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My Top 10 Favourite Pixar Movies Part 1 (Disney 100th Anniversary Special)


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I told you Pixar would get their own list. ;)


Disney had its 100th anniversary last week and what a celebration it was, eh? This blog has certainly been in the Disney spirit with my Top 10 Favourite Disney Movies countdown, a review on The Fox and the Hound, the finale to my 100 Facts About Disney list, a review on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and a countdown of the most memorable Disney scenes. One of my friends even wrote an essay detailing the history of Walt Disney himself! How's that for getting in on the celebration?


But I'm not done celebrating yet. I think just one more post in honour of Disney's centenary year will wrap this up nicely. And what better way to finish off with another Top 10 list, but this time I'm counting down my favourite Pixar movies. If there's any animation studio I love as much as Disney, it's unquestionably Pixar. Pixar has THE best track record in terms of animated movies where nearly every movie they release is a masterpiece and they have yet to make an actual "bad" movie in their 37 years of creating content. Yes I even think Cars 2 is good. =P While I feel their library hasn't been quite as strong as it was in the 90's and 2000's, I still think Pixar make quality movies where even a weak Pixar movie is STILL a Pixar movie! Although I must admit that Lightyear is probably the only Pixar movie I'm in no hurry to see again given what a weird and messy final product that one was. Still, I like pretty much every movie Pixar has made and let me tell ya, picking just ten of my favourites wasn't easy.


But here we are anyway. Sit back, relax and enjoy as I countdown my Top 10 Favourite Pixar movies...


Number 10: Turning Red

Turning Red

I reviewed it last year as you may remember and I had a good time with this one. This I consider to be one of Pixar's more "fun" movies, and it's why I found it such an enjoyable watch.


Turning Red is a coming-of-age story and a really enjoyable version of that plot. Not only did I enjoy the early 2000's setting for the nostalgia it provided upon viewing, but it being a call-back to the boyband craze that many teenage girls were a part of also gave us opportunities for some fun character interactions and enjoyable music moments, especially when 4Town gets to perform during the concert. But of course Turning Red's biggest strength is the development of its lead character, Mei Lee, in where Pixar give us a creative, kid-friendly and somewhat adorable metaphor for puberty as she turns into this giant red panda and they really take advantage of such a concept whether it's for jokes or drama. Mei's struggles are relatable as pretty much all of us have gone through that stage where our bodies change and we're growing up into different people and we can feel scared or unsure about said changes.


But the film is also able to be really funny at times and the highly expressive and more cartoon-y animation that is beyond the usual Pixar style really helps in selling the comedy in many scenes. And that is why, as I say, this feels like one of Pixar's more fun movies and while it does have its emotional scenes as well, it's nice to see Pixar go in a direction like this for a change. Not everything is great in this movie like how Ming Lee is a little too over-the-top and the stuff with Tyler is shoddily handled but they don't take away what a fun romp this movie was.


With its relatable cast, great comedy, clever metaphors, compelling drama and lively animation, I ain't turning red when I watch this movie, that's for sure...


Number 9: Elemental

Elemental

This film isn't even a year old as I'm writing this post and it's already made it as among my favourite Pixar movies. You can see my review on it here.


Elemental is another welcome breath of fresh air from Pixar for the company doesn't really do romance stories much, hence I was happy to see them do one for this movie. And somehow, they managed to make a romance between fire and water feel believable and even adorable at times. Only Pixar could've done that. XD The film also offers us a creative look into what a world run by the elements would be like and not only do they get some good in-jokes out of it, but use it to the advantage of the story at times to give us some truly memorable scenes, namely the scene where Wade takes Ember in an air bubble underwater so she can see a plant she's always wanted to see. That was magical.


While I agree that movies like Zootropolis/Zootopia executed the world-building and its metaphors better than this movie did, I feel Elemental did well enough in its own concepts with its allegories for immigration and trying to fit in with a society that isn't really catered to your needs. I love the growing romance with Ember and Wade, I like how Ember has to learn if running the shop is really what she wants to do or not, I liked the struggling relationship between Ember and her father as she wants to prove she's ready to take over from him and I like how there's no forced villain in the story. The conflict with Ember and Wade's romance and the city leakage was all we needed and it worked so well for the story.


Romantic, charming, funny, beautifully animated and full of creative visuals, Elemental was truly a sign that Pixar were very much in their element when making this movie...


Number 8: Up

Up

I think Pixar fans like to debate whether it's this or Inside Out that can be considered Pete Docter's magnum opus. While I personally prefer Inside Out, Up is unquestionably his second best movie he directed.


This movie is just beautiful from beginning to end and is a great example of how Pixar can take wacky concepts and somehow make them work. I mean how do you have a concept like "a man makes his house fly with balloons" and give us a movie like this where in spite of its silly concept, it's still able to make audiences cry?! That's what makes Up such a fascinating movie to watch. It's able to have silly ideas like the flying house with balloons or the dogs with talking collars, yet it never feels like it's going too far and it still manages to take itself relatively seriously and gives us this highly emotional, gripping and engaging story that really tugs at the heartstrings and takes us for an emotional roller coaster ride. You're either laughing at some of the absurd concepts the movie has or you're crying your eyes out at the stuff around Carl and his dead wife. Either way, prepare for A LOT of feels with this one.


The story's strength of course is its emotional core and nowhere is that more prevalent than with Carl and his motivation to get to Paradise Falls to fulfil a promise he made to his deceased wife, Elie. We're constantly on Carl's side throughout the story and we want him to succeed, yet at the same time we want him to let go of Elie, as sad as that is, and find a new purpose in life. Luckily for him, that's where Russell comes in. While I feel the movie could've done without Charles Muntz for his presence only raises a crap tonne of questions (namely how is he still alive when he was an adult at the time Carl was a kid?!), the story is engaging and never misses a beat in spite of its flaws. All this plus Pixar's gorgeous animation that gave us eight of the saddest minutes ever animated onscreen makes Up a viewing experience we'll never forget.


Emotionally gripping, exciting to watch, beautifully animated, tragic at times, funny at others, Up is a movie that'll make you want to go up with Carl and friends so you can be part of this unforgettable journey...


Number 7: Toy Story

Toy Story

Gotta have Pixar's first movie on the list somewhere, haven't we? ;)


I've always loved Toy Story, even as a kid, and while I like the sequels more, the first movie is still a special movie in my eyes. I mean it STARTED Pixar's movie career! That's pretty special! XD While the animation has um...aged, shall we say, the film still holds up very well even in this day and age. The story takes full advantage of its premise of toys that come alive when the kids aren't watching and manages to give us a movie that is exciting, funny, charming and even surprisingly intense at times. I still think the climax with Woody and Buzz trying to catch the moving van is one of Pixar's most exciting climaxes they've ever animated. And when you consider the protagonists are only toys, the threat levels feel much bigger than they would if it were happening to humans, which only adds to how exciting this movie is to watch.


I also like how the movie touches on identity crisis like when Buzz finally realizes he's not the real Buzz Lightyear, just a toy. I imagine many people out there struggle with their own identities so doing this kind of thing with a toy really works and even adds an extra layer of relatability to the movie. On that front, I'm sure many viewers have been through what Woody went through here with his jealousy arc. I may view jealousy as a worthless emotion but I can't deny it's a powerful drug and can make one do crazy things at times. Yet Woody learns his lesson in the end and he and Buzz become the best of friends, which is really touching to watch every time. And while the animation may have aged a bit, it still has its impressive moments and for the most part still looks really good, especially with the toys or during some of the action scenes. Pixar really didn't need to go so hard for their first movie, but they did it anyway and their legendary legacy was born as a result. And speaking of legendary, the cast itself was absolutely perfect. Pixar's uncanny ability to get absolutely perfect actors for their characters began here and these performances stand as some of the most legendary in all of cinema.


With its great story, memorable characters, exciting moments, fantastic voice-acting and well-handled character arcs, Toy Story is a toy that I'll be happy to play with any time and I have a feeling I'll be taking it out of the toy box to play with very soon...


Number 6: Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

Pete Docter's directorial debut and let's just say he started off strongly with this one. While I feel his later movies are stronger, I still find this to be one of Pixar's most enjoyable watches and it's not just the nostalgia talking.


Monsters Inc. is a fun play on the whole "monster in your closet" idea and gives us some of Pixar's most clever and interesting world-building they've ever put in a movie. I mean a monster city where screams are their energy source? That's so creative! And they get even more creative with the variety of monster designs we see in the movie where you'll see all sorts from tentacled creatures to furry beasts and more. The creative world-building is a large part of the reason why this movie sticks with me so much. But the story itself is also a reason why I enjoy Monsters Inc. The world-building lends itself to an engaging story that sees a power crisis at its heart and some dark twists occur within the company that may catch viewers off-guard. Even to this day, people are still talking about how shocking Mr. Waternoose's betrayal was...


The heart of the story of course lies with the growing relationship between Sulley and Boo. Through Boo, Sulley and his friend Mike learn that maybe humans aren't actually toxic after all (just let them see the internet, then they'll see what true "toxic humans" are) and Sulley grows so close to Boo that's like a protective parent to her. It's quite sweet watching this big scary monster become a gentle giant towards this little kid and how he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. And as Pixar is want to do, we get an exciting climax involving a chase across many different doors that makes for a gripping watch no matter how many times I see it and the animators take advantage of the concept they're given by giving us creative monster designs, some clever jokes, fun action scenes and much more. And of course, gotta love the voice-acting here too. Everyone was pitch-perfect for their characters and I love listening to their performances in this film.


With a creative premise, heart-warming relationship with the protagonists, stellar voice-acting, surprising twists and exciting moments, this movie can collect my screams of joy for I guarantee they'll give Monstropolis plenty of power to spare...


Continued in Part 2...

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2 Comments


Turning Red I haven't seen (though I should) but I can agree on the rest. Elemental is sweet, Up is heartwarmining, Toy Story is the classic and Monsters INc...I wore out the VHS. Also bought the PS1 game and loved it

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Guest
Oct 25, 2023

You know me, Elemental was okay to me, I liked Ember and Wade but I feel it didn’t do it’s concept of a elemental world well enough.

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