23 of the Best Pixar Movies, Ranked
We’re decided to do the impossible—rank all of the Pixar movies ever made, from worst to best. We know, it’s not an easy feat, but after some back and forth, we think we’ve come down to a pretty solid list. And let’s face it, we could all use a little Pixar magic. From Toy Story to Finding Nemo, read on for the best Pixar movies and where to stream them.
23. ‘Cars 2’ (2011)
We’ll start off this roundup by saying this: Sequels are hard. And there may not be a more perfect example than the Cars franchise. While the original film performed well in the box-office, its follow up definitely did not. With the focus on Tow Mater, rather than Lightning McQueen, the 2011 flick actually landed a “rotten” rating on rotten tomatoes. Yikes.
Who’s in it: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer
22. ‘The Good Dinosaur’ (2015)
The Good Dinosaur is probably Pixar’s most forgotten piece of work. Seriously, did you even recognize the title when you read it? The movie tells the story of an Earth on which dinosaurs weren’t wiped out by a meteor. And we will admit, it's visually stunning. But due to its lack of popularity, The Good Dinosaur didn’t even have the chance for a sequel and holds the title for the company’s lowest-grossing film.
Who’s in it: Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Ryan Teeple, Jack McGraw
21. ‘Cars 3’ (2017)
Though it’s a rebound from the semi-disappointing Cars 2, we don’t have too much to say about Cars 3. While the second film seemed to try something more radical (which clearly didn’t work) the third installment decided to go back to the original film’s roots: fun race sequences and quirky comedy. One of the best parts of the film in our opinion was Armie Hammer.
Who’s in it: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer
20. ‘Brave’ (2012)
With some brave (sorry, we had to) supporting female characters throughout the majority of Pixar’s films, Brave was the first to have a female in the titular role. The fantasy fairy tale does a great job of bringing together classic themes of individuality and strength with female empowerment. However, it falls short when it comes to the originality we’re used to from Pixar. Not to mention, the second half of the plot is pretty uneventful.
Who’s in it: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd
19. ‘Finding Dory’ (2016)
A sweet sequel to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory takes us on another adventure under the sea. Ellen DeGeneres reprises her voiceover role almost 13 years after the original and still offers the same sense of humor that we love about Dory in the first place. However, we believe the film could have worked better on its own since it's simply impossible to watch it without constantly comparing it to Nemo’s story.
Who’s in it: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Eugene Levy, Diane Keaton, Ty Burrell
18. ‘Incredibles 2’ (2018)
While we were never really expecting a sequel to the original 2004 film (more on that one later) Pixar delivered Incredibles 2 14 years later. The second film followed the Parr family of superheroes as they face what could be their toughest challenge yet: a role reversal that sees Bob (Mr. Incredible) having to manage the household duties while his wife, Helen, lives out her superhero dreams. While it made for a good story, the movie didn’t quite live up to its predecessor.
Who’s in it: Brad Bird, Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner
17. ‘Monsters University’ (2013)
We don’t need any excuses to watch our pals Mike and Sully get into some hijinx. But the issue with Monsters University is that it’s a prequel that seemed a little forced. While we understand the need (or want) to know how these guys became pals, we don’t believe an entire film was necessary to do so. Nonetheless, the film still provides audiences with enough fun and humor to make it enjoyable. But again, nothing compares to the original.
Who’s in it: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Sean Hayes, Charlie Day
16. ‘Toy Story 2’ (1999)
With a total of four flicks in the Toy Story franchise, there has to be a least favorite. Enter: Toy Story 2. No matter, the late ’90s movie follows Woody as he’s kidnapped by a toy collector and his pals set out to rescue to him. It’s definitely still a fun watch.
Who’s in it: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Annie Potts
15. ‘Cars’ (2006)
You would think the idea of cars evolving into living machines and pretty much taking over the world would be higher on our list, however, the entire franchise proved inadequate in comparison to the studio’s other films. That being said, this sweet, modest family comedy has its moments and remains amusing throughout its entirety. And with a cast like Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy, you really can’t go wrong.
Who’s in it: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin
13. ‘Toy Story 3’ (2010)
In what's without a doubt the saddest Toy Story movie, Woody, Buzz and the gang face an uncertain future as Andy gets ready to leave home for college. The threequel does well to balance the growth of its characters, along with introducing a new set of toys without sacrificing what we loved most about them. It also addresses one of the major lessons of life: Everybody grows up sometime.
Who’s in it: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Ned Beatty, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Michael Keaton
14. ‘Onward’ (2019)
Although one of (if not the) most recent movies on this list, Onward gives off some serious ’80s film vibes. Pixar surprised us with this quirky flick about two elf brothers attempting to bring their dead father back to life for one day. Lacking some of the same emotion and depth we’ve seen out of the animation giant’s other films, Onward still takes viewers on a fun adventure and includes some wild twists along the way.
Who’s in it: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Ali Wong, Wilmer Valderrama
12. ‘Bao’ (2018)
OK, technically this is a short film. But due to its popularity (come on, it won an Oscar) we included it in this roundup. A woman who is suffering from empty nest syndrome gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings springs to life. Bao embodies what Pixar does best—tackling hard but real topics, presenting diversity and making you feel all sorts of emotions.
Who’s in it: Sindy Lau, Daniel Kai Lin, Sharmaine Yeoh, Tim Zhang
11. ‘A Bug’s Life’ (1998)
As the second-ever Pixar film (we’re serious), A Bug’s Life holds a special place in our heart and on this list. As a follow up to Toy Story, with a whopping three years in between, animators at Pixar put in some serious time and effort in capturing the tiny world of the bugs around us. A story about a misfit ant who wants to build an army to save his colony from grasshoppers? It doesn’t get any cuter than that.
Who’s in it: Kevin Spacey, Dave Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere, Denis Leary
10. ‘Toy Story 4’ (2019)
While still not as good as the first, Toy Story 4 still captures the audience with its emotional plot. The fourth installment centers mainly around Woody (while introducing us to one of our new favorite toys, Forky), yet it is a bit darker and more introspective than the others. Either way, the final rendition will give your entire gang all the feels.
Who’s in it: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Keegan-Michael Key, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Joan Cusack
9. ‘Up’ (2009)
Up follows Carl Fredricksen as he sets out to fulfill a lifelong dream by tying thousands of balloons to his house and flying away to the South American wilderness. But there’s one problem: He has a stowaway. And while Pixar really tugs at your heartstrings in the first ten minutes of the film, the remaining hour is full of love and unlikely friendships that will absolutely leave you wanting to call every member of your family.
Who’s in it: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Bob Peterson
8. ‘The Incredibles’ (2004)
In this animated film, the Parrs are just trying to live a normal, quiet suburban life. But that’s not exactly easy when you’re a family of undercover superheroes. Kids of all ages will love watching to find out if these guys manage to save the world from a superhero wannabe. Not to mention, this was long before the explosion of Marvel superhero movies and takes a refreshing, family-focused approach at the genre.
Who’s in it: Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee
7. ‘Monsters, Inc.’ (2001)
Believe it or not, Monsters, Inc. was the Pixar’s first foray into building an entirely new world. And what better world to build than one about the monsters under your bed? When a young girl accidentally enters their world, two monsters go above and beyond to ensure she’s returned safely. The animation giant uses the film to explore and transform one of children’s most terrifying fears while reminding us adults what it’s like to be young again.
Who’s in it: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, James Coburn, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly
6. ‘Inside Out’ (2015)
Possibly Pixar's most creative (and we imagine challenging) project is Inside Out. The feel-good flick follows young Riley as she’s uprooted from her childhood home and forced to move to a new city. Her emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust) try to guide her through this difficult transition but it’s not easy being an 11-year-old girl in a new place. The company managed to visualize and personify human emotions and consciousness (usually rather cliché topics) in a way that is fun for adults and children alike.
Who’s in it: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Mindy Kaling, Diane Lane
5. ‘Coco’ (2017)
A thoughtful film that tackles a difficult subject matter beautifully, this Oscar-winner follows Miguel on his quest to become an accomplished musician, despite his family’s ban on music. Through a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself in the Land of the Dead where he meets some interesting characters and learns about his family's mysterious past. Pixar uses Coco to explore the meaning of family, life and death as well as teaches viewers about diversity and Mexican traditions.
Who’s in it: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renee Victor
Who would have ever imagined that a story about a rat who is secretly the greatest chef in all of Paris would ever be towards the top of any movie list? Pixar’s 2007 animated classic can be characterized as an art-culinary comedy of sorts. It’s so likable, in fact, that it even won an Oscar that year. While there’s nothing nail-biting about the plot, Ratatouille inspires viewers to follow their dreams—no matter how big.
Who’s in it: Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Will Arnett
3. ‘Finding Nemo’ (2003)
This adorable underwater flick is definitely one of the funnier films on this list. It features plenty of giggles and morals for younger viewers (and adults) including the importance of teamwork, embracing what makes you unique and how a little bit of determination goes a long way. Plus, Finding Nemo was created using some of the most stunning visuals that capture the exotic beauty of the oceans, for all of the future marine biologists out there.
Who’s in it: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Allison Janney
2. ‘WALL-E’ (2008)
This one landed the number two spot for so many reasons. Not only is it one of Pixar’s most beloved works, but its also a great science fiction film. It may be the only animated film (or any film), that provides a warning about our future while critically analyzing our past and present. Plus, who would’ve thought a story about metal trash compactors would make us bawl our eyes out? But here we are.
Who’s in it: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard
1. ‘Toy Story’ (1995)
It’s pretty much impossible to place Toy Story anywhere other than at the top of this list. Not only was it the first-ever Pixar movie but the first entirely computer-animated movie as well, which is quite hard to believe, considering the seriously impressive effects. With enough inside jokes for adults, this film of toys coming to life is perfect for family movie night.
Who’s in it: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, Annie Potts