order of liking, from least to most, instead of technical brilliance.)


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