Top 10 Highest Grossing Pixar Films of All-Time

Since the debut of the original Toy Story way back in 1995, the movies from the folks at Pixar have held a special place in the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Pixar has brought toys, monsters, fish and countless other creatures to life through spellbinding, often innovative, animation technology.

What defines a Pixar production, however, is not necessarily the fluidity of the animation on-screen. While that is certainly gripping, it is not what makes Pixar films transcendent; why that little luminescent lamp playfully hopping onto the screen, settling himself in, and peering at the audience contemplatively, announces such enthusiasm. The secret to any Pixar film is in its broad, encompassing, ability to array emotion in a visceral way, one that connects with both wizened adults as well as younger eyes still establishing their moorings in the world. The humanity of Pixar, it’s ability to wield emotion, is what sets it apart, what makes it such a distinctive brand.

Here are the top 10 highest grossing Pixar films of all-time.

10. The Incredibles (2004)

Disney / Pixar

“The Incredibles” tells the tale of a superhero family who must assume normal lives and identities and to try to blend in with the rest of society due to the government banning the use of superhero abilities. Mr. Incredible quickly becomes restless, gets into trouble and needs his wife and superpowered kids to save him. 

In “The Incredibles,” Pixar explores what one must do, how one must orient themselves, in a world that demands absolute conformity. If one’s individuality is impaired by societal strictures, is the answer to weakly submit to stultification? If one is possessed of a unique talent that should be rightly celebrated, what is the moral thing to do? Hide in the shadows? Or discover others who share your quirks, share your values, and manifest the fruition of self in the collectivism of family?

Ultimately, Mr. Incredible discovers he can be both “super” while also being ordinary. That he can embrace the foundational framework of society, while still managing to exercise what is unique about him and his family.

Global box-office gross: $633.0 million

9.  Up (2009)

Disney / Pixar

Up tells the touching story of a 78 year old balloon salesman, Carl Frederickson.

Carl spent his life in an enduring relationship with his wife, Ellie. The opening sequence of “Up,” is consummately heartwarming, as we learn of how Carl and Ellie fell in love, dreaming together of exploring the world. Grotesquely, their hopes are shattered, as the quotidian concerns of their lives impede their aspirations. Life comes, and it goes. The days turn into months, the months turn into years, until they find themselves, old and increasingly infirm. Despite these small tragedies, that we can all relate to, Carl and Ellie ultimately have each other. Until they don’t. Ellie passes, and Carl is left alone, obdurate and bitter at the change transpiring right outside of his door. How could the world move on, so quickly, he seems to ask himself, without Ellie?

Adventure finds Carl in the composite of Jordan, a young explorer, Carl reincarnate. They venture to South America to ultimately find the world’s greatest explorer, who Carl once revered.

Action ensues, but through it all, we feel the presence of Ellie. Carl identifies a new journey, refashioned, but with Ellie still beating in his heart.

Global box-office gross: $735.1 million

8.  Monsters University (2013)

Disney / Pixar

Mike and Sulley are back in this sequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc. that tells the story of when they first met as young monsters in school to become scarers. 

Global box-office gross: $744.2 million

7. Coco (2017)

Disney / Pixar

Pixar’s most musical movie to date centers on Miguel who aspires to become a great musician in spite of his family’s ban on music. This colorful movie transports Miguel to the Land of the Dead where he strives to prove his talent. It’s a movie movie most concerned with family, with legacy, with heritage — How we never truly lose the ones we’ve lost.

In a stunning concluding scene, Miguel sings to his Abuelita, who is inching closer to death, herself. The lyrics are beautiful:

Remember me, even though I have to say goodbye,

Remember me, don’t let it make you cry

For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart

I sing a secret song to you each night we are apart

Remember me though I have to travel far

Remember me each time you hear a sad guitar

Know that I’m with you the only way that I can be

Until you’re in my arms again, remember me

Global box-office gross: $807.1 million

6.  Inside Out (2015)

Disney / Pixar

While all Pixar movies are unique, Inside Out mostly takes place inside the mind of an 11 year old girl named Riley who must emotionally adjust to moving from the icy midwest to San Francisco. Her emotions come to life in the form of characters representing Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. 

In the movie’s culminating scene, Riley breaks down in tears. She’s sad. She’s been displaced in a new environment and is struggling to cope with what she’s lost. The emotion Sadness, which has previously been demonized by her peppy adversary, Happiness, reluctantly takes control of the figurative command center of Riley’s mind, and Riley is able to adequately ventilate her struggles to her parents. The family inches together, in a comforting embrace, connecting through their grief. Riley isn’t so lost, in that moment.

It’s an engrossing ending, culminating in a singular message: In life, sometimes it’s okay to be sad. In fact, it’s necessarily human.

Global box-office gross: $857.6 million

5. Finding Nemo (2003)

Disney / Pixar

Young clown fish Nemo, has a short fin but is determined not to hold him him back. Despite his  neurotically protective father’s warnings, Nemo finds himself captured in a fisherman’s net and must escape from a dentist’s fish tank. Along the way he meets a blue reef fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) who tells him to “just keep swimming.” Life is a permutation of adventures, filled with characters of every kind. Marlin, Nemo’s Dad, learns he cannot tame it, or shelter Nemo from it, he can only support him along the journey.

Global box-office gross: $940.3 million

4. Finding Dory (2016)

Disney / Pixar

Ellen DeGeneres reprises her role as the forgetful blue tang fish Dory. This time Dory takes the starring role in her adventure to find her parents from whom she was separated as a child. Dory tracks her parents to a Marine Life Institute and must figure out a way to free them from captivity. 

Global box-office gross: $1,028.6 million

3. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Disney / Pixar

The toys find themselves bound for the attic at Andy’s house as he prepares to leave for college. But Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys accidentally wind up on the curb with the trash but end up being donated to a day care center where the kids are wild and not at all gentle with the toys.  

Global box-office gross: $1,067.0 million

2. Toy Story 4 (2019)

Disney / Pixar

In this final adventure, Woody struggles to adapt to a new child owner, Bonnie who doesn’t love him the way Andy did. Bonnie creates a new friend out of a plastic spork named Forky. 

Global box-office gross: $1,073 million

1 Incredibles 2 (2018)

Disney / Pixar

Incredibles 2 maintains the record as the top grossing Pixar movie of all time in spite of the box office success of 2019’s Toy Story 4. The sequel to the Incredible family’s story also set the record for the best opening weekend of any animated movie in history. 

Global box-office gross: $1,242.8 million