Pixar or Disney: Which Studio Made the Better Animated Films?


Yes, I realize that Pixar Animation studios is owned by Disney , but for arguments sake just go with it. 

Can an argument be made that Pixar studios has made better animated films than Disney studios? Its something that at first I thought was a no brainer. Disney studios has made some of the most memorable classic films in the history of film. Films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Snow White, The Little Mermaid are unfamiliar to no one. I mean you pick your personal favorites and they will most likely be universally viewed as good-great films. Obviously, there’s no debate quantity wise since Disney has been around a lot longer, but what about quality?

I’m treating this argument as Disney being the heavy favorite to win your opinion, which is totally understandable. However, I feel like its a closer call than one would naturally assume. As of June this year, with Pixar’s latest film Inside Out hitting theaters, the studio will have made 15 animated feature films, seven of which won best animated film at the Oscars.

  • Toy Story
  • A Bug’s Life
  • Toy Story 2
  • Monsters, Inc
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Incredibles
  • Cars
  • Ratatouille
  • Wall-E
  • Up
  • Toy Story 3
  • Cars 2
  • Brave
  • Monsters University
  • Inside Out

Pixar-Movies-and-Characters-toy-story-22923966-500-393-458x360Now the Academy Awards established the Best Animated Feature category in 2001. I will argue that in the last 10 years, animated films have the most competitive between Disney/Pixar and other studios w/ films like Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, etc. I’m looking at this list and after some thought, suddenly the debate isn’t so much a no brainer. The 3-D animated studio has for years delivered great film after great film, with original stories (some exceptions like Cars 2).

I honestly have favorites on both sides. The stories that Disney films tell are so incredible and full of heart. They are some of the best films cherished by us at a young age. On the other hand, the messages delivered within a Pixar film really hit me, because its something I can relate to (Toy Story 3). I can’t think of a Disney animated film that made me really sad within the first ten minutes like Up. Arguments can be made on both sides, and in the end it really comes down to personal preference. You take five of Disney’s best animated films and five of Pixar’s best animated films, and I think it’ll be less of a landslide and more of a showdown.

Right now…. I’ll say that Disney studios has made the better animated films, however, Pixar is very capable of surpassing them later on down the road, especially if Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur are on the level of some of the studio’s best. Of course, its a win-win for Disney anyways (who is slowly taking over the world) and I just thought this was an interesting question to ask.

Which studio do you think delivered better films in your opinion?

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Categories: Editorials

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5 replies »

  1. It could also be a generational thing as far as preference. I mean I grew up w/ The Lion King and Aladdin on VHS. Today’s kids have 3-D animation films on Blu-Ray, which might be more appealing.

  2. It is definitely Disney for me. I only enjoyed the Monsters franchise from Pixar, and I hate Toy Story ever since it was released. However, I have a strong bias towards Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. You can read about my posts on Disney on my blog! Will like to hear your opinion.

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