Every Pixar Movie Ranked

19. Incredibles 2 (2018)

Budget: $200million
Box Office: $1.243billion
Director: Brad Bird

The sequel 14 years in the making arrived with all the thoroughfare of the big Marvel Studios movies, and appropriately earned MCU-levels of money (more than $1.2billion). It was a powerhouse combination of popular trends: superheroes and the still-credible Pixar Animation Studios. Brad Bird even returned to direct it after cutting his teeth in live-action on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. This Incredibles entry tells of Incredibles family matriarch Elastigirl being enlisted to change the public’s perceptions of superheroes, while dad (Mr. Incredible) stays at home to look after his young family. When things go awry, and conspiracies come to light, the entire family must once again embrace their powers to save the world.

All the superheroes of the decade and a half between both Incredibles movies perhaps saturated the impact of this release, with excitement high but praise middling for this long-awaited film. Some elements of the story seemed old and tiresome, such as the so-called “reverse” family roles playing as a continuous joke despite it being the 2010s when men being at home was normal and the jokes around it had long since gone out of style, while the tropes of the comic book film had started to become tiresome. Being released the same year as Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse didn’t help to make this look or feel original either. The slapstick humour did hit, however, as did some of the more emotive story beats, and Pixar did manage to establish one of the more glossy and vibrant examples of their typical art style in this release.


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18. Toy Story 4 (2019)

Budget: $200million
Box Office: $1.07billion
Director: Josh Cooley

Toy Story 4 Review

Like Toy Story 3, the fourth film in the series is existential, examining the very nature of toys. Woody’s new deputy, Bonnie, crafts a toy out of a spork named Forky, but Forky won’t stop jumping in the trash because that’s how he sees himself. Woody and Forky end up on a road trip that features a variety of misfit toys flourishing despite their circumstances, including a fleshed out Bo Peep and an insecure stuntman named Duke Caboom.

While its predecessor felt like a satisfying narrative conclusion, Toy Story 4 is an awesome film. Disney’s live-action effects may seem out of place, but the technological leaps from the first film to this are astounding. The detail is breathtaking; the lighting looks straight out of an arthouse movie. With some sequels, fans may ask “why”, but Toy Story 4 gives a resounding answer in all facets, making it a worthy entry in the franchise and the wider Pixar canon.


17. Monsters University (2013)

Budget: $200million
Box Office: $743.6million
Director: Dan Scanlon

The first prequel in Pixar’s filmography, Monsters University takes a deeper dive into the frighteningly funny realm of monsters. Sulley and Mike Wazowski could not have been more different as they arrived at college – Mike is small but full of moxie and ambition, while Sulley is naturally talented but indifferent to the academic process. When the two are kicked out of the school’s Scaring program, they team up to fight their way back in through the Annual Scare Games, a competition put on by the school’s fraternities.

Mike and Sulley’s eclectic fraternity, Oozma Kappa, demonstrate the real anxieties and aspirations of college life, blurring the line between man and monster. The idea of “hard work” versus “innate talent” is thoroughly dissected, the fears of returning to school at an age beyond the traditional student’s, the lack of confidence in one’s ability to achieve the expectations of the world – these are all problems students face throughout their university tenure. But the film’s solution is community. Having people of different stripes who are there for each other, pushing each other, and working towards a common goal is how students and everyone best achieves in life. Anyone watching could serve as a power source for monsters because this is one of the funniest films Pixar has made.


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