The animation studio Pixar never fails to release some of the most emotionally mature animated films, from the recently released Turning Red to the classic adventure film A Bug’s Life. The acclaimed animation studio finds the most outlandish and outrageous concepts and turns them into an adventure film that can teach children (and adults) a ton of valuable life lessons.
That being said, some Pixar titles are too hyped for their own good. From the superhero film Incredibles 2 to the inspirational film Ratatouille, Reddit users dish out the top Pixar films that they think are overrated.
UPDATE: 2023/01/14 12:00 EST BY SHAWN S. LEALOS
2022 was a bad year for Pixar. The studio has regularly put out some of the best animated movies in the world year after year, but that stalled out in this year. First off, Lightyear was the first Pixar movie released in theaters since before COVID-19 shut things down, and it was a commercial and critical flop. It wasn’t that the movie was bad. It was just not what fans of Toy Story expected. The second problem is that Disney has disrespected Pixar for three years, releasing great movies like Soul and Turning Red onto Disney+ instead of in theaters, diminishing the perceived worth of the brand. With that said, there are still people out there who don’t always see magic in Pixar movies and think even the critically acclaimed Pixar films aren’t that special.
Coco was a massively popular Pixar movie, taking fans into the life of the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. The story was about a boy who loved music, while his family strictly prohibited him from listening to or playing it. However, when he ended up transported to the Land of the Dead, he learned all the secrets his family had withheld from him.
However, while it was an Oscar winner and won countless awards in 2017, Redditor NeoNiCally wasn’t impressed. When listing his most overrated Pixar movies, he named Coco on his list, saying “might need to rewatch this one to reevaluate but wasn’t a big fan of this one.” With its 94 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, he is very much in the minority on this one.
Bugs Life (1998)
One of the biggest problems with A Bug’s Life was that it immediately followed Toy Story and hit around the same time as Antz. This one-two punch meant that fans, at the time, didn’t consider it to be as original of an idea as Toy Story, and the quick succession of animated bug movies made it quickly forgettable for Pixar.
With that said, people have reevaluated it lately and have given a new level of appreciation for the movie as a Pixar movie that deserves more attention. However, Redditor plasmadad disagrees. When talking about the most overrated Pixar movies, they wrote, “Bugs life…Antz was way better!” Even now, 24 years after their release, some fans can’t stop comparing it to Antz.
There is an unnatural level of hate for the Cars franchise at Pixar. However, the first movie has always played as a sweet love story for the loss of the small towns thanks to interstate highways such as those along the historic Route 66. That is the real charm of Cars.
Despite that, some fans can’t look past NASCAR and Larry the Cable Guy being too lowbrow for a Pixar movie. When looking at overrated Pixar movies, RiverfrontStreetcar wrote, “Cars isn’t even “meh”. It’s straight-up bad.” It seems that no matter how many people rediscover this movie, there will always be people who hate everything about it.
Toy Story 4 (2019)
The fourth and final entry in the Toy Story series sees the return of the beloved characters, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Bo Peep. In the movie, the toys are brought on a road trip by their new owner Bonnie. However, the trip doesn’t go as planned as the toys meet old friends at a carnival.
Critics adore Toy Story 4 for perfectly concluding the animated epic in a heartwarming and funny way. However, Redditor AnteaterPersonal3093 thinks that Toy Story 3 is the film that should have ended the franchise as every toy “had their arcs and time to shine”.
Luca is one of Pixar’s more recent releases. Set on a beautiful Italian coast, the film follows Luca, a young sea creature who dreams of exploring the human world. After meeting an orphaned sea creature, Alberto, Luca gains more courage to mingle with humans and dreams of a life beyond the sea.
Luca is one of the best offerings from Pixar. Reviewers note that the film is sweet and charming, and perfectly shows how enduring a friendship can be as long as they have a strong bond. But on Reddit, imSOsalty admits that she’s not a big fan of the film and said, “I had only been watching for 20 minutes. I was that bored that I thought an hour had gone by”.
Some viewers say that the emotional moment in Up where Carl and Ellie’s love story was shown shouldn’t be seen by kids due to how sad and depressing it is. Despite that, there are plenty of life lessons that kids will learn from the Oscar-winning Pixar movie.
Up has received a good number of accolades due to its adventure-filled scenes and poignant narrative. In a Reddit thread, user flawedconstellation notes that they recently revised the film and thinks that while the film does have some great scenes, there are better Pixar movies that “pack more punch with more fun”.
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Many film viewers always thought that Pixar’s The Incredibles has warranted a sequel. In the long-awaited second outing, beloved superhero characters like Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Flash, and Jack-Jack come back to save the day. However, they find themselves in a tight spot as they have to balance their hero lives with their everyday ones.
Brad Bird’s film was warmly received by critics thanks to its excellently written script, dazzling CGI, and intriguing plot. Unfortunately, Readlt0nReddit thinks that Incredibles 2 is an “atrocious” sequel that’s “only decent at best”.
Wall-E is a space adventure film that puts the spotlight on the titular character, a solitary robot left on Earth to clean the garbage from centuries of human industrialization. The robot falls in love with another robot called EVE who is on a mission to find any signs of sustainable life on Earth.
The film received positive reviews for its incredible visuals, thought-provoking plot, and adorable lead characters. On Reddit, flawedconstellation says that the film’s great concept was delivered with “meh execution” and that they “never have enjoyed it all that much.”
Ratatouille might have one of the most bizarre plots for a children’s animated film. In the movie, an aspiring chef named Linguini makes his way to the top with the assistance of Remy, a rat who has a special talent for cooking. Remy hides under Linguini’s hat and controls him by pulling on his hair.
The stunningly-animated movie was able to capture the hearts of viewers thanks to its exquisite soundtrack, mouthwatering animation, and irresistible characters. On Reddit, PantsClock says that they like the film’s villain and setting, but find the movie to be “just eh”.
Finding Nemo (2003)
Nobody can deny the cultural impact of Pixar’s Finding Nemo. The film made aquatic creatures like clownfishes and turtles cool by simply following the story of an overprotective father who is on a mission to rescue his son.
The film received critical acclaim for its enthralling screenplay, iconic characters, and striking visual elements. But in a Reddit post, Emperor-of-the-Chins doesn’t understand why Finding Nemo is “compared to genuine classics” and finds that the death of Nemo’s mother is a “prime example of emotional manipulation” even if it plays “a pivotal part in the story”.
Pixar’s Brave takes on a darker tone compared to other films under the animation studio. In the movie, Princess Merida of DunBroch needs to reverse the curse that caused her mother to turn into a bear.
Brave touches on many themes centered around the idea of family, such as the fragile trust between parents and children and figuring out how to be independent. But Redditor Sorry_Barley writes that the movie is “not worth it” and is “anticlimactic”. However, some viewers beg to differ and think that Brave is a Disney movie that needs more attention.
Turning Red (2022)
Featuring red pandas, snazzy aunts, and a cute boy band, Turning Red is one of Pixar’s most fun films. The story follows Mei Lee, a Chinese-Canadian student who aims to please her parents every chance she gets. Mei discovers that like the other women in the family, she turns into a gigantic red panda whenever she experiences extreme emotions.
Turning Red has received rave reviews from critics for being culturally expansive and featuring a well-written coming-of-age story. Redditor Wheatles_BiteAlbum offers a dissenting opinion, though, as they think that the movie has a “distinctly bad message” and a “disappointing” plot.
Onward tells the story of two elf brothers who are looking for an item that can help bring their dead father back to life. During their journey, they meet other magical creatures, such as a manticore, a centaur, a cyclops, and a pixie.
While it’s not as good as the “classic” Pixar films, Onward manages to stand out by coupling a heartwarming story with superbly animated adventure scenes. Reddit user lanismycousin highlights that even though they enjoyed Onward, they found that it “wasn’t on par” with their expectations for Pixar movies.