Here is the first installment of my favorite movies. I decided that I would start off with Pixar, and I know that Pixar is a part of Disney, but since there are so many in this category, I figured I would make a separate post. Plus, it’s amazing, so it deserves its own post. So enough about my love for Pixar, let’s continue to the list and don’t forget to let me know your favorite Pixar movie(s).

*All descriptions taken from Disney Movie Guide

Toy Story
Rating: G

The first production from Walt Disney Pictures’ Pixar Studios is the ground-breaking computer-animated Toy Story. The film was the first feature film to fully utilize CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), and is nearly unanimously hailed as the benchmark film for animation.

Aside from being technically revolutionary, Toy Story features a virtual “Who’s Who” of contributors, from executive producer Steve Jobs, director John Lasseter, music by Randy Newman, and voicings by such iconic performers as Tom Hanks, Don Rickles, Tim Allen and Jim Varney. The film also introduces such unforgettable characters as Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Mr. Potato Head.

Thoughts: As a little kid, I remember wanting my toys to come to life so we could all play together. There’s something about toys coming to life that is exciting for a child (well except for Sid’s toys, that was just scary). I was an only child, so when my parents were busy, I didn’t really have anyone else to play with. I would just play with my toys by myself, so when I saw Toy Story for the first time, it was amazing to me. For a week afterwards, I would shut the door and wait for a few moments before I would burst in to catch my toys coming to life. Of course, it never happened, but it was still really fun. 

Toy Story 3
Rating: G

Toy Story 3 is the third installment of the popular series about a group of children’s toys that come to life and engage in all sorts of wild adventures. Toy Story 3 brings back all of the characters from the previous two movies, including Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Woody (Tom Hanks). In this installment, Andy (The child who owns the toys) is all grown up and preparing to enroll in college. The toys are supposed to be put into the attic for storage but are thrown away by accident. The toys end up on a new adventure looking for a new place to call home. Toy Story 3 captures the magic of the previous movies while introducing some new twists. This is a wonderful family movie that everyone can enjoy.

Thoughts: When Pixar announced the release of Toy Story 3, I saw a quote from the internet that stated “Move out of my way children! I’ve been waiting 11 years to watch this movie!” This was basically my mindset because I really had been waiting for this movie. I was not disappointed, and I have to say that I felt many emotions while watching this. For those who have seen it, I’m sure you know what I mean. I also heard that there might be a fourth installment, so I’m excited to watch that one when and if it comes out.

A Bug’s Life
Rating: G

Flik is a big thinker with bad luck. After years of watching his colony of ants work hard to stockpile food for the winter and then have a greedy group of ferocious grasshoppers sweep in a steal it all, Flik decides it’s time for a change. Even though no one believes in him, Flik is determined to find some new fighters who will help him stop the evil grasshoppers and their ruthless leader Hopper.

Thoughts: This was such a unique idea and that will most likely be the theme of this favorites list because every movie is just so original. I enjoyed the idea of looking into the lives of bugs and seeing the world from a different perspective. I mean it doesn’t sound exciting but when mixed with funny, quirky characters and an entertaining plot, it provides a thrilling movie. Besides, it was great to see Kevin Spacey as an evil grasshopper.

Monsters, Inc.
Rating: G

Disney’s Monsters, Inc. will easily resonate with practically every parent (and child) that has experienced the unique sensation of “things that go bump-in-the-night.” This Pixar Studios animated comedy production takes viewers to Monstropolis, that shadowy and mysterious land that can only be accessed via closet doors in children’s bedrooms.

Two-year old Boo accidentally wanders into Monstropolis and sets off pandemonium in both the human and monster worlds. With the help of two Monsters, Inc. (Monstropolis’ power plant) employees who’ve become charmed by the tyke, a series of thrilling chases and calamities ensue as they attempt to hide Boo from the power plants’ security staff.

Thoughts: This was such an interesting take on the fear that monsters lived in the closet. I loved how the monsters were freaking out because of Boo and how the monster world went into panic mode over it. Plus, I always tend to sing “Put that thing back from where it came from or so help me” any time I see the quotes. I bet you sang it in Mike’s voice, didn’t you? It’s okay, you can admit it.

Monsters University
Rating: G

The prequel to the smash animated comedy hit, “Monsters, Inc.,” is “Monsters University,” which takes place roughly ten years prior to the original and relates the story of how the film’s two main characters first met.

We meet college-bound Mike Wazowski as he prepares to further his education at fabled “Monsters University” (MU). From childhood, Mike has dreamed of someday becoming a “Scarer,” (the epitome of monsterdom) which happens to be MU’s curriculum specialty. One of his first acquaintances at MU, Sulley, turns out to be not only a B.M.O.C,. but is also the absolute definition of a “Scarer.” Both are competitive to a fault, which leads to the pair being expelled from MU’s distinguished “Scare Program.” Chastened, but now forced to either “toe the line” or abandon their dreams, the duo are thrown together with several other misfit wanna-be “Scarers” as they attempt to regain their formerly elite status.

Thoughts: At first, I was really skeptical about this movie. I was not happy there was a prequel coming out when I clearly wanted a sequel so I could find out what happened to Boo. One day I just sucked it up and decided that I would watch this movie to see if it lived up to my “Pixar” expectations. I have to say that it exceeded my predictions. This was such a wonderful film that stayed away from predictable plot points and told an amazing story. I loved everything about this movie. I still want a sequel though.

The Incredibles
Rating: PG

Mr. and Mrs. Parr, also known as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, gave up their crime fighting careers as superheros to raise a family under the long arm of the government protection program. Life as an every day citizen was great for Mrs. Parr, but Mr. Parr longed for his glory days as a superhero. When temptation gets the best of Mr. Incredible, can Elastigirl and the rest of the Incredible clan save him?

Thoughts: Speaking of sequels… I want one for this movie so bad. As I grew up, I still enjoyed “children’s” movies, but I didn’t love the ones solely targeting children. I liked the ones that had jokes for kids and adults. The Incredibles entertains a wide range of audiences. Jokes that were making me laugh were also making my parents laugh. It was a modern family twist on the superhero genre.

Rating: G

Fine food, fine dining, and fine restaurants are all fine for people, but not so fine for rats. Unfortunately, Remy Rat thinks he’s just as entitled to eat in a nice French Restaurant as anyone else. Maintaining his restaurant home and reaching his dream of being a chef both seem like long shots, but Remy is committed to making it happen.

Thoughts: Ratatouille is a movie that’s cute and will make you crave food. While watching it, my thoughts consisted of “Wow, I want an omelette,” “Remy is so cute. I would want to be his friend too,” “I really want to eat now.” While this movie made me hungry, I will say that thinking about rats preparing my food disturbs me. If real rats looked like the ones in the movie, then it would be a little better, but rats are not adorable (not as cute as mice). Besides rats cooking food, I enjoyed everything about this movie.

Rating: PG

Some dreams never die, they just grow older. When an elderly man pushes to make his lifelong dream of being a real life Indiana Jones adventurer come true, he finds determination and perseverance may be all the tools he needs.

Thoughts: During the beginning of this movie, I almost cried. I looked over at my fiance with a look of “What on earth is going on? I’m not prepared for this.” It was a better love story then most I have seen, but wow, it was sad. After the initial “I think I might cry” moment was over, the story was amazing. It did have an Indiana Jones feel to it and a real sense of adventure. Up is such a beautifully crafted movie that I think everyone should watch.

Rating: PG

Set among Scotland’s legendary rugged Highlands, where epic battles between warring factions have taken on near-mythical proportion comes the Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studio’s production of Brave, a fantasy adventure film featuring 3-D animation. Co-written by Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi (who co-wrote The Lion King and Hercules), and jointly directed by Chapman and Mark Andrews, Brave relates the tale of an impetuous and headstrong princess, Merida, who, quite innocently, creates chaos and upheaval in the kingdom by offending the Lords of the Land with her audacity. Merida’s quest to atone for her actions form the foundation of the film.

Thoughts: I know there are mixed feelings about this movie. However, I kind of liked the focus on the mother/daughter relationship in the story. I also thought it was a great idea to have a headstrong princess be the main protagonist. It fits the generation of no damsels in distress, and if they are, they take care of it themselves. I’m loving the recent Disney princesses that are able to handle situations by themselves. It’s a refreshing change of pace.