We love Pixar movies like it’s our jobs. Hello, Toy Story? Monsters, Inc? We can’t even talk about Inside Out without tearing up. If we have one small complaint, it’s that the movies can skew pretty heavily male, at least in terms of their main characters. But with movies like Inside Out, in recent years, there have been more and more great female Pixar characters. And the upcoming Finding Dory offers us yet another one. But since that one isn’t coming out until 2016, we’re just going to have to endlessly rewatch all the Toy Story movies. In the meantime, here, in our humble opinion, are the most well-done female characters in the PIxar universe.
Colette in Ratatouille
She’s voiced by Janeane Garofalo, so she was bound to be a great character. Colette is the only female cook in a kitchen full of guys. She works hard, and she’s great at what she does. Her confidence in her skills is amazing. As the only female lead in the character, she is of course made to be the love interest of Linguini. The cool part is that she takes the reins and is the first to tell Linguini that she cares about him.
Dory in Finding Nemo
Just like Colette, Dory gets an amazing voiceover from Ellen Degeneres, who I LOVE. She totally brings this part to life, making Dory a spirited and fun co-lead to the stiff Marlin. She effectively helps Marlin find his way to Sydney so he can save Nemo, but it isn’t until the end that he appreciates what she has done for him.
Jessie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3
I think Jessie might be my personal favorite. She’s a little sassy and sarcastic, but she’s so much more than that. When she shares her backstory with Woody you find out that she’s been through so much in her life, and that’s what has made her the tough but loveable girl we see. She’s given an even bigger role in Toy Story 3 and plays an intricate part of getting the toys out of trouble in both films.
Elastigirl in The Incredibles
At first Helen (AKA Elastigirl) appears to be a housewife living a normal life with her husband and kids. Once Mr. Incredible leaves on a secret mission, Elastigirl has to save the day. It turns out she’s an amazing pilot and flies to where her husband is to help him. She’s confident, powerful, and highly intelligent. She protects her husband and her kids and turns into the real hero of the movie.
Merida from Brave
Merida is completely amazing. She refuses to go along with her parents attempt at an arranged marriage, because she wants to make her own choices. Also, she has way more important things to worry about than boys. She’s got archery practice and a with to deal with, after all.
Riley from Inside Out
Not only is Riley the most complex female character Pixar has ever had, but Inside Out is entirely based on her and her emotions. How amazing is that? Films have a habit of showing female characters as very simple and one dimensional. Their character arc doesn’t usually go any deeper than being the main character’s love interest. Riley defies all of that. She has a range of emotions, and we get to follow along with her as she learns how to deal with all of them and figure out who she’s going to be. Inside Out doesn’t just have the best female lead for a Pixar film, in our opinon—it has one of the best female leads in any film. How great is that?
[All images courtesy Pixar]