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EVERY PIXAR MOVIE, RANKED | Chaostrophic
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PIXAR

Choosing a favorite Pixar movie is an impossible task we wouldn’t wish on anyone — not even Sid, the toy-torturing bully first introduced to audiences back in 1995. But with the 20th anniversary of Toy Story arriving this weekend and the company’s latest magnum opus, The Good Dinosaur, opening on November 25th, we decided to bite the plush yellow Zurg-bullet and rank all 15 of the company’s films, from worst to best. Grab a hanky — things are about to get kid-friendly but emotionally devastating!

9. Toy Story 2 (1999)

Pixar’s first sequel did more than reverse the original’s equation. Examining mid-life crisis, Pixar spliced sci-fi adventure (introducing Buzz’s nemesis, the oft-mentioned Zurg) into the sorrowful story of Jessie the Cowgirl, a toy whose owner grew up and gave her away. For a retread, the Jessie flashback scene set to Sarah McLachlan’s “When She Loved Me” is as crushing as the most championed Pixar moments.

PIXAR

8. Finding Nemo (2003)

What’s more terrifying than the bottom of the ocean? Um, how about losing your child? Watching neurotic clownfish Marlin (brilliantly voiced by Albert Brooks) frantically scour the depths of the sea in pursuit of his only son Nemo (Alexander Gould) can be an emotionally taxing, overwhelming experience. But, luckily, director Andrew Stanton keeps the movie afloat by giving ample screen time to the joyfully silly Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a team of possibly stoned turtles and the deepest voice casts Pixar has ever assembled (Willem Dafoe, Allison Janney, and Geoffrey Rush all turn in killer work). And, yes, it will probably make you cry.

PIXAR

7. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Sequels generally suck, and don’t even get us started on third installments. Yet much like its predecessor, Toy Story 3 proved exceptional. Buzz and Woody were peopled with equally memorable new faces like tyrannical Sunnyside Daycare tyrant Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear and a dandyish Ken doll who sounds suspiciously like Batman. Much like the previous iterations, toys are an allegory for a certain stage of Andy’s life — in this case, he’s college-bound and has outgrown his old playmates — and the film is shot through with themes of death, abandonment, and decay, resulting in the sort of constant oscillation between laughter and tears that only Pixar provides.

6. The Incredibles (2004)

Years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the Galactus-like box office-conquering force it is today, Pixar beat The Avengers at its own game. Masterfully written and directed by Brad Bird, The Incredibles builds an entire pop-art world of heroes and villains from scratch, then goes about investing each character with vivid thoughts, dreams, and feelings as they bounce their way through one show-stopping action sequence after another. This is how you do an origin story.

PIXAR

5. Up (2009)

If this list was a ranking of which Pixar movie had the power to tear out your heart with a scalpel in the first five minutes, Up would sit atop it. The devastating opening passage, chronicling the relationship between the film’s cantankerous but lovable old geezer protagonist Carl (Ed Asner) and his wife Ellie (Elie Docter), is like a condensed cartoon version of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy. That the rest of Up doesn’t quite live up to its opening is inevitable. That being said, the whole picture also works splendidly as a raucous action-comedy, overflowing with vibrant tropical imagery, hilarious voice work, and… SQUIRRELS!

PIXAR

4. Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out showcases Toy Story writer/Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter, who helmed this recent arrival, at his imaginative best. Set inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley, where emotions Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust run the show and memories are collected and stored as glowing orbs, the Pixar impresario has created a vivid fictional world that rivals WALL-E in its inventiveness and lush visual landscape. Bolstered by crazy-good voice-acting from Amy Poehler as Joy and The Office’s Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Inside Out is as smart and perceptive about human psychology as it is emotionally resonant.

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EVERY PIXAR MOVIE, RANKED

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