Since the Fall of 1995, the A1 name in animated film has been Pixar. The Disney-owned studio is so far above everyone else that when it comes to predicting the Oscars's Best Animated Feature category, the thought process goes, "Is there a Pixar movie in the category? Okay, that one's gonna win." Pixar movies are just that good.
That has something to do with the way Pixar refuses to underestimate its core audience—children. The movies tell real stories with real messages and rely on good stories, writing and execution, rather than kooky humor. I mean, they have plenty of the latter, but that's all icing. And that's why adults love these movies as much as their kids do.
One consequence of this sort of storytelling though is that stuff happens in these movies that is decidedly realer than Pixar's demo might be used to—they don't shy away from death, loss, the pains of growing up—and at times in Pixar's 20-year run, it's gotten to the point that people have actually wondered if the movies were fit for children. (They are.) That's what makes the movies great though—and as
an adult a big kid, reveling at the holy-shit-this-just-got-real moments is one of the best parts of the viewing experience.
So on the release date of Pixar's latest installment, Inside Out, we decided not to rank the movies (our friends did that already), but to run down the realest moments from each Pixar flick—and the real-ass lessons those moments taught.