One of the most successful film studios ever, Pixar Animation Studios has pioneered the use of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) in animation since it released the groundbreaking Toy Story in 1995. Over the last decade and a half, Pixar has redefined our expectations of both computer graphics in cinema and animated films in general, creating some of the most memorable movies and characters in cinematic history. Once owned by Apple head honcho Steve Jobs, today Pixar is a subsidiary of Disney with numerous awards to its name, including over twenty Oscars. Although primarily aimed at children, Pixar’s films have found a substantial adult audience, drawn in by a mixture of excellent characterization, warm humor, mind-blowing CGI and gripping story lines. Opinion varies widely on which of the studio’s eleven features is the best, each film having its own champions.
Here is a list of the top 5 best films by Pixar:
5. Toy Story 3
Released in 2010, Toy Story 3 has quickly earned a well-deserved reputation as something of a tear-jerker, causing grown men to cry openly in cinemas all over the world. The film follows the fate of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang as their owner Andy grows up and prepares to leave home for college. A poignant reminder of lost youth and innocence, Toy Story 3’s emotional weight comes from its vivid depiction of fleeting childhood memories that many people will never be able to recapture.
4. Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo set new box office records for an animated film on its release in 2003, losing out only to The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as the highest grossing film that year. The movie, about the journey of Nemo, a clownfish separated from his father, as he tries to return to his home in the Great Barrier Reef, was both a momentous technical achievement and a heart-warming tale with fantastic characters and was instrumental in bringing Pixar’s work to a wider audience.
Up was the first of Pixar’s films to be made with viewing in 3D in mind and wowed audiences all over the world on its release in the summer of 2009. The movie focuses on the story of an elderly widower and a bold young boy scout as they attempt to make a journey by hot air balloon to South America. The film won two Oscars at the Academy Awards, including one for Best Score.
Pixar films released between 2004 and 2009 have proved somewhat more divisive than the studio’s other efforts. The story follows a rat obsessed with cooking and his human sidekick who pretends to be the real creative genius.
1. Toy Story
Absolutely ground-breaking in its day, the success of the original Toy Story in 1995 paved the way for a new wave of cutting edge computer animated features from Pixar and rival studio Dreamworks. The presence of such luminaries as Tom Hanks, playing the voice of cowboy Woody, added real clout to the movie and was a major factor in audiences’ willingness to accept this animated upstart as a serious film. Though perhaps less sophisticated than its successors, this Pixar film is a true landmark movie moment and the wave of Toy Story games and toys it sparked helped reintroduce classic toys to children all over the world.