Ever since 1995, the Pixar animation production studio has been releasing some of the most highly successful and critically acclaimed animated motion pictures audiences have ever laid eyes on. But the founding members of this creative bunch of ground-breaking animators began their reinvention of cartoon images as a small extension of George Lucas’ LucasFilm company called Graphics Group back in 1979.
Their main characters have spanned every species and creation from talking children’s toys and beeping robots, to jaded superheroes and fast-paced race cars. With so many magnificent Pixar family movies in their stellar collection, this Top 5 Pixar Movies of All Time List consists of must-see films.
This 2009 comedy-adventure features a high concept movie premise that any child would love to experience – a house floating up into the clouds with colorful helium balloons attached. After being unable to deliver on his promise of a trip to South America with his wife before she, unfortunately, passed away, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) makes his bucket list trip via his airborne home. He has one co-pilot that he never invited, a grade school Wilderness Explorer scout by the name of Russell (Jordan Nagai.) As far as success, “Up” was definitely on the up and up, earning over $731 million and five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Director Brad Bird (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”) reinvented the idea of superheroes with this 2004 action-comedy. Instead of a family of typical superheroes struggling with generic crime-fighting, the Incredibles are having trouble as retired super-beings, pretending to be regular people. But when Mr. Incredible gets the itch to return to the cape and tights lifestyle, his family must follow suit to save him. This quality caper picked up two Oscar Awards and became the very first completely animated movie to win the Hugo Award.
This alarmingly realistic view into the future of our planet Earth, after we have turned it into a super consumer landfill, stars an adorable lonely janitor robot named WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class). This 2008 romantic science fiction Pixar family film has the semi-silent observation of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the bittersweet intergalactic longing for the friendship of “E.T”: The Extra-Terrestrial.” “WALL-E” won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and grabbed the spot for TIME magazine’s “Best Movies of the Decade.”
In 2003, Pixar took their fantastic animated family films underwater with this emotional yet hilarious aquatic tale about the separation of a concerned father and his missing son. “Finding Nemo” could be referred to as finding success, as it made over $921 million worldwide, earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and also became the highest-selling DVD of all time, with over 40 million copies sold.
The Toy Story series became the first Pixar trilogy. This third installment in the story of children’s toys Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) being accidentally taken to a day-care facility and trying to return to their home before their human playmate Andy heads off for college. “Toy Story 3” is the first animated movie to ever make $1 billion across the entire world. “Toy Story 3” also managed to grab a pair of prestigious Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
Sarah Swain, the author of Online Animation Degrees, is a Pixar enthusiast and film student residing in Chicago, Illinois.