It is hard to think of another movie production company that is having the kind of consistent hot streak that the Pixar Studios have been having. Even back when they were just doing short movies they were still running hot, winning many Academy Awards for short subjects. Quite frankly, from the beginning of computer animation, the Pixar folks were at the forefront. So, when the time came for them to make their first feature-length movie, they took advantage of the fact that most things looked plastic (at the time), and made a movie about plastic heroes. That first movie was “Toy Story” and since then, the team at Pixar has not looked back.
Choosing just a Top 5 in this particular category is a bit of a work of torture. Sure, not every of their movies has been a total out-of-the-park winner, but every single one of them has been excellent. Each of them has achieved an above-average level that few other movie producers can compare. Even the forgotten movies (remember “A Bug’s Life?”) are still excellent once you watch them. It would really be easier just to list all of their films in my own personal order.
Still, I have given it my best shot. These are the movies that moved me. These are the ones that I go back and watch again and again (or will, in some cases). These are the ones I personally consider classics. They may not be yours, and that’s fine. Associated Content is always looking for more writers, and you can join up and write your own article to combat this one.
Number five, for me, is ” The Incredibles.” Of all of the movies, this one might be the most controversial among other fans. I just love this movie. This one showed that, finally, Pixar could do people as well as cars and toys and rats. I also am a long-time fan of comic books and super heroes, and seeing a super hero movie done well in animation, shows just how much more can be done in animation. Whenever this movie is on, I am watching it and loving every minute of it.
Number four is “Toy Story 2.” Yes, one of the few times that the sequel manages to out-do the original. The original as great and still is great, don’t get me wrong, but the writers and animators managed to find a new level of depth with this one. Your heart is made of hard stone if you can watch this tale of toys realizing the boy that they grew up with is getting older and, thus, less interested in his toys and not tear up just a little bit. The music and story meld beautifully and the toys come alive even more than in the first one. Pixar, I fear, is dipping into this well once too often with the announcement of “Toy Story 3” for 2010, but then, the company has always come through before, so maybe they will again.
Number three is “Finding Nemo.” This was the first Pixar movie to truly blow me away. For a very long time, it was the number one animated movie on my personal list. I still feel this is the one destined to be Pixar’s “Snow White” with generation after generation of children following the search for little Nemo, the clownfish with the one small fin. The movie manages to be exciting and uproariously funny at times. I still crack up at the seagulls all screaming “MINE!” over and over again. Pixar had to stretch their own animation capabilities just to animate water, and they scored again, higher than ever.
Number two, is “Up.” The most recent entry in the Pixar cannon is one that will also delight people for a very long time. The story of the old man who floats his house away is touching, funny, exciting and just outright fun. I loved the dogs with the talking collars and, especially, Doug. The visuals are fantastic, and I saw it in 3D, but say that seeing it in 2D will delight you just as much. The giant zeppelin, the exciting scenes in the jungle, all add up to what will likely be considered a classic in animated cinema for a very long time. I am glad Ed Asner has stuck around long enough to lend his voice to this character, because can you imagine anyone else doing it? Me either.
And, for me, the number one Pixar move is “Wall*E.” This movie had me pinned to the back of my seat in the theater. I laughed and I cried and I wondered right along with the cutest damn robot the movies have brought to the screen since R2D2. This is a movie with a message, yes, but it is also a great adventure, a delightful love story, and a great comedy all rolled into one. The tale of the lovesick little garbage compactor with the limited vocabulary manages to transcend its genre entirely. You will completely forget that you are watching an animated movie with this and get lost, in space, with the main characters. It is, so far, the Pixar masterpiece, and I hope this movie is around for as long as this planet is spinning and, should humans be forced to go into space in giant space oceanliners, I hope they take this movie along with them.
I don’t know how Pixar will do with “Toy Story 3” but they manage to find new ways to tell old stories. They manage to warm the heart and delight the senses. There are cynics out there who say Pixar movies manipulate the emotions of the audience, but so what? When you are having such a good time, and seeing a movie you will never forget, I saw let them manipulate them all they want.