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Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3 is not just my favorite Pixar film. It's not just one of my favorite animated films. It is one of my personal favorite films of all times. One of the greatest trilogy finales. My favorite of the beloved Toy Story trilogy. This is the destination point all other Toy Stories were leading to. Bring back all the elements that we loved from the first two films and bring even more drama and development brimmed with incredibly intense moments along with the ultimate tearjerker ending. Nothing more needs to be said other than Toy Story 3 is the clear high point of Pixar's filmography.
Inside Out (2015)
Yeah, what do I have to say about Inside Out that hasn't been said? This is Pixar's greatest film since Toy Story 3... this is also the newest Pixar film I've seen Toy Story 3. I didn't check out the other films because of their mediocre reception and wasn't a fan of Pixar's recent decline in quality. Luckily, even in this dark period, they managed to bring us a film that reminds us why we love Pixar films to begin with. It has a creative premise, incredible performances, and some wonderful world-building with how they portrayed the inside of someone's head and how it worked. This is a smart film that both children and adults can enjoy. It takes risks too in its story, even more so than some Pixar films, with its depiction of depression. I don't want to talk much more about it. It's best to see this film with little to no information about it. One of the best animated films I've seen in a long while and hopefully, this is a sign of Pixar's return to producing quality films.
Finding Nemo (2003)
I have the Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Version of this film and watching all the special features, seeing all the effort that went into making this film. It was kind of effort that made you appreciate a movie this adventurous and personal. The father-son aspect of this film is phenomenally captured where neither side is in the wrong but rather both grow and develop into understanding each other more. The performances from Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, and Alexander Gould are phenomenal. Plus, the film has a lot of laugh-out-loud funny moments, mostly from the interactions with Marlin and Dory. Really it is amazing how fantastical Pixar managed to capture the ocean environment, apparently they did it the technique so well that people couldn't tell the difference between the real life and the animation. However, the Pixar crew realized that they wanted the Ocean to more cartoonish to be more visually-appealing. Simply spectacular film.
The Incredibles (2004)
I love superhero films. Whether from Marvel, DC, or some other property. They are just fun, spectacular blockbuster experiences. However, when Pixar makes a superhero film, they make an amazing film. Finding Nemo expertly handled father-son relations, while The Incredibles interestingly explores the full family dynamic. Also, this is the first Pixar film to focus on human characters which Pixar has struggled with making in previous Pixar films, thus focusing on animals, monsters, and animated toys for their previous endeavors. Brad Bird is the one who praise for his work in writing and directing this phenomenal-written and animated film. I did regard this film as highly-regarded in the past. I still loved the film but it wasn't one of my favorite Pixar films. Then, I rewatched the film and really got to see some amazing animation and such a great story that takes risks and portrays real danger to the family. Scenes like the campfire scene show people could possibly harm you and the capes scene is the wonderfully hilarious piece of black comedy rarely seen in animated films meant for children. Again, like many other films, The Incredibles has some incredibly fun. Mostly notably from Edna Mode and Frozone. I still quote "Where is my supersuit?" on occasion. Jason Lee portrays a villain that could've been just comic-relief but adds a lot of genuine depth and menace to his performance and character. With its James Bond-esque score, wonderful characters, great story, and awe-inspiring animation, The Incredibles is one of the greatest superhero films in recent memory. I can't wait for the sequel, when it eventually come.
I honestly wish that Listal would allow ties in lists because if they could, I would have had WALL-E and UP tie for fourth place. I think they are both equally incredible films. While neither are some of my personal favorites, they both contain masterful elements in their stories, characters, and animation that make them modern animation masterpieces. I put give Wall-E the upper hand because it has more unique moments and the animation and presentation is more distinct. However, both Up and Wall-E are animation films that took risks, challenged audiences, helped convince more people that animation wasn't just kiddy crap, and continued the Pixar Renaissance of incredible films.
See the above entry for my thoughts on both WALL-E and UP because I believe both films are equal in terms of quality in my earnest opinion.
Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story is just an amazing movie. The story is simple and it doesn't go deep into the struggles of being a toy like the next two films do excellently. However, I felt this film provided a heartfelt and emotional story that still had depth within its simplicity. An excellent start to the Toy Story films and Pixar. This film introduced the world to computer generated animation but it hasn't aged that badly. In fact after all these years, Toy Story still remains a classic animated film.
Finding Dory (2016)
When I first heard that they were going to be making a sequel to Finding Nemo that was focuses on Dory, I'll admit I didn't have high hopes for this one. I expected that they were going to go the Cars 2 route of making an abysmal film focusing on a comedic sidekick character or go the Monsters University route and make a disappointing sequel/prequel of a beloved movie. Considering that Finding Nemo is one of my personal favorite Pixar movies, I was really hoping that this film wasn't a disappointment. After seeing this movie, I have to say... this film really blew my expectations out of the water (no pun intended). Pixar is finally back to making amazing sequels again just like the Toy Story films. There are some many great elements to this film. I love the aquarium environment the film takes place in. It is a refreshing change of pace from the large oceans of the last film. Also loved a lot of the characters including Hank the septapus, played excellently by Ed O'Neill. Also found the sea lions to make for some hilarious side-characters, reminding me of what they did with the seagulls in the previous movie. The kid who does the voice for Nemo was really good that I almost thought they got the guy who did the original Nemo to reprise his role despite the fact that they is WAY OLDER in real life. This film also has one of the greatest uses of "What A Wonderful World" I've ever seen. But honestly, the real star of the movie is Ellen DeGeneres as Dory. While she was hilarious in the last movie, this movie shows a lot more depth to her character playing off the unseen tragedy of her condition. You really get emotionally invested in Dory's journey just like you did Marlin's in the last movie. And just like in any good Pixar movie, this movie will bring out tears in your eyes from some heavy emotional scenes and intense situations. This film, along with Inside Out, is a return to form from Pixar after a rough patch of mediocre to awful films. Let's just say I'm really looking for to that Incredibles sequel.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
There's honestly not that much that I can say about Monsters, Inc. that I haven't said about other Pixar films. It has a creative premise based around the folklore about the monsters in our closet and things that go bump in the night. Turning that concept into a corporate business is the kind of interesting storytelling that Pixar excels at. There is good performances from celebrities like John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buschemi, etc. along with fun characters. Sully's relationship with Boo has some heartwarming moments along with his friendship with Mike. Along with some great animation, you have the makings of another Pixar classic.
I might be in the minority by saying this isn't one of my favorite Pixar films. I'm not denying that it's a great film (I think it's still a phenomenal film) and it does some great cinematic moments (especially Anton's monologue at the end). But there are still better Pixar films out there, in my personal opinion. I think it's the characters that make me not appreciate it as much. With the exception of Anton Ego, I'm not as emotionally connected to these characters as I would be with most Pixar protagonists. I do love how they portrayed Frances in this film with some beautiful animation used during those exterior shots and backgrounds. Maybe it's just because I can't stand rats but Ratatouille is just not among my favorites. Still a good film, tho.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
This is definitely my least favorite film of the Toy Story trilogy. This is not to discredit the film because it is still as great as much of Pixar's output. But while the first Toy Story was a simple, emotional story and Toy Story 3 had a grand, adventurous feel with powerful emotional elements, Toy Story is sort of middling story that expands on the ideas of life as a toy but doesn't go all out in its exploration like Toy Story 3 does. Still it's far from the black sheep of the series and still provides the great characters, intense action-set pieces, and heartwarming pathos that makes this series of films one of the best cinematic trilogies ever.
A Bug's Life (1998)
While other Pixar films explore creative premises or provide incredible emotional moments, this is just a simple story about bugs. It's kind of cliche, basically being Seven Samurai with insects but it's still a cute little flick that kids will enjoy and adults won't hate themselves for watching. It's far from a classic but still an enjoyable children's film. On an unrelated note, I found the bird in this film terrifying as a kid. Pixar gets a lot of credit for making a fucking bird so scary.
Honestly, despite the backlash this film gets, I don't hate this movie. Sure, this is definitely not Finding Nemo or The Incredibles quality storytelling. The story is pretty textbook, the characters generic, and sometimes it is kind of boring. But that might have been because my school kept showing this film repeatedly during my elementary school years. Despite those legit critiques, I do think this whole world of cars concept was kind of interesting, even if I'm not a total car-nut like the Pixar guys are apparently. Plus, despite its pedestrian story, I feel this film does have its occasionally emotional moments like Doc Hudson's backstory (equally sad as this was Paul Newman's last film role) and the general tale of Route 66's decline. Heck, I don't even hate Larry the Cable Guy's performance as Mater, even if the character basically ruined the franchise after this film. Honestly, if this had been the worst Pixar film ever made, I would have been happy with that. But unfortunately, they decided to give this film a sequel...
Need To Watch
I've seen a bunch of "Best To Worst" lists on this site and I decide to contribute to the long pile. I have loved Pixar's films since childhood. With their groundbreaking animation, masterful stories, and creative characters, Pixar still remains an inspiration source for animation and cinema fans everywhere. Pixar showed a lot of ignorant people that animation isn't just kid's stuff but can be used to tell powerful stories that both children and adults can love. Possibly holding the longest critical-acclaim track-record without a real dud (that dud being "Cars 2"), I have seen a lot from Pixar's filmography and will probably keeping watching until the end of my days.
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