Every Pixar Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

There was a time when the word “Pixar” was golden. It’s a totally made-up word, apparently intended to sound like “to make pictures” in Spanish (via The FW), so the reputation of the company is about all we have to associate with it. Once, Pixar was synonymous with innovation and quality. When Disney hit a rough patch (see 1998-2008), it seemed like their only output that mattered was when they partnered with Pixar.

But then Disney had its comeback and Pixar started putting out more and more sequels. It’s still Pixar but it’s not quite Pixar, y’know?

But that left me wondering: How much of this reputation was actually earned? Why do we so easily forget that while, yes, Pixar does put out sequels that tend to fall short of the original, their third movie ever was Toy Story 2. So why were we so forgiving then but so much less so now?

The ranking below is meant to be an objective look, informed by multiple sources, including but not limited to, Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating and IMDb user rating, which are listed.

An attached store (out of 100) is also included as a way to show just how far critical and public opinion deviates from one movie to the next. This score is a weighted average of all of the factors taken into account.

The attached opinions, on the other hand, are probably wrong.

17. Cars 2 (54/100)

cars-2
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 39% | IMDb Score: 6.3

This movie, more than any other, was the reputation killer for Pixar. It obliterated anything good about the original and instead opted for a toyetic (and oddly violent) cash-in.

Buy on Amazon

16. The Good Dinosaur (70/100)

good-dinosaur
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% | IMDb Score: 6.8

Let’s just pause for a second to recognize that  Pixar has 16 movies that earn a score of 70 or higher. Every movie from here on out on the list is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, although only 66% of RT users had something positive to say about The Good Dinosaur.

Watch on Netflix | Buy on Amazon

15. Cars (73/100)

cars
Buena Vista Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 74% | IMDb Score: 7.2

Cars is my underdog in this race. I can’t claim to have seen all of Pixar’s output but I feel that this one doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its community-positive message.

Buy on Amazon

14. Brave (75/100)

brave
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 78% | IMDb Score: 7.2

After Toy Story 3, Pixar seemed to hit a (comparative) rough patch. They didn’t exactly start putting out garbage but by Pixar standards, 2011-2013 seemed to be lacking in that particular brand of magic.

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13. Monsters University (76/100)

monsters-university
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 78% | IMDb Score: 7.3

And here’s the end of said “rough patch.” Monsters University continued the trend of underwhelming sequels, scoring about 9 made-up internet points worse than Monsters, Inc. In this case, users seemed more notably more forgiving than critics, including an average 4/5 rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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12. A Bug’s Life (77/100)

a-bugs-life
Buena Vista Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 92% | IMDb Score: 7.2

Ranking-wise, this is a turning point, at least on the Rotten Tomatoes side of things. From here on out, everything has a 90% Freshness rating or higher. Users, on the other hand, give A Bug’s Life about the same score as Cars across the board. It’s notable that this movie falls as low as it does because the drop in consensus quality between Pixar’s first movie, Toy Story, and its second one (this one) is plain to see. But, that didn’t stop the Pixar reputation from seeming untouchable.

Buy on Amazon

 

11. The Incredibles (81/100)

incredibles
Buena Vista Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% | IMDb Score: 8.0

We’re into the A-level movies now. Rotten Tomatoes users didn’t care for this one as much as critics did but actually marks the first movie on this list with an 8.0 or higher on IMDb.

Buy on Amazon

 

10. Finding Dory (83/100)

finding-dory
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% | IMDb Score: 7.5

Depending on how you want to look at it, Finding Dory is either the third best or the third worst sequel they’ve put out to date. If scores are anything to go by (which, if I’m totally honest… they aren’t), it only falls about 3 points short of Finding Nemo.

Buy on Amazon

 

9. Toy Story 2 (85/100)

toy-story-2
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% | IMDb Score: 7.9

Speaking of sequels that fall 3 points short of the original (nice segue, eh?), Toy Story 2 actually has a higher Freshness rating (100%) than Toy Story, although it does rank lower in all other criteria taken into account. Interestingly, Rotten Tomatoes describes it as “the rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor” even though their data doesn’t back that up.

Buy on Amazon

 

8. Monsters, Inc. (85/100)

monsters-inc
Buena Vista Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | IMDb Score: 8.1

I genuinely don’t understand all the love for Monsters, Inc. So much of its potency lies in the final moments between Sully and Boo. It’s unfair and kind of stupid for me to say that “if you take out the good parts, it isn’t good” but the pay-off for those last minutes just don’t feel worth the journey.

Also, the margin by which this movie beats Toy Story 2 is the smallest between any two movies. There is difference between them rounds down to 0.1 points.

Buy on Amazon

 

7. Ratatouille (85/100)

ratatouille
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | IMDb Score: 8.0

For some reason, despite its high scores, Ratatouille seems to fall under the radar. According to quiz site Sporcle, Ratatouille is the least-frequently remembered Pixar movie (excluding the movies that were added in later editions of the quiz). Despite that, it was incredibly well-received by critics and audiences.

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6. Finding Nemo (86/100)

finding-nemo
Buena Vista Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 99% | IMDb Score: 8.1

Try as I might I can’t love Finding Nemo as much as the consensus seems to think I should. At least one person considers this their favourite, and described when when we polled the audience

I’m almost convinced!

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5. Up (87/100)

up
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb Score: 8.3

Much and more has already been said about the opening scene of Up, and for good reason. Its emotional impact borders on malicious sentimentality, allowing you to forgive most of Carl’s gruff crappiness for the rest of the movie.

Buy on Amazon

 

4. Wall-E (88/100)

wall-e
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | IMDb Score: 8.4

My personal favourite, and the winner of our poll, might I add, Wall-E is masterful in how it tells its story without dialogue, while also making more poignant social commentary than one is used to from a “children’s” movie.

Buy on Amazon

 

3. Toy Story (88/100)

toy-story
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% | IMDb Score: 8.3

It’s the one that started it all. I remember seeing this in theatres and even then being aware of the impressive feat of a fully computer-generated animated movie. If it wasn’t for Toy Story, we probably wouldn’t have a fourth Ice Age sequel, so… thanks, I guess?

Buy on Amazon

 

2. Inside Out (89/100)

inside-out
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb Score: 8.2

We’re down to the final two and the difference between their scores is nearly negligible (0.4 points). Inside Out served as an incredible reminder of what Pixar magic actually is. A movie that is able to delicately introduce children (and adults) to their own mental health while still entertaining is a powerful thing indeed.

Watch on Netflix | Buy on Amazon

 

1. Toy Story 3 (89/100)

toy-story-3
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes: 99% | IMDb Score: 8.3

It was a close race but, according to the consensus, Toy Story 3 is the best thing Pixar has ever made. It’s hard to underestimate just how well-received this movie was, as it was at or near the top of many many many Top 10 lists for 2010.

Buy on Amazon

 

What about the overall narrative we (the collective we, not the NetFlakes we) have seemingly scripted for Pixar’s trajectory? Is it actually a story of a once-great dynasty ruined by sequels and a lack of quality output?

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-9-39-19-pm

Well, sort of? Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur mean that the two worst offerings have come in the past 5 years or so but let’s not forget that A Bug’s Life has pretty much always been a thing and Inside Out hustled hard to bring the studio back.

 

So what do you think? Does this pretty much jive with how you would rank these? Leave us a comment either here or on Facebook and Twitter to let us know where this is either an absolutely perfect ranking or completely out to lunch.

 


 

Dylan Clark-Moore is a podcast creator and blogger at NetFlakes. You can find him on Letterboxd and Twitter.

For more insights like this, subscribe to our podcastThe NetFlakes Podcast, available on Soundcloud, iTunes, or whichever podcast app you use.

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