Not since Walt Disney has there been a figure in the animation world who has transcended the medium like John Lasseter, with the studio he oversees, Pixar.
Yes, Jeffrey Katzenberg and DreamWorks Animation had their time, but for over 20 years, Lasseter’s Pixar has consistently put out box-office hits (the company has earned close to $11 billion worldwide) and created stories that affect us on an emotional level and that we can’t wait to experience again and again.
From the “you’ve got a friend” tale of the “Toy Story” movies to a commentary on how we need to protect our planet in the multilayered “WALL-E,” Pixar movies are much more than kids movies or cartoons. Which is exactly how ol’ Walt went about it.
With Pixar’s latest, “Cars 3,” now in theaters, we’ve taken on the gargantuan task of ranking all 18 Pixar releases — scroll down to find out the best.
18. ‘Cars 2’ (2011)
Taking Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) away from Radiator Springs and going international (plus making Mater a spy) didn’t grab critics. This sequel became the first “rotten” Pixar movie on Rotten Tomatoes. Deservedly.
17. ‘A Bug’s Life’ (1998)
In the second movie ever released by Pixar, an ant named Flik (voiced by Dave Foley) sets out to find others to help save his colony against grasshoppers and ends up recruiting a unique group of allies.
Though the movie was successful at the box office, with the release of DreamWorks’ “Antz” a month earlier, you’re more likely to remember the Lasseter-Katzenberg feud than the films.
16. ‘Cars 3’ (2017)
Though the “Cars” movies are the least acclaimed of anything Pixar makes, the company continues to churn them out. The latest one touches on some interesting themes like mortality and self-confidence, but it feels like everyone involved in the making of it was on cruise control.