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I knew I had watched a lot of the Pixar films over the years, but I was surprised to see that I have watched all of them, with the exception of the latest one, The Good Dinosaur. So doing an entry on my top ten favorites turned out to be a good idea. I like the themes found in the Pixar movies – following your dreams, accepting other people for who they are, friendship, family, loyalty, and kindness. I like how Pixar studios explores worlds we never think of and shares it with us to enjoy too.

I have combined a few films together with their sequels, so there are more than ten movies here. I did not include Ratatouille here; I enjoyed it but not enough to make the list.

#10. Up – 2009. The story of an old man following the dream he and his wife had before she died. Along the way he befriends a lonely boy, a dog, and a wild creature. At the beginning, the film has the best and saddest montage, mostly without dialog, of the man’s life with his wife. Themes include helping others and following your dreams where ever they lead you.

#9. A Bug’s Life – 1998. This movie is set in the world of ants and grasshoppers, where a young ant endangers his colony and has to leave to find help. He finds a strange set of other bugs to come and help. It is a world where a small drop of water and a rolled leaf can become a telescope, and a bigger drop of rain can be a dangerous water balloon. Themes include working together, standing up for yourself against bullies, and seeing value in differences.

#8. WALL-E – 2008. This is a little harder for me to describe, but most of the action takes place on a generational spaceship where the people are waiting for a wasteland Earth to be ready for life and growth again so they can return to it. WALL-E is a trash-compactor robot that falls in love and wakes people up on the ship. Themes include the environment, belonging with someone, being aware of what is around you, and hope.

#7. Inside Out – 2015. This movie is about emotions and memories, set mostly in the mind of a young teen-age girl. I like it’s message that as we grow up, our emotions and the memories they call up are more complicated and combinations of more than one strong feeling. Themes include growing up, the changes in adolescence and life, and family.

#6. Brave – 2012. This one is also about growing up, as a young woman is expected to marry when she would rather be free, and shoot her bow. There is a conflict between her and her mother. Themes include being true to yourself, follow your dreams, kindness, mother/daughter relationships, and family.

#5. Monster’s Inc. – 2001, and Monster’s University – 2013. I like the original film better than the sequel. Set in the world of monsters, one day a child gets through the doorway and causes havoc. Themes include friendship, loyalty, and overcoming bias.

#4. Cars – 2006, and Cars 2 – 2011. Set in a world of cars that looks a lot like our world, a race car has to make repairs to a small town before he can leave for a big race. He makes friends of the town’s people along the way. The sequel continues his friendships with the town’s people. Themes include Route 66, friendship, loyalty, respect for people and history, and kindness.

#3. Finding Nemo – 2003. Set in the world of the ocean and the fish life in it, a boy fish is taken by a diver. The fish father overcomes his fears in order to find his boy, while the boy works, with help from other fish, to leave the fish tank and get back to his dad. Themes include family, helping others, determination, overcoming fears, and letting a child achieve for himself.

#2. The Incredibles – 2004. A movie about superheros who have to live as average people and hide what they are, as seen through one family of superheros trying to blend in. Trouble finds them, and they need to use their powers again to save the world. Themes include courage, family, being true to yourself, using your natural talents, and kindness.

#1. Toy Story – 1995, and Toy Story 2 – 1999, and Toy Story 3 – 2010. I love all three of these movies, set in the world of toys and what they do when the humans are out of the room. All three have a strong story line that works on its own and the sequels build on the other movies. Emotional and gut-wrenching at times as the toys deal with their boy growing up and not playing with them as much over time, the movies also have messages of hope. Themes include friendship, belonging, purpose, loyalty, and kindness.

I look forward to watching whatever Pixar comes out with next. Their movies are filled with humor, insights into life and the world, and hope.

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