The Most Emotional Pixar Movie: A Ranking of the Heartfelt Films

Choose the Film you think is the most emotional!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 6, 2023 06:42)
Welcome to StrawPoll, your go-to platform for settling those heart-wrenching debates! Today, we're diving deep into the realm of Pixar, where emotions run high and tears flow freely. We've put together a ranking of the most emotional Pixar movies, and we want you to cast your vote for the one that tugged at your heartstrings the most. From the bittersweet journey of Woody and Buzz in "Toy Story" to the beautiful father-son adventure in "Finding Nemo", these masterpieces have left us all misty-eyed. So, grab your tissues and join us in this emotional rollercoaster as we reminisce about the touching moments that have become an integral part of our lives. And if you feel that we've missed out on a tear-jerker, don't hesitate to suggest it! Together, let's discover which Pixar movie has the power to move us like no other.

What Is the Most Emotional Pixar Movie?

  1. 1
    This movie tells a heart-wrenching story of love and loss, as an elderly man fulfills his lifelong dream of adventure with his late wife's spirit by his side.
    Up is a heartwarming and visually stunning animated film that was released in 2009. It follows the story of Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman who embarks on an adventure to fulfill his late wife's dream of exploring Paradise Falls in South America. Along the way, he meets a young wilderness explorer named Russell and encounters various challenges and unexpected friendships. Up showcases themes of love, loss, and the power of dreams. The film combines humor, emotion, and breathtaking animation to create an unforgettable cinematic experience.
    • Year of Release: 2009
    • Director: Pete Docter
    • Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios
    • Running Time: 96 minutes
    • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
  2. 2

    Toy Story 3 (2010)

    Directed by Lee Unkrich
    The final installment of the Toy Story trilogy deals with themes of growing up and letting go, as Andy prepares to leave for college and his beloved toys face an uncertain future.
    Toy Story 3 is a 2010 animated film by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures. It is the third installment in the Toy Story franchise and follows the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their toy friends. The story revolves around Andy, the toys' owner, who is getting ready to go to college and must decide the fate of his beloved toys. The film explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and growing up, and is known for its heartwarming and emotional storytelling.
    • Release Date: June 18, 2010
    • Running Time: 103 minutes
    • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
    • Rating: G
    • Box Office: $1.067 billion
    Toy Story 3 (2010) in other rankings
  3. 3

    Inside Out (2015)

    Pixar Animation Studios
    This movie explores the complex emotions of a young girl as she navigates a major life change, with the help of her personified emotions Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.
    Inside Out (2015) is an animated film created by Pixar Animation Studios. The movie revolves around the emotions inside an 11-year-old girl named Riley, namely Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. These emotions help Riley navigate her life, going through challenges as she moves to a new city. Through a journey within the mind, the film explores the importance of all emotions and the complexities of human emotions.
    • Release Year: 2015
    • Director: Pete Docter
    • Running Time: 95 minutes
    • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
    • Rating: PG
  4. 4
    This movie celebrates the importance of family and culture, as a young boy travels to the Land of the Dead to uncover the truth about his ancestors and pursue his passion for music.
    Coco (2017) is an animated musical fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film tells the story of Miguel, a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician, but faces a family ban on music. On the Day of the Dead, Miguel's journey takes him to the Land of the Dead, where he seeks the help of his ancestors to unravel the truth about his family history and fulfill his musical aspirations.
    • Release Date: November 22, 2017
    • Genre: Animation, Musical, Fantasy
    • Duration: 105 minutes
    • Rating: PG
    • Box Office: $807 million
  5. 5

    Finding Nemo (2003)

    Pixar Animation Studios
    This movie follows the journey of a father searching for his lost son, and explores themes of love, courage, and the bond between parent and child.
    Finding Nemo is a heartwarming and emotionally captivating animated film released in 2003. It tells the story of a clownfish named Marlin who embarks on a journey across the ocean to find his son, Nemo, who has been captured by a scuba diver. Along the way, Marlin encounters various helpful and humorous characters, including Dory, a forgetful blue tang fish who becomes his loyal companion. Through their adventures, the movie explores themes of love, family, friendship, and the importance of letting go. With its beautiful underwater animation and poignant storytelling, Finding Nemo is sure to leave audiences both touched and entertained.
    • Release Year: 2003
    • Genre: Animated, Adventure, Comedy
    • Director: Andrew Stanton
    • Screenplay: Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds
    • Main Characters: Marlin, Nemo, Dory
    Finding Nemo (2003) in other rankings
  6. 6
    This movie tells the story of a family of superheroes forced to hide their powers and live a mundane life, before rising to the challenge to save the world and each other.
    The Incredibles (2004) is an animated film by Pixar that follows the story of a family of superheroes who try to live a quiet, suburban life. The film combines action, comedy, and heartfelt moments to deliver an emotionally engaging story.
    • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Family
    • Director: Brad Bird
    • Runtime: 115 minutes
    • Rating: PG
    • Release Date: November 5, 2004
  7. 7
    This movie depicts a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has abandoned Earth, and the titular robot Wall-E discovers the true meaning of love and human connection.
    Wall-E (2008) is a heartfelt Pixar movie that tells the story of a lone robot named Wall-E, who is left on Earth to clean up the planet after it has been abandoned by humans due to excessive waste and pollution. Wall-E spends his days tirelessly working and collecting objects of curiosity that he finds fascinating. One day, a sleek and sophisticated robot named EVE arrives on Earth, and Wall-E falls in love with her. Together, they embark on a thrilling adventure that takes them across the galaxy and teaches them the importance of love, friendship, and taking care of our planet.
    • Release Date: June 27, 2008
    • Running Time: 98 minutes
    • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction
    • Box Office: $533.3 million
    • IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
  8. 8
    This movie celebrates the power of creativity and following one's dreams, as a rat with a passion for cooking teams up with a young chef to achieve culinary greatness.
    Ratatouille (2007) is a heartwarming Pixar movie that tells the story of a rat named Remy who aspires to become a great chef, defying societal norms and overcoming various obstacles along the way.
    • Release date: June 29, 2007
    • Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama
    • Duration: 111 minutes
    • Director: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava (co-director)
    • Music by: Michael Giacchino
  9. 9
    This movie centers on the complex mother-daughter relationship between a Scottish princess and her queen mother, as they navigate tradition, duty, and the desire for independence.
    Brave is a 2012 animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It follows the story of Merida, a young princess in the Scottish highlands who defies tradition and seeks to change her fate. When a witch grants her a wish that goes wrong, Merida must embark on a courageous journey to undo a dark curse.
    • Release Date: June 22, 2012
    • Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Adventure
    • Running Time: 93 minutes
    • Main Characters: Merida, Queen Elinor, King Fergus, Lord MacGuffin, Lord Macintosh, Lord Dingwall
    • Voices of: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd
  10. 10
    This movie explores the power of friendship and the importance of facing one's fears, as a pair of monsters learn the true nature of the human children they are tasked with scaring.
    Monsters, Inc. (2001) is a heartwarming animated film that tells the story of two monsters, Sulley and Mike, who work at Monsters, Inc., a company that generates energy by scaring children. Things take an emotional turn when a young girl named Boo sneaks into their world, bringing joy and chaos along the way. With the help of Boo, Sulley and Mike uncover a conspiracy and work together to save both their worlds.
    • Release Date: November 2, 2001
    • Genre: Animated, Family, Comedy
    • Runtime: 92 minutes
    • Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios
    • Music By: Randy Newman

Missing your favorite Film?


Ranking factors for emotional movie

  1. Compelling Characters
    Emotional Pixar movies usually have well-developed and relatable characters that the audience can grow attached to and empathize with. The characters' emotions, experiences, and personal growth play a significant role in connecting with the viewers.
  2. Engaging Storyline
    A powerful, emotionally resonant storyline is essential for an emotional Pixar film. The narrative should take the viewers on an emotional journey and provide moments of happiness, sadness, surprise, and nostalgia.
  3. Thematic Depth
    The themes and messages presented in the movie should be meaningful, universal, and thought-provoking to engage the audiences on an emotional level. These themes may include topics such as love, loss, friendship, family, self-discovery, or overcoming challenges.
  4. Emotional Range
    The movie should offer a wide range of emotions throughout its runtime. This includes moments of happiness, laughter, sadness, and tears, resulting in a rich and heartwarming experience for the viewers.
  5. Memorable Scenes
    Emotional Pixar movies should have memorable scenes that stand out and make a lasting impact on the audience. These moments often convey strong emotions and help to define the overall emotional tone of the film.
  6. Quality Animation
    The visual aesthetic and animation quality can contribute to the emotional impact of the movie. A well-designed, visually beautiful world can immerse the viewers and enhance their emotional connection with the story and characters.
  7. Emotional Music Score
    Music plays a vital role in evoking emotions in films. The movie's score should be emotionally resonant and complement the emotional tone of the narrative, amplifying the emotions experienced by the characters and the audience.
  8. Authenticity
    Emotional Pixar movies should convey genuine emotions that feel true and honest. The way characters express emotions and react to situations should feel authentic and relatable, making it easier for the viewers to empathize with them.
  9. Catharsis
    A strong emotional climax or resolution to the story should ideally provide a sense of catharsis to the viewers by releasing the built-up emotions and creating a satisfying emotional experience.
  10. Overall Impact
    Lastly, the overall impact of the movie on viewers is essential. An emotional Pixar movie should leave a lasting impression on the audience and spark conversations and introspection about the themes and emotions presented in the film. The movie should have the power to evoke emotions even long after the credits roll.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most emotional Pixar movie. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Film is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 172 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Film once every 24 hours. The rank of each Film is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most emotional pixar movie

Pixar movies have always been known for their ability to tug at our heartstrings and make us feel a range of emotions. From the heartwarming story of a clownfish searching for his son in Finding Nemo, to the tear-jerking tale of a robot falling in love in Wall-E, Pixar has created some of the most emotionally charged movies of our time. But what is the most emotional Pixar movie? With so many beloved films to choose from, it's a tough question to answer. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of Pixar's most emotional movies and try to determine which one truly pulls at our heartstrings the most.

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