From Anonymous: What is your favorite Pixar movie?
Well, this question could essentially be answered in one sentence, and that would be a very short blog post! So I'm going to take the opportunity to rank all twelve of their movies from my least favorite to my most favorite. Sound good?
Now, the movies on the bottom of my list don't mean that they are bad. Ranking Pixar movies is like ranking jewels. The jewel that ends up in last place is still a jewel, just less shiny than the jewel in first place!
12 Cars 2
Cars 2 is vastly different from the first Cars movie. So different that it's almost hard to think of it as a sequel at all. And while I found it to be really fun and exciting with all of its espionage and action, it just didn't resonate emotionally like most Pixar movies do.
While Cars 2 is fast and flashy, the original Cars was slow and nostalgic. While it's about friendship and finding what's important in life, it's also an ode to forgotten small towns. Growing up in Ordway, Colorado I could definitely relate!
10 Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 broke the rule that sequels have to suck. This movie successfully continued the story of our favorite toys while introducing us to some great new characters. The song "When She Loved Me" makes me cry every time.
9 A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life was Pixar's second movie and it proved that Toy Story wasn't just a fluke. It's based on the Aesop fable about an ant and a grasshopper, but it's like ten times cooler! I just love Heimlich's "I'm a beautiful butterfly!"
8 Monster's, Inc.
The concept of Monster's, Inc. is so original! What if the monsters in our closets were scared of us? Brilliant! The little girl Boo is so adorable, the monsters are so funny, and that climax with all of the doors is simply awesome! I'm excited for the prequel Monsters University in 2013.
This movie came out while I was living in Chile and I remember seeing some posters for it and thinking, "Who wants to watch a movie about a rat in a kitchen?" Well, the answer to that question is "ME!" For a foodie, Ratatouille is such a decadent and savory film! It has a really interesting story, a great message, and I love the French atmosphere with the beautiful score and the gorgeous color palette.
6 The Incredibles
On the surface, The Incredibles is about retired superheroes. But it's so much more than that. It's a family drama centered around the parents feeling unfulfilled in life. Something I think many can relate to. I also love how the superpowers match each person perfectly. We have the dad who is strong and dependable, the mom who stretches herself thin running the household, the teenage girl who wishes she could disappear and the little boy who is full of rambunctious energy.
5 Toy Story
The beginning of the Pixar legacy, Toy Story is a monumental film. Not only is it the first full-length computer animated movie in the history of cinema, it's a really good movie! I remember when I first saw this movie and the goosebumps it gave me. The images were so real! The characters were so funny and relatable! It was like nothing I had ever seen. I was impressed with the visual style, the heartwarming story, and the great adventure of it all. What kid didn't imagine their toys having a life all their own?
4 Toy Story 3
Over a decade later Pixar decided to add yet another sequel to the Toy Story franchise. I was a little skeptical, because let's face it, movies that end in "3" usually aren't very good. But in my opinion, Toy Story 3 managed to surpass the original in excellence. Our favorite toys are on another spectacular adventure, but this time they are ten years older and so is their owner Andy. This movie was very bittersweet, providing lots of laughs while reminding us all that at some point we have to grow up and move on. I was so scared that the toys were going to die in the end that I was bawling my eyes out. Who else but Pixar can make me fall in love with plastic toys?
3 Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo is movie magic! The underwater world is so artfully depicted that I wish I were an amphibian! Oh, and this movie is where I first fell in love with Ellen DeGeneres! Ha ha! Her delightfully quirky Dory is so fun to watch and she balances out the serious fuddy duddy Marlin perfectly. I loved Nemo's struggles to prove himself and his father's struggle to let him do so. The various characters they meet and the obstacles they face are so memorable, like the stinging jellyfish or the surfin' sea turtles. And Dory's motto of "Just keep swimming" are words to live by.
Up, to me, was the perfect balance of comedy and tragedy. I was laughing and crying in equal measure all throughout. The opening sequence telling Carl and Ellie's story through music and beautiful animation is probably one of the greatest scenes in movie history. It's so wonderful. And from there we embark on a whimsical adventure with balloons pulling a floating house, exotic birds, talking dogs, and an unlikely friendship between an old man and a little boy. Up is colorful and bright while dealing with the heavy themes of death and loss and regret. I love it!
WALL-E is an exceptional film. Not as an animated film, or as a Pixar film, or as a kid's film... no, WALL-E is hands down an exceptional film period. The cinematography is stunning, the musical score and all the sound effects are ingenious and the storytelling is pitch-perfect... and oh what a story it is! One trash-compacting robot is the last "living" thing on earth. Humans have long since abandoned the planet and are floating in space. Wall-E's life is simple... that is until he meets Eve who is a robot sent to earth in search of plantlife. She finds a small leaf in a boot and returns to the ship. Wall-E, smitten with her, follows. By the movie's end the robots have fallen in love and the humans have returned to earth. Although this movie was scoffed at by some for being too environmental or too against big business, I think the real point of WALL-E is to remind us about our own humanity. To remind us to love one another and appreciate all the good that the universe has to offer!