Ross Bonaime, Staff Writer

It’s hard to believe, but almost 14 years ago Pixar released the first ever fully computer-generated feature film with Toy Story. This week, Pixar will re-release this first film and its sequel with Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D. In honor of this, here are the top 10 CGI movies:

10. Jurassic Park

The immense shock of seeing dinosaurs that weren’t robots or some other gimmick brought audiences in droves with Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking action film. Jurassic Park seamlessly blended the real with the impossible into a film that dropped jaws and changed action films.

9. Finding Nemo

The tale of a clownfish searching for his son was one that not only resonated with parents around the world and became Pixar’s highest-grossing film, but also pushed the boundaries of CGI with its incredible effects and beautiful underwater worlds.

8. Shrek

The first film to challenge Pixar’s supremacy in the CGI world, Shrek became a massive success with its fractured take on fairytales.

By intentionally blasting the Disney franchise, Dreamworks called out the House of Mouse, but never were able to come as close to greatness as they were with their green giant.

7. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2 was the first film to blatantly pull out all the stops with what CGI could really do.

James Cameron’s sequel to his sci-fi hit reveled in his new technques by showcasing the T-1000, a villain who literally could not have been made without this new technology.

6. The Incredibles

The Incredibles was Pixar’s attempt to do humans and were able to pull it off surprisingly well. While other films like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within went super-realistic, Pixar made cartoony characters that worked and an action film as good as any real actors could pull off.

5. Monsters, Inc.

The sweet story of monsters-for-hire Mike and Sully and their human pal Boo wasn’t just a touching story, but the detail that Pixar would become known for is evident with Monsters, Inc.

The hair on Sully moves realistically and helped further the deep beauty that was possible with CGI.

4. Up

This year, Pixar did what no CGI film could do before: make audiences cry.
Previously, CGI films had mostly been gorgeous to look at with emotion coming second. But with Up, story went into a realm usually reserved for hard-hitting dramas.

3. The Matrix

It is impossible to talk about The Matrix without talking about the special effects.
Like Terminator 2 years before it, The Matrix blew audiences away by making the impossible possible. The Matrix showed that anything you could dream of could be made a reality.


Last year, a lonely little trash compacting robot became one of computer animation’s greatest characters.

WALL-E, part Short Circuit’s Number 5, part The Little Tramp, made their inhuman characters believable in a way that had not done before and created a future that was frightening, and a message that is important to all generations.

1. Toy Story 1 & 2

Watching Toy Story now, the flaws are evident: the characters look jaggy, the animation is aged and environments look flat.

But 14 years ago, it was the future. Pixar mixed a new, refreshing art style with the classic tropes that Disney had used for decades.

Then with the sequel, the Pixar gang revitalized what was to be a direct-to-video sequel and in eight months created what is considered to be one of the greatest sequels ever.

Toy Story may have been the beginning of the future, but the beginning has truly remained the best.