Now, when discussing the best Pixar animated films that constantly play not only on the HD movie channels on cable and satellite TV, but also on the regular, basic cable channels, it can be difficult to narrow the playing field. The studio has yet to make a truly bad film, if even a mediocre film. Granted, a “Bugs Life” was somewhat overshadowed by Dreamworks studio’s “Antz,” and the story for “Cars” was a bit banal and melodramatic, but the animation quality for both flicks made up for any criticism.
Ever since “Toy Story,” Pixar has managed to create animated films for both children and adults, films that offer societal critiques while never venturing away from their source material. Yet, even out of the numerous films within the studio’s archive, there are three key movies that rise above the rest, and not just because they each have won Academy Awards. So, without further ado, here is a list of the top three Pixar films that any fan of animation must to see.
“The Incredibles” – Released in 2004, this film written and directed by Brad Bird has been dubbed the comedic “Watchmen.” After numerous law suits from victims who did not want to be saved but were anyway, society indirectly forced superheroes to give up their crime-fighting duties and join society’s average ranks. Centering on the Parr family, made up of Bob and Helen (Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl) and their three kids Dash, Violet and Jack Jack, the film follows Bob as he rediscovers his passion for superhero work after being fired from his insurance salesman position – he threw his boss through 9 office walls during a disagreement, accidentally. But, trouble soon ensues as Mr. Incredible finds out that his new superhero employer is none other than a real super villain, bent on killing off all remaining heroes.
“Wall-E” – There are few films as beautifully done and as amazing as this 2008 Pixar triumph. “Wall-E” was anything but the average animated movie, primarily because it consisted of only 10 minutes of dialogue. Following the exploits of Wall-E, a small robot slowly cleaning up a trash-filled, desolate Earth, the film was able to capture so much emotion on a purely visual level, especially with the title character trying to woo the lovely, modern EVE android. After spending half the time on a planet, the setting suddenly transitions to space as Wall-E follows EVE back to the human species refuge a galaxy away. Out of all of the films currently available on the “On Demand” feature on cable and satellite TV, this one cannot be missed.
“UP” – After their hit with “Wall-E,” few people thought that Pixar could up the ante with a film about an old man, a boy scout and a floating house. Well, viewers and critics were completely stunned after walking out of this 3D feature. “UP” showed the world that a Pixar film can transition beyond the animation category and become one of the best movies of the year, seen with its Academy Award nomination for Best Picture in 2010. Starting off with a dorky, silent kid who meets an adventurous, sports-loving girl, the film quickly follows a blossoming childhood romance to an eventual marriage, before ending with tragedy as the spouse of protagonist Carl Fredericksen dies. Determined to have one last adventure, Fredericksen equips his house with millions of balloons and takes off into the air in search of the destination that his late wife dreamed of seeing. But plans quickly change as Boy Scout neighbor Russell manages to join Fredericksen on his incredible journey. Although it is currently impossible to watch 3D films on television, make sure that “UP” is viewed in high definition. Some of the scenery shots are simply too amazing to watch on a basic, normal screen.