After Monsters University, people have been flocking back to the DVD collections to remind themselves the charms of the Pixar franchise. Not only are they designed for children, but their lasting formula make them brilliant pieces of cinema as a whole and worthy of an audience of all ages. I have also been delving into my Pixar past and have collated the top ten characters from the Pixar universe. Have I missed any? Leave a comment below.
10 – HAMM
Film: Toy Story
Out of all of the Toy Story gang, Hamm is the one that I find myself drawn to the most. He is the cynical outsider of the group (he is a piggy bank, not a toy), always quick with the sarcasm and often winning the more adult audience members over. Despite this grumpy manner, he is always throwing himself head-first into the action and steals a lot of screen time. No matter where you are in the film, more often than not, Hamm is at the side-lines, earning every laugh thrown his way.
9 – BIG BABY
Film: Toy Story 3
In a franchise full of cuddly characters and child-friendly heroes, Toy Story 3 surprised us with the chilling villain of Big Baby. Big Baby is the sentry and henchman of the movie, seemingly gifted with unlimited strength and no conscience. Big Baby is the stuff of nightmares, which ironically the child audience will probably laugh over, while the adult viewers will be quietly terrified by. Big Baby isn’t all doom and gloom though. In the final act, Pixar give Big Baby the best storyline that becomes the main catalyst for the finale. It is always nice to see that the writers don’t fall back on the original heroes and try to come up with new characters.
8 – FRO-ZONE
Film: The Incredibles
Animated or not, Fro-Zone is quite clearly Samuel L Jackson. There is something very comic-book like about Sam Jackson’s voice, really winning over the kids with the charm and action. Thankfully, Fro-Zone is kept for the final act, focusing more on the Incredible family than his buddy relationship with Mr. Incredible. The finale is great and Fro-Zone adds some last-minute excitement into the mix, stopping the film from rolling to an awkward pause.
7 – TUCK AND ROLL
Film: A Bug’s Life
I had a whole circus of amusing and entertaining characters to choose from here, as all of them deserve a mention. However, I had to go with the child-friendly, Tuck and Roll, for the top spot. They say very little (their one line is: You’re Fired!), but instantly win over the laughs. It is a Pixar staple to have one character – or two in this case – that say very little, but are meant to be the fan favourite. Tuck and Roll could be said to have started this trend. They steal every scene.
6 – MIKE WAZOWSKI
Film: Monsters Inc
Monsters University only reminded me how hilarious Billy Crystal’s turn as the cute, one-eyed blob of a character was. He has a voice that is seemingly designed for animation, instantly putting a smile on anyone’s face. Monsters University was probably just pitched to get Mike Wazowski back on the big screen. If the character doesn’t make you laugh, you have to smile at Boo attempting to say his name. It is the stuff Pixar films should be made of.
5 – PIXAR LAMP
Yeah, OK, I’m cheating here, but the Pixar lamp needs a mention. Whenever the lamp hops onto the big screen, he earns a smile every time. I am more attached to the lamp that I am with any movie character this month. It shows how simple Pixar make animation look. Take an inanimate object and put some childish fun into it. Voila: you have a childhood icon.
4 – BUZZ LIGHTYEAR
Film: Toy Story
I couldn’t skip Buzz Lightyear on this list. He is basically the face of Pixar. The brave space ranger who needs to come to terms with the fact that he is a toy and not a brave space agent. Tim Allen voices him with such comfortable charm that it is impossible not to like the character, even when he is being infuriatingly noble. While Toy Story 2 may have played on the Buzz backstory a little too much, the character himself, is an inspired creation. To Infinity and Beyond!
3 – WALL – E
Film: WALL- E
Again, the character who says nothing is the fan favourite. Here, Pixar gambled and made him the lead star of the show. Credit to Pixar for coming up with a character who says little, but we can emphasise with totally. Wall-E is a character we fell in love with from the first trailer. When he wins us over without a word, Pixar are just showing off. But if they’ve earned that right.
2 – DUG
Up is my personal favourite out of all of the Pixar films, simply because not only is it a great animated kids film, but it is an exceptional piece of cinema. Dug is where Pixar get most of the laughs from. He is the dog with a collar that allows him to convey his thoughts. Cue the stereotypical dog jokes, but done with such precision and humour that each one succeeds. There is also a sense of immense loyalty which will pull at the heart-strings in the third act.
1 – DORY
Film: Finding Nemo
The winner was always going to be Dory. Finding Nemo is the fan favourite film and Dory is one of the main reasons for that. In a movie filled with vegetarian sharks and the best fictional seagulls going, Dory still manages to steal every scene with her absence memory. Fingers crossed that the sequel, Finding Dory, doesn’t damage the fish’s reputation.