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Disney Plus: Every show, movie and original available to stream — and when

Disney has laid out a vast catalog of new and classic movies and shows to stream with the launch of its Netflix competitor, Disney Plus. At launch Tuesday in the US, Disney Plus included nearly 500 movies and 7,500 episodes of TV, spanning Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, the Simpsons, as well as a gamut of other titles.

With the massive libraries of Disney — and, now 21st Century Fox — as candidates for the service, what’s included? And what’s coming?

Now that Disney’s streaming service is live, one of the simplest ways to browse its catalog without signing up is to check sites like JustWatch, which lets you browse, search and filter the catalogs of streaming services.

Generally speaking, you can count on Disney Plus to be the exclusive streaming home for all of Disney’s theatrical releases in 2019 and beyond. It also has original shows and films, and a big library of legacy movies and shows to watch from both Disney and Fox. Everything on Disney Plus is rated PG-13 or softer — anything rated R that Disney has available to stream (like Deadpool) will be on Hulu.

This article provides highlights of the library at launch and details about when to expect high-profile titles coming in the first year. It also summarizes the pipeline of originals coming to Disney Plus, with timing details if they’re known. At the end is a long listing of launch titles that Disney announced in an epic Twitter thread in October.

Day one library highlights

The Marvel movies available at launch are:

  • Iron Man
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Avengers
  • Iron Man 3
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Doctor Strange
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2
  • Captain Marvel
  • Avengers: Endgame

From Star Wars, the service launched with all the movies from the first two trilogies plus two films from the recent spate of movies:

  • The Phantom Menace
  • Attack of the Clones
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • A New Hope
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Force Awakens
  • Rogue One

During the first year of the service, Disney Plus will add the remaining Star Wars titles, so The Last Jedi, Solo and The Rise of Skywalker will be available to stream before the end of next year (see below for precise dates).

Disney Plus also has all Pixar movies, except for Coco, The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. Those last three Pixar movies will be added to Disney Plus in the first year (see below for precise dates).

In addition, the service has Avatar, the 2009 blockbuster film, and every season of The Simpsons available at launch too.

Day one original shows

  • The Mandalorian – The first ever live-action Star Wars series stars Pedro Pascal as a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order.
  • Forky Asks a Question – This Pixar animated series of 10 shorts will have the Toy Story 4 character Forky explore questions like: What is love? What is time? And what is cheese?
  • SparkShorts – A Pixar Animation Studios short film series designed to discover new storytellers and explore new storytelling techniques from across the studio.
  • Pixar IRL – The prank show creates real-life versions of Pixar characters and unleashes them on unsuspecting folks in the real world.
  • Marvel’s Hero Project – The reality series looks at positive change several young people are making in their own communities by dedicating their lives to selfless acts.
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Series – The scripted series follows a group of students as they count down to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of High School Musical.
  • Encore! – A reality series that brings former castmates of a high school musical together to re-create their original performance.
  • The Imagineering Story – The docu-series chronicles the 65-year history of Walt Disney Imagineering.
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum – The reality series examines deceptively familiar things we all love — like sneakers and ice cream.

Day one original movies

  • Lady & The Tramp – A live-action reboot of the 1955 animated classic.
  • Noelle – Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader play Nick and Noelle Kringle, the children of Santa Claus. When Nick disappears weeks before he’s set to take the reins delivering Christmas presents, Noelle must find him and save the Christmas season.

Year one library highlights

Marvel will add at least another four movies:

  • Thor: Ragnarok – Dec. 5
  • Black Panther – March 4, 2020
  • Avengers: Infinity War – June 25, 2020
  • Ant-man and the Wasp – July 29, 2020

Star Wars will complete the full library by adding:

  • The Last Jedi – Dec. 26
  • Solo – July 9, 2020
  • The Rise of Skywalker – likely mid-2020

And Pixar will round out its full catalog of films by adding:

  • Coco – Nov. 29
  • Incredibles 2 – July 30, 2020
  • Toy Story 4 – likely early 2020

You can also count on every theatrical Disney movie released in 2019 (and beyond) hitting Disney Plus roughly six to 10 months after its debut in theaters.

Year one original shows

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series will be available sometime after Disney Plus launches within its first year.


Within its first year, Disney will have more than 25 original episodic series and more than 10 original movies, documentaries and specials.

  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Closely tied to events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson character (and his Falcon alter-ego) return as the new Captain America, after elderly Steve Rogers handed off his shield in Endgame. Sebastian Stan’s Bucky joins him to fight evil as a duo, and Daniel Bruhl will reprise his role of villain Zemo from Captain America: Civil War in the series.

Hollywood trade publications have leaked other details of the show. It is being written by Malcolm Spellman of Empire, according to Variety, and John Wick writer Derek Kolstad, according to The Wrap. Meanwhile, Kari Skoglan — known for work on The Handmaid’s Tale — will direct all six of the series’ episodes, according to Deadline. Timing: Fall 2020

  • Marvel’s 616

This documentary series explores the intersection between Marvel’s stories, characters and creators and the real world. Each documentary will dive into the historical and cultural context to the stories of the Marvel Universe. Timing: Year One

  • Lamp Life

A prequel of sorts to Bo Peep’s return in Toy Story 4, this animated short film answers questions about where Bo was since we last we saw her in Toy Story 2. Timing: Year One

  • Monsters at Work

Inspired by the characters of Monsters, Inc., the animated series picks up six months after the events of the original film. Tylor Tuskmon, an eager young mechanic who works on the Monsters, Inc. facilities team, dreams of working his way up to the Laugh Floor. Returning cast members Billy Crystal, John Goodman, John Ratzenberger, Bob Peterson and Jennifer Tilly will join new cast members Ben Feldman, Kelly Marie Tran, Henry Winkler, Lucas Neff, Alanna Ubach and Stephen Stanton. Timing: Year One

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The animated series returns with 12 new episodes exclusively on Disney Plus, bringing back characters Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, plus Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex. Timing: Year One

  • Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2

Walt Disney Animation Studios is opening its doors to cameras as it never has before, detailing how the voice cast, directors and team of artists created Frozen 2. The multi-episode documentary series will depict the making of one of the most highly anticipated Disney Animation films. Timing: Year One

  • Be Our Chef

This reality competition hosted by Angela Kinsey invites families from diverse backgrounds to join a Disney-inspired cooking content at Walt Disney World. In each episode, two families will participate in a themed challenge mixing Disney into their family traditions. The finalists will apply what they’ve learned to create a dish that represents their family in a Disney way. Timing: Year One

  • Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies (working title)

Cinema Relics is an anthology series re-examining beloved films through the props and costumes that made them unique — drawing from the perspectives of the craftspeople who created them, the actors who interacted with them, and the collectors/archives that own them today. Among the films featured in the first eight episodes are Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Mary Poppins, The Muppet Movie, Tron and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Timing: Year One

  • Diary of a Female President

Told from the narration of her diary, the series follows a Cuban-American 12-year-old girl as she navigates middle school en route to becoming the future US president. Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Emily Gipson (I Can and I Will) executive produce along with Ilana Peña (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Timing: Year One

  • Magic of Animal Kingdom

This reality series will follow the teams of more than 1,000 animal-care experts, vets and biologists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Epcot’s SeaBase aquarium. Timing: Year One

  • (Re)Connect

Another reality series, each episode of (Re)Connect will show a family disconnecting in order to address a relatable issue and confront the family’s dilemma. Timing: Year One

  • Rogue Trip

Journalist Bob Woodruff travels the world with his 27-year-old son, Mack, focusing on places your average tourist is least likely to venture. Timing: Year One

  • Shop Class (working title)

This competition series highlights teams of inventive students who design, build and test new contraptions, before a panel of experts rate their work. Timing: Year One

A new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming to Disney Plus in its first year.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Year one original movies

  • Howard

A documentary about the Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast lyricist Howard Ashman. Timing: 2020

  • The Phineas and Ferb Movie (working title)

Stepbrothers Phineas and Ferb; their older siste, Candace; Perry the Platypus; and the Danville gang come back together in an animated adventure. Phineas and Ferb set across the galaxy to rescue Candace, who has been abducted by aliens and spirited away to a far-off planet free of little brothers. Timing: Year One

  • Stargirl

Based on New York Times best-selling young adult novel, this coming-of-age story follows Leo Borlock, an average 16-year-ol, who is content to fly under the radar until a new student named Stargirl shows up at his high school. Timing: Year One

  • Timmy Failure

Based on the book Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, this film tells the story of Timmy, a quirky, deadpan hero who operates detective agency Total Failure Inc. with his 1,500-pound polar bear partner, Total. Timing: Year One

  • Togo

Based on a true story, a 1925 Alaskan village relies on one man — Leonhard Seppala, played by Willem Dafoe — and his lead sled dog, Togo, to retrieve a diphtheria antitoxin from hundreds of miles away across treacherous terrain on the eve of a massive storm. Timing: Year One

Year two original shows

  • WandaVision

Elizabeth Olsen will return as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany will reprise his role as Vision in the new Marvel Studios series. Marvel has called WandaVision a “mega event series” for Disney Plus. WandaVision will take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. With Bettany returning, the series will presumably address how Vision is revived after his death in Infinity War. It will also include Teyonah Parris playing adult Monica Rambeau, first seen as a child in Captain Marvel.

The events of WandaVision will also lead directly to Scarlet Witch’s appearance in the May 2021 theatrical film, Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness.

WandaVision will be “unlike anything we’ve done before,” Olsen said at the Comic-Con announcement of the show. “It’s gonna get weird.” Timing: Spring 2021

  • Loki

Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki, saying the show will feature the version of Loki seen in 2012’s first Avengers film. Loki appeared to be killed by Thanos at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, but Endgame’s “time heist” plot showed Loki in 2012 snatching the tesseract/space stone and teleporting away. The Loki series will explain what happened to Hiddleston’s character right after that, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said. Hiddleston also said the series version of Loki reflects the mischievous version seen in The Avengers, not the reformed Loki seen in Thor: Ragnarok. Timing: Spring 2021

  • Marvel’s What If…?

Marvel Studios’ first animated series takes inspiration from the comic books of the same name. Each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head, leading the audience into alternate realities.

Many actors from the MCU will serve as voice talent, and the casting is already hinting at what storylines What If…? will explore. Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman coming back ensure a Black Panther alternate reality with Jordan’s villain Kilmonger. In the Thor corner, the Ragnarok team of Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Taika Waititi and Jeff Goldblum are all getting back together — plus Natalie Portman. Another episode will address a Peggy Carter alternate world with Hayley Atwell returning as Peggy and Dominic Cooper reprising young Howard Stark. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas will voice their Ant-Man roles, and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury will be showing up too.

A narrator voiced by Jeffrey Wright will serve as a throughline across episodes. Wright’s narrator is The Watcher, part of a celestial race that watches over events taking place in the MCU. The Watchers were briefly seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 during Stan Lee’s cameo. Timing: Summer 2021

  • Hawkeye

Picking up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the Hawkeye series will see Jeremy Renner reprise his role as the archer, and feature Kate Bishop, who in the comics becomes the next Hawkeye. Exploring the character’s time as Ronin, Renner said in a Comic-Con appearance, “I get to teach someone else how to be a superhero without superpowers.” Timing: Fall 2021

  • Untitled Cassian Andor Star Wars Series

Diego Luna will reprise his role of rebel spy Cassian Andor in this series set during the formative years of the Rebellion prior to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire. Alan Tudyk will also reprise his role as K-2SO with Stephen Schiff (The Americans) as showrunner and executive producer. Timing: Year Two

  • Earthkeepers (working title)

Earthkeepers is a cinematic documentary series profiling people changing the way we see the animal kingdom: conservationists and the animals they’ve devoted their careers to studying, some of the planet’s most endangered species. Timing: Year Two

  • Ink & Paint

The documentary series, based on the book of the same name, tells the story of how an unsung workforce of women helped create some of the most beloved animated films of Disney. Timing: Year Two

Other originals

The release timing of some Disney Plus originals is hazy.

In some cases, the company has announced plans for originals without any indication of when they’ll come out:

  • A Lizzie Maquire reboot
  • Big Shots, a dramedy focused on girls high school basketball, starring John Stamos
  • A comedic puppet talk show, Earth to Ned, with the Jim Henson Company
  • An untitled Mickey Mouse documentary
  • A docu-series about people who “embody the Disney ethos,” called People & Places
  • A project about celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, called simply Wolfgang
  • National Geographic documentary Science Fair

Day one movie library, official list from Disney

This story was originally published April 12 and is updated as new information is revealed.

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Added on July 21, 2015 The News Wheel Autobots , Cars movie , Chinese movies , Disney , Disney’s cars , Pixar , pixar’s cars , Transformers No Comments

Hilariously Bad Chinese Cartoon Rips Off Disney’s Cars

Blatant imitation of Disney/Pixar franchise results in Chinese director hurling insults

Chinese cartoon movie rips off Disney/Pixar Cars & Cars 2
Photos: Blue MTV (left) & Walt Disney Pictures (right)

Disney might not be the most original production company out there, but at least it attempts to hide its mimicry. You know, like turning Michael J. Fox’s Doc Hollywood into a story about a red racecar who finds himself after getting lost in an amiable Podunk town–instead of a young hotshot surgeon. Nothing at all like the original.

Well, now the Disney/Pixar’s Cars is the one being ripped off.

Movie theaters in China screened a new, “all-original” animated feature film over the July 4th weekend. Based on the posters alone, strong comparisons are being made between this Chinese imitator and the record-breaking Cars films from Walt Disney Pictures.

Do you see any similarities between the advertisements above?

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It’s Not Cars 3, It’s The Autobots!

Photo: Blue MTV

Did you happen to notice any resemblance between K1 (the car in the left poster) and Lightning McQueen (on the right)? Obviously you did, because they’re practically identical. Or perhaps Cinderella’s castle in this other poster for The Autobots?

This Chinese animated film which so blatantly copied the character and poster designs of Disney/Pixar’s Cars is known by its official English title, The Autobots–and yes, it’s title clearly borrows from ,a href=”https://thenewswheel.com/what-do-the-transformers-transform-into/”>Hasbro’s Transformers.

The Chinese population isn’t blind to this apparent plagiarism, and they’re not fans of it either. Thousands of Chinese citizens have condemned Jianrong personally on social media, accusing him of being a shameless copycat. The box office reflected that, as viewership averaged four people per screening during opening week.

Zhuo Jianrong, the filmmaker and CEO of the BlueMTV which produced the film, responded to many of the criticisms. He defended his work and called several journalists and fellow filmmakers “losers” and “traitors” who have “brain damage.” His defense is that (1) he knows about Cars but has never actually watched it, (2) the plot to The Autobots involves human characters, and (3) it intends to teach children moral lessons.

Granted, the plot does seem to be quite different. The Autobots involves an engineer who creates sentient cars that discover it isn’t humans that drive them–it’s friendship. *Facepalm*

While personifying cars, giving them faces and voices to talk, isn’t anything new, Disney has some ground to call foul. As a Disney spokesperson stated, “We believe ‘The Autobots’ picture blatantly infringes on Disney’s intellectual property rights from our Cars and Cars 2 movies and intend vigorously to protect our copyright.”

At least Disney can rest assured that the animation quality of The Autobots looks like a series of cut-scenes from a two-decade-old Playstation game.

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Where Do Pixar’s ‘Cars’ Come From? Here’s Their Creative Director’s Amazing Theory

Children’s entertainment is full of anthropomorphized objects and animals. To kids, talking automobiles are no more or less strange than babies who are bosses or teenage turtles who get mutated into ninja warriors. But to the parents and adults who watch the Cars movies with these children, their internal logic and rules are a source of endless fascination.

Pixar’s Cars debuted in 2006, with a premise of pure simplicity, in the mold of the talking toys and talking ants from director John Lasseter’s Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. Those movies, though, were set in worlds where humans existed; their societies of sentient playthings and insects existed right under our noses, just out of sight.

Cars was different. In its world, the motor vehicles, trucks, planes, boats, and “Pitties” — little forklifts whose tiny arms perform tasks the other cars cannot — are the only living creatures. If humanity existed, it had died out before the start of the film. But — and yes, this is an atypically dark premise for a Disney movie marketed to four-year-olds — humanity must have existed in the world of Cars at some point. Everywhere you looked, in every single frame, there was evidence that living creatures used to exist. After all, if there were never any human beings in Cars World, why do the cars have door handles?

A piece of concept art from ‘Cars 3’ (Courtesy of Pixar)

It may be a planet of cars, but like the Planet of the Apes, it is definitely Earth, or at least it was in the past. The cars speak English, and their map is littered with recognizable landmarks, from Route 66 to Hollywood. Things get even more confusing in 2011’s Cars 2, which takes its heroes, race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), out of the imaginary town of Radiator Springs on an international adventure with stops in Japan (where there’s sushi and wasabi, even though there are apparently no fish in Cars World), Paris (complete with an Eiffel Tower), and Italy (where the Popemobile is a beloved religious figure).

Based on the evidence onscreen, the cars have not built a vaguely human society; the cars have taken over human society. The U.S. flag is even visible in one scene in the first Cars. Did the cars overthrow our government, possibly as part of a coup d’Fiat? (Sorry.)

The Cars franchise has never offered an official explanation for any of these mysteries. But there is an internal document at Pixar that has never been shared with the public that answers some of these questions, and lays the ground rules for this unusual cinematic universe. It’s called “The World of Cars Owner’s Manual,” and it was written by Jay Ward, the Creative Director of the Cars universe. At the press junket for Cars 3, I put it to Ward: Where the heck do the cars in Cars come from?

Jay Ward (right) working with ‘Cars 3’ director Brian Fee. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Ward offered this explanation (which he stressed was purely his theory, and not necessarily Pixar’s canonical reason):

If you think about this, we have autonomous car technology coming in right now. It’s getting to the point where you can sit back in the car and it drives itself. Imagine in the near-future when the cars keep getting smarter and smarter and after one day they just go, “Why do we need human beings anymore? They’re just slowing us down. It’s just extra weight, let’s get rid of them.” But the car takes on the personality of the last person who drove it. Whoa. There you go.

In other words, imagine the Judgment Day War from The Terminator, if Arnold Schwarzenegger looked like a cute red race car.

The Cars taking on the personalities of the last person that drove them is interesting, too. That would explain why some of the vehicles talk like (and are even named after) famous racers like Mario Andretti and celebrities like Jay Leno. It’s somewhat comforting to know that when the cars gain sentience and murder me and everyone I love, my Toyota will adopt my personality and that something in the post-human wasteland will still be eating movie tie-in menus (“I’ll have one of everything on McQueen’s Cars 3 drive-thru menu please”) and watching Gymkata (or as it would surely be called in Cars world, Gymkhana).

As for the other rules of Cars, Ward told me a couple, though he acknowledged that some of them are occasionally broken. Number one on the list: “You’ll never see the doors open,” Ward said. “Because the brain and the eyes are in there, we don’t want anything falling out of the side.”


Ward also revealed that at one point Cars 3 was going to finally explain how Paul Newman’s character, a former racer named Doc Hudson, died. The character was retired after Newman passed away in 2008. Doc dies offscreen between Cars and Cars 2, but aside from an acknowledgement at the beginning of the sequel, there were no details about what exactly happened to him. “I don’t think we paid it enough ,” Ward told me.

In an early draft of Cars 3, viewers would have seen a flashback to Doc’s death. Ward described it as “a really tender moment where McQueen’s driving and Doc’s following him and it’s like the day your mentor passes away.” Eventually, the filmmakers decided the scene was “just depressing” and cut it from the finished film. You will see Doc Hudson in Cars 3, though, in flashbacks. Pixar went into its archives and found unused audio recordings of Newman from the first Cars. “Every line you hear in this film is Paul Newman,” Ward noted.

Don’t expect to hear about how Doc got Paul Newman’s voice, though, even if by Ward’s logic that would mean he was actually owned by Newman before the actor’s death. (Newman was a racing enthusiast and car collector, so it’s plausible.) When I kept pressing, Ward did offer me one other possible explanation for the world of Cars.

“ Jay Shuster did a great drawing a long time ago of a meteor hitting the earth,” Ward said, then mimicking a “Poof!” sound effect. “And all the humans are gone and all of a sudden the cars start rising up and moving around.” Just something cheerful to consider the next time you’re watching these charming kids’ films. Cars 3 opens in theaters on June 16.

Photo: Maya Robinson and Pixar

This previously published story has been updated to include Toy Story 4.

Trying to rank all 21 Pixar films in order of quality is like trying to rank your children by how much you love them. None of these movies is bad, but when you’ve made 21 films, one of them has to be No. 21 and one of them has to be No. 1. We tried to keep context in mind — Toy Story had an ability to blow your mind in 1995 the way nothing could today — and also ambition: In the world of children’s entertainment, nothing has set Pixar apart more than its burning desire not to coast or mail it in. Some of these movies work better than others, but all of them were trying to do something special — so here they all are, from worst to best.

21. Cars 3 (2017)

Early reviews of Cars 3 have praised the latest installment in the Lightning McQueen saga for, essentially, not being Cars 2, the only Pixar film to receive a “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not exactly a high bar … and we’re not even convinced the new film gets over it. Yes, the dopey Tow Mater is, blessedly, back on the periphery where he belongs while Lightning (Owen Wilson) squares off with two new foes: a sleek race car named Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) and, more imposingly, the growing realization that he’s not the king of the track anymore. But where at least Cars 2 consciously tried to go in a radically different direction, Cars 3 feels like a tame holding pattern, providing the race sequences and heartwarming homilies that were rampant in the first film — except without the same level of inspiration. There isn’t one interesting new character, despite the effort from Hammer, Kerry Washington, Nathan Fillion, and Chris Cooper as Lightning’s cranky new trainer. And from Randy Newman’s by-the-numbers score to every single one of Mater’s tired quips, Cars 3 plays out like a rival studio’s lukewarm attempt to mimic Pixar’s magic. It’s not so much bad as it is deeply dispiriting.

20. Cars 2 (2011)

Larry the Cable Guy was Cars’ secret weapon, lending his blue-collar earthiness to a character whose regular-folks demeanor had real pathos and sweetness. But that didn’t mean we wanted to see Tow Mater in a James Bond spoof. Give Cars 2 points for audacity: The follow-up shifts away from the original’s small-town, homespun charm to become a sleek, globetrotting action-thriller focusing on Lightning McQueen’s country-bumpkin sidekick. And then take away those points because Cars 2 proves that even the mighty Pixar can’t transcend the central problem with sequels: You can make everything bigger, but you can rarely replicate what was novel and charming about the original.

19. Brave (2012)

Pixar finally set out to fix its lack-of-female-protagonists problem — but unfortunately, it did it with an undercooked story that feels more like a response to criticism than a well-thought-out Pixar adventure. This is a textbook Idiot Plot movie, in which the whole dreadful second half could have been eliminated if (spoilers here) Merida — who is beloved in the kingdom and would have little reason to be doubted — just said, “Hey, my mom was just transformed into this bear, everybody chill.” (Heck, her mom could have even written her name in the ground with her claw to prove it, were anyone to ask.) This is also the first Pixar movie whose comedic tone is entirely out of whack; it’s dumb slapstick that reminds you of some subpar early Dreamworks movies. (We wouldn’t have thought Pixar was capable of making irritating, un-cute children, but here they are.) They would finally come up with a terrific female lead three years later, but Brave was the first time you thought, Wait, have they really lost something?

18. Monsters University (2013)

How many of us had been clamoring to see how Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) became friends in college? Anyone? One of the sizable faults with Monsters University is that it’s a prequel that doesn’t have much need to exist — just do a short before one of the studio’s features and be done with it — but there’s enough heart and humor to make this cash-grab amusing enough. Still, Monsters University uncomfortably sums up Pixar’s post-Toy Story 3 era: It’s pleasantly entertaining just so long as you will yourself to forget the inspired storytelling and freewheeling imagination that used to be the studio’s trademarks.

17. The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Pixar’s lowest-grossing film, The Good Dinosaur was beset with story problems, production delays, and reports of directors being replaced midstream. It was hardly the company’s first movie to have a difficult birth (No. 4 on this list is Pixar’s most famous example of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat), but it is the one film that felt most hamstrung in the public’s mind, never escaping the cloud of bad buzz and relative disinterest that greeted it over Thanksgiving 2015. All that said, this tale of an Earth on which dinosaurs weren’t wiped out by a meteor is visually stunning, imagining an unspoiled American Northwest in which the mighty reptiles rule. The Good Dinosaur is oddly conventional for Pixar from a narrative perspective — a young apatosaurus (voiced by Raymond Ochoa) gets lost and has to find his way home — but as a meditative, hero’s-journey travelogue, it’s a thoughtful addition to the company’s canon. This may be the one Pixar film most deserving of a reappraisal in ten years.

16. A Bug’s Life (1998)

We might be in the minority preferring that year’s Antz — which was famously part of a race between Dreamworks and Pixar to make computer-animated insect movies — but this is still a charming, ultimately harmless little tale that basically has the same plot as Antz but is aimed more squarely at children. As the years went by, Pixar became unusually skilled at making movies as appealing to adults as they were to kids, but the scale is still being balanced here: This is not one adults will rewatch, like The Incredibles or Toy Story. It still wins big points for having the queen of an ant colony voiced by Phyllis Diller.

15. Cars (2006)

By 2006, Pixar had been making features for more than a decade, and so a backlash was inevitable; perhaps overdue. Into that awaiting storm walked Cars, a sweet, modest family comedy. Essentially Doc Hollywood starring a cocky stock car, the film imagined a world ruled by living automobiles, wringing laughs from a hot-rod-out-of-water scenario in which ultracompetitive racer Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) gets stuck in a Podunk filled with ordinary folks like good-ol’-boy tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). Cars is Pixar’s most nostalgic work, lamenting the sleepy communities and small-town values lost to the endless march of progress, which may explain why the movie feels so recycled, drawing from different genres without the studio’s usual freshness. Still, it’s consistently amusing — and for a whole generation of car-loving boys who grew up on it, Cars is as important as Star Wars or Batman.

14. Coco (2017)

Family is often a theme in Pixar films, but it’s rarely been explored so deeply as it is in Coco, which tells the story of Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez), a 12-year-old living in Saint Cecilia who wants nothing more than to be a singer and guitarist. Unfortunately for the boy, his family has forbidden music ever since his great-great-grandfather abandoned his wife and child to pursue his art years earlier. Told with magical realism and an array of terrific traditional folk songs, Coco sends Miguel on a journey into the Land of the Dead, which allows Pixar’s genius animators to produce one of their most dreamlike and colorful visual environments. The studio spent significant time researching Mexican culture and history, which adds authenticity and vibrancy to a quest-like tale about redemption, understanding, and forgiveness that will be familiar to Pixar fans. Still, it’s heartening that the Pixar braintrust, amidst pumping out Cars and Incredibles sequels, still tries to give itself fresh challenges.

13. Incredibles 2 (2018)

This sequel may take place immediately after the events of The Incredibles, but for audiences, the movie world has changed immensely since the first film blasted into theaters 14 years ago. For one thing, a superhero film is no longer a novelty — it’s now a Hollywood staple — but in a more general sense, Brad Bird’s original vision of a rollicking, action-packed animated family film has been duplicated by Pixar’s competitors. (The Despicable Me franchise in particular owes The Incredibles a huge debt.) So naturally, Incredibles 2 can’t match what was startlingly innovative about the 2004 film — even the movie’s glorious retro-cool production design and groovy score lack surprise — but it’s still a pretty nifty piece of high-quality entertainment. This time around, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) has to play Mr. Mom while his wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) goes out in search of a masked villain named Screenslaver, leading to a winning mixture of domestic misadventures and comic-book heroics. Like a lot of recent Pixar films, Incredibles 2 mostly reminds you of the company’s once-formidable talents, but it’s a nostalgic, very fun ride.

12. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

The placement of Monsters, Inc. on any Pixar list depends on one question: How much of Billy Crystal’s shtick can you stand? If Aladdin is Robin Williams Unbound, this buddy comedy gave the Oscar host his chance to go full Catskills, voicing Mike Wazowski, the insecure, long-suffering, wisecracking partner to the lovable James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman), who travels to the human world to give sleeping kids nightmares. The first of Pete Docter’s directorial efforts — he’d go on to make Up and Inside Out — Monsters, Inc. argues that you can never go wrong pairing exasperated adult characters with an impossibly cute kid (Boo, voiced by Mary Gibbs, who was only 5 when the movie came out). Mike’s kvetching gets tiresome, but the movie zooms along with whiplash speed. (The third-act chase set in the Monsters, Inc. conveyor belt of doors thrills.) And c’mon, Sulley’s final reaction shot is just beautiful.

11. Finding Dory (2016)

Thirteen years after the marvelous Finding Nemo hit theaters, it’s debatable whether audiences were clamoring for a sequel. Yet, Finding Dory is a pretty stellar follow-up, with director Andrew Stanton returning to the original’s themes of family, loss, and reconciliation to deliver another action-packed, emotion-soaked comedy. The title’s double meaning — it’s Dory (again voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) who’s doing the searching, both for her long-lost parents and for her own sense of self-sufficiency — speaks to the depth of the movie, which serves as an example of how Pixar should be making sequels: by investing in intelligent, heartfelt stories that expand the first film’s scope without radically altering the characters’ personalities to serve hackneyed narrative conventions. Of the new additions, a gruff octopus voiced by Ed O’Neill is Dory’s highlight, but the movie’s heart and soul remains Stanton, who rebounds terrifically from the embarrassment of John Carter for this second delightful dip into the ocean. Also: You may never hear Sigourney Weaver’s voice again without chuckling.

10. Up (2009)

All right, all right: We know this is lower than you think it should be. But take a step back and try to remember what comes to your mind when you first think of this movie. Yes, the wondrous image of the balloon raising the house into the air, and yes, maybe the cute dog that keeps being distracted by squirrels. But plot-wise, this whole film is completely overshadowed by the heartbreaking preamble, in which we learn the crushing story of Carl and Ellie’s life together. Yes, this will make you cry — just watching it again choked us up — but in retrospect, the rest of the movie is your fairly standard cute-kid, cute-dog, central-casting villain story. We’re not sure the whole movie should have been as powerful as those opening minutes — we might still be weeping — but take that away and this movie is a lot thinner than you remember. Sorry.

9. Ratatouille (2007)

As close as Pixar will get to an art movie, this story of a rat who is secretly the greatest chef in all of Paris is a delight, owing largely to a generous heart, a witty, Richard Dreyfuss–esque vocal performance from Patton Oswalt, and some legitimately democratizing notions about art and the act of creation. It’s not quite as viscerally thrilling as some other Pixar films — the main setpiece is about impressing a food critic — but it is funny and almost compulsively likable. After this film — which, we repeat, is a comedy about art and food and rats in Paris — became a huge hit and won an Oscar, it seemed as though Pixar could do no wrong.

8. Toy Story 4 (2019)

You can understand why so many were fretting about Toy Story 4. Pixar sequels have led to diminishing returns in recent years, and Toy Story 3 ended so perfectly. Why even risk the most beloved animated franchise of the last two decades? Turns out: We shouldn’t have worried. Toy Story 4 may not reach the emotional heights of the third installment, and it might not have the simple perfection of the first one, but it’ll still knock you over. The story focuses more intently on Woody this time, but the overarching theme of what it means to love and be loved is as foregrounded as it has ever been; these remain the most generous and good-hearted of all the Pixar films. And this honestly might be the funniest film of the entire franchise, from Key and Peele’s Plush Rush to Keanu Reeves’s Duke Caboom, and, of course, Tony Hale’s Forky, a surrealistic, existential touch that happens to make you keel over with laughter every time you see him. Did they need to make a fourth one? Probably not. But you’ll be delighted they did … and more trustful of Pixar, if they ever decide to make a fifth.

7. Inside Out (2015)

Those going through Parks & Rec withdrawal, rejoice: Amy Poehler’s adorable Inside Out character Joy isn’t that far removed from her hyperpositive, smilingly pushy Leslie Knope, running the emotional headquarters inside the brain of a happy tween like it’s her own little sunny fiefdom. Inside Out can get bogged down a bit in plot busyness — Joy and Sadness (a terrifically gloomy turn from The Office’s Phyllis Smith) have to find a way back to HQ after being sucked into the girl’s mind — but this is the cleverest, most emotionally pure Pixar film in years, offering plenty of teachable moments for both parents and kids about the need to embrace all of life’s emotions. And Bing Bong is going to break your heart.

6. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Ranking the three Toy Story films, all of which are wonderful, is nearly impossible, and there was much disagreement even among the two of us. (One of us had this as his best movie of 2010, after all.) You really can’t go wrong with any of them, but we’ve got this one third if only because the Great Escape–type plot feels more familiar than we’re used to from these movies, and because the ending resembles some sort of cruel Disney-funded Pepsi Challenge to see if grown adults can keep from sobbing in the company of their children. Also: It’s not fair, but the fact that they’re making a Toy Story 4 does, in fact, hurt a bit of the finality of this one that made it so powerful.

5. The Incredibles (2004)

It was obvious, in retrospect, that director Brad Bird would move on to making live-action blockbusters: This is as exciting and riveting an action film as we’ve seen in American animation. If all blockbusters were like this one, we’d never object to a fifth Transformers movie. The key to The Incredibles’ success is its economy of action: We are introduced to an entirely new universe, meet and empathize with a likable and close-knit family, discover the parents’ quiet dissatisfaction with what their lives have become, and then watch as everyone unites to overcome an evil force that wants to destroy the planet. It does all this in under two hours and never seems to be rushing or cramming anything in. Take note, Marvel: You can create a world, balance a huge cast of characters, and still wow your audience without making them look up everything on Wikipedia afterward.

4. Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 should have been a disaster. Designed to be a straight-to-DVD feature but then slotted for a theatrical release by Pixar’s Disney bosses, who were much happier with the in-progress film than the Pixar brain trust were, the sequel had to be reconceived on the fly and rushed to completion, grabbing story beats that had been rejected from the original film. Miraculously, Toy Story 2 shows no signs of the panic that went into making it. Expanding Woody and Buzz’s universe without losing focus on the characters, laughs, or sentiment, this follow-up deepens the themes of the original while keeping a wistful eye on childhood’s end. Joan Cusack is the MVP as the rootin’-tootin’ cowgirl Jessie, and her “When She Loved Me” flashback sequence remains one of the great cries in Pixar’s rich history of tearjerking moments.

3. Finding Nemo (2003)

Director Andrew Stanton wanted to make a movie set in the ocean, but he also wanted to address his own guilty memories of being an overprotective father to his young son. So he made this emotional, exciting, visually gorgeous story about a nervous clownfish (voiced by Albert Brooks) on a desperate search to find his lost son Nemo (Alexander Gould) with the help of a lovably loopy blue tang (Ellen DeGeneres). Finding Nemo’s lessons about the importance of letting our children live their own lives are only strengthened by how scary this movie can be. Stanton and his animators load the film with plenty of terrors — the opening remains a nerve-shredder — and yet still insist that we have to learn that rather than smothering those we love, we need to release them into the scary world if they’re going to survive on their own.

2. Toy Story (1995)

Twenty years after Toy Story’s release, some of Randy Newman’s songs come across as creaky, and the once-cutting-edge animation looks rudimentary. Otherwise, though, the best comedy of the 1990s remains perfect. Pixar’s first feature is still the template for every great movie the studio has made since: earned emotions; ripping action sequences; dead-on insights into human nature; and lots of giddy, witty, silly laughs. Toy Story is so funny because deep down, it’s actually a very melancholy film. Woody and Buzz’s battle for Andy’s love speaks to everyone’s fear of being replaced, as well as our shared recognition that the innocence of childhood cannot last. As for the voice cast, they’re impeccable: Tim Allen was never better, and even though Tom Hanks has won two Oscars, it is very likely (and completely appropriate) that Woody will be the role that immortalizes him.

1. WALL-E (2008)

We went back-and-forth on the top two here, but we ultimately had to go with this one, the most original and ambitious of all the Pixar movies. The first half-hour, which basically tells the story of the destruction of the planet and the devolution of the human race without a single line of dialogue, is total perfection: It’s almost Kubrickian in its attention to detail and perspective, though it never feels cold or ungenerous. Then we get to know WALL-E himself and realize that he sees humanity for so much more than it has become, and what it can become again. WALL-E is an unprecedented achievement, the absolute pinnacle of what Pixar can do. And not for nothing, WALL-E also happens to feature Pixar’s greatest love story. They’ve never been better. This is our pick.

Grierson & Leitch write about the movies regularly and host a podcast on film. Follow them on Twitter or visit .

With its thoughtful and meticulously detailed imagery and rich, complex storytelling, Pixar sets a high bar for animated movies. Other studios may have the same state-of-the-art graphics and big-name stars voicing characters, but Pixar films always feel as if they are made with a nod and a wink to adult tastes and sensibilities, as much as pure entertainment for children.

The little ones may not appreciate the mid-century Eichler-inspired houses or the George Romero references, but it’s those touches that have us big kids hooked. Here’s what we grown-ups think of all the Pixar Animation Studios movies, from meh to amazing.

21. Cars 2 (2011)

Ugh. The sequel features too much of the tow truck Mater—a caricature of an uncouth American—who gets mistaken for an international spy while accompanying his best friend Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) on an European car rally. It’s an uncharacteristic misstep of offensive stereotypes and lame humor.


20. Monsters University (2013)

The prequel to Monsters, Inc. charts how James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) first met and became friends. Fans of the first movie will be disappointed by the inconsistencies in character development and may find the increased presence of Crystal’s comedic schtick to be grating.


19. Cars 3 (2011)

The film feels as directionless as the lead character of aging race car Lightning McQueen, voiced again by Owen Wilson. At the heart of it, however, the story tackles the issue of representation (or lack of it by anyone not part of the white male patriarchy)—for that, it gets props.


18. A Bug’s Life (1998)

The good guys bravely give the villain (voiced by Kevin Spacey with a dash of extra creepy) his comeuppance but, with the exception of a portly caterpillar with a vaguely Austrian accent, you won’t fall madly in love with any of the characters.


17. The Good Dinosaur (2015)

What if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed? In this sweet but slightly forgettable tale, apatosaurus Arlo gets separated from his family, and, with the help of a cave boy who he names Spot, must dig deep to traverse raging waters and fight off vicious pterodactyls to find his way home.


16. Finding Dory (2016)

Set mostly in a West Coast aquarium, there are fewer expansive underwater scenes and the journey feels less epic than that of Finding Nemo. Even the charming positive attitude of Ellen DeGeneres’s character Dory (a blue reef fish who suffers from memory loss) is not enough to make up for the tiresome forgetfulness schtick.


15. Brave (2012)

My beef with Pixar’s first and only attempt (so far) at a princess movie is that the feisty Merida, an archer and the daughter of a medieval Scottish king, is forced to find a way to an undo the curse cast on her due to her desire to fight patriarchal norms. On the flip side, she does it heroically and, in the end, emerges stronger and wiser.


14. Incredibles 2 (2018)

Unfortunately, this long-awaited sequel has hopped onto the recent superhero-movie bandwagon with its nearly two-hour running time (can we please get back to efficient storytelling and a tight edit?!). The Incredibles are called upon again to save the world. As with the first film, family drama propels the storyline. This time, it revolves around the female characters: Violet’s teenage struggle with wanting to be just like everyone else, Elastigirl coming into her own and the bitter sister up to no good.


13. Ratatouille (2007)

With the help from an anthropomorphic rat gifted in the culinary arts, a bungling talentless cook lands a spot on the line of a prestigious restaurant in Paris. The movie does its best to capture the aroma, heat and choreographed chaos of the kitchen.


12. Toy Story (1995)

Animation has advanced since Pixar’s first movie but our introduction to cowboy doll Woody and his gang of toys, who talk and go on adventures when humans aren’t looking, still holds up. This film establishes what will become classic Pixar storytelling: An interloper challenges preconceived ideas of the group and must go on a journey of self discovery while helping to deliver justice to a dastardly villain—in this case, the bully next door. The movie ends on another signature Pixar move (one that rivals any scene in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead) acknowledgement that adults are watching, too.


11. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

James P. “Sulley” Sullivan and Mike Wazowski are best friends and team #1 at Monsters, Inc., the factory that powers Monstropolis by harnessing children’s screams. When a little girl from the human world crosses the closet threshold into the monster one, panic ensues and Sulley must help Boo find her way home. Their adventure includes a botched sushi date and a high-speed chase on topsy turvy conveyor belts of doors. In the end, they forge a sweet monster-girl bond and discover an alternative source to keep the city’s lights on. Hooray for cruelty-free energy!


10. Toy Story 2 (1999)

In the second movie of the Toy Story franchise, we meet the rootin’, tootin’ cowgirl Jessie, who has one of the saddest backstories. Here, the story touches on the notion of toys as adult collectibles and objects of desire but not affection. In the end, heart wins.


9. Cars (2006)

Breathtaking vistas and iconic Route 66 architecture are the backdrop for a story about cocky race car Lightening McQueen (Owen Wilson) who finds heart with the help of the folksy townsfolk led by a retired speedster voiced by Paul Newman.


8. Inside Out (2015)

The movie reminds us that the internal world of children is no less complex or fraught than the mind of an adult and reinforces the importance of empathy—an undervalued quality in today’s world. The highlight of the film is the engaging and highly-animated voice work (the best in the Pixar universe) of the personified emotions of joy, sadness, fear, disgust, and anger performed by Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Lewis Black, respectively.


7. Up (2009)

A tale of a grumpy old man and the cheerful little scout that breaks through to his sad, broken heart. Queue the waterworks.


6. The Incredibles (2004)

Our introduction to Mr. Incredible and family delights with a cool mid-century modern backdrop, charming family drama and scene-stealing Edna Mode (the stern fashionista based on famed costume designer Edith Head).


5. Toy Story 4 (2019)

The funniest one in the series edges out the original and sequel thanks to the comedic contributions of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny. Again, Pixar plays on adult fears—creepy dolls and ventriloquist dummies —as well as universal themes of loss and love. The characters of Gabby Gabby and Bo are more complicated than the female toys from the previous three movies. Plus, Keanu Reeves lends his distinctive vocal stylings to the proud Canadian daredevil Duke Kaboom.

4. Finding Nemo (2003)

This gorgeous movie is Pixar at its best: a beautifully-rendered underwater universe, a moving story of an unfunny clownfish (pulled off expertly by comic genius James Brooks) looking for his son Nemo and a cast of charming sea creatures, including sharks in Carnivores Anonymous, a totally chill group of sea turtles and a forgetful blue reef fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres.


3. WALL-E (2008)

Set in the 29th century, the haunting landscape of a lifeless Earth populated solely by robot WALL-E recalls the isolation and momentous quiet 0f Stanley Kubrick’s space epic 2010: A Space Odyssey. His further isolation is short lived when a probe named EVE visits the planet and WALL-E falls in love. He journeys across the galaxy to be with her and save the human race from continued moral apathy and physical atrophy. It’s both a cautionary tale of the effects of environmental selfishness and a hopeful one of how love on a small scale can affect change on a larger one.


2. Toy Story 3 (2010)

So effective are the foreboding score, the animated facial rendering, and the claustrophobic background that nearly a decade after its initial release, a pit still forms in my stomach when I watch the treacherous conveyor belt ride to doom at the apex of the movie. In this third installment of the adventures of Woody and his toy gang, they prepare for the worst as their owner Andy packs up to leave home for college. We, along with the characters, must not only mourn the loss of childhood but come face to face with the existential question: “What is our life’s purpose?”


1. Coco (2017)

Culturally rich storytelling, an expansive and glorious universe and a sweet earworm of a song are why this wondrous movie nabs the top spot. On Day of the Dead, a significant day of remembrance in Mexican culture, a young boy accidentally enters the underworld and must find his way back. The movie illustrates a powerful message about the bonds of family and the price of holding a grudge.


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The best Disney Pixar movies ever made

When the Pixar team first started working together in the mid-70s, the idea of making the world’s first computer animated film was little more than a pipedream.

However, through perseverance, staggering technical achievement and inspiration, in the decade that followed the studio began producing pioneering short films like Luxo Jr, which still stand the test of time remarkably well.

Since then the studio have released a total of 21 feature-length movies, changing the face of Hollywood forever and heralding a golden age of animation.

The best of these films – while staggering on first viewing – so often come to have greater significance in later life too, with fans introducing their own children to the films they themselves enjoyed so much as kids.

From Toy Story to The Incredibles, these are the studio’s greatest achievements.

10. Inside Out

The excellent Inside Out follows the emotions at play inside an 11-year-old’s head, with Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear and Disgust all interacting together. Despite an ambitious premise and complex narrative the film managed to appeal across generational divides — a factor which has been key to Pixar’s appeal for decades — and bring real joy to life on screen. It was an important film for Pixar too: after a few years in the relative wilderness, releasing the underwhelming Monsters University, Brave and Cars 2, the film announced a real return to form in 2015.

9. A Bug’s Life

The animation may not have aged quite as well as some of the other early Pixar movies but there’s still much to enjoy about A Bug’s Life. The film successfully created entire worlds in 1998, taking the viewer from the bustling activity of the ants nests to the razzmatazz of the big bug city. There are plenty of fun set pieces thrown in for good measure too, like the bird attack scene and the fightback against the grasshoppers. It might not be quite as good as you remember from your childhood, but it’s still a charming piece of filmmaking that’ll be entertaining kids for years to come.

8. Ratatouille

Like so many Disney Pixar movies, Ratatouille teaches the importance of following dreams no matter what the limitations. The film follows Remy the rat, who teams up with hapless kitchen assistant Alfredo to act on his passion for cooking. It’s one of the most evocative films Pixar have produced and viewers can almost feel the warmth and smells of the French kitchens on screen. Interestingly, Pixar achieved the realistic look of the food by creating over 270 dishes from scratch and photographing each piece individually. The incredible eye for detail helps make this one of the most engaging Pixar has produced to date, while the heart-warming story also makes it one of the most rewarding.


Pixar enjoyed a run of incredible movies in the late 90s and early 00s after the studio’s creative heads allegedly came up with the ideas for Wall E, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo over a single lunch break in 1994. One of the best, WALL-E focuses on a lonely android tasked with cleaning up the mess left on earth following an emergency human evacuation. It’s a stunning piece of work, which is just as grand in scale as it is in emotional depth. It’s also one of the most finely crafted films in the Pixar canon: despite the lack of dialogue in the movie, Pixar went to extreme lengths for the film’s sound design. A library of more than 2,400 sounds were created, including the Nikon camera shutter sound used whenever WALL-E moves his eyebrows. An impressive feat.

6. Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc. marked a real step forward for Pixar in terms of technical achievement. For the first time the studio were able to realistically capture the look of fur and it was used to full effect in the movie. Each frame of Sulley consisted of more than 2.3m individual strands of hair, taking 12 hours to render. The film was far more from a technical exercise though: the central relationships between odd couple Sully and Mike Wazowski with Boo is one of the most compelling in any Pixar movie, bringing real warmth to a monstrous universe.

5. The Incredibles

The Incredibles trailer

Not only is one of the best animated films ever made, but one of the best superhero movies too. The Incredible’s ingenious central premise follows a family of superheroes forced to go into hiding and tackle the drudgery of suburbia without the use of their abilities. With great power comes great responsibility, though and Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack are gradually drawn back into action to thwart the villainous Syndrome. Movie fans were overjoyed when Pixar announced a sequel back in 2014 — let’s just hope it’s more Toy Story 2 than Cars 3.

4. Toy Story

After producing eye-catching shorts like the endearing Tin Toy, Pixar really announced itself on the world stage with its first feature length film Toy Story in 1995. Groundbreaking graphics, incredible scriptwriting and fantastic vocal performances from the likes of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were just some of the factors that combined to make it one of the most enjoyable films of the decade. Making the movie was a painstaking process, with Pixar only completing around three and a half minutes of film per week. However, it was worth the effort a thousand times over to introduce the world of Woody and Buzz to millions of people and bringing pure, unadulterated fun to generations of fans.

3. Up

It’s no exaggeration to say that the opening ten minutes of Up are among the most heartbreaking in film history. We see a story of love and loss play out just minutes after the opening titles have rolled and it makes for almost irresponsibly moving viewing. If you can get through it without blubbing your eyes out, the joyous oddball story that follows is one of the most impressive Pixar have ever put to to the big screen and enough to melt even the biggest cynic’s heart. Pixar’s achievement was reinforced when it became only the second animated film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar after Beauty and the Beast.

2. Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo is one of the studio’s most universally appealing to date, telling the story of a father doing everything in his power to protect his child. It’s funny, affecting and totally unforgettable, becoming a landmark film for Pixar in 2003. The movie was a hit with critics and it was no surprise that the movie marked one of the studio’s biggest commercial successes too, making $940m off the back of a $94m production budget. Finding Dory proved a worthy follow-up in 2016 and also featured one of the most moving Pixar moments to date -— you know the scene we mean, when Dory is reunited with her parents.

1. Toy Story 2

Pixar’s greatest ever movie came dangerously close to never being released. After months of work, a malfunction deleted nearly all progress on Toy Story 2 just a year before it was set to hit cinemas Thankfully, a member of staff had taken a copy of the film home by chance, saving the project. Crisis was averted and millions of childhoods around the world were made that little more magical as a result — thank goodness.

The sequel introduced a range of compelling new characters and brought us a few glorious sequences, not least the tear-jerking moment Jessie’s backstory is revealed during Sarah McLachlan’s rendition of Randy Newman’s When She Loved Me. Fans will be treated to a fourth Toy Story movie in 2018 and if it’s half as successful as this all-time classic animation, it’ll be another excellent addition to the studio’s incredible back catalogue.

Catmull once said that Pixar’s intent was to make one sequel for every two original features. The ratio since 2010 has been closer to the inverse. Especially lamentable was the announcement, in 2014, of plans for Toy Story 4. The narrative and emotional arc of the trilogy had clearly been completed with Andy’s departure for college. The third installment had even closed, lovingly, with a shot that neatly mirrored the opening shot of the first film: the fluffy-white-clouds-on-blue-sky wallpaper of young Andy’s bedroom in Toy Story giving way to real white clouds in the real blue sky. Yet instead of concluding on that touching note, Pixar has opted for what has been described as a “franchise reboot”—surely the most dispiriting phrase in contemporary cinema.

The differing trajectories of Pixar and Disney Animation have hardly gone unremarked. At the time of the merger, Disney was “demoralized” and “failing as a company,” Catmull observed a couple of years ago, before adding, “Disney is now successful.” About Pixar, he was less sanguine: “There are major issues we’re addressing at Pixar now.”

Lasseter and Catmull do, after all, have only so many hours in their days to devote to their competing obligations at Pixar and Disney, as Catmull made clear in his book. If the studio with the corporate parent’s name on it took precedence, that would hardly be a surprise. Nor would it be surprising if the dilution of focus took a toll, given how dependent Pixar’s culture was on an intimate circle of innovative minds. (Other Braintrust members have been pursuing interests beyond Pixar too: Stanton explored live-action filmmaking with John Carter, and Bird did the same with Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland.)

Still, the erosion of Pixar’s uncompromising creative independence can’t be reduced to a case of inadequate oversight. The Disney merger seems to have brought with it new imperatives. Pixar has always been very good at making money, but historically it did so largely on its own terms. The studio, remember, rejected a low-quality direct-to-video Toy Story 2, and instead worked round the clock to come up with another tour de force. But Lasseter, among his other obligations, now oversees Disneytoon Studios as well. In that capacity he served as the executive producer of 2013’s Planes and its 2014 sequel, Planes: Fire & Rescue. The two movies are—like virtually all Disneytoon films—shameless, derivative cash grabs. What makes them unique is that they are also explicit spin-offs of Pixar’s Cars franchise, a development that would have been almost unimaginable before the merger. As Lasseter himself explained, “By expanding the Cars world, Planes gave us a whole new set of fun-filled situations.”

Not to mention a whole new set of toys. Merchandising has, naturally, always been a temptation for Pixar (as for any purveyor of kids’ movies). And Disney has played a central role in the marketing and merchandising of Pixar films since 1991. But when you become a division of the largest entertainment conglomerate in the history of the world, commercial opportunities multiply exponentially. There are a dozen Disney theme parks scattered across the globe in need of, well, themes for their rides. So the year after its acquisition of Pixar, Disney announced that it would open Toy Story Midway Mania the following year at both Disney World and Disney California Adventure. Later in 2007, Disney announced a $1.1 billion redesign of its failing California Adventure park, featuring a new, 12-acre Cars Land. Additional Toy Story– and Finding Nemo–themed rides are in the works in Shanghai and Tokyo.

Watch the first trailer for Pixar’s new movie ‘Soul’

Disney and Pixar released the first trailer today for their upcoming animated film “Soul.”

The movie will be directed by Pete Docter, who has directed other Pixar hits like “Monsters Inc.,” “Up,” and “Inside Out,” according to Variety. Actors Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey are set to voice the two lead characters.

The movie follows Joe, a music teacher, who dies before he has the chance to achieve his dream of becoming a jazz performer, according to Variety. His soul separates from his body, and he teams up with another soul named 22 (Fey) to get back to earth so that he can fulfill his dream.

“What would you want to be known for on earth?” asks main character Joe (Foxx) in the trailer.

“We only have a short time on this planet,” he says later. “You want to become the person you were born to be. Don’t waste your time on all the junk of life. Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you, the brilliant passionate you that’s willing to contribute something meaningful to this world.”

Just Announced: @iamjamiefoxx and Tina Fey will lead the cast of #PixarSoul, coming to theaters June 19, 2020. Here’s a first look at their characters, Joe Gardner and 22, and a new piece of concept art. #D23Expo pic.twitter.com/Ls8JDvOsCe

— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) August 24, 2019

The concept behind “Soul” has drawn comparisons to Pixar’s 2015 film “Inside Out,” which depicted the personified emotions of a young girl, according to the Deseret News.

Docter talked to Entertainment Weekly about the way that they chose to animate and portray the soul characters.

“We talked to a lot of folks that represented religious traditions and cultural traditions and (asked), ‘What do you think a soul is?’” Docter told Entertainment Weekly. “All of them said ‘vaporous’ and ‘ethereal’ and ‘non-physical.’ We were like, ‘Great! How do we do this?’ We’re used to toys, cars, things that are much more substantial and easily referenced. This was a huge challenge, but I gotta say, I think the team really put some cool stuff together that’s really indicative of those words but also relatable.”

“Soul” will be coming to theaters June 19, 2020, Variety reports.


The Breadwinner (2017)

Run Time: 94 min | IMDb: 7.7/10

Based off a best-selling book by Deborah Ellis, this Angelina Jolie-produced animated drama follows the story of a young girl named Parvana, who’s forced to disguise herself as a man in order to provide for her family when her father is sent to prison by the Taliban. The film is set in war-torn Afghanistan, in a village under Taliban rule where women aren’t permitted to hold jobs or even buy food without the presence of a male relative. When Parvana’s father angers a member of the Taliban, he’s thrown in prison, and she pretends to be a man in order to earn money and food for her mother and sisters. The film is a gripping, honest look at some difficult-to-swallow issues, and it’s done in the most visually-stunning of ways.


The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Run Time: 107 min | IMDb: 7.3/10

Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, and Jamie Bell lend their talents to this animated adventure about an intrepid reporter named Tintin, who teams up with a rarely-sober sea captain named Archibald Haddock to find some sunken treasure. Tintin and Haddock must battle against other greedy hunters, including the film’s villain (voiced by Craig) to uncover Haddock’s ancestral connection to a sunken ship and the cases of gold still inside it.

Fantastic Fest

April And The Extraordinary World (2015)

Run Time: 105 min | IMDb: 7.3/10

In an alternate version of 1941 where France has been led by a line of Napoleons and leading scientists mysteriously disappear, young April, her talking cat Darwin, and the shady Julius go searching for April’s missing parents. It’s an interesting take on a history where technological advancement isn’t a thing, where “steampunk” is reality and TVs and cars don’t exist. April’s journey starts in the dreary, stuck-out-of-time France but leads her to fantastical advancements that still make sense in the world we’re presented with. The heart of the film lies in the love that plucky, stubborn April has for those she cares about, and the film’s driven by charming animation and a genuinely interesting concept. It’s a fun trip that’s just out-there enough for adults while being accessible for the young and young at heart.

Focus Features

Coraline (2009)

Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.7/10

Dakota Fanning voices the titular young heroine of this fantasy drama about a girl who discovers a secret world much like her own. Coraline is a preteen, disappointed by her current reality, who finds the door to another world that resembles an idealized version of her own. She enjoys this alternate reality for a time before realizing this version of her life holds sinister secrets that might threaten her real family. It’s a strange, beautifully-drawn world, one that’s probably better viewed by the older-kid crowd or adults who just don’t want to grow up.