I was rewatching a couple of Pixar films over the weekend and started thinking about what the greatest Pixar characters were, and it proved to be quite a bit harder than I thought. Originally I wanted to make a top 10 list, but it kind of expanded beyond that and has become a top 15. Anyway this is pure opinion, so if you disagree, well good for you. Be warned there are probably spoilers.
15) Johnny J. Worthing III – Monsters University: Ok my starting point is a pretty weird one. But bear with me, he’s quite a forgettable character in what is not one of Pixar best efforts (although they’re all good bar Cars 2). However Johnny is voiced by Nathan Fillion. So end of discussion, he’s going on the list for that reason, and that reason alone. Apologies better characters, take it up with Fillion.
14) Luigi – Cars/Cars 2: So I’ve never been a huge fan of Cars (I actually disliked Cars 2. Last time I promise), but I enjoyed the first. And the one moment from it that always sticks out to me, is Luigi’s love of Ferrari’s (aka a proper sports car, not this American only good in a straight line nonsense). I know most people’s favourite thing from Cars is Mater, but I just always found Luigi funnier.
13) Buddy Pine/Syndrome – The Incredibles: A great pastiche of comic book villains, from little boy who wants to be a Superhero, to the bitter older man who hates them, yet at the same time still wants the fame and admiration that comes from being one. The most perfect moment for Syndrome is when he acknowledges that he was “almost caught monologuing” by Mr Incredible. But with some other great lines and an even better classic super villain volcano base, Syndrome provides both satire and a good enemy for the Incredibles (Although Bomb Voyage deserves a mention for a brilliant super villain name).
12) Rex – Toy Story/Toy Story 2/Toy Story 3: Ah man, everyone loves Rex, he’s a green dinosaur for crying out loud. I clearly found him the most memorable of Andy’s “background” toys, as I chose to have a Rex action figure (man that was cool). And I love his desperate attempts to defeat Zurg in the video game in Toy Story 2 (whilst we’re at it Zurg was a great Vader pastiche).
11) Hopper – A Bug’s Life: I must have been 4 when A Bug’s Life came out, I.E. just old enough to find Hopper probably the most terrifying villain I can remember. By Randall Boggs, the next great Pixar villain came around, I’d have been 7, so it was no longer scary. In short Hopper is the one Pixar villain I ever found scary. Oh and have I mentioned he was voiced by Kevin Spacey? Well that should be enough for a place on this list all on it’s own.
10) Boo – Monsters Inc: If adorableness was the only qualification for this list, Boo would be right up at the top, but as it is she makes it up to number 10. I mean seriously if you can think of anything more adorable, you are wrong. Simple as. I was always so happy Boo was reunited with “Kitty” in the end.
9) Bruce – Finding Nemo: It was kinda close between Bruce and Crush, but in the end, Bruce one out because I find the idea of a Shark in a 12 step program to stop eating Fish hilarious (like seriously, what are they eating instead?). Also some great quotes like “fish are friends, not food”, rather than just dude and woah. Also its Barry Humphries, what the hell? Dame Edna is Bruce… thats just weird (although not quite as weird as one of the other sharks being voiced by Eric Bana).
8) Lucius Best/Frozone – The Incredibles: “Where is my super-suit?”. Probably the best scene in one of the greatest animated or superhero films ever made. That’s why Frozone is up here. The Samuel L Jackson voiced, Iceman rip off just had to be somewhere up this list.
7) Woody – Toy Story/Toy Story 2/Toy Story 3: To be honest Woody kind of has to be here. He’s the main guy in the definitive Pixar films, He’s voiced brilliantly by Tom Hanks and his friendship with Buzz is so brilliant and central to the films, although I don’t want to say too much about it now, instead I’ll address it when I get to Buzz.
6) Mike Wazowski – Monsters Inc/Monsters University: The cheerful, little, green, one-eyed monster is just lovable. Mike brings a lot of humour to Monsters Inc, but more than that, he manages to bring a lot of heart and emotion through his friendship with Sully (although it’s not quite Woody and Buzz). And who could forget that magical improvised musical number “put that thing back where it came from or so help me”.
5) Dug – Up: Right I found numbers 5 – 2 really really hard to order, so yeah, I’ll probably change my mind about 4 seconds after i’ve posted this. Anyway, I’m going with Dug, the talking dog from Up. One of the funniest characters that Pixar have ever (SQUIRREL) created. Up is one of the best Pixar films ever made, seriously those first 10 minutes or so are beautiful and heartbreaking, and Dug is by far my favourite character from it.
4) Edna Mode – The Incredibles: Proof that you don’t need to be in a film for long to make a serious impact. Edna Mode absolutely steals the show from a whole cast of superheroes. Voiced by director Brad Bird (apparently because he nailed it whilst trying to describe it to actresses), she is the eccentric superhero costume designer. Completely over the top, it’s best summed up by Edna’s rant against superheroes having capes, something which comes back to bite Syndrome later in the film. So despite a brief appearance, it’s certainly a memorable one.
3) WALL-E – WALL-E: A trash compactor robot who can barely say anything, yet WALL-E manages to be one of the most well rounded, endearing and funny characters Pixar have ever produced. Apparently the only thing left on the earth with the humans having been sent off to space and the rest of the robots having stopped working, he falls in love with EVE another robot sent to scan the earth for any vegetative life. The only Pixar character who could really come close to Boo for sheer adorableness, WALL-E also manages to save the human race from a life of just sitting in front of their computers… I think I WALL-E to save me…
2) Dory – Finding Nemo: Finding Nemo has always been my favourite Pixar film, it’s a story of a single father (Marlin) and son, and Marlin’s journey to accepting his son needs space to grow up and be independent. But the star of the show is really Dory, the forgetful, well meaning, optimistic, fish voiced Ellen DeGeneres, who helps Marlin realise how he needs to be a less overbearing parent. She’s so popular she’ll soon be the star of her own film, Finding Dory. She provides probably the most emotional moment of the film, where she tells Marlin how he makes her feel at home, whilst also providing the majority of the humour in Finding Nemo. Who can forget her annoyingly catchy “just keep swimming” song? And I’m sure we all still remember the address on the scuba mask, so come on, say it with me… P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way Sydney.
1) Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story/Toy Story 2/Toy Story 3: Easily the most iconic character Pixar have ever created. I know Woody is probably slightly more of a main character in the Toy Story franchise, but Buzz is the one that really grabbed the attention. And to be the great character in probably the second greatest trilogy of all time (2 thing; LOTR is the greatest, and why are they feeling the need to make more Toy Story? It was such a perfect end). There are so many class Buzz moments; falling with style, encountering a Buzz who still thinks he’s a space ranger, SPANISH BUZZ (probably my favourite Toy Story moment). But it’s Buzz’s friendship with Woody that helps bring so much heart to these films. TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!