Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Every Pixar Movie Ranked from Worst to Best
Every Pixar Movie Ranked from Worst to Best

8

Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 begins with an accidental tear of Woody’s fabric, the bust of a seam that renders the right arm of Andy’s beloved cowboy limp. Rarely—or, perhaps, never—has an animated film seen such an apparently minor wound produce such epic ripple effects. The rip prompts Andy to leave Woody behind when he departs for “Cowboy Camp,” which in turn leads to Woody accidentally ending up in the family’s yard sale, which then sees him shuffled off to evil Al’s Toy Barn, which introduces him to the rest of his hallowed “set,” as well as the notion that, like all toys, and all of us, he has a certain shelf life. To watch Toy Story 2 after having seen Toy Story 3 is to see the clues and feel the pangs of a brilliant, cohesive trilogy, which focuses, above all, on the universal, impossible need to claw for as much time as possible. What’s more, with Jessie’s crushing recollection of her former owner, and the reinforced commentary decrying the constraints of packaging, the film foreshadows Pixar’s peerless knack for modern silent storytelling and its gift for thinking outside the box. Osenlund

Every Pixar Movie Ranked from Worst to Best

7

The Incredibles (2004)

Throughout The Incredibles, Brad Bird toasts and critiques the best and worst elements of countless James Bond and superhero flicks to suggest that Middle America is above the lies Hollywood sells the public. When called to a Dr. Evil-esque island on a top-secret mission, the film’s main character not only reclaims his lost identity, but he must also confront the effects a past transgression had on someone else’s sense of self. Like Bird’s own scene-stealing Edna “E” Bird, an Edith Head-like fashionista who designs superhero outfits, Buddy Pine’s idol worship similarly addresses a certain wishy-washy relationship between the public and its celebrity heroes. There’s plenty of soul-searching that goes on throughout The Incredibles, but the film is most successful as a defense of family: When Mrs. Parr, a.k.a. Elastigirl, comes to her husband’s rescue, Bird gets considerable emotional mileage out of the character’s continued attempts to bend (here, literally and figuratively) in order to keep her family together. The Incredibles may fight to save the world, but they teach us to know thyself. Gonzalez

Every Pixar Movie Ranked from Worst to Best

6

Toy Story (1995)

At the start, Toy Story’s power resides in the novelty of imagining what goes on when toys are left behind on their own—a thought that, clearly, introduces a vast, engaging world of possibility. The flagship Pixar film also thrives on its accessibility, and the near-universal recognition of so many of its elements, from Mr. Potato Head to the distinct childhood thrill of spending a night out at a bitchin’ place like Pizza Planet. But its grandest achievement, of course, is its triumphant riff on the boy-and-his-dog tale, which preaches the value of the symbolic bond between toy and owner, a bond reinforced by the humbling of Buzz Lightyear, who learns that, by manufacture alone, he’s no one special, but to one kid, and one family, he’s someone very special indeed. Osenlund

Every Pixar Movie Ranked from Worst to Best

5

WALL-E (2008)

WALL-E goes beyond inviting comparisons to E.T., Number 5, R2D2, even Chaplin’s Little Tramp. The Waste Allocation Load Lifter relies on them, for writer-director Andrew Stanton understands this robot janitor as a study in memory and inheritance. The last surviving bot of a failed program meant to clean up after our bad habits, WALL-E learns about desire from a movie musical we left behind and bides his time creating buildings from our compacted trash—totems that give expression to his hunger for purpose in the same way the pyramids attest to the ancient Egyptian race’s human possibility. The robot’s loneliness is palpable not only in those soulful eyes, one of which he has to replace after it incurs great injury, but in his dogged, workaday need to clean and assemble, no doubt hoping that one day someone might notice that WALL-E Was Here. Gonzalez

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