After all, everyone has to grow up, but that doesn’t mean only kids can enjoy the best Pixar movies. For more than two decades, Pixar Animation Studio has produced delightful romps that cater to audiences of all ages. Appealing to both children and adults alike, Pixar’s best films manage to couple lighthearted humor and kooky characters with meaningful messages about family, love, and life. That’s the magic of these family-friendly films: The best Pixar movies, like The Incredibles, Up, or Luca, will always entertain no matter who’s on the guest list for movie night.
However, with countless original stories, unforgettable characters, unique settings, and complex emotions, choosing the best movies is almost impossible. Obviously, I’ve done it anyway. Here is a list of the top Pixar films from which you can pick. These films all have special, lovely stories that are sure to capture your heart and make you feel interested!
#1 Brave (2012)
When Brave debuted in theaters in 2012, it became an amazing hit. Who, after all, could turn down a Scottish adventure with a princess who is a tomboy and a queen who can change into a bear? Brave checks all the Pixar boxes—and then some—with galloping horses, flying arrows, ancient magic, and a strong undercurrent of mother-daughter love. Additionally, you get to appreciate Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, and Billy Connolly’s extremely stern accents.
#2 Finding Dory (2016)
This sequel traces the adventures of Dory, who sets off to look for her long-lost parents. She had a flashback that shows she was also separated from her family after living on the reef alongside Nemo and Marlin. The three of them try to swim to her parents in California since she can’t forget what she witnessed. On their exciting journey, they see sea lions, sharks, and sea turtles.
#3 Onward (2020)
In the fictional country of Onward from Pixar in 2020, mythological animals have random lives after forgetting their charmed magic powers. Dragons, centaurs, and unicorns all work in offices, keep lawns, and send their children to school. However, things take a magical turn when a young elf embarks on a mission to reconcile with and temporarily bring back his deceased father. This film, which stars Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Pratt, and Octavia Spencer, is a mix of a heartwarming family story and a comic road trip.
#4 Soul (2020)
Soul serves as a reminder of what it actually means to be human, much like the finest Pixar films. The story of Joe (Jamie Foxx), a struggling musician who falls down a manhole and finds himself, or at least his soul, in the Great Before, the realm where new souls are connected to their predestined bodies, is told in this endearing film that won the Best Animated Feature Oscar. He meets 22 (Tina Fey) here and ultimately discovers a valuable lesson about the meaning of life.
#5 The Incredibles (2004)
Well, The Incredibles is just that—incredible. The plot focuses on a family of superheroes, each of whom have a special ability, as they work to stop a villain’s cunning scheme. This genre-busting movie, which incorporates aspects of a traditional spy thriller, a comedy about a family road trip, and a hero’s epic, is sure to be enjoyable for the whole family. Additionally, it features the iconic Edna Mode, a feisty, bespectacled supersuit fashion designer with a flair for the theatrical, voiced by director Brad Bird.
#6 Up (2009)
In the animated film Up, a lonely widower played by Ed Asner launches a long overdue journey with the help of a juvenile stowaway. Even the coldest heart will thaw out by the conclusion of this charming Pixar film, which stars the titular character.
#7 Inside Out (2015)
In Inside Out, Pixar shows us how adolescence can be a confusing, emotional time by taking us inside the brain of the 11-year-old Riley. There, we meet her bickering emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Fear (Bill Hader). They work together to keep Riley content, but as her parents relocate her across the nation, they find it more and harder to do so.
#8 Ratatouille (2007)
Remy the rat attempts to fit in in the charming Ratatouille. His sophisticated taste brings him to a Parisian restaurant, where he finds up controlling the unfortunate young sous chef Linguini. The movie’s main theme is that “anyone can cook,” which is a strong statement that, in some ways, can resonate with all of us.
#9 Coco (2017)
The movie centers on Miguel, a young Mexican child who accidentally enters the Land of the Dead. He makes new family ties there and sets out on an epic mission to get back to the Land of the Living before becoming imprisoned in the afterlife for all time. Miguel finally comes to grips with the past after solving an ancient family secret, providing comfort to his surviving relatives. It’s a heartwarming story that’s full of color, melody, and—you might be startled to learn—life.
#10 The movie centers on Miguel, a young Mexican child who accidentally enters the Land of the Dead. He makes new family ties there and sets out on an epic mission to get back to the Land of the Living before becoming imprisoned in the afterlife for all time. Miguel finally comes to grips with the past after solving an ancient family secret, providing comfort to his surviving relatives. It’s a heartwarming story that’s full of color, melody, and—you might be startled to learn—life.
#10 Incredibles 2 (2018)
Incredibles 2 isn’t far behind The Incredibles, one of the greatest Pixar films ever made. We return with our favorite superhero family for another exhilarating journey in this stunning sequel, but this time Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) takes the wheel while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) plays stay-at-home dad. In addition, we get to meet a brand-new cast of heroes and antagonists.
#11 Wall-E (2008)
This heartwarming story follows a surprisingly cute robot that has been given the job of cleaning up planet Earth in the future, after humans have devastated it and left it covered in mile-deep mounds of garbage. But don’t panic, not all is hopeless. WALL-E discovers a little plant, but he also discovers a ray of hope for the future of humanity.
#12 A Bug’s Life (1998)
A Bug’s Life is renowned for competing with the similarly themed Antz at the 1998 box office, but has perhaps aged better as a result of being a member of Pixar’s famous catalog. The plot involves the misfit ant Flik recruiting a circus troop of insects to battle greedy grasshoppers, and it helped Pixar perfect its method of uncovering the inner lives of animals and commonplace objects.
#13 Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story, arguably the most well-known Pixar film of all time, is a timeless masterpiece. The movie appears to be a straightforward, imaginative story about toys that come to life when their owners’ kids aren’t looking. On a deeper level, though, Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the group serve as a reminder of the value of friendship, the strength of creativity, and the bittersweet aspect of growing up.
#14 Cars (2006)
Cars, one of Pixar’s most popular series, stars Owen Wilson as an anthropomorphic automobile competing for the Piston Cup. According to the Pixar Theory, this movie takes place after humanity have abandoned a polluted Earth, which is significant to the narrative of the next movie on this list.
#15 Luca (2021)
This very recent Pixar movie is an interesting watch that gained instant recognition for its groundbreaking animation. The tale follows two sea monsters who try to blend in with the human world. A must-watch to make your day.