Skip to main content

The 10 best Pixar movies of all time, ranked

Adults love these Pixar movies, too

Up
Pixar

There’s animation, then there’s Pixar. The animation studio owned by Disney revolutionized computer-generated entertainment in the late 1990s, and it has never looked back since. While Disney is known for bringing magic to the movie screen, Pixar’s thematically rich stories and ultra-fleshed-out characters transcend the medium, making critics aware of the greatness that lies within CGI imagery. Pixar’s reputation relied more on creativity and abstract, yet relatable concepts in its early years, while it’s resided on the sequel content more in recent times. Whether you like one of the company’s franchises or its standalone films more, you’ve surely been touched by the ethereal and effervescent style of Pixar. Here are the 10 best Pixar movies, ranked.

10. Soul (2020)

10. Soul
101m
Genre
Animation, Family, Comedy, Fantasy, Drama
Stars
Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton
Directed by
Pete Docter
Watch on Disney+
It’s a shame that Soul was released during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, missing out on the opportunity to display its heartfelt, thought-provoking brilliance on the big screen in theaters. Starring the voice of Jamie Foxx as a musician hitting a mid-life crisis, Soul makes viewers think about the courage it takes to chase your dreams at any point in your life. When Foxx’s character nearly dies, he realizes what truly makes him special. Topics like mortality and existentialism usually don’t appease younger viewers, but Soul deals with morbidity by twisting it into opportunity. We have all been given a finite time on the planet, but it’s what you put into those years that truly counts the most.

9. Coco (2017)

9. Coco
105m
Genre
Family, Animation, Fantasy, Music, Comedy, Adventure
Stars
Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Directed by
Lee Unkrich
Watch on Disney+
Pixar has tried to incorporate more diverse selections of characters in the last decade, with Coco being the staple fans turn to when they want a feel-good story about Mexican culture and the Day of the Dead. The plot follows a boy who tries to unearth the truth about his family’s rich musical history when he visits the land of the deceased. The final scene, accompanied by a tear-jerking remembrance of the main character’s great-grandfather, remains the pinnacle of Pixar’s ability to bind its characters and families at home together for eternity.

8. Ratatouille (2007)

8. Ratatouille
111m
Genre
Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Stars
Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Ian Holm
Directed by
Brad Bird
Watch on Disney+
Ratatouille garnered critical acclaim at the time of its release in the late 2000s, but it’s now a forgotten classic in the Pixar canon. As Remy the rat and Linguini the chef realize they can help each other cook the best food in Paris, their relationship breaks the boundaries of human-animal friendships in other movies. Patton Oswalt turns in one of the best voice performances in any Pixar movie. Oh, and you’ll want to make sure you aren’t hungry when you’re watching this one.

7. Up (2009)

7. Up
96m
Genre
Animation, Comedy, Family, Adventure
Stars
Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai
Directed by
Pete Docter
Watch on Disney+
We all know Up’s first 10 minutes transcend movies. Seeing elderly Carl Frederickson have his wife taken from him gives us so much perspective about his personality throughout the ensuing parts of the Pixar film. It’s that remaining portion of the movie that makes sure the introduction isn’t for naught. Carl’s journey with young Russell helps him live out some of the dreams he had earlier in his life, and maybe even put to bed some of the regrets of his past.

6. Finding Nemo (2003)

6. Finding Nemo
100m
Genre
Animation, Family
Stars
Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Directed by
Andrew Stanton
Watch on Disney+
Finding Nemo’s well-known tale of a father clownfish searching for his lost son branches off into so many dense themes and everlasting memories for kids and adults alike. Marlin and Dory’s adventures take them through shark-infested waters and onto the backs of sea turtles, allowing viewers to live their aquatic dreams vicariously through the colorful marine life of Pixar’s imaginative animated world. Finding Dory ended up becoming too much of a good thing, as this first movie didn’t need a sequel. It’s perfect as it is.

5. Toy Story (1995)

5. Toy Story
81m
Genre
Animation, Adventure, Family, Comedy
Stars
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
Directed by
John Lasseter
Watch on Disney+
Toy Story is the rare pioneering film that doesn’t need any qualifiers to prop up its greatness. Almost 30 years and three sequels later, the first film stands the test of time, with purity, friendship, and ingenuity serving as the main devices. Woody and Buzz Lightyear combine for the best duo in Pixar’s character collection. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen set a standard for voice acting in CGI films that other companies would incessantly pursue to no avail, especially Dreamworks Animation.

4. Inside Out (2015)

4. Inside Out
95m
Genre
Animation, Family, Adventure, Drama, Comedy
Stars
Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader
Directed by
Pete Docter
Watch on Disney+

Inside Out can be as shallow or as deep as you want it to be. For children, enjoying the bright colors and chaotic character designs will be good enough for many rewatches. For older viewers, gleening the brilliant commentary on growing up, parenting, and the emotions that come along with facing life’s biggest stresses will make them appreciate what it means to be human. Inside Out is a multilayered masterpiece.

3. The Incredibles (2004)

3. The Incredibles
115m
Genre
Action, Adventure, Animation, Family
Stars
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell
Directed by
Brad Bird
Watch on Disney+

The Incredibles stands up not only against other Pixar movies, but other superhero spectacles, such as the best Batman films or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Parrs may have powers that allow them to leverage their days however they choose to, but their typical middle-class American lifestyle resembles any other family trying to navigate school, dating, marital stressors, and more. One of the funniest and best Pixar movies ever, The Incredibles spoofs blockbusters while also embodying one on its own.

2. Toy Story 3 (2010)

2. Toy Story 3
103m
Genre
Animation, Family, Comedy
Stars
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Directed by
Lee Unkrich
Watch on Disney+
Toy Story 3 typifies a rare home run in its third at-bat, expounding and layering everything from the previous two movies into the best Toy Story film that will ever exist. Woody and Buzz fighting back against the bitter, evil Lotso never fails to get the heart racing. The plot tugs at the heartstrings and incorporates little details about the toys that both newcomers and longtime fans get enjoyment from.

1. WALL·E (2008)

1. WALL·E
98m
Genre
Animation, Family, Science Fiction
Stars
Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Directed by
Andrew Stanton
Watch on Disney+
WALL-E elevates Pixar’s place atop the animation giants by experimenting with genres and methods, such as silent filmmaking, post-apocalyptic settings, romantic comedy, and dystopian manifestations. WALL-E is an adorable robot that doesn’t realize he’s living during the end times, and he just wants to spend his existence with his one true love. The simplicity and complexity mix into an amalgamation unlike any other movie Pixar has attempted.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Shawn Laib
Shawn Laib is a freelance writer with publications such as Den of Geek, Quote.com, Edge Media Network, diaTribe, SUPERJUMP…
The best Matthew McConaughey movies, ranked
Matthew McConaughey has some awesome films to watch — here are our top picks
McConaughey in Mud

Matthew McConaughey has had quite an interesting career, to say the least. His filmography really is a story in three parts. When he first started out in the 1990s, McConaughey often played supporting roles in thoughtful dramas, bringing out the best in his co-stars. As he aged into the 2000s, Hollywood pinned him as a rom-com lead, and we can't ignore why. The man is pure swag and sex appeal, with a Texas accent that melts hearts and makes you want to go to the theater more than one time.

His third act was at the beginning of the 2010s when he became a true blockbuster, Academy Award-worthy star. Accolades for prestige biopics, fascinating sci-fi films, and more were very deserving and shined a light on a diverse and well-earned career. Now, McConaughey has taken a step back from acting for the most part, instead putting his focus on politics and other issues. Here are the 10 best Matthew McConaughey movies so far.

Read more
The best Ryan Gosling movies of all time
These are our favorite movies from one of Canada's finest exports
Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie

Few actors have had more fascinating careers in the 21st century than Ryan Gosling. Since emerging as an A-list star, Gosling has found a way to inhabit roles in broad comedies, serious dramas, and almost everything in between while maintaining a remarkably consistent persona. Gosling is a great actor, but he's also someone who knows where and when to push himself and when he should rely on the charms that come with his insanely good looks. He's younger than movie stars like Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but he definitely exists in the same mold. These are the best Ryan Gosling movies so far.

The Fall Guy (2024)

Read more
10 classic movies you need to stream on Netflix
Binge on these longtime favorite movies
Remote close-up watching TV

They don't make 'em like they used to. Older generations often harp on the inadequacies of modern filmmaking, from an overreliance on special effects to Hollywood's capitalist-driven quest to make seven sequels to every original movie. Whatever the reasoning is for hating 21st-century cinema, people who prefer old pictures have plenty of options when they tune in to streaming services like Netflix.

With a rotating selection of films that changes monthly, subscribers should always look for what's leaving and what's entering the service when logging into Netflix. For folks more interested in the glory of the 20th century, we have plenty of pre-2000 movies to pick from right here!

Read more