8. Toy Story
It’s the one that started it all, the one that rightfully put Pixar on the map and the film that revolutionized animated films as we know them. The first film made entirely by CG-animation, Toy Story is a groundbreaking technical achievement that, ultimately, isn’t quite as revolutionary in the story department but should definitely be applauded. It’s enemy-to-friends narrative is one we’ve seen countless times before-and-after, but it’s enriched through always-competent filmmaking, an imaginative use of corporate branding and warm voice performances from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
It lost some of its magic over the years thanks to numerous rip-offs and reimaginings of the same story, including those within the Pixar system. And in retrospect, it doesn’t hold the power the film once held. The animation has noticeably aged, the pacing is a little clumsier and it doesn’t help that some of the jokes are a little lamer than you remembered them. But through it all, it remains a captivatingly entertaining, staggering emotional piece that lends itself handsomely to the great sequels which followed. Its brilliant filmmaking and marvelous attention to character is what ultimately earns its classic status. It might not be the most perfect Pixar film, but it’ll always have a friend in me, at least.