This weekend sees Pixar’s best (and most beloved) franchise finally come to an end with the arrival of Toy Story 3 in theaters. It almost seems impossible that the first Toy Story arrived in theaters a whopping 15 years ago, but it really has been that long since we first became friends with Woody, Buzz and all the rest of those crazy toys. While we get ready to settle down for what some are calling the best film of 2010 so far, let’s take a look back at what I consider to be Pixar’s five best films to date …
The Five: Best Pixar Films
Toy Story – Though it was only their first full-length feature film, Toy Story proved that this new, emerging animation studio named Pixar was the real deal. This film changed the way we watched animated movies and all but killed 2D animation (until its lukewarm revival recently). With the original Toy Story, Pixar found a way to tell a story that not only appealed to children, but also adults – which is one thing that helped separate them from the rest of the pack, and another reason why they continue to thrive to this day.
Monsters, Inc – 2001 saw this little gem pop out of Pixar’s closet, with excellent voice work from John Goodman and Billy Crystal, Monsters, Inc. took the classic “monsters in your closet” tale and completely turned in upside down by telling a story not so much about the kids who are scared of monsters hiding in their closets, but of the actual monsters themselves.
Finding Nemo – One of Pixar’s most marketable movies (do you know any kid who doesn’t have a Nemo fish toy?), this 2003 film landed right in the middle of a hot streak for Pixar. Out of all their films, too, Nemo is still a favorite among the little ones, primarily because they can relate more to a young fish who gets separated from his father than they can to any of the other Pixar characters. Plus … I don’t know what it is, but kids love those underwater adventures.
The Incredibles – A favorite among the older kids and adults, The Incredibles felt like Pixar’s first comic book adaptation (even though it wasn’t based on a comic book). It also helped usher in a new wave of superhero movies (both animated and live-action), and until Up in 2009 was Pixar’s only film that featured all human main characters.
Wall-E – C’mon, I dare you to get through the first 20 minutes of this film without crying. The tale of a futuristic robot searching for a companion was probably Pixar’s most beautiful film to date. The wide, puppy-dog eyes of its main character immediately tugged at our heartstrings, and though he couldn’t say much more than his own name, we understood Wall-E more than he probably understood himself.
Now it’s your turn – sound off below with your favorite Pixar films.
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Erik DavisFandango Bloggers
Erik is a leading movie commentator who has worked for outlets such as AOL Moviefone and Movies.com.