The Pixar movies: Rank 'em!

At Armchair Commentary. Here is David Horiuchi’s ranking:

The first two Toy Story movies are playing in 3-D theaters. Up is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray pretty soon. So heck, why not take a shot at ranking all the Pixar movies? Well, maybe because the Pixar movies are so uniformly good that judging them against each other becomes really, really hard? Seriously, it’s hard to beat their combination of great storytelling, visual brilliance, inspired voice casting, and emotional resonance, and there are a number of them that I would consider among my favorite movies of all time. It’s easier to rank the Star Trek movies, since only four (now five) really matter, and the rest kind of fill out the list. Or the Harry Potter movies because there are so few of them. But we’re not here to take the easy way out! Here’s my personal ranking (just the feature films, not the shorts, because that would be even harder), subject to change at any time, or till Toy Story 3 comes out. –David

1. The Incredibles: I love, love, love this movie and have seen it more times than I can count. And if I ran across it on TV right now, I’d watch it again. It helps that I’m a superhero fan, but it’s a perfect combination of action, humor, and poignancy.
2. Monsters Inc.: I love this one too–a great concept and an absolute blast to watch. Billy Crystal and John Goodman have great rapport, and “Kitty!” has become one of those magical movie words.
3. Toy Story: Our introduction to the wonder of Pixar, and a way of seeing toys that we really hadn’t seen before but will never forget.
4. Up: I may be ranking this one a bit high because it’s the one I’ve most recently seen, but the early part of the movie was totally unexpected and magical for me, and by itself worthy of a high ranking on this list. Keyword: “Squirrel!”
5. Finding Nemo: A really outstanding film that could probably be ranked higher, but I’ve never loved this one as much as, say, its predecessor, Monsters Inc. It is fabulous to watch and a lot of fun, though. Keyword: “Mine.”
6. Wall-E: Might be at a bit of a disadvantage because it’s the only one I didn’t see in theaters, but it’s a real charmer (and like Up, almost two totally different movies). Key random musical moment: “Put on Your Sunday Clothes.”
7. Ratatouille: Another really fun film that could be ranked higher for its eye-catching depiction of food and France. Rats in the kitchen, though… Ick.
8. Toy Story 2: Yeah, it’s one of the best sequels of all time. Yeah, I ranked it this low. Yeah, I feel bad about it.
9. A Bug’s Life: Pixar’s second film is a remake of the Japanese classic Seven Samurai, and again, on any other list (or any other day) it would rank highly.
10. Cars: This was my easiest selection of the list because it’s the only Pixar film that disappointed me. It’s their own fault for raising the own bar so high–I said to a friend, “It’s good, but it’s no Pixar film”–but it didn’t really feel like their hearts were in it. It’s also the only one (other than Up) I’ve seen only once. I’d probably enjoy it if I saw it again, but I don’t think it would climb up the list.

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