Ranking the Pixar Films by How Much I Cried

It’s no secret that Pixar movies are tear jerkers.

Let’s talk Pixar movies!

From iconic movies like Finding Nemo, to new classics like Turning Red, and upcoming movies like Toy Story 5, Pixar is always making us feel new feelings. So I decided it’s time to rank all of the Pixar movies by how much they made me cry.

Pixar’s full list of animated movies totals 26 feature films. As we wait for Pixar’s next animated feature, Elemental, to debut in June, this feels like the perfect time to share what made me shed tears and what didn’t. This list will be going from the least tears to a sobbing mess.

26. Lightyear 

So how did this iconic Pixar character end up on the bottom? Well, I can honestly say I haven’t seen it. 


Sorry to Buzz Lightyear but this film just didn’t make it on my “must see” list for 2022 so there were lots of dry eyes in my house.

25. Soul 

This newer Pixar adventure was a beautiful story. The element of jazz music combinded with the search for life’s purpose made this one of Pixar’s more meaningful movies.

©Disney Pixar

I, however, really only used this movie as background noise the only time I have technically watched it. I can readily admit if I truly sat and watched this movie, it would move up in rankings but based on user error, it remains at the bottom. 

24. Cars 2 

If we’re being honest, I don’t know why this isn’t the first thing I mentioned in the “lack of tears” discussion. While this is a fun movie, it definitely didn’t make me cry.


This is the first movie on the list that I have truly, intently watched and didn’t even have the urge to tear up. 

23. Toy Story 4

I am about to drop a controversial statement. I am not a fan of Toy Story 4. Although I understand it was a good movie, I am a Toy Story 3 purist and believe the franchise should have ended there.

Toy Story 4 Poster

While I understand that this movie was objectively good, I just couldn’t bring myself to get attached. Unfortunately, 0 tears were shed. 

22. Incredibles 2 

Now this is where things start getting dicey. Incredibles 2 made me feel wonderfully empowered as a woman because I loved watching Mrs. Incredible get her time in the sun.


Watching her be betrayed by someone she concidered a friend while fighting for her family’s safety really brought out some emotions in me. I might not have actually cried, but boy did I want to. 

21. Monsters University 

Finally we’ve hit a movie where my eyes watered! Monsters University follows a college-aged Mike and Sully as they both are on their way to becoming scarers. (Well, Mike is trying to, at least).


What truly made me tear up was the moment Mike and Sully work together in the human world to generate enough screams to head home. Friends supporting friends will always get me. For this one, I’d say half a tear was shed. 

20. The Incredibles

This movie was one of the earliest Pixar movies I can remember. When it comes to crying, though… I’m not sure I can truly say I cried.


This movie really made me appreciate my own family and all of the special qualities that make us, us. While I might not have truly cried in this movie, I feel like it could make me cry right now thinking of my parents and brother. (I love you guys!)

19. Cars

How did this make it to number 19? The jury is still out. Cars is a sweet classic that still makes me sing Life Is A Highway at the top of my lungs. Now is this truly a tear-jerker? Not necessarily.


But when Doc Hudson puts on that headset to help Lightning McQueen at the end of the movie? I can’t lie, it brings tears to my eyes. Nothing like the old pro getting back into the sport that he thought he had abandoned.

18. Toy Story

The original Pixar classic is a stand-out among these movies but does it make me cry? That depends on the day.


While I absolutely adore this movie, the only part that can sometimes make me tear up is the ending when they’re all reunited after saving Buzz from Spike. I’m normally too traumatized by Spike’s mutilated toys to start crying, though.

17. Cars 3

Now as a Cars kid, this one is where we really start getting into the tears. Watching Lightning McQueen crash at the beginning of the movie really got to me.

©Disney / Pixar

Then, when he and Cruz Ramirez race together like he and Doc Hudson used to, I can honestly say some tears fell. It was truly a perfect ending in my book.

16. The Good Dinosaur 

If you said this movie didn’t make you cry almost immediately, you’re fibbing. This movie traumatized me as an adult. Watching Arlo be swept away into the river as he calls for help hurt me deeply!

Arlo, aka “The Good Dinosaur.” [©The Walt Disney Company]
While everything obviously ends up okay, hearing him call for help hurt my chest and brought on the tears. I’ve only seen it once and I don’t know that I will watch it again.

15. A Bug’s Life

I can’t lie to you guys, it surprised me that A Bug’s Life landed this high on the list. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this flick (get it? Flik?) but I do remember crying.

©Pixar A Bug’s Life

Was it from the trauma that Hopper caused by beating Flik? Or was it when they made raindrops look like bombs? I’m unsure, but as a kid, this brought about screams of terror, and of course, tears. I’d like to note, I don’t think I would cry if I watched it today.

14. Monsters, Inc. 

So now we’re getting into the true tear-jerkers! Monsters, Inc. is a classic that I adore. However, this one will make me shed a tear or two (or a lot) every time.


Watching Sully say goodbye to Boo gets me every single time. The fact that he knows he won’t see her again? That’s a level 5 on the cry meter.

13. Finding Dory 

Looking for your lost family that you only think you remember? Yeah, that’ll make me cry.


And then watching her reunite with said family? I never stood a chance. A tear or two ran down my face for sure.

12. Inside Out

Now this movie might not be as high for everyone on their cry list but I really connected with this movie. Bing Bong disappearing, and watching Riley break down because her emotions are so out of wack really got to me.


I remember the feeling of being a teenage girl (and sometimes an adult woman) and not understanding why you feel the way you do. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking. Tears were streaming.

11. Finding Nemo 

Now could parts of this fall under that trauma tears section? Absolutely. However, most of my tears come at the end of the movie.


Dory found people who make a home for her? Marlin trusts Nemo to know his own strengths? Yeah, that’s gonna make this girl cry. It might still only be one or two tears running but it counts.

10. Brave 

A movie about a mother and daughter’s strained connection that eventually leads to them understanding one another more deeply is going to make me cry! Don’t judge!

Brave ©Disney

I adore Brave, and the mother-daughter-centered story, so if I do shed several tears, that’s okay. Plus, I’m named after Emma Thompson who plays the mother Elinor — so I get some slack here. 


Next up on our top 10 is WALL-E. I never knew a robot could break my heart but here we are.


First, watching him so desperately alone on Earth broke me. Then he finally finds another robot to spend time with (Eve) and he thinks he loses her, too? I’m going to cry, there’s just no question. (Although we haven’t made it to sobbing yet.)

8. OnWard 

This movie really got to me, which was genuinely unexpected. I’m a Tom Holland fan, so that was the only reason I turned this movie on. I didn’t expect it to get me like it did!

Onward ©Pixar

Watching their relationship as brothers grow set the ending up beautifully. When Ian gave up his chance to speak with their dad so Barley could see him one more time, I was a goner. Tears were running down my face!

7. Toy Story 2 

This one should be universally high on everyone’s list. I refuse to believe people could hear the song “When She Loved Me” and not lose it!


Watching Jessie be left under Emily’s bed and then be forgotten hurt me in ways I didn’t know I could be hurt. Tears were streaming down my face, and I cry even when I just hear that song now!

6. Ratatouille 

Ratatouille is one of my favorite movies. As a person who is passionate about food, this movie is a comfort in so many ways.

©Disney Ratatouille

The ending of this movie really showed me that sometimes bad things can happen, but your dreams can grow and change as you grow and change as a person. Even though Gusteau’s restaurant closes, Remy and Linguini still manage to find happiness in a different way. So yes, I always cry.

5. Toy Story 3

This is where things start getting ugly, folks. I went to see this movie in the theater with my family when it came out in 2010. We all know that now infamous incinerator scene where they all link hands, prepared to meet their end.


My brother, mom, and I sat sobbing, thinking our favorite toys were going to die. My dad said it was truly one of the saddest things he’s ever seen. I can’t watch this movie without losing it! 

4. Coco

If you say this movie doesn’t make you sob, you are lying! Watching Miguel sing to Mama Coco as he cries has stayed with me since I saw the movie.


My friends and I sat collectively sobbing as we watched this movie, and I still cry every time I watch it. 

3. Turning Red 

Have I made it clear that a mother-daughter story means a lot to me? This movie is one of my current favorites. I rewatch this movie a lot and every time MeiMei meets the teenage version of her mom I lose it!


Having a deeper understanding of your family is something that many people will never have and watching them connect on that level just makes me sob!

2. Up 

I thought this video would be at the top of my list, so I surprised myself when it came in at number two. I believe watching the first 10 minutes of Up was the only time the world has felt universal pain.


I have never cried like that almost immediately into a movie. I will also say when Carl gives Russell the Ellie pin, I was a mess in the movie theater. It was genuinely embarrassing, and I have to mentally prepare myself anytime I want to watch this movie!

1. Luca

I can’t lie to you, guys, I surprised myself with this number-one choice. Luca was a beautiful movie about friendships and finding the courage to chase your dreams — even when those who love you are scared.


Finding the courage to chase your dreams is something that hits home for me as someone who has left the town they grew up in. Life can be so scary, but so worth it! I also felt a deep connection with the found family storyline because of the friendships I have that have changed my life. Luca, you made me sob loudly and I love you. 

RJay, Quincy, and I in Disney California Adventure

After all of these tears, I think I need to go get some lemon soft serve at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure. Overall, I feel like it’s time for me to do a Pixar rewatch and see if my choices still stand! Don’t forget to keep following AllEars for all of your Pixar news and updates!

Check out our ranking of ALL of the Star Wars movies here

What Pixar movie makes you cry the most? Tell me in the comments! 

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