Reach for the sky!
With the release of Lightyear, I thought I'd change it up a bit. I've ranked the Pixar movies before, so I didn't want to do that again. Instead, I have decided to rank just the Toy Story movies, including Lightyear. This franchise is easily one of my favorites. Yes, I love the MCU and Star Wars more as a whole, but as far as individual films go, I think the Toy Story franchise has the best. All of these films are very good to some of the best movies we've seen in the last thirty years. Because of this, this ranking was pretty hard. But I feel good about my list. That said, here's my ranking of all five Toy Story movies, including Lightyear.
While still a good movie, Lightyear is nowhere near the quality of the Toy Story films. It's a very fun sci-fi adventure. It's probably the best-looking film on this list. They do something different and new with the character of Buzz Lightyear. Sox the Cat is an absolute scene-stealer. It has some of the classic Pixar emotion. It's a very entertaining film, but it doesn't have the tight script and complex characters that the Toy Story movies have.
4. Toy Story
To be clear: I love this movie. It's probably still a top ten Pixar movie for me. It's just the weakest of the main Toy Story films for me personally. Toy Story's impact on Hollywood cannot be understated. It's a landmark in cinematic history. The 3-D animation was a technological breakthrough. And, beyond that, this film has a classic story. It's one of the best buddy comedy's out there. The script is air-tight. And it gives us some of the most iconic characters of all time. Twenty-seven years later, the animation doesn't look great, and I feel like it lacks the emotional depth that the later three have, but Toy Story is an amazing movie.
3. Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 takes the franchise in a very clever direction following Toy Story. It flips the script on us. Woody, who was all about being the favorite toy in the first film, now has been stolen. Through being stolen, he learns that maybe he doesn't want to live in Andy's room anymore. We meet some great new characters with Jessie and Stinky Pete and Bullseye. Toy Story 2 ups the fun and the emotions of the franchise, giving us a great sequel that follows up Toy Story in the best way possible.
2. Toy Story 4
Nobody asked for this movie. Nobody thought it would be good. We did not need Toy Story 4...at least, that's what we thought. Toy Story 3 is a great end to the Andy saga of films. Toy Story 4 is almost an epilogue to them. It's a character study of Woody and how he is reacting to living in Bonnie's closet for most of playtime. It's easily the funniest of the Toy Story movies, while also have rich, deep emotions that will make you tear up near the end. The Toy Story movies have always been great because of the character work, and they absolutely nail Woody's arc here. This movie tossed everyone's expectations out the window and gave us one of the best animated films of the last ten years.
1. Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 is my favorite animated movie of all time. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. It's essentially perfect. A darker tone wouldn't seem like a good idea for the franchise, but it works so well. A complex script with moments of sheer intensity as well as the best character work in any of these films makes Toy Story 3 just an absolute dream. There are probably five or six full scenes in this movie that will cause you to cry your eyes out. This movie is just incredible. There's a reason it was a Best Picture nominee. It's the best of the Toy Story films, the best of the Pixar films, and the best of animation. It's perfect.