The Best Pixar Movies Ever Made
Movies define a generation, or sometimes they can create a world that would have never existed, had the writer or producer not created the motion picture. Fiction films especially Disney ones (Pixar movies too!), allow us as the audience to escape the reality of the real world, and for two hours buy into the façade of magic and imagination that our favorite brand so often reminds us to believe in. Even if the story is based on fantasy with animation, the character’s emotions and struggles are still real; therefore, we will become attached, while rooting for them as well. For instance, the film Pinocchio is far from reality. How many talking wooden puppets have you met? I don’t know about anyone else, but I haven’t met one, however, we can still understand Pinocchio’s desire to be a real boy, and the conflict of peer pressure when surrounded by others.
Watching Disney movies has always been one of my favorite pastimes. I become captivated in the stories. As a child I excitedly anticipated the release of their next films, in which I would drag my parents to take me to see on opening nights. Yes, fun I know. There are countless Disney movies that I adore, but a large amount of them actually come from Pixar, but like all things. I have my preferences over others.
Toy Story (1,2, & 3)
Toy Story is such a phenomenal and creative take on the life of toys and without a doubt my favorite Pixar movies. Children spend long hours playing with their toys, but with these movies, Disney opens the concept of a life behind closed doors with your toys. It encourages the idea that toys take a life and personality of their own outside of us. We may see our toys as being one way, but in reality it could be completely different. Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Jesse. Rex, Slinky, and Hamm are ingrained in my childhood. After seeing Toy Story, as a child I would open the door twice before leaving my room just to see if I could catch my toys coming to life like Andy’s did when he left. Toy Story reiterates the notion of how important kids are to their toys, which establishes the bond toys, and their owners share with one another. If it’s not your toy, you just don’t get it. Essentially the toys in the films crave being played with, it could almost be compared to spending time with your friend until it stops, and as a result it equates heartbreak. Even today, I still own some of my favorite toys because memories are crucial, and I am connected to those toys, which have emotional attachments for me. With my toys, I am holding onto a small part of my childhood.
Finding Nemo & Finding Dory
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” Everyone knows this quote from Finding Nemo. Finding Nemo is one of the most charming and creative Pixar films made, while also containing a large element of humor, which is why this is easily my second favorite. As someone who grew up around the water, the component of sea creatures living as we do is such an intriguing concept. Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Crush, Bruce, Mr. Ray, Destiny, Bailey, and many more are great characters that you fall in love with, while Disney takes you on a wild adventure in both films with all of them. Humor is the best ingredient to the beauty of these films. Marlin and Dory feed off each other beautifully, and it is nearly impossible not to fall in love with their dynamic. I also love that Disney shows the importance of family in both films. First in Finding Nemo, it is Marlin’s mission to find his son, and he will not stop searching until it is accomplished, regardless of how many threats he may have to come across. In Finding Dory, Dory is searching to find her family that she lost so many years ago. Even though she struggles with short-term memory, she won’t give up either because they are a part of her. Both films showcase the bond that children and parents share with one another, and even in distance, it remains intact. It is very heartwarming.
For decades, society has often tried to contemplate what life will be like in a distant future from now. I can’t even recall how many films I have watched about a futuristic life in which robots inhabit our planet, but the film WALL-E is unique from those before it. WALL-E is a poetic film that incorporates the destruction of our world, while also including a sweet romantic story between two robots. The hopeless romantic in me adores this film. One of my favorite aspects of the film is the silence. Even though there isn’t much talking, it’s not necessary, instead the story is told through actions. Disney plays with the danger of consumerism and environmental issues, while also showcasing how one can change another’s outlook on life. WALL-E AND EVE are two robots that are very different but again, like most Pixar films, you fall in love with them and their quirks immediately. Both were programed for different purposes but once they meet, EVE who shows almost no human characteristics (which is very different from Wall-E who is the most human character), begins to change, showing emotions and acting on free will verses what she is programed to do. I also love that this story reminds us of the importance of romantic love and companionship, as well as how one person can change your perspective on life in a huge and positive way, which is why this is third on my list.
A Bug’s Life
I absolute despise bugs in every form, but love the film A Bug’s Life. A Bug’s Life is another innovative and inspiring Pixar film that encourages imagination and the idea of a hidden life underground with insects, especially ants. Disney created a world much like they did with Toy Story, that there is a life with these bugs that we do not see. They aren’t just creepy creatures that prick at our skin, instead it is a large community of workers trying to survive and keep their home. Flik, Atta, Dot, Heimlich, Gypsy, Manny, Tuck, Roll, Rosie, Dim, Slim, and Francis are wonderful characters and for first time at a young age I was rooting for ants, despite my fear for them normally, though the detailed animation helped. This is a true definition of an “underdog” story, which speaks to me. So many times we have told ourselves, I’m too small to make a difference” but Disney dismisses that idea with A Bugs Life, which is one of many reasons it is fourth on my list. A Bugs Life shows no matter how small you are, you can change the outcome. I also love the lesson of standing up towards someone much bigger than you, or in today’s age it could be compared to someone who has more power. If everyone stands up to a bully, you are the strength not the bully, which is so important.
Superheroes have become ingrained in our society. Sometimes we all just want to believe that maybe there is someone out there saving our city. I love that Pixar depicts an eccentric family who happens to be superheroes behind closed doors. Who wants a superhero that is all the way put together or loved by everyone outside of his or her suit? It is just not believable, unless of course you’re Tony Stark. Bob, Helen, Dash, Violet, Jack, and Lucius are all great with their charisma, humor in their lines as well as each having different supper powers. It is incredible; see what I did there? Like all Pixar films, humor, and relatability are two major components to the story and what draws you in. “Honey, where is my super suit?!” Need I say more? One of the great things with The Incredibles is that Disney encourages the idea once again of the importance of family and counting on them. In today’s society family elements in stories are being lost, therefore it’s refreshing to see. I also love that Disney showcases the idea to not be afraid to be yourself. So many times as a child I was always the outsider, which is probably why as young teen I related to Violet, but when she became comfortable in her own skin, I believed I could as well. Believing in yourself is so essential, which is why this fifth on my list.
Monster’s Inc. & Monster University
Monster’s Inc. is a vivid and extravagant story on a familiar concept known to everyone. From an early age, the idea of monsters hiding in the closest becomes part of many children’s worst nightmares, resulting in them dreading the process of going to bed. Can’t you envision their beady eyes? Disney opens this film with the notion that Monsters live as we do in a separate dimension. With this dimension, it encourages the idea that scary creatures feed off of our fears to survive, which is so unique and creative. Mike, Sullivan, Boo, Randall, Celia, Roz, Don, Art, Terri, Terry, Squishy, Ms. Squibbles, and Dean are just a small list of some of the great characters or monsters shown in both movies. Scary? Not so much, but definitely cute, and of course you fall in love with all of them, minus Randall. Coloring is another great component in these films. The colors are vibrant, which makes each character stand out and even the locations as well. Essentially their world is beauteous. Above all, my favorite aspect of the films is Pixar showcasing that despite a person being scared of someone or something, if you look past the surface, you can learn to not be fearful. It is a great lesson in not judging those who seem different at first glance, which helped in my teenage years and still can be related in society today, which is why it is sixth on my list.
Up is without a doubt one of the most poignant and well written Pixar films today. It is so often that once an individual reaches a certain age, dreams almost disperse from their mind. Disney encourages the idea that regardless of your age, one is never too old to achieve their dreams. One of my favorite aspects of this film is that the audience sees Carl’s dedication to his wife throughout his life until she passes, which is wonderful to witness even if it is only the first few minutes of the film. Very heartwarming. As Helen Keller once said, “the best, and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” Much like WALL-E, most of the film is done in silence. Even though there isn’t much talking, it’s not necessary, instead the story is told through heart-rending actions with Carl, Russell and Dug, who are great characters and help each other in different ways, which is another reason I love UP. Change is very much part of the human experience and sometimes that includes death, but with this film, Disney reminds us that even if you experience loss, you can still experience other relationships that might even guide you in achieving a lost dream, which is by far my favorite theme of the movie and why it is seventh on my list.
Everyone has emotions, it is the very thing that makes us human, but so many times we don’t consider the rollercoaster that one goes through daily. Inside Out is such a magnificent and imaginative approach to all of our feelings, and how they work together in their hidden world. Once again Pixar creates another dimension, in which most of the characters live in a world that we have no knowledge of. With this film, Disney encourages the idea that every emotion is necessary to live a well-balanced life, in order for a person to reach their true happiness, and a prime example on why I had to include this excellently done movie on the list. Riley, Anger, Joy, Disgust, Fear, Sadness and Bing Bong are astonishing characters that bring so much empathy and humor to the story. It is impossible to not love them all, even when Anger and Sadness disrupt the procedure. I also love how vibrant, spirited and energetic the emotion’s world is, compared to our own, which comes across duller. The colors were luscious and brought out each character wonderfully. So many times as a child, teenager, and even as an adult I held in what I was feeling, until it erupted like a volcano, never a good thing. Despite all the great aspects of the film, my favorite part of Inside Out is Pixar showcasing the importance of individuals expressing their emotions, rather than hiding, because in the end that is unhealthy.
Overall there are so many other Pixar films I could have included, but these were my top favorites, what are your favorite Pixar films?
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Special thanks to Lindsey Johnson for writing this article: Passionate, Creative, and Fantasy; these are three perfect words to describe the essence of why I love Disney. Disney allows me to escape my reality, and enter into different worlds through artistic stories beyond my wildest imagination.