All 16 Pixar Movies, Definitively Ranked

From Toy Story to The Good Dinosaur, Pixar accounts for 20 years of some of the best films ever made. Should you have any quibbles with the results, please note that our rankings are 100 percent accurate. We're glad to put the old debate of which Pixar movie is best to rest. Full story: http://bit.ly/1Hn48Ds
  1. 1.
    The Incredibles (2004)
    Pixar's best film is this superhero comedy that doubles as a story about a family splintering apart, then coming back together and/or — depending on your political/philosophical leanings — a weird defense of Ayn Rand's theories of objectivism. (The Incredibles contains the line "If everyone's special, then no one is," which has one context in a superhero story and quite another everywhere else.) What's clear in every frame of this film is that Pixar is at the top of its game. —Todd VanDerWerff
  2. 2.
    Toy Story (1995)
    The story of a boy, his imagination, and his toys that come to life the second he leaves them alone set the tone for everything Pixar has done since. The development of an unlikely bond between cowboy pull-toy Woody and intergalactic superhero Buzz Lightyear is pure silliness on its face, but Toy Story comes to life just as swiftly as its toys thanks to the wit of a zippy, heartfelt script (the work of several different writers, including Finding Nemo's Andrew Stanton). —Caroline Framke
  3. 3.
    Wall-E (2008)
    Pixar won over audiences with a wide-eyed waste compactor named Wall-E who's assigned the thankless task of cleaning up the heaps of trash humans have left all over Earth. Wall-E stands out from other Pixar movies thanks to its general lack of dialogue. Wall-E shows what Pixar can do with a minimal approach, and the result is solid: a tearjerker of a movie that appeals to viewers of all ages. —Sarah Kliff
  4. 4.
    Inside Out (2015)
    Inside Out, about a tweenage girl named Riley, feels like a story for grown-ups that's wrapped in a candy-coated, kid-friendly shell. The film explores what it's like to feel listless, to face the inevitability and pain of growing up. And while Pixar's movies have certainly dealt with heavy topics in the past, Inside Out transcends its cinematic cousins to tackle a more pronounced ache and sense of sadness — feelings the movie beautifully depicts as a crucial part of life. —Alex Abad-Santos
  5. 5.
    Finding Nemo (2003)
    This underwater tale opens with a jarring, devastating loss that sets the charge on the emotional minefield that is parenting, making clownfish Marlin's paranoia for his son Nemo's safety sting that much more. And once Marlin's worst fears are realized, the two embark on parallel journeys that make them face their fears head on. The true beauty lies in Finding Nemo's gorgeous animation and the enduring love of family. —Caroline Framke
  6. 6.
    Ratatouille (2007)
    Ratatouille is Pixar's ode to the infectious joy of making art. The plot is a standard (if sprightly) tale of genius overcoming limitations: Would-be gourmet chef Remy is the genius, and the unfortunate fact that he is a rat is the limitation. But in all of the movie's truly indelible passages, cooking is just a symbol for any creative endeavor — say, filmmaking. —Dara Lind
  7. 7.
    Toy Story 3 (2010)
    There's always been a Velveteen Rabbit–like quality to the Toy Story movies — they're thoughtful pieces of art that make you question what it means to be "real" or "loved." And in Toy Story 3, Buzz, Woody and the rest of the toys just want to be loved as Andy heads off to college. Their yearning sets them on a voyage to a day care from hell, where they clash with a maniacal teddy bear and end up in one of the most emotionally devastating scenes Pixar has ever produced. —Alex Abad-Santos
  8. 8.
    Up (2009)
    The famous opening sequence, in which a married couple experiences some of the highs and lows of their lives, is one of the most blunt depictions of growing up and letting life pass you by that I have ever seen in a film, animated or otherwise. The intro sets the stage for a movie that at its core promises it's never too late to go out and accomplish what you want. —German Lopez
  9. 9.
    Monsters, Inc. (2001)
    Something Pixar doesn't get enough credit for these days is the economy of its world building. Watch the first 10 minutes of Monsters, Inc. and you'll understand, more or less, everything you need to know about the universe it operates in. Monsters, Inc. is also Pixar's first attempt to do something radical, asking children to identify with parent figures, in this case Mike Wazowski and Sully, as they try to care for and protect a creature they love but don't entirely understand. —Dara Lind
  10. 10.
    Toy Story 2 (1999)
    Pixar's first sequel was changed at the last minute from a direct-to-video feature to a theatrical release. Surprisingly, this doesn't show, as the film revisits its predecessor's themes of friendship and finding one's purpose, then shoots them through with a hefty dose of melancholy at the thought of children eventually growing up and leaving childish things behind. Toy Story 2 has no reason to be as good as it is, but it adds substantially to the franchise's mythology. —Todd VanDerWerff
  11. 11.
    Brave (2012)
    The first film in the studio's history to feature a female protagonist (seriously, it took that long), Brave sometimes feels assembled from 17 different screenplay drafts. However, it has at its center a tremendously compelling story of how our relationships with our parents evolve as we age into adolescence. Most refreshing: There's no perfunctory love interest in sight. —Todd VanDerWerff
  12. 12.
    A Bug's Life (1998)
    Pixar's second feature-length film is a kinda-sorta remake of the samurai classic The Seven Samurai (already kinda-sorta remade as The Magnificent Seven), but starring bugs. The studio is clearly still feeling out its process in this one, which is good but not yet impeccable. Still, it boasts one of Pixar's most entertaining ensemble casts, thanks to an elaborate bug circus that poses as a fearsome army. —Todd VanDerWerff
  13. 13.
    Monsters University (2013)
    The prequel to Monsters, Inc. brings the story of Mike and Sully back to its unlikely origins. As college freshmen, the two characters are forced to work together to compete in the annual campus Scare Games (think American Gladiator, but with more spikes). Though it's laden with college movie tropes ranging from stolen mascots to fraternity hazing, Monsters University still manages to give the pair's unlikely friendship the room it needs to grow. —Agnes Mazur
  14. 14.
    Cars (2006)
    The film stars Lightning McQueen, a brash, bright red race car. Stranded in a long-forgotten roadside town called Radiator Springs, Lightning learns a lesson in humility from a cast of "folksy" automobiles after running afoul of the law. Far more interesting than Cars' main story are its secondary themes of buried history and authenticity, though like many parts of this film’s legacy, they're largely lost in the flash. —Agnes Mazur
  15. 15.
    The Good Dinosaur (2015)
    The Good Dinosaur is a visually stunning feature that lacks soul — the one thing a Pixar film must have above all else. There are some potentially interesting ideas about overcoming fear and the importance of family (the latter being a Pixar staple), but they're subsumed by an episodic story that's full of false starts and never figures out what it wants to be. —Todd VanDerWerff
  16. 16.
    Cars 2 (2011)
    The release of Cars 2 came after a long, unbroken string of Pixar dominance. The company was due for a backlash, and it almost seemed as if it released this film in an attempt to schedule that backlash and get it over with as quickly as possible. The neat idea here is that of an international spy saga starring cars; the movie was essentially only greenlit because the first one sold so much in the way of toys and merchandise, so why not use it to experiment? —Todd VanDerWerff