Top 40 Pixar Characters, From ‘Toy Story’ to ‘Finding Dory’ (Videos)
Pixar has created many memorable characters over the years. Here are our picks of the best
Jeremy Fuster | June 11, 2016 @ 11:21 AM
Last Updated: June 12, 2016 @ 10:29 AM
Over the past two decades, Pixar has left an indelible mark in cinema. At its peak, it hit home run after home run, creating instant classics with memorable characters. Now that the studio is returning to its past glory with films like "Inside Out" and "Finding Dory," we ask: who is Pixar's greatest character? Read on to find out who we picked.
40.) Roz -- The ultimate workplace nightmare, played hilariously by Pixar veteran Bob Peterson.
39.) Fillmore -- A bit character in "Cars" elevated by George Carlin, who brought back his famous hippie routine one last time to play the character.
38.) Anger -- Sometimes, typecasting can do wonders for a movie. Take "Inside Out," which featured legendary stand-up ranter Lewis Black as the embodiment of rage.
37.) Spanish Buzz -- Buzz Lightyear appears later on this list, but his Spanish alter-ego in "Toy Story 3" was such a showstopper that he deserved a spot of his own.
36.) Crush -- Not only did Andrew Stanton create "Finding Nemo," he lent his voice to one of its most popular characters. Crush has gone on to star in his own Disney World attraction, where he interacts with guests and teaches them about sea turtles.
35.) Mater -- Some people got sick of Larry The Cable Guy's rusty truck when he became the center of the "Cars" franchise, but he remains one of Pixar's great inventions for his earnest desire to be friends with Lightning McQueen.
34.) Kevin -- The goofy, emu-like bird from "Up" has some of the best slapstick gags and mannerisms Pixar has ever come up with. He's also voiced by the film's director and two-time Oscar winner Pete Docter.
33.) Butch -- Some Pixar characters sell themselves just on their premise. Take this one: Sam Elliott plays cowboy T-Rex. If those five words don't put a grin on your face, you need to watch "The Big Lebowski." Or some more Coors commercials. Either works.
32.) Sanjay -- Sometimes Pixar's best characters come from their shorts. In his first directing gig at Pixar, Sanjay Patel created an animated version of himself as a kid for an Oscar-nominated short detailing the impact old traditions and new cultures can have on both parent and child.
31.) Linguini -- Like Kevin, Linguini is a character whose best moments allow for the Pixar animators to show off their stuff. Watching Remy steer the klutzy young chef around the kitchen like Octodad in "Ratatouille" is a delight.
30.) Randall Boggs -- The villain of "Monsters Inc." is an unsung gem on the Pixar roster. Steve Buscemi gives Randall that slimy feel with his performance, and Randall's chameleon powers and lightning quick moments make him feel like a true threat.
29.) Day and Night -- These two characters from the short film of the same name that embody Pixar's passion for experimentation. Day and Night are rivals turned friends whose ability to show the best of both times of day is both creative and funny.
28.) Little Green Men -- The Minions can only wish they were this cute and charming. Their worship of The Claw also pays off beautifully in "Toy Story 3."
27.) Mr. Potato Head -- With Mr. PH, John Lasseter and the "Toy Story" team got to really have fun with the physical humor you can have with a toy character.
26.) Bambino -- Another character from a short film. Bambino comes from "La Luna," a story about a boy choosing his own path as he enters a family business unlike any other.
25.) Sully -- John Goodman's known for movies in which he pulls a gun out during a bowling tournament, but "Monsters Inc." gave him a chance to show his gentler side. The irony of a sweetheart like Sully being the best at scaring children shows how well PIxar turns conventional thinking on its head with their story concepts.
24.) Bruce -- Speaking of shaking up conventional thinking, here's a shark that wants to fight predator stereotypes. Before "Zootopia" took the idea of animals striving to rise above base instinct and ran with it, "Finding Nemo" did it with the species that "Jaws" made infamous.
23.) Dash -- A chipper little boy from "The Incredibles" who wants nothing more than to use his superpowers all the time, just like any kid in his position would. Boy, does he get to use them, in one of the most exciting action scenes in the Pixar canon.
22.) Doc Hudson -- A jaded old car played by the late, great Thomas Newman. Hudson's dirt racing scene does a great job of capturing the beauty of rally car racing.
21.) Rex -- He never gets the glory of his "Toy Story" costars Woody or Buzz, but Rex's antsy mannerisms are always an absolute hoot, as is Wallace Shawn's endearing voice.
20.) Mike Wazowski -- The story of "Monsters Inc." is about Sully and Boo, but Mike is the best character from the film. He's also the most unfortunate, suffering one pratfall after another.
19.) Frozone -- Samuel L. Jackson is a cinematic treasure, and his performance in "The Incredibles" adds to his legacy. Here's the fight between Frozone and his wife that got included in every trailer and tv spot for this film.
18.) Luxo, Jr. -- Pixar's first character, and the one that graces its logo. Through motion alone, John Lasseter and his team demonstrated with Luxo the ability to express character in computer animation.
17.) Elastigirl -- She left most of the goofy moments in "The Incredibles" to her family, but Helen Parr has the toughest job: being both a mother and a superhero. She does both quite well.
16.) Remy -- Patton Oswalt is a bit of a rascal when doing stand-up, but he got a chance to show his gentler side as the rodent hero of "Ratatouille." His best scene is his description of the wonders of food, using colors and sounds to symbolize how chefs experiment with flavor.
15.) Mr. Incredible -- Does Bob Parr want to save the world for the thrill of it or because he can't stand seeing people in danger? Turns out, it's a bit of both. Mr. Incredible's struggles with forced mediocrity are sure to hit close to home with many adults, while his maturity into a true superhero marked a new stage in Pixar's evolution, as it moved away from anthropomorphized characters for a more human tale.
14.) Dug -- Like Roz, Dug is voiced by Bob Peterson, and boy is he adorable! Sometimes animators don't do quite enough to give talking animals more traits related to their species. Not here. Dug talks exactly how one would imagine an enthusiastic, eager-to-please canine would talk.
13.) EVE -- Pixar was co-founded by Steve Jobs, which makes it a little fitting that EVE looks like a Pixar character that walked out of an Apple store. She starts out as a detached, mostly emotionless character, and then gains more and more personality as the film goes on.
12.) Edna -- The funniest Pixar character ever made, and like Crush, he's voiced by the director. Brad Bird turns famous fashion designer Edith Head into a designer that, as Edna says, makes suits for gods.
11.) Andy -- Andy was a bit of a flat character at first, but seeing him as a man grown in "Toy Story 3" is a shock to the system. In a way, a grown Andy symbolizes just how far "Toy Story" and Pixar have come, and there were surely many millennials who grew up with Woody and Buzz who could identify with what Andy experienced saying goodbye to childhood.
10.) Ellie -- How does a character with so little screen time make the top 10? By having one of the most poignant montages in animated history. In just a few minutes, Pete Docter shows the sweetness of love, followed by the tragic loss that always comes at the end.
9.) Sadness -- Another Pete Docter character, one that delivers one of Pixar's most impactful messages to adults. We never stop dealing with emotions in our lives, and despair and sadness have important roles to play in our lives just like joy.
8.) Bing Bong -- And now here's ANOTHER Pete Docter character! Just a few years removed from "Toy Story 3," Pixar once again says goodbye to childhood, only this time the beloved childhood figure is an imaginary friend rather than a toy.
7.) Merida -- After years and years of male protagonists and directors, Brenda Chapman and Merida left their mark on Pixar with "Brave." Their mark was so big that when Disney added Merida to their Disney Princess roster with a thinner, cleaned-up makeover, fans revolted en masse.
6.) Carl -- The protagonist of "Up" is one of the best designed humans Pixar has made. He starts as an adorable, round little boy, and then ends up as a block-shaped old man. His life with Ellie and his grumpy behavior after her death are both a textbook lesson in establishing character through movement.
5.) Dory -- It's little wonder Dory is getting her own movie now. The blue tang is charming and rattles off gag after gag that kids everywhere parroted as they left the theater, from speaking whale to "P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney"
4.) Anton Ego -- In "Ratatouille," the legendary Peter O'Toole voices Anton Ego and gives a speech about the hard truths critics must face...as well as their importance to the world of art and creative work. The speech is some of the finest work on any Pixar script.
3.) Buzz Lightyear -- Brave, grandiose, and completely delusional. Buzz's journey from quixotic space ranger to devoted toy was Pixar's first character arc, and his catchphrases and special features grabbed everyone's attention from the moment he first appeared onscreen
2.) Woody -- He might not be as cool as Buzz, but he's voiced by America's uncle, Tom Hanks. That's enough to put him above the toy from Star Command, but his trilogy-long journey accepting his changing relationship with Andy is what seals the deal.
1.) WALL-E -- After eight movies of characters with famous voice actors and catchphrases, Pixar created a protagonist that barely says anything in a film with no real dialogue for the first half-hour. The result was Wall-E, an endearing, sweet little bot with a sense of responsibility and courage we should all aspire to. He is the shining example of Pixar's creative mastery.