All 27 Pixar Movies Ranked from Worst to Best, from Toy Story to Elemental

A comprehensive list of the Pixar movies ranked, including franchises like Cars, Monsters Inc., and Toy Story

toy story 3 pixar film
Toy Story 3 (2010) from Pixar Studios

It’s impossible to talk about modern era animated movies without talking about Pixar Studios. A pioneer for the animated visual language for nearly 30 years, the entertainment production company has spearheaded a few of the iconic franchises that are now staples in the genre’s history.

On a smaller scale and on a more personal note, I grew up watching many of Pixar’s biggest movies. As a hearty 23-year-old reminiscing on his movie-watching habits a decade ago, I vividly remember seeing the likes of Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 in theaters, and watching Ratatouille and The Incredibles on repeat at home when I was younger. They had a major impact on me, and to this day, many of my favorite animated movies are Pixar films.

It’s no secret that their recent offerings have been met with heightened scrutiny. I haven’t loved all of them, but Pixar is still a studio that produces high quality content on a (mostly) regular basis. My list today includes a few of their newer movies relatively high. I’m not quite a subscriber to the notion that the studio is toast, but I do wish they would try to conjure more original stories rather than returning to make sequels of already successful IP.

But don’t get me wrong, I love many of the sequels that Pixar has released recently, from Toy Story 4 to Incredibles 2 to Finding Dory. They’re all pretty solid, but you’ll notice below that the original stories have been the ones that resonate most with me in the last few years. Turning Red and Onward are both excellent original ideas from directors with very specific stories to tell. I’m hoping for more of those moving forward (although the imminent release of Inside Out 2 and the announcement of Toy Story 5 suggests that won’t be the case).

My ranking of the Pixar movies changes daily. If I sat down even an hour from now and tried to re-rank them, I’m sure the list would be different. But for now, on this particular day and for this particular platform, here’s how I’d rank the Pixar movies:

27. Brave (2012)

brave movie 2012

26. Lightyear (2022)

lightyear movie 2022

25. The Good Dinosaur (2015)

the good dinosaur movie 2015

24. Cars 3 (2017)

cars 3 movie 2017

23. A Bug’s Life (1998)

a bugs life movie 1998

22. Luca (2021)

luca movie 2021

21. Coco (2017)

coco movie 2017

20. Monsters University (2013)

monsters university movie 2013

19. Up (2009)

up movie 2009

18. Cars 2 (2011)

cars 2 movie 2011

17. Cars (2006)

cars movie 2006

16. Soul (2020)

soul movie 2020

15. Elemental (2023)

elemental movie 2023 pixar

Elemental acts as a surprising return to the roots of Pixar. It’s a movie with a host of relevant themes and messages rolled into a sincere and effective love story. It’s been a a minute since Pixar landed an original story with such a clear balance of narrative and comedy. Elemental review

14. Inside Out (2015)

inside out movie 2015

13. Finding Dory (2016)

finding dory movie 2016

12. Incredibles 2 (2018)

incredibles 2 movie 2018

Incredibles 2 is about as action packed, well-conceived, and carefully executed as sequels can get in the superhero (and animated) genre. Brad Bird and Pixar Studios manage to inject new life into a world we haven’t visited in well over a decade. Incredibles 2 review

11. Turning Red (2022)

turning red movie 2022

Despite feeling a bit like Pixar is borrowing heavily from their contemporaries, Turning Red is the first movie from the studio to actually move the needle in a while. It’s a story for generations to enjoy, and I always prefer when Pixar aims to appeal to older audiences in conjunction with the usual kids demographic. Turning Red review

10. Toy Story 2 (1999)

toy story 2 movie 1999

9. Toy Story 4 (2019)

toy story 4 movie 2019

I was certainly in that camp in 2019, always favoring original stories over rehashes of the same material over and over (I’ll probably act the same way when Toy Story 5 nears because I clearly haven’t learned my lesson). Toy Story 4 quickly expels any notion that it shouldn’t exist – the different themes and new characters actually make the franchise as engaging as ever. Toy Story 4 review

8. Onward (2020)

onward movie 2020

7. The Incredibles (2004)

the incredibles movie 2004

6. Toy Story (1995)

toy story movie 1995

5. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

monsters inc movie 2001

4. Toy Story 3 (2010)

toy story 3 movie 2010

3. Finding Nemo (2003)

finding nemo movie 2003

2. Wall-E (2008)

wall-e movie 2008

More than fifteen years later, I’m not sure Disney Pixar Studios has made a movie nearly as insightful, colorful, and ambitious as Wall-E. As an allegory for corporate greed and environmental neglect, the film operates on such a concise and straightforward manner – one of Pixar’s strongest thematic statements in their history. Wall-E review

1. Ratatouille (2007)

ratatouille movie 2007

Ratatouille could only be as effective as it is with these voice actors and this concept and director, and it all comes together to make one of Pixar’s most unique and loveable movies. Brad Bird conceptualizes a ridiculous premise to perfection, delivering a meta story about the intersection of art and criticism. Ratatouille review

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