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Pixar Movies In Order: How to Watch Their Movies Chronologically

Since 1995, Pixar has stood tall at the intersection where storytelling and technology meet, producing state-of-the-art computer-generated animated films with all-ages appeal, featuring deep, joyful, and occasionally philosophical themes. If you want to experience Pixar movies in order, starting with the landmark Toy Story, into the 2000s golden age, and the diversified tales (and sequels and prequels) of today, this is how the journey goes.

The 1990s
Toy Story‘s production was hectic and chaotic, featuring constant re-writes (including the attitudes and portrayals of Woody and Buzz), studio notes, and flagging confidence from Disney in Pixar’s ability to produce something with mass appeal. Just about what you’d expect when creating the world’s first computer-animated feature film. But Toy Story was an instant upon its November ’95 release, with kids and adults alike enamored with its buddy-film structure and imaginative world literally built from the ground up. Toy Story would become the highest-grossing film of 1995 and its wide cast of characters are now icons of animation.

Audiences would have to wait three years for Pixar’s second film (1998’s Seven Samurai-inspired A Bug’s Life), their longest gap between features. The action-packed Toy Story 2 cemented Pixar as a cultural force for decades to come, and with its still-standing 100% Tomatometer score, the 1999 sequel was for a long time the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes. (Today, it still ranks highly, along with many other Pixar films, in our guide to the 300 best movies of all time.)

The 2000s
Pixar showed no signs of slowing down in the new millennium, starting with 2001’s Monsters, Inc., which saw the studio really nail down the ability to combine rapid comedy, high-stakes climaxes, and tear-jerking emotional finales. Finding Nemo was a box office sensation, grossing nearly $900 million on initial release in 2003. 2004’s The Incredibles was their most adult-oriented yet, a superhero movie with challenging ethical questions and surprising violence.

2006’s Cars may have seen a slight dip in their critical standing (still Certified Fresh!) but successfully catered to a new young generation of fans (plus moichandising!). This was also the year Disney bought Pixar. 2007’s Ratatouille was their most publicly challenging production, with director Brad Bird brought in mid-way to complete the project. 2008’s WALL-E was a huge jump forward in cinematography and character design, wrapped in a environmental-forward sci-fi love story. And remember how Pixar was getting so good at emotional climaxes? 2009’s Up figured let’s just put it at the front; the first 15 minutes will leave no dry eyes in the room.

The 2010s
Toy Story 3 capped what was a trilogy in fine from, with the characters making peace in a changing world and a forward look at the future. 2011’s Cars 2 saw Pixar’s first critical drubbing, taking the crew on a misguided international spy caper. 2012’s Brave and 2013’s Monsters University were perfectly serviceable for what they were, while 2015’s Inside Out brought back that classic Pixar magic. But the same year, The Good Dinosaur would be the studio’s first box office bomb.

2016’s Finding Dory got over the billion-dollar box office hump that Nemo couldn’t. 2017’s Cars 3 brought the series back on literal track, but its diminished revenue suggested the Lightning McQueen crew may have run its course. Along with Inside Out, 2017’s Coco really set into motion Pixar’s new angle of diverse protagonists and viewpoints. Yet, 2018’s Incredibles 2 and 2019’s Toy Story 4 saw them returning to the sequel well, and who can blame them? A billion dollars were generated on each, in an era where Disney seemed completely unstoppable along with their own animation house, the MCU, and the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The 2020s
The decade so far, like virtually for all industries, has been challenging, starting with the COVID-impacted release of 2020’s Onward. Initially releasing on March 6, Onward‘s shockingly low weekend opening proved audiences were staying away from public spaces, before theaters were shut down entirely two weeks later. Soul, Luca, and Turning Red were all released directly to Disney+, which impacted Pixar’s reputation as a prestige label. 2022’s Lightyear was given the go-ahead for theatrical, but audiences remained uninterested. 2023’s Elemental was also shaping up to be another disaster, but its world-building and satisfying romantic comedy plot bolstered word-of-mouth and reversed the movie into the year’s most feel-good box office story.

Now Pixar’s back with Inside Out 2, which sees Riley turning 13 and navigating a whole new host of uninvited emotions. As for the future, 2025 will see the space adventure Elio, while 2026 is gearing up for the release of Toy Story 5.

#1

Toy Story (1995)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107132%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining as it is innovative, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family-friendly force to be reckoned with.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#2

A Bug's Life (1998)
92%

#2
Adjusted Score: 97439%
Critics Consensus: A Bug's Life is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters - and another smashing early success for Pixar.
Synopsis: Flik (Dave Foley) is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony. His latest mishap was destroying... [More]

#3

Toy Story 2 (1999)
100%

#3
Adjusted Score: 108792%
Critics Consensus: The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor, Toy Story 2 uses inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience for all ages.
Synopsis: Woody (Tom Hanks) is stolen from his home by toy dealer Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), leaving Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen)... [More]

#4

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
96%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103266%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Synopsis: Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#5

Finding Nemo (2003)
99%

#5
Adjusted Score: 108750%
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Synopsis: Marlin (Albert Brooks), a clown fish, is overly cautious with his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who has a foreshortened fin.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#6

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#6
Adjusted Score: 105542%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#7

Cars (2006)
75%

#7
Adjusted Score: 83388%
Critics Consensus: Cars offers visual treats that more than compensate for its somewhat thinly written story, adding up to a satisfying diversion for younger viewers.
Synopsis: While traveling to California to race The King and Chick Hicks in the Piston Cup Championship, Lightning McQueen falls out... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter, Joe Ranft

#8

Ratatouille (2007)
96%

#8
Adjusted Score: 106254%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced and stunningly animated, Ratatouille adds another delightfully entertaining entry -- and a rather unlikely hero -- to the Pixar canon.
Synopsis: Remy (Patton Oswalt), a resident of Paris, appreciates good food and has quite a sophisticated palate. He would love to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#9

WALL-E (2008)
95%

#9
Adjusted Score: 105795%
Critics Consensus: Wall-E's stellar visuals testify once again to Pixar's ingenuity, while its charming star will captivate younger viewers -- and its timely story offers thought-provoking subtext.
Synopsis: WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#10

Up (2009)
98%

#10
Adjusted Score: 110233%
Critics Consensus: An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure, Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar treat.
Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

#11

Toy Story 3 (2010)
98%

#11
Adjusted Score: 111056%
Critics Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Synopsis: With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#12

Cars 2 (2011)
39%

#12
Adjusted Score: 47737%
Critics Consensus: Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood.
Synopsis: Racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his tow-truck buddy, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), have had their share of adventures... [More]
Directed By: John Lasseter

#13

Brave (2012)
79%

#13
Adjusted Score: 91250%
Critics Consensus: Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth.
Synopsis: Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the impetuous but courageous daughter of Scottish King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is... [More]

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 89209%
Critics Consensus: Offering Monsters, Inc. fans a return visit with beloved characters, Monsters University delivers funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age.
Synopsis: Ever since he was a kid monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has dreamed of becoming a Scarer. To make his... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#15

Inside Out (2015)
98%

#15
Adjusted Score: 117069%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Synopsis: Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 85446%
Critics Consensus: The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.
Synopsis: Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings, the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sohn

#17

Finding Dory (2016)
94%

#17
Adjusted Score: 110569%
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#18

Coco (2017)
97%

#18
Adjusted Score: 116965%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#19

Cars 3 (2017)
69%

#19
Adjusted Score: 81645%
Critics Consensus: Cars 3 has an unexpectedly poignant story to go with its dazzling animation, suggesting Pixar's most middle-of-the-road franchise may have a surprising amount of tread left.
Synopsis: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that... [More]
Directed By: Brian Fee

#20

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#20
Adjusted Score: 114617%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#21

Toy Story 4 (2019)
97%

#21
Adjusted Score: 121548%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending -- and perhaps concluding -- a practically perfect animated saga.
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy... [More]
Directed By: Josh Cooley

#22

Onward (2020)
88%

#22
Adjusted Score: 108278%
Critics Consensus: It may suffer in comparison to Pixar's classics, but Onward makes effective use of the studio's formula -- and stands on its own merits as a funny, heartwarming, dazzlingly animated adventure.
Synopsis: Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Scanlon

#23

Soul (2020)
95%

#23
Adjusted Score: 116141%
Critics Consensus: A film as beautiful to contemplate as it is to behold, Soul proves Pixar's power to deliver outstanding all-ages entertainment remains undimmed.
Synopsis: Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn't quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#24

Luca (2021)
91%

#24
Adjusted Score: 106543%
Critics Consensus: Slight but suffused with infectious joy, the beguiling Luca proves Pixar can play it safe while still charming audiences of all ages.
Synopsis: Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar's original feature film "Luca" is a coming-of-age... [More]
Directed By: Enrico Casarosa

#25

Lightyear (2022)
74%

#25
Adjusted Score: 91780%
Critics Consensus: Lightyear settles for being a rather conventional origin story instead of reaching for the stars, but this gorgeously animated adventure ably accomplishes its mission of straightforward fun.
Synopsis: Legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby, and his robot companion,... [More]
Directed By: Angus MacLane

#26

Turning Red (2022)
95%

#26
Adjusted Score: 110964%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, humorous, beautifully animated, and culturally expansive, Turning Red extends Pixar's long list of family-friendly triumphs.
Synopsis: In "Turning Red", Mei Lee is a confident, dorky thirteen-year-old torn between staying her mother's dutiful daughter and the chaos... [More]
Directed By: Domee Shi

#27

Elemental (2023)
73%

#27
Adjusted Score: 87942%
Critics Consensus: Elemental may not satisfy as fully as the greatest Pixar pictures, but it remains a solid story told with dazzling visual flair.
Synopsis: Disney and Pixar's "Elemental," an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sohn

#28

Inside Out 2 (2024)
91%

#28
Adjusted Score: 111739%
Critics Consensus: Spicing things up with the wrinkle of teenage angst, Inside Out 2 clears the head and warms the heart by living up to its predecessor's emotional intelligence.
Synopsis: The little voices inside Riley's head know her inside and out--but next summer, everything changes when Disney and Pixar's Inside... [More]
Directed By: Kelsey Mann