There are 21 Pixar movies, and we've ranked them all. Pixar started out making short computer animated movies, and in 1995 the studio released its first feature: Toy Story. The first ever full-length computer animated movie, Pixar changed the landscape of animation forever, not to mention introducing the characters of Buzz and Woody into popular culture, where they remain loved by millions to this day.
Pixar has released 21 full length movies in 24 years - no mean feat considering the amount of work and detail each one requires. Not only that, but the studio has yet to release a single 'bad' movie, though some haven't fared as well at the box office as others. From the emotionally devastating Coco, to the hilarious Monsters, Inc., and everything in between, it's easy to see how Pixar remains the powerhouse of animation.
Below, we've ranked all 21 of Pixar's full-length releases for your consideration.
As previously stated, none of the movies on this list are bad, but Pixar has made some truly groundbreaking movies, and Brave isn't one of them. Released in 2012, Brave performed well at the box office, and won the Academy Award for best Animated Feature. However, while the mother daughter relationship focus is admirable, it feels like a very traditional Disney movie and lacks the originality of Pixar's other efforts.
20. Cars 2
The sequel to the hugely popular Cars, Cars 2 was released to mixed reviews in 2011. There are some undoubtedly clever moments in the movie, not least the introduction of the Queen and the Pope as vehicles, with the latter being the actual Popemobile. Visually, it's equally as enjoyable as the other Cars movies in the franchise, and so still appeals to the very young, but Cars 2 storyline lacks depth or charm, and the result feels like a frenzied confusion.
19. The Good Dinosaur
A simple, but very charming tale, The Good Dinosaur imagines a world where the asteroid that made the dinosaurs extinct, passed over earth instead. A young, timid dinosaur named Arlo makes friends with a young cave boy named Spot and helps him reunite with his family. Unfortunately, The Good Dinosaur was Pixar's first box office bomb, though the movie connects well with the younger viewer.
18. A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life was Pixar's second movie, after Toy Story. It was met with positive reviews and was a box office success. However, its popularity has waned over the 21 years since its release. The characters are fun, and the gags come thick and fast, most of which land well. But A Bug's Life isn't as emotionally gripping as Toy Story or other Pixar offerings, and the bugs failed to capture the love of audiences in quite the same way as other Pixar characters.
17. Cars 3
The third installment of the Cars franchise features a surprisingly emotional story as Lightning McQueen comes to terms with no longer being the fastest car on the block. While it's not especially groundbreaking, Cars 3 is a natural progression (and possible conclusion) to Lightning McQueen's story, and though it still appeals to the younger viewer, there's plenty for adults to connect with, too.
Ratatouille was a huge critical and commercial success for Pixar in 2007, and continues to be highly regarded by most. The charming tale of the rat who can cook won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and the animation was groundbreaking at the time. The storyline, animation, and a brilliant score by Michael Giacchino all combine to deliver a brilliant Pixar movie. The fact that it only makes number 16 on this list is testament to the quality of Pixar's work.
15. Finding Dory
The long awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory focused on the forgetful regal blue tang trying to remember where she had come from. The movie took us out of the ocean and into an aquarium, where Dory met Hank, a moody octopus, Destiny the whale shark, and Bailey the beluga whale. Finding Dory became the second Pixar movie to gross over $1 billion at the box office, having enjoyed record breaking openings and sustained success. Finding Dory is more emotional than its predecessor, if that were possible, and a satisfying exploration of Dory's life prior to meeting Nemo and Marlin.
14. Monsters University
Who doesn't love Mike and Sulley? Monsters University bucked the trend with Pixar sequels; although it came after Monsters, Inc., the movie itself actually served as a prequel, detailing how Mike and Sulley had become friends at university. While it's not as good as Monsters, Inc., Monsters University remains a joy to watch simply because of the comedic chemistry that exists between its 2 voice leads, Billy Crystal and John Goodman. The introduction of new characters, such as Squishy and his mom, keeps this prequel fresh and hugely entertaining.
13. The Incredibles 2
The sequel to The Incredibles arrived in 2018, amidst a plethora of superhero movies and competing with Marvel, DC and Fox. However, Brad Bird and Pixar wisely chose to focus on a family theme than superheroes this time around, and the result was a funny, heartwarming movie with incredible animation and a stunning musical score from Michael Giacchino. The Incredibles 2 became the third Pixar movie to break the $1 billion mark at the box office.
Cars became the movie that spawned one of the most lucrative merchandising lines of all time. Thanks to its many spinoffs (Planes movie, Cars Toons, and 2 sequels), the list of toys, clothing, and household items available that are Cars themed, is endless. It's estimated that Cars merch pulled in $10 billion in the five years after the movie's release. While the movie may not be to everyone's tastes, the impact that Lightning McQueen, Mater and friends have had on popular culture, particularly for the very young, cannot be ignored.
11. Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo remains the bestselling DVD release of all time, and it's easy to see why. The movie features stunning animation, even though it's now 16 years old, plus a heart-wrenching storyline and endearing characters. Although the movie is ostensibly about the titular clown fish, Nemo, it's actually far more about Marlin, his dad, his insecurities as a parent, and his friendship with Dory. Finding Nemo is near perfect, and still holds a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Pixar took a huge gamble with WALL-E in 2008, since the main character, the lovable little robot, doesn't speak. Neither does the only other central character in the movie, another robot by the name of EVE. However, it's a gamble that paid off, and WALL-E, which served as a social commentary about human's impact on earth, was an enormous success. It was named by the American Film Institute as one of the best films of 2008, and it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Pixar somehow managed to make audiences root for a little trash compactor and his burgeoning love for EVE.
9. The Incredibles
Brad Bird, who was Pixar's first 'outside' director, developed The Incredibles as an homage to 1960's comic books and spy movies. Its stylized approach to the superhero genre, plus the idea of an entire family possessing superhero powers, results in a perfect animated action movie which is funny, fast-paced, and full of heart. The Incredibles is a movie that continues to delight audiences and stands the test of time, even in today's cinematic landscape, which is awash with superhero films.
8. Inside Out
On paper, a movie about the thoughts inside a pre-teen's head sounds both absurd and not all that interesting. In reality, Pixar took this concept and delivered a movie about the complexities of human emotions, coupled with the anxieties felt around growing up, and delivered Inside Out. The concept was realized in a way that everyone could identify with, especially teenagers and adults. Inside Out is incredibly moving and powerful, proving that "it's okay not to be okay," and helping to breakdown the turmoil of emotion that we often feel.
7. Monsters, Inc.
Monsters, Inc., is proof that once again Pixar are the masters of emotion. Mike and Sulley rely on scaring children, as does the whole of Monstropolis. But it's the unexpected arrival of Boo, a tiny human child, that really sets the movie going. The humor comes from Mike and Sulley trying to keep her hidden, and the utter heartbreak comes when they have to return Boo to her bedroom, and say gooodbye forever. Monsters, Inc. is the perfect movie for families, since it contains something for everyone.
6. Toy Story
Toy Story broke new ground in 1995, becoming the first full length movie to be entirely computer animated. Though technology has moved on a lot since then, the animation in Toy Story still stands up. In part, that's thanks to Pixar taking actual toys from our childhood, such as Mr Potato Head, Barbie, and Speak and Spell, and bringing them to life perfectly. It's hard to put into words the cultural impact and significance of Toy Story, but it will always be considered a landmark movie in the world of cinema. It has spawned sequels, spinoffs, rides, merchandise and so much more. The characters are a massive part of popular culture. While many consider Toy Story one of the best animated movies of all time (which it is), Pixar has stepped its game up even further in the 14 years since its release, hence why it only makes number 6 on our list.
5. Toy Story 3
It's the sequel we never thought we would get, and arguably one of Pixar's most heartbreaking tales. Toy Story 3 arrived 11 years after the release of Toy Story 2, and became the first Pixar movie to break the $1 billion mark. With Andy all grown up and off to college, the question arose over what would happen to his toys. First of all, they were accidentally donated to day care, but after finding their way back home, Andy made the difficult decision to pass them onto a new owner, Bonnie. While on the surface, the Toy Story movies are about the secret life of toys, they're actually so much more. Toy Story 3 in particular deals with the themes of growing up, friendship, moving on, loss and above all, love. The moment Woody watches Andy drive away to college will stay with most of us, who grew up with Toy Story, for a very long time.
Nestled between the excellence of the Toy Story movies, is Coco, one of Pixar's standout movies. Inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday, the movie follows the young Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. There, he learns valuable lessons about his own heritage, as well as how important it is to cherish the memory of family members who die. Coco won the Academy Award in 2017 for Best Animated Feature, and also for Best Original Song for the incredibly charming and moving "Remember Me." Coco is very funny, with strong themes of family and love, but above all it's exceptionally moving, especially the scenes between Miguel and his great grandmother, Mama Coco.
3. Toy Story 4
Pixar's most recent offering, Toy Story 4 easily deserves its 3rd place ranking, because it's almost (but not quite) the perfect sequel. With Andy's beloved toys now living with Bonnie, life continues to move on. When Bonnie makes a new toy, Forky, out of trash, Woody finds himself trying to explain the importance of toys to Forky, and why he needs to be there for Bonnie. The trouble is, Bonnie doesn't need Woody in the same way she needs Forky. Toy Story 4 raises themes of loss and love once more, but in a different way to Toy Story 3. Equally as emotive as Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4 is a satisfying (potential) ending to Woody's story, but the movie also introduces some brilliant new characters, including Duke Caboom. Yes he Canada.
2. Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 is quite possibly the best sequel to any movie, ever, and it's definitely the best animated sequel of all time. It holds the rare accolade of being better than the original movie, which isn't to say Toy Story is bad, but more that Toy Story 2 is incredible. It was originally conceived as a direct-to-video release, but Pixar upgraded it to a theatrical release. Unhappy with the quality, John Lasseter redeveloped the entire movie, and production was compressed into just 9 months. Despite this, Toy Story 2 has a rare 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and frequently features on lists of the greatest animated movies of all time. Toy Story 2 delved deeper into the original characters, especially Woody and Buzz's backstories, as well as introducing some brilliant new toys, such as Jessie and Bullseye. Toy Story 2 is full of humor, but still packs that all-important Pixar emotional punch.
If you're looking for a movie that really does have it all, then look no further than Up. Released in 2009, Up became only the second animated movie to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. It's opening montage alone is enough to emotionally destroy most people, as we watch Carl meet Ellie as children. The pair go on to get married, find they are unable to have a baby, save for their dream trip to paradise falls, and then Ellie dies. So much happens in the first five minutes, but then Up continues, with the now old and belligerent Carl using balloons to lift his house up into the sky, away from the impending developers. The only problem is, he accidentally takes a boy scout, Russell, with him on his quest to paradise falls. The pair then meet Kevin, a flightless bird, and Dug, a Golden Retriever with a collar that allows his thoughts to be spoken. "I have just met you, and I love you," is one of Pixar's most iconic lines. With Up, Pixar delivers an impeccably crafted story, that puts audiences through the emotional wringer, laughing one minute and crying the next. It really is as perfect as Pixar movies get.