Pixar’s latest entry, Cars 3, recently hit theaters this week, and the reviews have been positive. Critics said that the film delivers the child-friendly themes that the studio is famous for, and it is also projected to speed to number one in the box office this weekend.
Despite the success of Cars 3, it does not live up to the emotional highs and lows that Toy Story or Finding Nemo managed to pull off. So to honor the brilliant film-making the studio has consecutively done for audiences and critics alike, here are the most popular Pixar movies of all time.
Popular Pixar Movies That Have Become Classics
5. Finding Nemo (2003)
Box office: $940 million, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 99%
A movie about an overprotective clownfish father and his lost son may sound like a strange idea, but director Andrew Stanton took a chance and the result was one of the most popular Pixar movies of all time. There isn’t a person in this world who has not heard of Finding Nemo or its equally successful sequel, Finding Dory, for that matter. Other than being an enjoyable children’s film, it also teaches parents about the importance of letting children live their own lives while being there to guide them along the way. Oh, and don’t forget that nail-biting opening! You can credit this film for starting Pixar’s knack for creating emotionally charged opening scenes.
4. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Box office: $1.6 billion, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 99%
It is hard to create a sequel that lives up to its predecessors, but Toy Story 3 not only managed to do that, it can also be considered the best among the entire series. There are many tear-inducing scenes in the movie, but there is one in particular that manages to stand out—the furnace scene. This article won’t spoil exactly what goes on when this happens, but it will leave you on the edge of your seat once you see it. Other than that, Toy Story 3 packs a lot of life lessons for the young and young at heart.
3. The Incredibles (2004)
Box office: $633 million, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%
Director Brad Bird is famous for his Mission Impossible movies, and his signature “espionage” filmmaking style is evident in The Incredibles. The film is a fantastic superhero movie before superhero movies were even a thing. Each character is fleshed out, from the patriarch Mr. Incredible to the tiniest family member, Jack Jack. Even the side character Edna Mode became a pop culture icon! Despite being action-packed, The Incredibles still contains the emotional core that audiences expect from Pixar. Good news for fans, a sequel is reportedly hitting theaters in 2018.
2. Wall-E (2008)
Box office: $533 million, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%
Wall-E may be the lowest-earning Pixar film in this list, but it is certainly the most unique. The film tends to appeal more to adults than to kids because of its dystopian themes, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. The first half-hour of Wall-E is devoted to telling the destruction of the human race. The decision to go by this scene without the use of any dialogue is amazing, and it manages to highlight how skilled the filmmakers over at Pixar are. And for what it’s worth, Wall-E features the most heartwarming love story Pixar has ever created.
1. Up (2009)
Box office: $735.1 million, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 98%
A movie that features a tear-jerking opener, action, dreamlike sequences, and quirky characters? It is safe to say Up proudly incorporates all the Pixar elements into an hour-and-a-half feature. The film would go on to gain critical success aside from being a box office hit, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Film the following year.