#7

#7 - FRIENDS FOREVER ...AND BEYOND

Let’s be honest, as Woody and pals headed down the conveyer belt toward the incinerator, there wasn’t a dry-eye.  This powerful sequence reminded us what personal connections we had built with our Pixar friends since the film’s first installment in 1995. Rather than struggle, the gang’s final traumatic moments were hand-in-hand, huddled closely, accepting of their ultimate destiny. It’s this insight into mortality, even if through the eyes of inanimate plastic toys, which makes this moment so relatable and personal.

Fun fact: Toy Story 3 is the first sequel to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar without any of its predecessors being nominated.

#19

#19 - The Great Escape

When Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom burst on the scene in 1981, college professor of archeology and quasi-hero Indiana Jones possessed a unique balance of cynicism, romance, imperfections and brilliance. Han Solo ~ I mean Harrison Ford ~ brilliantly embodied the believable treasure hunter. His pratfalls and near-misses only drew us closer to him, along with his abundance of strained relationships. With boulders crashing toward him, we cheered, we laughed, we were riveted.  Only moments later, we were equally drawn to the complex dramatic sequences on religion and faith. Indiana Jones is the complete package which has stood the test of time: just check the wait times for Indiana Jones Adventure attractions at Disney’s theme parks.

Fun Fact: Freeze-framing during the Well of Souls scene you can notice a golden pillar with a tiny engraving of R2D2 and C3PO from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). They are also on the wall behind Indy when they first approach the Ark.

#21

#21 - Flynn's New World

In many respects, the release of Tron in 1982 spawned the beginning  of the comic book, computer programming, video game and all-around geek cool culture. The revolutionary visual effects, coupled with the hybrid animation and live action sequences created a stunning adventure into the computer mainframe, better known as “the grid.” While the film was met with mixed reviews, the sensational special effects and computer graphics were a milestone in the industry, gaining appreciation and cult status over the years. In an era when Pac-Man and Pong were the extent of many people’s “grid” experience, Tron’s illuminated Frisbees, light cycles, fluorescent tank mazes and “bit” and “byte” references may well have been beyond our grasp and ahead of its time.

Fun Fact: The beloved arcade game Tron, which we all stood in line for hours to play, was a massive hit and actually outgrossed the film.

#22

#22- Again

After five years of production, Pixar released Monsters, Inc. in 2001. The film is centered in Monstropolis, where super-sized furry James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (John Goodman) and his one-eyed green partner and best friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) generate the city's power by scaring children. Then came Boo, the adorable child who wanders into Monstropolis, threatening to “contaminate” the entire city and striking fear into the monsters themselves. In early drafts, Boo was to be six years old, however writers ultimately decided to make Boo younger as it would make her more dependent on Sulley. Pixar animators also found new ways to render fur and cloth realistically for the film, which contributed to the instant box office success and popularity of the franchise.

Fun fact: About 3:26 into the movie, when the simulation is ended and the monster reaches for a knob on the control panel to review the videotape, just below and to the left of the knob is an indicator which reads "510-752-3000", Pixar's phone number.

#26

#26 - Forget Me Not
What do you get when you combine an Marlin, an overprotective clownfish and a regal tang named Dory? The highest grossing G-rated film of all-time (until Toy Story 3 overtook it), 40 million DVDs sold and three Academy Award nominations. Finding Nemo catapulted Pixar into another stratosphere, with critics overwhelmingly gushing over everything from the underwater animation to the unique play on parental anxiety. Ellen DeGeneres’ enchanting portrayal as Dory captured our hearts through a funny, touching and clever human – I mean fish – story. 

Fun Fact: A sequel, Finding Dory, is in production currently scheduled for release on June 17, 2016.

#29

#29 - Super Suit

In 2004, The Incredibles was Disney/Pixar’s sixth feature length film, but ironically the first to showcase an entirely all-human cast. Fans adored the first-family of “Supers” – Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, Violet and Jack-Jack – during a retro-style “Golden” era alternate universe. Director and writer Brad Bird created a unique blend of action, inter-personal relationships, suburban life and humor, with Lucius Best, better known as Frozone (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) embodying it all! Super hero crime fighting one day, bowling another, with an occasional misplaced super suit is about as “real” – and adorable – a super hero film can get.  

Fun Fact: Brad Bird got the idea for the film in the early 1990s, basing the story on his own experiences trying to balance a career with family.

#30

#30 - Jack

Jack Sparrow’s endearing drunken quirkiness alone deserves a place on our top 30 moments. Add the Black Pearl, the action and theme park attraction tie-ins and we had an instant classic! The infamous pirate of the seas, Jack Sparrow and Pirates of the Caribbean resurrected pirate-mania, similar to that of the cowboy and western craze in the 1950’s. With Sparrow’s character based on a combination of Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards and Pepe Le Pew, it’s not surprising fans were captivated by Johnny Depp’s portrayal. The first release in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, was an instant success, and has parlayed a franchise topping $3.7 billion worldwide with a fifth film currently in production.
 
Fun Fact: Robert De Niro was offered the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, but declined under the belief the movie wouldn't do well in the box office as many other pirate movies in the past. He was proved wrong and subsequently accepted the role of Captain Shakespeare in the movie Stardust (2007).