Ultimate Pixar Ranking: #15-#6
Updated: Jun 23
Welcome back to my Ultimate Pixar Ranking! If you missed the first part, (#25-#16), click here and catch up.
Without further ado, here are #15-#6!
15. Finding Dory (2016)
Visually, Finding Dory was absolutely beautiful. I loved all of the colors and water animation. Personally, I like Dory a lot and I enjoyed watching her interact with this new cast of characters. Most of the movie was a lot of fun, but there were elements I didn’t love in the last act.
14. Toy Story 4 (2019)
After the (in my opinion) perfect ending of Toy Story 3, I found it hard to imagine what Toy Story 4 would bring to the table. While I missed the original beloved cast, I enjoyed the new characters introduced in this installment. Overall, the movie, especially the animation, was beautiful and meaningful. There were just a couple of things I didn’t love.
13. Toy Story 2 (1999)
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my viewing of Toy Story 2! Maybe it’s because the audience already knows the characters from the first installment, but the story for the sequel felt faster and more exciting.
12. WALL-E (2008)
One of the most remarkable things about WALL-E is that for the first 40 minutes, the story is told using a mostly neutral color palette and very little dialogue without being boring. Even though I usually like color and dialogue, I found it quite beautiful and engaging. In fact, it can be a bit of a bummer when setting changes to the spaceship, because then you can see some ways that the humans + the Earth in real life are still on the same path as the humans + the Earth in the movie, years after WALL-E’s initial release. One of my favorite parts in the movie was the beautiful scene when EVE and WALL-E dance together in space (“Define Dancing” - how cute is that?!). I loved the characters of EVE and WALL-E together, and their happy ending of finally holding hands and watching Hello, Dolly together while the humans rebuild their life on Earth is perfect.
11. Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo is beautiful, with its tranquil and colorful imagery, and emotional, with themes that hit close to home. The movie is an engaging adventure with its funny and scary parts spaced out well.
10. Cars 3 (2017)
After the disappointment that is Cars 2, Cars 3 is the follow-up that the original Cars deserved. While Cars is about rookie racer Lightning McQueen learning from legendary, retired racer Doc Hudson, Cars 3 features Lightning McQueen as a longtime, legendary racer in his own right, coming to terms with a new phase in life as he faces younger, faster cars. He tries to keep up by adopting new training techniques from young trainer Cruz Ramirez. As they try, fail, and succeed in new things together, Lightning and Cruz learn from each other and help each other become newer, better versions of themselves in a satisfying conclusion to the Cars trilogy.
9. Monsters University (2013)
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Monsters University. I’d seen it a couple times before my most recent viewing, but I had forgotten how good it is. First of all, I am glad that the filmmakers decided to focus on Mike Wazowski’s character in this prequel, since I realized in my last viewing of Monsters, Inc. that Mike is an entertaining character, but he’s not the most likable character in that film. Monsters University dives into Mike’s strengths while exploring Sulley’s flawed origins in a way that keeps him as loveable as he was in Monsters, Inc.
In Monsters University, I loved the pacing of the Scare Games and adored the Oozma Kappa ensemble, which made the movie nonstop fun and excitement.
8. Onward (2020)
From the establishment of its characters and premise, Onward had my heart. I love both of the main characters, Ian and Barley, two very different brothers who are on a quest to spend one last day with their father. I relate a little bit to both of the brothers, and from beginning to end I’m rooting for them with tears in my eyes (until the end of the movie, which is when those tears start streaming down my face).
7. Turning Red (2022)
Turning Red is so sweet, and the stylization is amazing. I love seeing young girls having fun and feeling confident in their lives, so I adore Mei and her friends. From the beginning, I have a big smile on my face when I watch Mei, and I always empathize with her when she is sad or in distress. Turning Red is a new movie that I am looking forward to becoming a longtime favorite.
6. Cars (2006)
I unironically love Cars. I’ve heard people complain about the logic of the Cars universe, and frankly, I don’t care. Why should I, when so many of the film’s elements are excellent? Opening scene? Great. Story exposition? Incredible. Soundtrack? Awesome. Humor? So much there, for kids and for adults (without distracting from the tone + story). Characters? I love them. The Radiator Springs ensemble is filled with such varied characters, it has me wondering how they all ended up in that little town. The story? So well-done. It’s a story about what happens when you move too quickly towards what’s shiny and new, leaving the good things you already have to become obsolete, told against the backdrop of professional race car driving! The CARS are a METAPHOR to emphasize THEMES with new and interesting visuals!!
Whew, this countdown project unexpectedly had me thinking A LOT about the Cars universe. Click here for the last part of my Ultimate Pixar Ranking, where my Top Five will be revealed!