We get into arguments about Pixar all the time around the office. Why? When your average film garners approval from 95 percent of the critics there's plenty of room for disagreement. It becomes a bit like choosing your favorite spice. Can you really find the exact difference between red and white pepper?
So we decided to strip out all the emotion and focus on four crucial categories we could measure objectively. They are, in no particular order:
1. Fan reaction
2. Critical reaction
3. Box office results
4. Academy Award nominations
We adjusted for inflation (so as not to punish the '90s films) and gave Up a ceremonial four Oscar noms (as Pixar has averaged that per film in this decade).
Here are the results, from 10th to first, for Pixar: By The Numbers:
10. A Bug's Life
Commentary: No surprise here -- the film ranks last in worldwide cume, last in fan ranking, ties for last on Academy Award nominations and was ninth in critical response.
Commentary: The lowest rated (by a whopping 16 percent) RottenTomatoes number out there. Cars was also only one of the two Pixar films to make under $500 million, once adjusted for inflation.
8. Toy Story 2
Commentary: Here is where it starts getting really difficult, because clearly Toy Story 2 is a very solid film. However, it only received one Oscar nomination and wasn't as beloved by the fans as the original Toy Story.
7. Toy Story
Commentary: The original Toy Story, all the way back in 1995, was an innovative classic. However, as such, the public didn't yet have awareness of Pixar, and so the box office results are only around $532 million once adjusted for inflation. On the plus side, it remains one of only two Pixar films to garner a perfect 100% Tomato-Meter score.
Commentary: Only three Pixar films have made a bigger splash at the box office, and Monsters, Inc.'s four Academy Award nominations speak to its greatness. No one said our numerical quest to rank all 10 Pixar efforts was gonna be easy!
Commentary: Up finished in the bottom third of all Pixar films at the box office, but it's certainly appreciated by the people who saw it -- only Wall-E ranks higher with the fans.
Commentary: This dynamic film ranks second financially and fifth with the critics and fans. Probably the most broadly commercial of Pixar's work, you'll see it didn't crack the top three because it was beaten by ...
Commentary: If you'll pardon my pun, people ate this cooking rat up. The Academy in particular dug the French-inspired classic, rewarding it with a massive five nominations.
2. Finding Nemo
Commentary: Adjusted for inflation, this film crossed the billion dollar mark. Not too shabby! It also earned a blistering 98 percent on RottenTomatoes and was rewarded with four Oscar noms.
Commentary: IMDb.com currently has it rated as the 42nd best film of all time. It also tops the charts on Pixar Academy noms with six -- count 'em, six -- including a win for Best Animated Feature. Oddly, the majority of Pixar films made more than Wall-E, but its strength in the other categories carried the day.