Before beginning a list, I always have an idea of what a direction a list will go and I was hesitant to start this one because I thought the list would just be too full of PIxar movies and I already have a list of Top Ten Pixar Movies. I was wrong. I mean of course you’ll find some Pixar movies on this list, but I never quite understood how much some of these movies meant to me until I put them up against each other. Naturally, nostalgia plays a part in the creation of these lists, but even more so with this list. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know which of your favorites didn’t make the cut…
10. A Bug’s Life
Before making this list, I never would’ve imagined making this list without A Bug’s Life. It saddens me that it had to be placed in the tenth slot, but the list couldn’t have been made any other way. In the world of Pixar, long before a fish searched for his son and a robot fell in love, there was a story of bugs standing up for what’s right against other bugs. I may have seen A Bug’s Life more than any other Pixar movie. It never gets old.
9. Treasure Planet
I loved disney movies growing up from Mulan to Hercules and even more so, classics like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Treasure Planet is actually one of the biggest box-office bombs, but I was in that theater when it came out and few animated movies have touched me the way Treasure Planet has. I wonder if it would’ve been as powerful to me had I known the story of Treasure Island prior to my first viewing.
I have just begun my excursion in the gorgeous world of Studio Ghibli. Ponyo isn’t my favorite Studio Ghibli film, but it is the most visually beautiful. Hayao Miyazaki astounds with the worlds he creates and the stories he tells. I was in disbelief at just how magical of a movie I was watching while appreciating Ponyo, a simple story about the love between a boy and a fish.
Up is a Pixar movie that speaks for itself, I mean just watch the first fifteen minutes. Love is a theme that has and will always be delved into, but how often does the relationship at the heart of a story begin and end in the first sequence of a film? Not that Up’s unique structure is the reason it’s so great, watch the rest of the escapades of Carl Fredricksen and his new found friends, you’ll see.
6. Howl’s Moving Castle
Not only is Howl’s Moving Castle one of the most unbelievably breathtaking animated movies, it’s one of the greatest fantasy films I’ve had the pleasure to be swept away by. Hayao Miyazaki is a revolutionary storyteller and you just never know what to expect with each passing frame of Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s one hell of a ride getting there, but it’s not until the end when it can be realized just how beautiful of a movie Howl’s Moving Castle is.
5. Toy Story Trilogy
Pixar is responsible for some of the greatest and most well-known animated features ever. Arguably, their greatest feat were the Toy Story films. Toy Story was the first Pixar film and it’s hard not to be leveled by the characters and the creativity behind it all. The trilogy as a whole is another story with the fabulous sequel and the best film in the series, Toy Story 3. I’ve heard talk of another Toy Story and I couldn’t be more disappointed. The trilogy is perfect as it is.
4. The Lion King
The Lion King is such a large part of my childhood and in fact the first movie I ever saw in theaters. I could completely understand anyone putting The Lion King at slot number 1, but this is where it had to fall for me. From beginning to end, The Lion King is dazzling every time. Watch the beginning, let Circle of Life flow through me, then when that title explodes on the screen you’ll be craving the majesty that is the rest of the movie.
WALL-E tells the story of one lonely robot’s search for love. I said early that you could argue that the Toy Story trilogy is Pixar’s greatest feat, well you could argue anything. WALL-E is far and away my favorite PIxar film and one of the greatest animated features that will ever be made. Even though it’s a science-fiction film that takes place hundreds of years in the future, there’s still this palpable reality to the film, WALL-E is unbelievably human, its impossible not to fall for him. WALL-E is one of the greatest films about the power of undying love ever created.
2. The Iron Giant
The Iron Giant is actually the movie that inspired the creation of this list. I had seen it a long time ago and it never really stuck with me, I didn’t remember it at all and seeing it again recently opened my eyes. For The Iron Giant is one of the more moving films ever made. Never have a seen such a glorious depiction of life and death in a children’s film. It’s inspiring, it’s funny, it’s beautifully crafted and it’s an understated masterpiece. I can’t wait to watch it a million more times. The story of young Hogarth and his Iron Giant is a film I can’t wait to watch with my own children one day.
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
There is no film that I have viewed more times than The Nightmare Before Christmas and I’ll keep going back to it because I love it to this day. It’s the first film I truly loved and I will continue to love to it. As a child I would dance around my house and sing Jack’s Lament and What’s This?, etc. I would watch the film daily. Film is a form of escape, and the world of The Nightmare Before Christmas is the world I wanted to escape to over and over again.
So, why? Well, maybe there was something appealing about ghosts and monsters under the bed, about a skeleton who could “take off his head” as the hero. There was something different to this world and these creatures, a twisted beauty to the idea that a werewolf or a skeleton could have his own character traits, could be sad, could feel, could love. To this day, it’s one of the most magical movies I’ll ever see. The Nightmare Before Christmas is the animated masterpiece.