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. Fans young or old can tell you the magic of the movies isn’t so much about the amazing technology that brings these iconic characters to life, it’s the stories they choose to tell. Pixar has brought toys, monsters, fish and countless other creatures to life but what they all have in common is that the emotions they share and the struggles they undergo are so relatable to us as people. Those common themes of friendship, bravery and perseverance make Pixar movies uniquely timeless even as the technology that powers these stories continues to improve.
Now that Disney has acquired Pixar we can count on even more movies and stories in the coming years. Here’s a look back at the Pixar movies so far and how they did at the box office. These figures come from Box Office Mojo’s calculations of worldwide box office grosses.
21. The Good Dinosaur” (2015)
While still profitable, this story about a world where dinosaurs and humans live side-by-side, wasn’t a massive success compared to every other Pixar movie to date. Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand starred as the parents of an Apatosaurus named Arlo who makes an unlikely human friend.
Global box-office gross: $332.2 million
20. Cars 3 (2017)
Cars 3 was the least successful movie from the franchise so far features Lighting McQueen struggling to keep up with a new generation of faster cars in the sport he loves.
Global box-office gross: $383.9 million
19. A Bug’s Life (1998)
A Bug’s Life was just the second full length feature from Pixar following up the success of Toy Story. The firm stars Flik, a misfit ant and unlikely hero of the story must help defend his colony from a destructive and overpowering gang of greedy grasshoppers. The film stars the voices of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and music by Randy Newman who returned after writing music for Toy Story.
Global box-office gross: $363.2 million
18. Cars (2006)
Owen Wilson starred as Lightning McQueen, a race car who gets lost on the way to the Piston Cup in California. When he ends in Radiator Springs, a forgotten town on the old Route 66 highway, he meets a cast of characters that become his pit crew for the Piston Cup.
Global box-office gross: $462.2 million
17. Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story is the movie that started the 3D computer animation revolution and introduced us to the now iconic characters of Woody and Buzz voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. The story of friendship between a growing boy and his favorite toy has become a movie classic. In 2005, Toy Story was inducted into the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or esthetically significant.”
Global box-office gross: $373.5 million
16. WALL-E (2008)
Pixar has a rich history of creating lovable characters out of seemingly cold and lifeless machines and WALL-E and his companion EVE are no exceptions. In WALL-E, the earth of the 29th century has become a giant garbage dump and humans have become lazy and overweight relying on machines to cart them around on their cruise ship like spacecraft.
Global box-office gross: $533.2 million
15. Brave (2012)
Merida, the daughter of Scottish King Fergus and Queen Elinor, must save her mother who is transformed into a bear by an evil witch.
Global box-office gross: $540.4 million
14. Cars 2 (2011)
In the second installment of Cars and the twelfth film from Pixar, Lightning McQueen competes in the first ever World Grand Prix. There are three races, set in Japan, Italy and England all designed to determine who will be the world’s fastest racecar.
Global box-office gross: $562.1 million
13. Toy Story 2 (1999)
Woody and Buzz are back but the sequel introduces some of Woody’s co-stars from his old TV Show. Jessie the yodeling cowgirl (Joan Cusack) and Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer) meet Woody again as he is kidnapped by an obsessive toy collector.
Global box-office gross: $497.3 million
12. Monsters Inc. (2001)
Imagine a city occupied only by monsters where everything is powered by children’s screams. Well, Monsters Inc. happens to employ a couple of the best “scarers” in the city of Monstropolis in James “Sulley” Sullivan and Mike Wazowski voiced to comedic perfection John Goodman and Billy Crystal.
Global box-office gross: $577.4 million
11. Ratatouille (2007)
Set in Paris, Ratatouille is a story of a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great chef. Remy enlists the help of a human boy named Linguini. Remy needs to stay hidden in the kitchen and use Linguini to impress a great food critic with his culinary skills.
Global box-office gross: $620.7 million
10. The Incredibles (2004)
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.
Global box-office gross: $633.0 million
9. Up (2009)
Up tells the touching story of a 78 year old balloon salesman who fulfills the lifelong dream of he and his late wife had of traveling to South America. But his peaceful journey is interrupted when he finds a young stowaway named Russell in his balloon-powered house.
Global box-office gross: $735.1 million
8. Monsters University (2013)
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)
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.
Global box-office gross: $807.1 million
6. Inside Out (2015)
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.
Global box-office gross: $857.6 million
5. Finding Nemo (2003)
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.”
Global box-office gross: $940.3 million
4. Finding Dory (2016)
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)
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)
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)
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