6. Toy Story
The fact that this movie didn’t make the top five is what will garner me the most hate, but I stand by this choice. This film changed Hollywood and its definition of a kids’ movie, offering not only a new animation technique but showing that a kids’ movie can be made for adults too. Let alone the fact the movie is 22 years old, Toy Story offers nostalgia to parents by fulfilling the “What If?” everyone had as a kid: “Are our toys alive?” It’s witty, it’s action packed, it’s exciting, it’s everything that we didn’t know we wanted out of a movie meant for children. It gave us one of the most iconic movie songs of all time, “You Got A Friend In Me” too. This is a great movie, but five films in Pixar’s catalog are stronger than this one for different reasons.
I could go on about the first 7 minutes of this film, but everyone remembers how heartbreakingly good that is. So let’s talk about everything else that makes this film worthy of the top five. You have Carl, a man who just wants to honor Ellie’s memory and get to Paradise Falls. You have Russell, the knock off Boy Scout that gets dragged along by accident on Carl’s adventure. He has the biggest heart of any little boy, trying to help Carl in any way he can, even if he ends up getting them into more trouble. You have a story of an old man traveling the world with a young kid by his side, a combination that is absolutely hilarious to watch. You have the tragedy of Carl’s childhood hero Charles Muntz turning out to be the villain, the man who created the romance between Carl and Ellie and the reason why they wanted to go to Paradise Falls in the first place. There’s so many beautiful and heartbreaking moments in this film, it’s hard not to go on and on and praise it. It got nominated for five Oscars, including ‘Best Picture’, only the second animated film in history to do so at the time. Every award it was nominated for was well deserved.
4. The Incredibles
Alternatively titled “The Best Fantastic Four Movie” (which is a true statement if you think about it), The Incredibles isn’t just a great Pixar movie, it’s a great superhero movie. It gives us a unique superhero storyline, about what happens after a hero hangs up their cape and tries to live a normal life. We see the former heroes struggling to balance a normal life with their dreams of being superheroes again. We also see the kids of these heroes trying to cope with their powers and hide them in their normal lives. This may be the most well acted Pixar film, as it’s impossible to not rave about every single voice actors’ performance. Plus, “WHERE IS MY SUPER SUIT?” Need I say more?
3. Toy Story 3
This is the first of Pixar’s sequels made long after the original was made, and rightfully so as it reminds all of us that one day, we grow up. Not a lot of kids movies really show us that as well as this one does. Starting off, Ned Beatty’s performance as Lottso was hands down the best voice actor in any Pixar film. You have a series high in terms of performances from the regulars, like Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn and Don Rickles (RIP Mr. Potato Head). The story for this film is more dramatic than anything we’ve seen before in a children’s movie. The actual saddest moment in Pixar history exists in this film, and also the most heartwarming. By Andy passing on his dear toys to Bonnie, but giving them one last playtime, it reminds us of the reason we fell in love with the original. We wanted to be nostalgic, relive our childhood in a simple, small way. Toy Story 3 does exactly that and reminds us to be kids at heart.
In the first trailer for this film, they mention that this was one of the first ideas that the main founders of Pixar developed when brainstorming movie ideas. This film is completely different from the other movies that they came up with in the beginning. Unlike those other movies, this takes us to the future, a future that is hinted to be our future at the rate we’re going. Not only is the film letting us know that our planet will die one day if we don’t take care of it, but we’ll all become extremely obese if we don’t watch what we’re eating. Without being directly political, this is Pixar’s most political film, and maybe that’s exactly why it works so well. Unlike most kids movie, which teach a heartfelt, inspirational message, this one inspires action in kids. It inspires people to go out and prevent a future like the one we see in Wall-E. To turn art into action is a hard thing to do. Yet this film blends it with two adorable love stories, proof that we can fight back against our own future and hope for the future generation. It seems like it would be hard to beat this out for the number one spot, but one film did just that.
1. Inside Out
It’s impossible NOT to fall in love with this movie. You have a film that entices you with a beautifully comedic cast, another animation achievement (the glow of all of the emotions, especially Joy) and a storyline that’s advertised as a comedy but becomes much more of a drama. You’re even offered a character that was hidden from advertising and became the most heartbreaking part of the entire movie. I start crying anytime anyone tells me to “Take her to the moon for me.” If you saw this film in theaters, you were emotionally wound up beforehand with the short Lava and the waterworks continued from there. We talk about Toy Story 3 reminding us that we have to grow up, but this film shows us how hard that is. Pete Docter, the director and one of the scriptwriters, based the story on his own experiences of having to move to a completely new town and not fitting in, as well as the changes in his own daughter as she grew up. By consulting with psychologists about neuropsychological aspects of human emotion, Docter created a film that not only embodied these emotions but played to the audience’s emotions too. Who knew that all it took to screw with our emotions is show us how personified versions of our emotions feel? This film just has so many layers to it, you can talk all day about it. It rightfully deserves the number one spot on this list.
Related Topics: Pixar