I can’t stress enough that the following list is all about how much money these wonderful animated films have made worldwide, since I believe no one could ever make an objective top 10 for Pixar films based on quality. I mean come on, with the exception of Cars, all their films have ranged from exceptional to instant classic. So without further ado, I give you the top 10 highest grossing Pixar films worldwide.
10. Cars (2006) $462 million – I’m what you’d call a petrolhead or gearhead (depending on what side of the pond you are) so a film like Cars should be right up my alley. Unfortunately while it was a mostly enjoyable flick, nothing clicked with me so when it comes to Pixar films (that I’ve seen), this was by far the weakest for me.
9. Toy Story 2 (1999) $485 million – Probably not many know but this film right here was initially supposed to be a direct-to-DVD sequel (like Disney used to do in the 90’s). What we got instead was the rare part 2 that matched its predecessor on every level (and some might even say exceed it).
8. WALL-E (2008) $521.3 million – While I love just about every Pixar film out there, only two have a very special spot in my heart, WALL-E being one. Now this was probably the most risky project for Pixar, and that’s saying a lot since these guys gave us more than a few animations that would never see the light of day under another studio’s roof. There’s almost no dialog in the first half of WALL-E yet the film manages to say so much with so little. Ultimately this, for me at least, is one of the best animated films of all time.
7. Monsters, Inc. (2001) $525.4 million – Is there really a monster under my bed? Well Monsters, Inc. tries and succeeds in answering this existential question that has haunted kids around the world for many generations. So yes, there is a monster under your bed and sometimes in your closet. Now don’t worry, he won’t bite because all he needs is your scream. Also, there’s a prequel coming next year.
6. Cars 2 (2011) $559.9 million – Of all the films Pixar could have made a sequel, it just had to be Cars. I know it was all about merchandise but that doesn’t make me think any highly of this blatant cash-grab. To this day I have yet to see it, mostly because 2007-2010 has seen an exceptional line-up that I don’t want spoiled by the likes of Cars 2.
5. Ratatouille (2007) $623.7 million – Everybody has a favorite something, a color, a dish, an animal, a Pixar film. Ratatouille is my pick and obviously the other film with a special spot in my heart. There’s just something about that rat and his adventures that made me fall in love with Ratatouille. Call me crazy, weird or whatever, this is my favorite Pixar film.
4. The Incredibles (2004) $631.4 million – An awesome very successful superhero flick not based on a comic book? This kind of sorcery could only come from Pixar. Full of action, comedy and even a bit of drama, The Incredibles is an incredibly entertaining film that stays good even after the 10th time you’ve seen it.
3. Up (2009) $731.3 million – An old man, unfulfilled dreams, a kid, balloons, a talking dog and a weird bird, those were the main ingredients for what was essentially one of the best animated films of all time in my opinion. Now I must warn you, if your eyes aren’t wet after the first 5 minutes, then Up is probably not the film for you. That being said… BIRD!
2.Finding Nemo (2003) $867.9 million – Another fine example of great storytelling by Pixar, Finding Nemo is the story of a father, overprotective of his son born with a birth defect. When little Nemo is taken away, his father will stop at nothing to get him back. I’m obviously talking about fish here since Finding Nemo takes place mostly underwater.
1. Toy Story 3 (2010) $1,063.2 million – The end of a trilogy that I grew up with, Toy Story 3 will make grown men cry, that I promise. At least that’s what happened to me, twice actually. At the end you really feel like you’re saying goodbye for good to your friends. At least that’s what I thought before I knew there would be a Toy Story 4. Now I promise you Pixar, I won’ fall for your tricks again. You won’t make me cry again!
Two films that didn’t make this top 10, although they deserved a spot, are A Bug’s Life (1998) and Toy Story (1995). These were just as good as what’s up there and have to be mentioned here.
Another film that will eventually make its way into this top 10 is the recently released Brave. I know some people are split when it comes to this and I can see why. For me, Brave is probably the first Pixar feature to feel like a Disney film. That’s not a bad thing and I think that’s where the problem lies, expectations, people expected something else from Brave, something they didn’t get. I personally liked the tone and direction of the film, even in the second half. So I’m happy to see Pixar going back to what they do best, original features.
Finally, if you have 1 hour and 28 minutes to spare, here’s a great documentary about Pixar:
So what’s your favorite Pixar film?