Pixar-Disney Animations: A division of Lucasfilm (and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM)), created in 1979 and known as the Graphics Group, was purchased by Apple Computer's Steve Jobs for $5 million, renamed Pixar Animation Studios, and made an independent company in 1986. Pixar Studios (and director John Lasseter) and Disney, in a 1991 deal worth $26 million, created the first completely computer-generated animated feature film - the landmark Toy Story (1995) - Pixar's feature debut film, and everything evolved from there.
Their first five feature films grossed more than $2.5 billion (worldwide), giving Pixar the highest per film average gross of any production company. (Although Disney has only owned Pixar outright since 2006 in a deal worth $7.4 billion, the two companies had earlier struck a distribution agreement to jointly begin releasing films together - beginning with Toy Story (1995)).
As of 2013, there were 14 Pixar-Disney collaborations, with many more in the pipeline. All of the films produced by Pixar are among the top 40 highest-grossing animated films of all time - box-office smashes. The prequel Monsters University (2013) marked the 14th straight No. 1 feature film, during its debut, in Pixar's history. Since its first animated feature film release in 1995, Pixar has seen every one of its 14 films debut at # 1.
The first 13 feature films, through Brave (2012), have garnered 41 Academy Awards® nominations, 11 competitive Oscars® (does not include John Lasseter's Special Achievement Award for Toy Story (1995)), and numerous other accolades. Seven of Pixar-Disney's films have won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, and Brave), and two of the films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (Up and Toy Story 3). The animated films have also raked in approximately $3.3 billion (domestic) and $7.7 billion (worldwide) in revenue.
Note: John Ratzenberger, who voiced the Abominable Snowman Yeti in the film Monsters University (2013), has worked on every Pixar film and is considered by some to be a "good luck charm" for the studio.
(1995 - present)
The ranking below is based upon the Pixar films' Domestic Gross Revenue
Description and Tagline
||Toy Story (1995)
Cowboy doll Woody (Tom Hanks) and a group of anthropomorphic toys come to life when their human owner Andy Davis (John Morris) isn't present, and deal with the invasion of a new toy, space ranger action figure Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). They must work together when captured by evil toy-torturing neighbor Sid (Erik von Detten).
Tagline: The adventure takes off!
|It was nominated for three Academy
Awards: Best Original Song (Randy Newman's You've Got a
Friend in Me), Best Original Musical Score, and Best Original
Screenplay (without any wins); it was the first animated
film in Oscar history to be nominated for an Academy Award
for Best Screenplay (Original); it was the first feature-length
fully computer animated (CGI) film; the only Pixar film to
have full opening credits; the highest-grossing domestic film
in 1995; the first Pixar film to be adapted for television;
the first Pixar film to debut (in 2008) as a live action musical
on Disney Cruise Line's The Disney Wonder; the film was re-released
in 3-D in 2009; with the well-known catchphrase: "To Infinity
Budget: $30 million
||A Bug's Life (1998)
An oddball, misfit ant named Flik (Dave Foley) in a colony of hard-working ants hires some other 'warrior' bugs (actually an inept, down-on-their-luck group of circus insect performers) to fight off a band of bullying, rowdy greedy grasshoppers led by Hopper (Kevin Spacey).
Tagline: An epic of miniature proportions
|It was nominated for one Academy
Award - Best Original Musical Score (Randy Newman's) - without
a win; it was the first Pixar film to have outtakes during
the closing credits (now a regular feature of Pixar films);
the first Pixar film with an original "teaser" trailer
made up of specially-made animation (not appearing in the final
film) - a Pixar trademark; the
film was a melding of Aesop's fable The
Ant and the Grasshopper and Akira Kurosawa's
Seven Samurai (1954, Jp.); during its making, a feud
developed between Pixar and rival Dreamworks creating their
first animated CGI film - another ant film, Antz (1998)
(released two months earlier); the film's DVD release
was the first all-digital video transfer of a feature film
to a digital playback medium; the film inspired two theme park
Bug's Land at Disney's California Adventure
and It's Tough to Be a Bug! at Walt Disney
World's Animal Kingdom; marked the last film appearance of Madeline
Kahn (voice of Gypsy the Moth).
Budget: $120 million
||Toy Story 2 (1999)
All the talking toys return while Andy is off at summer camp - Woody (Tom Hanks) is swiped by an obsessed, avid collector at a yard sale, the owner/manager of Al's Toy Barn, who recognizes Woody as a rare collectible. Woody is about to be sold to a toy museum in Tokyo, Japan, when the other toys rescue their kidnapped friend in a race against time.
Tagline: The toys are back!
|The first Pixar sequel, and considered
superior to the original; the highest-grossing animated film
of 1999; won a Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical
or Comedy; however, its sole Academy Award nomination (Best Original
Song, Randy Newman's When She Loved Me) came away win-less;
Mattel refused to allow their signature doll Barbie to be licensed
to appear in the first Toy
Story, but then changed their minds for Toy Story
2, allowing Tour Guide Barbie; re-released in 3D in 2009.
Budget: $90 million
||Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Monsters (in the Monsters, Inc. scream-processing factory) called "Scarers" power the city of Monstropolis by the screams of scared children in the human world. Top scary monsters include giant behemoth, shaggy-blue haired Sulley (John Goodman) and one-eyed green, ball-shaped friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), but they themselves are afraid of the children contaminating them. The two are followed back into the Monster World by unafraid little girl Boo/Mary (Mary Gibbs), leading to their exile into the human world where they meet the Abominable Snowman - a fellow refugee.
Tagline: Monsters, Inc.: We Scare Because We Care
||The first Pixar film to be nominated
in the new category of Best Animated Feature Film (it
lost to Shrek (2001)),
among its four nominations (also Best Original Music Score,
and Best Sound Editing); it was the first Pixar film to win
an Oscar - the Academy Award for Best Original Song
If I Didn't Have You); re-released in 3D in 2012.
Budget: $115 million
||Finding Nemo (2003)
Overprotective and devoted father clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) teams up with a friendly large blue tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), suffering from short-term memory loss and absent-mindedness, to search for his abducted son Nemo (Alexander Gould), taken to Sydney, Australia's harbor area, and residing in a dentist office's aquarium.
Tagline: 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by water. That's a lot of space to find one fish.
|Nominated for four Academy Award
nominations (Best Original Music Score, Best Sound Editing,
Best Original Screenplay), with one win; it was the first Pixar
film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film;
it was the second highest-grossing film of 2003; also the best-selling
DVD of all-time, and the highest-grossing G-rated film of all
time, and the highest-grossing Pixar film - (until surpassed
by Pixar's own G-rated Toy
Story 3); re-released in 3D in 2012.
Budget: $94 million
||The Incredibles (2004)
An undercover suburban family of superheroes (or "Supers"), led by father Bob Parr (aka Mr. Incredible) (Craig T. Nelson), is living in hiding under the Superhero Protection Program. Paunchy Bob Parr is unhappily employed as an insurance claims adjuster. The family is forced to put back on their superhero suits to save the world from amoral super-villain Syndrome/Buddy Pine (Jason Lee), a jilted former fan with a robotic puppet named Omnidroid. Mr. Incredible is aided by his pliable wife Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), superfast son "Dash" (Spencer Fox), and invisible Violet (Sarah Vowell) who can create force fields.
Tagline: Twice the Hero He Used To Be
|| It was Pixar's first film to win
multiple Oscars (2) from its four nominations: Best Animated
Feature Film, and Best Sound Editing; its other two nominations
were Best Sound Mixing and Best Original Screenplay; however,
it was the first Pixar film not to receive an Oscar nomination
for its music; it was the first Pixar movie to focus on mostly
human characters and the first to receive a PG rating; the
first Pixar film to feature a nuclear family (mother, father,
children); unlike most Pixar collaborations, this film was
written and directed solely by one person - Brad Bird; it was
the longest CG animated film to date (at 115 minutes).
Budget: $92 million
Racecar rookie Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), on his way to a tie-breaker race in Los Angeles (the Piston Cup Championship) in a week, accidentally damages the pavement of the main road in the run-down small Route 66 town of Radiator Springs and is sentenced to repave it. He makes new friends along the way, including Doc Hudson, a 1951 Hudson Hornet (Paul Newman), Sally the Porsche (Bonnie Hunt), and Mater the Tow Truck (Larry the Cable Guy).
Tagline: Ahhh... it's got that new movie smell
||The longest Pixar film to date,
at 117 minutes; this was Pixar's final, independently-produced
motion picture before its purchase by Disney; the entire cast
was composed of anthropomorphic automobiles; after A Bug's
it was second Pixar film to have an entirely non-human cast;
it was the first Pixar movie to be rendered with the ray tracing
technique, which allowed the cars to accurately reflect their
environments; it won the Golden Globe Award for Best
Animated Feature Film, but lost its two Academy Award nominations
- for Best Animated Feature Film (lost to Happy Feet (2006))
and Best Original Song (Randy Newman's Our Town); it was the
last (and highest-grossing career) feature film for Paul Newman,
who retired in 2007 and died in 2008; tie-in merchandise broke
records for toys based on a Disney/Pixar film, with an estimated
$1 billion in sales; it was the final Pixar film to be released
on VHS, and the first to be released on Blu-Ray.
Budget: $120 million
Scrawny Remy (Patton Oswalt), an ambitious anthropomorphic rat with highly developed taste and smell, arrives in Paris to find that his favorite chef Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett) has died, so he works together with Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano), the kitchen's garbage boy, controlling his movements like a marionette, to reach his culinary dreams. The making of ratatouille (French dish with stewed vegetables) for fussy restaurant critic Anton Ego (Peter O'Toole) leads to the creation of a new bistro, named Ratatouille - run by Remy and Linguini.
Tagline: He's dying to become a chef
It was nominated for a total
of five Oscars (including Best Original
Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound Editing and Best
Sound Mixing), and won only one Oscar - the Academy
Award for Best Animated Feature Film - at
the time, it set a record for the greatest number of Oscar
nominations for a computer animated feature film; the character
of Linguini was born out of wedlock - the first illegitimate
child in a Disney film; the film debuted with the lowest
# 1 domestic revenue (since A
Bug's Life at
$33 million) at $47 million.
A trash compactor robot named WALL-E (Ben Burtt) whose job was cleaning up waste on Earth in the year 2805, falls in love with another more advanced robot probe named EVE (Elissa Knight), a colder, hostile, white, sleek egg-shaped robot sent from a mega-corporation to look for vegetation on Earth, and follows her back onto her starliner and into outer space for further adventures.
Tagline: After 700 years of doing what he was built for - he'll discover what he's meant for.
It created a new Oscar record
for Pixar films, with a total of six Oscar
nominations (including Best Original Score, Best Original
Screenplay, Best Original Song (Down to Earth), Best
Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing), and won its sole Academy
Award for Best Animated
Feature Film; it was the first Pixar film with a live-action
segment (while EVE was in WALL-E's home, he showed her a
video of the song "It
Only Takes a Moment" from Hello,
Dolly!); most of the characters communicated through
body language and robotic sounds; with an anti-consumerist
After losing his wife, feisty 78-year-old toy-balloon vendor and zookeeper Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) sets out to see the wilds of South America (Paradise Falls in Venezuela), to fulfill a promise to his wife Ellie. He flies his house away by tying hundreds of helium balloons to it. Russell (Jordan Nagai), an eager 8 year-old Wilderness Explorer scout trying to earn his merit badge for helping the elderly, becomes a stowaway on the adventure.
Tagline: A Comedy with Plenty of Altitude
||It was the second Pixar
film to be given a PG rating; it was the first animated
film to get a Best Picture nomination since animated films
received their own category in 2001; it was the second animated
film in history to receive such a nomination, following Beauty
and the Beast (1991); it was the first film
to be nominated for Academy Awards for both Best Picture and
Best Animated Feature; it was the third consecutive Pixar film
to win the Academy Award for Animated Feature; from its five
Academy Award nominations, it won twice: Best Animated Feature
Film and Best Original Score (other nominations were Best
Picture, Best Sound Editing, and Best Original Screenplay);
it was the first Pixar film originally presented in 3-D; it
was the first Pixar film to win an Oscar in the category Best
Original Score; it was the very first animated film, as well
as the first 3D film, ever to open the Cannes Film Festival;
and Russell was Pixar's first Japanese/Asian-American character.
Budget: $175 million
||Toy Story 3 (2010)
18 year-old toy owner Andy is finally leaving for college, and his beloved toys accidentally get donated to the Sunnyside Daycare center. They meet new friends, including Barbie's counterpart Ken (Michael Keaton) and hedgehog Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), but soon grow to hate their new surroundings, the deceptive, pink strawberry-scented Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty), and abusive fellow toys, and plan an escape to find their way back home.
Tagline: No toy gets left behind
||The third installment in the popular Toy Story series; the highest-grossing (worldwide) animated film of all-time, grossing over $1 billion; the first Pixar film to be released in 3D for its first run; the first film to be released theatrically with Dolby Surround 7.1 sound; it became the highest-grossing 3D animation of all-time, and the highest-grossing film of 2010; it was the second animated film to get a Best Picture nomination since animated films received their own category in 2001, and the third animated film (after Beauty and the Beast and Up) to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture; from its five Academy Award nominations, it won twice - Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (Randy Newman's We Belong Together) (other nominations were for Best Sound Editing, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay); it was the first ever Pixar film to be nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award; it was the first sequel to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award without any of its predecessors being nominated; Barbie's workout outfit was modeled after the 1984 'Great Shape' Barbie Doll; at the time, the film was the most expensive Pixar movie to ever be produced, at an estimated budget of $200 million.|
||Cars 2 (2011)
Race car champion Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) returns and, with his trusted tow truck pal Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), heads overseas to Tokyo, Japan to compete in the World Grand Prix race, but Mater becomes sidetracked to Europe by international espionage.
Tagline: Take a Trip, See the Sights, Save the World
||The first Disney/Pixar film
not nominated in the Best Animated Feature Film category
since the category was established in 2001, and the first Disney/Pixar
film without any Oscar nominations; it was Pixar's second sequel,
and the first sequel not based on Toy
it is considered Pixar's greatest critical failure, and it
was the lowest-grossing film since A
Bug's Life (1998) more than a decade earlier; it was the
first Pixar film not to win the Golden Globe Award for Best
Animated Feature Film since the category began in 2007.
Budget: $200 million
A free-spirited, reckless Scottish princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer in the Scottish highlands, doesn't want to live a traditional life. When chaos breaks out in the kingdom when she refuses to marry, she is forced to rely on her bravery and archery skills to fight a terrible ancient curse, bring peace to the land, and save her mother Queen Elinor's (Emma Thompson) life (after transforming into a large black bear).
Tagline: Change Your Fate
||Won its sole Academy Award nomination
- for Best Animated Feature Film; the first Pixar movie to
revolve around a female main character, a self-reliant Scottish
princess named Merida; and it was the first Pixar film to be
a period piece, and the studio's first fairy-tale film; Merida's
red-hair had more than 1,500 individually sculpted, curly strands
that created about 111,700 total hairs; the third PG-rated
Budget: $185 million
||Monsters University (2013)
Sulley (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) study as freshmen at the prestigious Monsters University, planning to graduate and find work at the Monsters, Inc. factory. They start off as intense rivals (during the final exam of Scaring 101) but soon become best friends by working together (in the fraternity of Oozma Kappa) in the annual Greek Council's Scare Games to impress the evil frigid campus headmistress, Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), part dragon and part centipede. They lose to other teams (from MU's fraternities and sororities) and are expelled from the University, but take lowly jobs at Monsters, Inc. in the company mailroom, and over time, work their way up.
||The college-themed film was a prequel to Monsters, Inc. (2001), and Pixar's first prequel.|
|The Good Dinosaur (2014)|
|Inside Out (2015)|
|Finding Dory (2015)||Pixar's third sequel, a sequel or spin-off to Finding Nemo (2003).|