Today’s release of Incredibles 2 marks the 20th film for Pixar, a studio steadfast in its ability to charm both children and adults. Their goofy, heartfelt tales have elevated our spirits as much as they have their own genre, each story full of laughter, rich with emotion and stocked with iconic movie characters.
For now, let’s focus on that last part, if only because paying homage to our most beloved Pixar characters seems like a fun, nostalgic journey to embark on before the weekend begins.
Crush, Finding Nemo
Crush and the radical, all-wise turtles of Finding Nemo have infiltrated my psyche on a deeper level than any other Pixar character ever has. This could be a product of their unforgettable dialogue (I say “righteous” far too often for a man of my age) or the way their eyelids droop just enough to make you wonder who's underwater cave it was they just hotboxed. But I especially enjoy the way in which all that goofiness gets tied into a tidy knot of father-son wisdom by the film’s writers.
Did you know Crush was voiced by Pixar pioneer Andrew Stanton? And that Crush’s son, Squirt, was voiced by Andrew Stanton’s real-life son (!) Ben? Absorb that precious insight before rewatching our beloved turtles one last time.—Thompson Brandes
Princess Merida, Brave
Princess Merida is strong and powerful and her huge curly hair is always unapologetically in her face—and never to the detriment of her ferocity.—Bailey Edwards
The Fucked-Up, Burned Baby Head with Spider Erector Set Legs, Toy Story
The fucked-up, burned baby head with spider Erector Set legs from Toy Story will always hold a special place in my heart. It's clearly taken some knocks in life but maintains a positive outlook that we could all learn from.—Hadley Tomicki
Ken, Toy Story 3
They said that such an advanced level of douchedom couldn't be personified. They said that plastic gentlemen couldn't wear heels. They said the teal ascot was dead. And then Michael Keaton's Ken came along and proved them all wrong.—Kelly Larson
Randall Boggs, Monster's University
There has never been an actor more suited to a role in a Pixar movie than Steve Buscemi as a mischievous eight-legged lizard monster who scares little children. Genius.—Sam Eichner
Name a more iconic rat with a sophisticated palate and love of flavor combinations. I'll wait.—Ilana Dadras
All the qualities you want in a dog: Loyal, Friendly, Adorable. Bonus: He talks.—Hannah Kim
Woody, Toy Story
*parachutes in with obligatory Tom Hanks love *
"I started this gangster shit, and this is the m-f-ing thanks I get?" -Woody, the O.G. From the O.G. Pixar flick. Voiced by O.G. Tom Hanks. That's triple O.G. status.—Najib Benouar
All photos courtesy of Pixar