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by Gabriel Chong & Linus Tee with John Li | Posted 20 July 2009

The following movies are ranked based on worldwide box-office figures.

# 10: Up
($323 millions and counting)

A 78 year old balloon salesman. An eight year old boy. Thousands of colourful balloons tied to a house. Talking dogs, a multicoloured bird and a place in South America only known as Paradise Falls. Trust the geniuses at Pixar Animation to put these elements together to tell a heartwarming tale of keeping promises and that childhood dream alive. Sure, there are towering robots and wizards threatening to take over the summer blockbuster season this year, but this entertaining and heartwarming feature are an excellent proof that the littlest of things can make the biggest emotional impact.

Having already clinched the 24th place on imdb.com's Top 250 Movies List, and a healthy box office figure, this best reviewed movie of the year is definitely going up, up and away!

#9: Toy Story ($362 millions)

The movie that started it all – Toy Story. Without Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head or Hamm, there wouldn’t be Pixar or even computer animation so to speak. This 1995 release marks a milestone in motion picture history by being the first entirely CG animation feature film. The technology has improved by leaps and bounds since then but one thing remains, the heart and soul of the story.

Toy Story was the highest grossing movie of 1995 in the States. 14 years have passed but it ain’t going to damper audience’s anticipation for more adventures coming from Woody and gang which is why Disney/Pixar is re-releasing it in 3D next year before they unleashed Toy Story 3.

# 8: A Bug's Life ($363 millions)

It was the year of the battle of the bug movies when DreamWorks’ animated offering “Antz” and Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” debuted within months of each other. Though both had as its key character an intellectual misfit out of step with the conformities of ant society, there were immediate differences between them.

Whereas “Antz” had a more sophisticated adult feel to it, “A Bug’s Life” was unabashedly a true-blue family film. Fresh off the success of “Toy Story”, co-director John Lasseter populated his second theatrical feature with the same kind of wacky colourful characters that immediately struck a chord with audiences. And it was “A Bug’s Life” that eventually won the box-office “bug” crown at the box office that year.

# 7: Cars ($462 millions)
After a year’s break, John Lasseter finally embarked on another directorial project, Cars. Inspired by Lasseter’s own road trip with his family, Cars is about a hotshot rookie race car, Lightning McQueen who discovers that life is about the journey and not the finish line when he is accidentally detoured to a sleepy town called Radiator Springs. Released at a time where Pixar were still busy negotiating for a new distribution partner, Cars opened in the summer of 2006 to mixed reviews and its box-office returns weren’t that impressive as compared to their earlier productions.

Yet the movie’s related merchandising returns really knocked the socks off the suits. Every little kid it seems wants a Cars diecast toy car or a blanket or a water tumbler. Automobiles are meant for the boys and men and it shows. Those cute talking cars with shining eyes are destined to go way beyond their intended mileage. It’s so popular in the end that the sequel to Cars is coming to theaters in 2011 and Carland is gearing to open in Disneyland the same year.

# 6: Toy Story 2 ($485 Millions)

Toy Story 2 remains till now the only official theatrical sequel which Pixar ever produced out of its properties despite the fact that its parent company, Disney is an old hand in churning out related movie sequels and direct-to-video animations by the truckload. The original voice actors return for more adventures when Woody is ‘kidnapped’ by a toy collector and Buzz Lightyear and gang had to embark on a rescue mission to save him.

With a crew comprising of Pixar’s cream of the crop including John Lassester (Toy Story), Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), Pete Doctor (Monsters Inc) and Lee Unkrich (the upcoming Toy Story 3), the sequel opens to rave reviews and subsequently became the third highest grossing movie of 1999.

# 5: Monsters Inc ($525 Millions)

How do you make a film about the things that go bump in the night that won’t give the kids nightmares after? The creative masterminds at Pixar came up with the ingenious premise of taking the children’s fears and turning them into that of (well) the monsters’ themselves. And hence the birth of Monsters, Inc- a company from a parallel dimension called Monstropolis that sends its monster employees into the closets of little kids to scare them, the children’s screams an energy source for the city.

“Monsters, Inc” was an opportunity for the Pixar artists to let their imagination run free in a make-believe world and the result was a multitude of monsters in every conceivable size, shape and colour in just as inventive and colourful settings. Not to mention its climactic roller-coaster pursuit involving hundreds of doors on a never-ending conveyor line, easily one of the most action-packed finales among all the Pixar films.

# 4: Wall-E ($525 Millions)
Whoever said technology had to be cold and unfeeling? With a rusty Waste Allocation Load Lifter- Earth Class (WALL E) and a sleek iPod-like Extraterrestrial Vegetarian Evaluator (EVE), the folks at Pixar told an absolutely heart-warming and endearing story of the unlikely friendship between two robots. And all that- with the most minimal dialogue between its two main characters.

A perfect example of pure visual storytelling, it was no doubt inspired by the Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton films the filmmakers watched every day during lunch for a year and a half. Indeed, their dedication to their craft is no wonder the film went on to garner 6 Oscar nominations- the most any animation has ever received- and take home the honour of Best Animated Film in 2008.

# 3: Ratatouille ($621 Millions)
Imagine having a rodent as your movie’s protagonist. The closest we can think of is none other than Mickey the Mouse. But the eighth movie from the Emeryville-based company introduced us to a rat named Remy which dreams of becoming a great French chef in the bustling city of Paris. One of the challenges here for the artistes were to recreate the delicious dishes convincingly on the big screen. But then again when you have a whole bunch of geniuses at Pixar who truly loves their craft, there’s nothing they can’t replicate.

Domestically, the box-office wasn’t that impressive although it was critically positive however its worldwide tally positioned Ratatouille as the third highest grossing Pixar movie among its slate and best of all, an Oscar for the Best Animated Feature Film.

# 2: The Incredibles ($631 Millions)
The second full-length animated feature by the understated Iron Giant’s helmer, Brad Bird takes a shot at a dysfunctional family with superhero powers called The Incredibles. This is Pixar’s answer to Marvel’s Fantastic Four. Not only does the animated feature surpassed most of the market’s live-action comic adaptations in terms of story-telling, characters and effects (and you are talking about a CG animation) but it also posed another serious question to fans and audience – How does Pixar, an animation company that has no track records with the superhero genre managed to encroach a territory dominated by DC and Marvel?

This is Pixar at its peak and The Incredibles also marks the debut of featuring human characters as the main leads. No bugs, no fishy creatures or wooden toys this time round, just a bunch of wacky ex-superheroes and their friends trying to save the day and their own.
# 1: Finding Nemo ($865 Millions)
Right atop the Pixar box office chest is a movie that almost instantly swam its way into the hearts of millions around the world- its opening weekend in the U.S. the biggest for any animated film back in 2003. It’s no wonder really- besides the usual brilliance of Pixar’s wacky brand of comedy, its colourful visuals of the tropical underwater had a beauty and form which was unique upon itself.

Thanks to the combined voice talents of veteran comedians Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres, audiences worldwide would forever remember the fretful clownfish father Marlin and his absent-minded tang fish companion Dory. Just as memorable were the rest of the supporting characters, including vege-shark Bruce and surfer dude-turtle Crush. Yes, this was the movie that probably made aquarium shop owners very happy- suddenly everyone wanted to have their own or more accurately, their own clownfish.

Year 2010 and Beyond

2010 brings the highly anticipated return of Buzz and Woody in the Disney Digital™ 3D summer release of Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” directed by Lee Unkrich.

June 2011 marks the return of Lightning McQueen, Mater the tow truck and an international cast of favorite and new car characters in Pixar’s “Cars 2,” directed by Brad Lewis (producer of “Ratatouille”).

Christmas 2011 brings Pixar’s first fairy tale, “The Bear and the Bow,” from acclaimed filmmaker/writer Brenda Chapman (“The Prince of Egypt”) featuring Reese Witherspoon.

In the summer of 2012, Pixar’s “newt” marks the directing debut of multiple Oscar® winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, the seven-time Academy Award-winning sound designer and director who made his directorial debut with the Pixar animated short, Lifted.

Lasseter says in his own words, “This is an amazing time for animation at Disney and Pixar and it’s a thrill to be working on such a diverse and original group of films with such an all-star team of filmmakers".

We are so going to be there with Lasseter and his dedicated crew at Disney/Pixar.

UP, the 10th movie from Pixar opens here on 5 August 2009

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Visit PIXAR official website

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The only sequel in Pixar's history till now

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Marlin and Dory teams up to search for Nemo and ends up a box-office champ!

Pixar's answer to the Fantastic Four

Lightning McQueen is on the fast track and no one can stop him or is it?

Oscar winner of Best Animated Film Feature

A lonely robot named Wall-E discovers a new purpose in life

A 78 year old ballon salesman and a 8 year old stowaway on a journey filled with danger and suspense

Pixar Short Films Collection DVD
All Images © Disney/Pixar

By Gabriel Chong & Linus Tee with John Li
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