From 'Toy Story' to 'Brave': Your Essential Guide to Pixar's Movies
12:05 PM PDT 6/19/2012 by THR Staff
Pixar's 13th film, "Brave," set for release on June 22, features the studio's first leading heroine -- a Scottish princess who bucks tradition named Merida. In honor of Merida's debut, THR takes a look back now at Pixar's dazzling history, revisiting box office successes, technical innovations, awards and fun facts about each film.
About: Cowboy doll Woody (Tom Hanks) and group of toys who come to life when their human owner isn’t around deal with the invasion of a new toy, Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen).
Pixar First: The film that started it all, Toy Story was the very first full-length CGI film and established the Emeryville, Calif.-based studio as a force in the animation universe.
Box Office: $362 million worldwide
Fun Fact: The Avengers helmer Joss Whedon co-wrote the screenplay.
A Bug's Life (1998)
About: An oddball ant named Flik (Dave Foley) who hires some other bugs, who are actually circus performers, to fight off a band of bully grasshoppers.
Pixar First: This was the first film to have outtakes during the closing credits.
Box Office: $363.4 million worldwide
Fun Fact: The film inspired two theme park attractions: “A Bug’s Land” at Disney’s California Adventure and “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
About: The talking toys return, with Woody (Tom Hanks) being taken by a toy collector and set to be sold to a toy museum in Tokyo, Japan.
Pixar First: Toy Story 2 was the first sequel for stars Hanks and Tim Allen.
Box Office: $485 million worldwide.
Fun Fact: Mattel didn't allow Barbie to appear in the first Toy Story, but after that proved to be a major success, the company allowed for their signature doll to appear in Toy Story 2.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
About: Monsters are tasked with powering the city of Monstropolis by scaring children, but they themselves are afraid of said children contaminating them.
Pixar First:Monsters, Inc. was one of the first films ever to be nominated in the category of best animated film. (It lost to Shrek.)
Box Office: $363.3 million worldwide.
Fun Fact: John Ratzenberger, who voices the Abominable Snowman, has worked on every Pixar film and is considered by some to be a lucky charm for the studio.
The Incredibles (2004)
About: An undercover family of superheroes is forced to put back on their superhero suits to save the world.
Pixar First:The Incredibles was first movie to focus on mostly human characters and the first to receive a PG rating.
Box Office: $631.4 million worldwide.
Fun Fact: When Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is fighting crime in an early scene of the movie, the streets on his GPS are based on the streets near the Pixar Animation Studios building.
Finding Nemo (2003)
About: Clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) teams up with a regal tang named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) to search for his abducted son Nemo (Alexander Gould).
Pixar First: Finding Nemo was the first Pixar film to win the best animated film Academy Award.
Box Office: $867.8 million worldwide
Fun Fact: Darla, the niece of the dentist with a habit of accidentally killing her pets, was named after Darla K. Anderson, a Pixar employee.
About: Racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) accidentally damages the road in the small town of Radiator Springs and is sentenced to repair it, making some new friends along the way.
Pixar First:Cars was the first Pixar movie to be rendered with the ray tracing technique, which allows the cars to accurately reflect the environment around them.
Box Office: $462 million worldwide.
Fun Fact: The character Lightning McQueen is a reference to Glenn McQueen, a Pixar animator who died in 2002.
About: Remy the rat (Patton Oswalt) arrives in Paris to find that his favorite chef has died, so he works with a kitchen’s garbage boy to reach his culinary dreams.
Pixar First: When it's revealed that Luigi was born out of wedlock, he becomes the first illegitimate child in a Disney film. Prior to Ratatouille, children in Disney films without parents were either orphans or stepchildren, but had been born in wedlock.
Box Office: $623.7 million worldwide.
Fun Fact: Pixar worked with chef Thomas Keller at his restaurant French Laundry in order to learn more about the art of cooking.
About: A robot named WALL-E who is tasked with cleaning up waste on Earth falls in love with a robot named EVE, and follows her into outerspace.
Pixar First: While EVE was in WALL-E's home, he showed her a video of the song "It Only Takes a Moment" from Hello, Dolly! It was the first live-action clip to be incorporated into a Pixar movie.
Box Office: $623.7 million worldwide.
Fun Fact: The wind that can be heard while WALL-E is on Earth is made up of recordings of Niagara Falls.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
About: Andy is finally leaving for college, and his beloved toys accidentally get delivered to a day care.
Pixar First:Toy Story 3 was the first sequel to be nominated for the best picture Academy Award without any of its predecessors being nominated. (It lost to The King's Speech, but won for best animated film.) It's also the first animated film to make more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide.
Box Office: $1.063 billion worldwide
Fun Fact: Barbie's fetching workout outfit was modeled after the 1984 “Great Shape” Barbie Doll.
About: After losing his wife, 78-year-old Carl (Edward Asner) sets out to see the wilds of South America by tying hundreds of balloons to his home and flying away. Russell (Jordan Nagai), a young wilderness explorer, becomes a stowaway on the adventure.
Pixar First:Up was Pixar's first film to be released in 3D.
Box Office: $731.3 million
Fun Fact: The eager and energetic Russell wears more layers of clothing than any other Pixar character. These include a shirt, a sash covered with badges, a neckerchief and a backpack.
Cars 2 (2011)
About: Lightning McQueen (Wilson) returns and, with his pal Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), heads overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race.
Pixar First:Cars 2 was the first Disney/Pixar film not nominated in the best snimated Feature category since the category was established in 2001.
Box Office: $559.8 million
Fun Fact: Lightning McQueen's "Lightyear" tires are an ode to Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear. His number, 95, is a shoutout to the year 1995, when Pixar's very first feature film was released.
About: Scottish princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) doesn't want to live a traditional life and, when chaos breaks out in the kingdom, is forced to rely on her bravery and archery skills to fight a terrible curse.
Pixar First: Merida is Pixar's first leading heroine.
Box Office: Opens in theaters June 22.
Fun Fact: The red-haired Merida has more than 1,500 individually sculpted, curly strands that create about 111,700 total hairs.