Anyone who says they have a favorite Pixar film is wrong. Oh, you like Toy Story the best? No you don’t. You say you that Up is obviously the best film the studio has made? You’re wrong.
I see lists like this all the time such as: “Pixar Films Ranked from best to Worst” and “Top Ten Pixar Films.” Although there is some merit to these rankings and your personal ranking of these films, in the end, you are still wrong.
People like lists. They like items to be ranked in order of quality. However, this system does not apply to everything, such as: listing one’s own children, Cold Stone Ice Cream combinations and Pixar films. There are no “bad” Pixar movies, but I can use maybe a finger or two to count the lesser ones.
The rest of the Pixar films are timeless, unforgettable, and rankless. For example, Toy Story 3 is just as good as Finding Nemo, even if they are completely different. That’s the thing, they simply cannot be compared. The former film is great because it wrapped up Andy’s childhood (and may your own) while his toys moved to a new owner that they will love just as much, whereas the latter film is about a father understanding that he can’t always be there for his son, but that he must learn to trust him.
Although some Pixar films might have a similar theme, such as Up and Inside Out, one does not execute it better than the other; they execute it differently, to equally amazing results. For example, both films wonderfully illustrate the difficulties and periods of acceptance while moving on in life to not necessarily better things, but to different things. Riley (and her emotions) and Carl Fredrickson become changed people by the end of their respective films, and it feels real and natural. One film shows this through an old man chasing a dream in his floating house, another does through the bureaucracy of the intricate universe of emotions present in an 11-year-old girl.
What sets Pixar apart from other American animation studios is that their films are their deep and unique lesson applicable to all stages in life lesson at their cores, layer atop kid-friendly and pretty to look at cartoons on the surface.
So no, Ratatouille is not Pixar’s best film. Nor is Wall-E. All of them are equal (minus Cars 2) for the very reasons mentioned above. Each is unique and important.