The best type of movies that Pixar makes are the ones that are the most meaningful. It is clear that the studio known for making films like Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and The Incredibles know a thing or two about what speaks to people. Sure, their films are kid-friendly, but the thing that makes Pixar the gold standard in animation, besides the beautiful animation that gets better with each entry, but the themes that resonate with the oldest of viewers. Soul is no exception. While it may be as fun as a Pixar film should be, it ranks along the likes of Up, Inside Out, and Coco as one of the studios most emotional, deep, and mature efforts.
With the Coronavirus epidemic hitting the United States as of late, and movie theaters closing up shop as a result. Films that have been released in the past few weeks have made the move from big screens to smaller, digital formats. Pixar’s newest feature, ‘Onward’ is one of those films. However, it is streaming on Disney+ as of Friday, April 3rd, which means if you have a subscription, you do not have to purchase it on your phone. Families can sit around the TV and watch the tale of two elf brothers as they go on a quest to bring back their father for a day.
You would think that ‘Toy Story 4’ was nothing more than a pointless cash grab, but in the case of this continuation of a sweet conclusion to a trilogy, you would be surprised. ‘Toy Story’ is Pixar’s most beloved and meaningful of its properties. Not only did it put Pixar on the map and pave the way for computer animation to be the new norm, it also manages to appeal to both children and adults. Just the name “Toy Story” alone is enough to bring joy into the hearts of those who hear it being mentioned. To ruin such a beloved trilogy for the sake of money and merchandising is basically a crime against humanity. Thankfully, ‘Toy Story 4’ still has enough heart to keep the franchise alive.
It has been (almost) fourteen years since ‘The Incredibles’ was released in theaters; I say “almost”, because the first film was released sometime in November, whereas, this sequel was released in June. However, since superhero movies have been the new “Summer Blockbuster”, last month was a perfect way to ring in the summer. Let me just tell you that ‘Incredibles 2’ is a delight from start to finish. Not only does the animation look as clean and fresh as ever, but the film is pretty darn entertaining, both as a superhero movie, and as a family comedy!
Disney and Pixar’s newest effort ‘Coco’ was everything I wanted (and expected) from the moneymaking animation studio. It is, at times, funny, well-animated in every detail, bright, colorful, and even heartbreaking. Not since 2015’s ‘Inside Out’ has Pixar made quite an impact on my movie-going experience to the point where I want to revisit its bright and beautiful world; it seemed that after that animated masterpiece, the studio has not seemed to match ‘Inside Out’ in terms of quality storytelling, even if they have not lost the stroke of the brush; ‘The Good Dinosaur’ was near forgettable and felt like other animated movies that have come before it; ‘Finding Dory’ did not live up to its emotional potential when compared to ‘Finding Nemo’; and ‘Cars 3’ was quite fine, but nothing to write home about. With ‘Coco’, it looks like Pixar is back in business; proving once again that they have what it takes to be the top dog in computer animation.
Despite what Pixar wants you to believe, ‘Cars 3’ is not really the third installment of the successful series of cash cows, it is actually the second film that took a decade to make. This might sound confusing, but ‘Cars 2’ didn’t really exist; what you saw before this film was actually a rough screen test that was accidentally released to the public before they made changes. “Why does the ‘3’ exist in the title?”, you may ask. I could answer that by saying that the studio realized too little too late that the damage had already been done, and what was called “Cars 2” at the time was already released, so they decided to slap the number 3 in the title. I’m not even sure I should call this movie “Cars 3”, but I will just play Pixar’s game and, try as I might, to call it what it was marketed as. (However, I should have listened to the man I happened to overhear call it “Cars 2” when I was paying for my ticket; he knew what was going on.)
Pixar is the animation studio of great, beautiful, and inventive movies that feel dated, yet still stand the test of time with hits like ‘Toy Story’ all the way to the most recent sequel ‘Finding Dory’ with Ellen DeGeneres. Pixar will always be a pioneer of the best animation and it is my duty to give you my picks for the top ten Pixar films of all time.