Top Ten Pixar Movies Worth Adoring!

It’s time for another list, you guys! It’s been too long since the last one. What, has it been years? Decades?

(I exaggerate. In case you’re interested, here is my last top ten post.)

I’ve never thought of myself as too old for a kids movie, but I have to admit, my taste in kids movies has gotten pretty refined. Burp and fart jokes just won’t cut it anymore. I want character development and nuanced humor.

Pixar has consistently delivered that to us as the years have gone by (give or take a few exceptions), so I thought I would honor their years of excellence by giving them their very own list on this Below Average Blog.

(Now that I type that, it feels like I’m punishing Pixar more than I’m rewarding them.)

Let’s do this.

10. Toy Story 2

People don’t give Toy Story 2 enough credit as a sequel. Given how poorly sequels to popular movies can turn out, I think Toy Story 2 did a superb job of following Toy Story. It deepened our understanding of Woody’s character (and made him into a non-jerk) while also introducing us to new toys to fall in love with. (Though I still can’t understand why Bullseye can’t talk like the rest of them.) Jessie’s backstory was heartbreaking for me as a kid. I think I vowed never to abandon a toy under a bed ever again. (I have my shoes there now.) Plus, that airport chase was an amazingly huge set-piece for a movie about toys.

9. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is like the middle child of Pixar movies. (No offense to middle children.) It’s easily overlooked and forgotten when you’re trying to recall the names of all the Pixar movies that have ever been. It’s like one of those forgettable Presidents. But it’s always been the most homey of the Pixar movies to me. Where other Pixar movies are these eclectic and fascinating beverages, Ratatouille is hot chocolate. It’s my favorite movie to put on during a rainy day when I’m all by myself. It always makes me hungry though.

8. Finding Nemo

Even as a small child sitting in a theater, I knew that Finding Nemo was gorgeous. I’m not one to linger over and praise the visuals of a movie, but dang, Finding Nemo was stunning. The amount of detail that must have gone into crafting the ocean world staggers me. The story was super heart-warming too. It’s a classic adventure with emotions thrown in. Finding Nemo gave us some of the most memorable characters as well, and what I find funny is that Nemo, the fish whose name is in the title, is overshadowed by Bruce, Crush, Dory, Peach, Bubbles, and all those other sea critters we met along the way.

7. Toy Story

What, you didn’t think that I would forget the OG Pixar movie, did you? Of course I’m including Toy Story on this list. It’s the one that started it all. Even excluding the fact that it was the first in a long line of great movies as a factor, Toy Story made it onto this list because of how imaginative it was. A movie about toys that are alive and have their own society was my cup of tea as a kid. It was thoughtful and hilarious. My dad did get a bit squeamish showing this movie to me. He didn’t like the fact that I was being shown a child sadist in the form of Sid for the first time. Well, dad, I had to find out that psychopaths existed at some point.

6. The Incredibles

If I ever did a list on the best super hero movies, The Incredibles would be on there too. Hell, I think they do a better job of showing a super family dynamic than any other super hero film involving a family does. (*Cough cough* Fantastic Four *cough cough*) They made it fun and they hit all the right notes without getting bogged down in an origin story. The Incredibles focused on that family dynamic and definitely gave the best demonstrations of elastic and speed abilities that I have ever seen on a screen.

5. Monsters Inc.

If I thought that Toy Story was imaginative, I had no idea what I was talking about until I saw Monsters Inc. A movie about the monsters in your closet? A society that gets powered by screams? It’s just too good. When I was younger, I only really knew that I liked the movie, but now that I’m older, I can appreciate the creativity that went into making the world of Monsters Inc. Plus, the humor was just delightful for both adults and kids.

4. Up

I have never cried so quickly while watching a movie. How many minutes passed, 10 or 15, before that movie just ripped your heart into tiny pieces and sprinkled lemon juice on it? No one I know is immune to Up’s opening introduction of Carl and Ellie. And then that one moment where Carl looks at that scrapbook and finds out that Ellie believed that he was her adventure this whole time anddammitI’malreadycryingwhywhydoyoudothistome?! The music for Up was fantastic, too, and helped hit all the right emotional notes. Not that the movie needed anymore help hitting those emotional notes.

3. Inside Out

I have to admit that this movie is definitely higher than it should be on an unbiased list, but the reason it has such a high ranking on mine is because of timing. Before Inside Out, Pixar had released Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University, none of which touch even the bottom of this list. I want to call this period of time Pixar’s Slump. So when I went to go see Inside Out in theaters, I walked out with tears not just because the movie was emotionally satisfying (in more ways than one), but also because I was so happy that Pixar’s Slump was over.

2. Toy Story 3

Oof, it was very hard choosing between my #2 and #1 spots on this list, but I ended up putting Toy Story 3 as #2 because it kind of had an unfair advantage over my #1 since it was the culmination of two other movies. Still, Toy Story 3 hit me right in the feels. I had to see my favorite toys reach a new stage in their life when their owner, Andy, goes to college, and it just hurt too much (in a good way). That one moment at the end when Andy plays with them all for one last time had me crying harder than Sadness from Inside Out. It was the perfect ending to the movies, and I’m low-key bummed they decided to make a fourth. I’m going to reserve my judgment until I see it, but I think that Toy Story 3’s ending is going to be hard to beat.

1. WALL-E

I love WALL-E. Despite having little to no dialogue at the beginning, you learned about the kind of robot WALL-E was and you learned to empathize with him. I have this theory that there are two kinds of people in the world: WALL-Es and EVEs. People who have been WALL-E find it easier to empathize with him and therefore enjoy the movie more. People who have only ever been EVEs get fed up with the movie. This is not an absolute rule; there are exceptions. Still, I adore WALL-E because I’ve been WALL-E. Mayhaps not so desperate, but I’ve been the person who pines and who thinks that the person she likes will never like her. Now, I can’t hear the word “objective” without wanting to hold someone’s hand.

So what’s your favorite Pixar movie? (Please god, I hope it is A Bug’s Life.) Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Writing for TheGamer

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I love lists! (Case in point here.)

They cater to the organizational part of my soul, and they also appeal to my predilection for nonessential items that contribute diddly-squat to actual effort but can appear to be a productive part of the planning process.

Side note: Daaaaaamn! Did you guys see the alliteration at the end of that sentence?

Anywaysies, I love lists!

I’ve already published a few list-related posts on this here bloggy thing, but I’ve completely forgotten to give a shout-out to the website I work for, a website that lets me write lists for work. (Awesome, right?)

TheGamer is an entertaining site that I contribute to. It has a bunch of features and listicles about gaming and pop culture, and it’s updated every day, so there is always new content.

Side note: I only recently found out that the word “listicle” is an actual word used to describe list-based articles. So all those BuzzFeed lists you read are technically called listicles.

My adoration for lists and video games has definitely come in handy over the course of writing for TheGamer, and despite the supposed superficiality of writing lists about fictional sources, this job has really fulfilled me in a way I’m only just beginning to appreciate.

I could not consider my life my own unless I was spending it writing. No matter how trivial my lists might seem, TheGamer is allowing me to share my writing with a wider audience. And it is totally awesome when my words connect with another person.

A while back, I wrote up a list about Darth Vader. For one of the items on the list, I talked about the Rogue One Darth Vader scene, the one where he absolutely murdalizes those Rebels. I praised that scene heartily as I wrote about it. I have friends who are only casually into Star Wars, and before Rogue One came out, they kind of thought Darth Vader was a joke. I can’t say I blame them. In the first movie, Darth Vader kind of just ambles around, looking threatening but not actually doing anything scary. So no matter how much I tried to convince my buddies how terrifying Darth Vader could be, they didn’t really believe it or understand what it felt like for me when I was a kid and Darth Vader swept into a room with a long dark cloak and a helmet from hell.

Darth Vader hallway scene
via: geektyrant.com

But that hallway scene from Rogue One showed all of my friends the might of Darth Vader that they hadn’t seen before. It showed them the Darth Vader I had always known was there.

I have to admit, I got very nostalgic as I was writing this list.

After that list was published, a man reached out to me on Twitter. He went out of his way to tell me that he appreciated my words regarding that moment, saying he felt the exact same way.

That was it. That trivial, clickbaity list did not win me any accolades, but it did reach one person, and that’s all I can ask for when it comes to my writing. I just want it to reach one person. And that’s it.

(I mean, if it reaches more than one, that’s great, but let’s not split hairs here.)

And TheGamer, May the Force Be with Them, gave me the opportunity to do that.

Here’s a link to their website. Give it a look-see, if you want. You may be surprised at the passion that these list-writers bring to their lists.

I should know. I’m one of them.

Pew! Pew! My TOP TEN Favorite Halo Weapons

As anyone who knows me can verify, I am super fond of lists. So as I was brainstorming ideas for what to write in upcoming blogs, I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t you put lists on your bloggy-post-thingy?’

Welcome to the first of them!

And of course, the first list on this thing should definitely be a Halo one. (Seriously, who doesn’t like Halo?) 

Here’s the usual disclaimer: I’m a below average person, and my opinions are not sanctified facts, ‘kay?

10. Needler (Halo: Combat Evolved)

Yup, I’m going to catch some flak for this (probably). But before anybody unleashes the hounds on me, note that I am NOT talking about the Needler from Halo 2. This is the OG OP Needler. For those of you who don’t know, the Needler is a gun that fires a stream of pink needles that just follows whoever you’re aiming at. The needles stick into your enemy on contact and then explode a few seconds later. And honestly, when I first played Halo, the Needler was the most unique gun available for use. No other game had it. It’s iconic. (Halo 2 Needler can suck it.)

9. Boltshot (Halo 5: Guardians)

This gun is on here because of how much I hated it in Halo 4. I loathed it in Halo 4. I just did not like the way it felt or fired. It was like a wannabe Plasma Pistol. But one of the things Halo 5 got right was fixing up the Boltshot. It became a mix of the Needler and the Battle Rifle, firing short bursts that curved toward whoever was in your sights. In Halo 4, I avoided the Boltshot like the plague. In Halo 5, I actively searched for this little baby on the battlefield.

8. Needle Rifle (Halo: Reach)

You know what’s better than a Needler? A Needler that has a scope! Halo: Reach made my Needling dreams come true. (Yes, I have had dreams where I’m using a Needler. Play a video game long enough, and it will infiltrate your dreamscape.) I never would have thought that prancing around maps and popping headshots on unsuspecting Jackals could be so fun. Unfortunately, Reach was the only Halo game to give me a Needle Rifle. What’s up with that?

7. Beam Rifle (Halo 2)

I get performance anxiety whenever I pick up a sniper rifle (in a video game). There’s so much onus on you when you do. When you have a sniper rifle in your hands, if you’re not good with it, it’s uber apparent. (I don’t do too well under pressure usually.) One exception to that is the Beam Rifle. The Beam Rifle is the Covenant equivalent of the sniper rifle, but instead of a bullet, it shoots out a — you guessed it — beam. It feels lighter to me, less heavy-duty, and I’m much more likely to do well with it than with a human sniper rifle. Plus, that New Mombasa map where you’re introduced to it is the bomb.

6. Fuel Rod Cannon (Any Halo game)

It’s an alien rocket launcher that fires giant green blasts with delicious spread damage and can hold up to five rounds in one “clip.” ‘Nuff said.

5. Gravity Hammer (Halo 3)

What’s funny about this entry is that I’m pretty bad at using the Gravity Hammer. For those of you who don’t know what it is, a Gravity Hammer is a giant hammer that you hold in two hands. It’s almost as tall as a person. When you swing it, even if the swing doesn’t connect directly, the force of it can take down an enemy’s shields. It just feels cool, looks cool, and sounds cool. It’s my sister Alya’s favorite weapon to use.

4. Shotgun (Halo: Combat Evolved)

I know, I know. How ordinary to have a shotgun be on a top ten list of video game weapons. But the shotgun from the first Halo was special. It was a powerful close-range weapon, as per usual, but it had a surprisingly good range. When you’re dealing with the Flood (Halo zombies, basically) the shotgun is an absolute must.

3. Plasma Pistol (Halo 2 and beyond)

I almost wasn’t going to put the Plasma Pistol on this list because I’m not overly fond of it. But by god, it’s the most useful weapon to have, and as Danny pointed out to me when I was coming up with this list, I use it all the damn time. If you charge the Plasma Pistol up, it lets out an EMP-esque burst. It can get rid of shields in a single shot, and it can temporarily disable vehicles that are nearby you. Plus, you can lock on to enemies and ships with it. You can never go wrong with a Plasma Pistol.

2. Magnum Pistol (Halo: Combat Evolved)

Anyone who has played the original Halo will know why I chose the Magnum from the first game. It was just TOO powerful (in a totally awesome kind of way). In subsequent games, developers went out of their way to make it weaker; that’s how powerful it used to be. But in Combat Evolved, the Magnum was all you really needed to take down foes. It had incredible stopping power, held up to twelve rounds, and came with a scope. The chunkiness of that pistol still gets me excited every time I decide to plop in the original game and play for a few minutes.

1. DMR (Halo: Reach)

No other DMR in the history of DMRs makes me feel the way Reach’s DMR made me feel. It was the perfect weapon to take control of. It had more reach and power than a Battle Rifle, and the sound of it was so satisfying. Ask anybody who plays Halo: Reach with me. The two weapons you can always find me with is a DMR and a plasma pistol. One burst of the Plasma Pistol takes down a shield, and then a quick headshot with the DMR finishes them off. That DMR was Halo-gasmic. The DMRs in Halo 4 and Halo 5 pale in comparison. I spit on those DMRs.

Agree? Disagree? Have no idea what I’m talking about? Let me know in the comments!