When it comes to putting out high quality movies, Pixar is an almost unmatched studio. Along with a string of well-received shorts, they have released 21 feature-length films. Combined, those projects have helped the studio earn a whopping 19 Academy Awards, 11 Grammys, and 8 Golden Globe wins.
Of those 21 motion pictures, an incredible 20 of them have earned a "fresh" rating on the review website Rotten Tomatoes. Still, some weren't given as many positive reviews as others. Looking at the scores on Rotten Tomatoes, we've gathered this list of the five best Pixar movies and the five that received the worst feedback.
10 Worst: Brave - 79%
If you want an example of how strong Pixar is as a film studio, look no further than this. One of their worst movies ever has a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nearly 80% of the critics who reviewed Brave thought it was good, yet that still ranks it near the bottom of their history.
Brave isn't at all a bad movie; it just doesn't do anything particularly special. It plays as more of a generic fairy tale with a strong female lead than anything else. That's fine; it's just that when Pixar is at their best, nothing about them is generic. They craft incredibly deep worlds and Brave doesn't really have any of that going for it.
9 Best: Toy Story 3 - 98%
Get ready to see a lot of the Toy Story franchise included. More than a decade after Toy Story 2 came this third installment. Adults were knocking kids over to see it in theaters in 2010 and relive their childhoods. It was a tall task to follow the quality of the first two movies, especially after so much time, but Pixar nailed it.
This third installment took all of the imaginative worlds, fleshed out characters, and fun adventure aspects from its predecessors and added an element of stunningly beautiful animation. Technology had advanced pretty far in ten years. Toy Story 3 managed to perfectly wrap up what was arguably the greatest trilogy in cinema history.
8 Worst: The Good Dinosaur - 78%
Here's a case of Pixar simply setting itself up with lofty standards. The Good Dinosaur was almost everything you'd want in a typical animation movie geared towards children. It featured a heartwarming tale, likable characters, and well-crafted visuals. By all accounts, it was good family entertainment.
And that was the problem. Similar to Brave, nothing about The Good Dinosaur stood out. It didn't separate itself from the pack and came across like any other animated movie from any old studio. Pixar has carved their own niche and merely being good enough just doesn't cut it anymore.
7 Best: Inside Out - 98%
Pixar is at its best when they enter a world that isn't real but is imaginative enough to feel like it is. That was the case with Inside Out. This story took place inside the mind of a young girl as she is controlled by her emotions, ranging from joy to anger to sadness.
The idea of telling a story inside our mind is a creative one. Each character feels unique and plays a crucial role in moving the plot forward. Inside Out features gorgeous animation, an inventive story, and emotional moments that will have you crying your eyes out. It's some of the best work Pixar has ever put out.
6 Worst: Cars - 75%
It's no secret that the biggest mark against Pixar in terms of their quality comes from the Cars franchise. The first installment was released in 2006 and marked the first time that a Pixar movie fell way short of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. One aspect where it did succeed was in terms of marketability, as it spawned two sequels.
Cars is another case of a Pixar movie not being bad, but not being anything special. Viewers could buy into the idea that toys, bugs, monsters, and fish have these adventures us humans never find out about. But cars? Their world never felt grounded in enough believability and it lacked a lot.
5 Best: Finding Nemo - 99%
Speaking of the adventures of fish, there's Finding Nemo. This 2003 film told the story of Marlin, a clown fish, who faces his fears and journeys out to find his missing son. Almost instantly, this movie tugs on your heartstrings with a tear-jerking opening scene that sets the tone for the high stakes throughout.
The voice cast is stellar and the visuals are breathtaking as the underwater world comes to life in stunning fashion. It's a gem of a movie that helped prove that Pixar wasn't a studio with a handful of hits. They were a consistent group that became an industry juggernaut. This is another film that spawned a sequel, with Finding Dory racking up a 92% score.
4 Worst: Cars 3 - 69%
Considering this was released in 2017, a full eleven years after the original, it didn't surprise anyone that Cars 3 is one of the prettiest Pixar films ever. When the trailer was released, all the talk was about how unbelievable this looked. But then it got released into theaters and we saw the whole thing.
Cars 3 featured a talented voice cast, those dazzling visuals, and what turned out to be a decently poignant plot. There were aspects to like. Unfortunately, it again fell into the trap that a handful of Pixar movies have because it ended up just being wildly average.
3 Best: Toy Story - 100%
Pixar burst out of the gate with some of their best work. Every single review from critics was positive about 1995's Toy Story. It introduced the world to iconic characters like Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The animation style may not hold up to today's standards, but for the time, it was groundbreaking.
At 81 minutes, Toy Story is brisk and gets to the point with no fluff. Pixar told a tight story filled with twists, great character moments, and a romp of an adventure. Throw in the incredible voice cast led by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen and you've got something extraordinary.
2 Worst: Cars 2 - 38%
Here it is. The only Pixar movie to not get a "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Cars 2 marks the bottom of the barrel for Pixar. The original did not need a sequel, but when we got one, it didn't focus on what it needed to. The idea of Lightning McQueen competing in the World Grand Prix is a good one. If only that were the bulk of the movie.
Mater sidetracked a significant chunk of this plot. Voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, Mater goes off on an international espionage mission. It's the kind of side plot that feels way out of place and the laughs never come. Mater is an ideal supporting character. When he was given so much to work with, it dragged this movie down.
1 Best: Toy Story 2 - 100%
The original Toy Story is nearly perfect on its own. While it didn't need a sequel, Pixar managed to best their first outing with this followup. The voice cast returned, the animation improved vastly over just a few years, and they used this to add to the existing world.
In Toy Story 2, Woody gets kidnapped by a collector who plans on selling him to a museum in Japan with the rest of the characters from his old TV show. Woody must come to terms with the fact that his owner will grow up and not need him one day. Does he want to avoid that abandonment, but never be loved? It's a theme that gets dealt with in the next two movies, set up perfectly by this one.