The Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Children’s Books

Now, drugs I don’t know about you guys but my love for reading began as a child. My parents taught me to read at a very young age. I don’t know whether this was brilliance on my part or persistance on their part, but I was reading, and fairly well, pretty young. And this was not something that was forced on me, in a completely unenjoyable manner. I LOVED to read. I soaked up books like a sponge.

 I remember getting in trouble in first grade because I had more than five books written on my weekly reading list, and that’s because I had genuinely read them all. I was always a victim of skepticism from my teachers until they realized, “Oh, she really does read that much!”

I mean, I was reading for so long, and so much, I remember when reading was infinitely uncool. Reading is cool now. Everyone reads and I do believe that’s largely in part to the huge young adult literature explosion, but I’ve already dicussed that in previous blogs. But reading wasn’t cool when I was younger and I was teased a lot…which only caused me to read more! I loved escaping into different worlds and dicovering new things. Books are amazing.

And some of the books I’ll never ever forget are the books that I read as a child.

So this brings me to this week’s Top Ten…my favorite children’s books. I will warn you ahead of time: Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Chronicles of Narnia, etc…they are NOT on this list. Most would agree these ARE children’s books. I prefer to think of them as middle grade books…and also this is a list of strictly children’s books, books we think of reading as a child.

So enjoy!

10. A Bear Called Paddington

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I know this book is incredibly  before my time, being published in 1958, but it is a book I remember VERY well from my own childhood. There’s something so delightfully charming about this little bear, in his little getup and suitcase, talking about his voyage from Darkest Peru, and his love of marmalade. I remember wanting to try marmalade because Paddington loved it so much and to this day, I still find it horribly disgusting. But maybe that’s because I’m not a bear, and it just doesn’t seem to work for non bears ;) Anyway, this remains one of my favorite children’s books and I am constantly searching for an old copy of it, not a new one, but an old one from 1958. Paddington Bear…oh he’s so cute.

9. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

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I remember this story because of my mom. I’m pretty sure my mom read this as a child, and therefore found the book and introduced it to her own children. This book is old as well, 1939, even older than Paddington Bear. I really like the illustrations in this book and I liked the way it was solved in the end. Poor Mary Anne and Mike are losing out their jobs to the newer, fancier shovels until one day they offer to dig the cellar for the new town hall in just one day! What an impossible goal! Well, they promise to do so and they do it! I love the pictures that shows Mary Anne digging that dirt up and beating all the odds. Then, oops, Mary Anne is stuck! They forgot to build a ramp to get her out and she’s stuck…until one clever little boy suggests that she stay there, and become the boiler for the new city hall, thus giving her a job for life! Its sweet and a lovely book.

8. Corduroy

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This book, now that I’ve looked it up, is from 1968. Apparently I really, really like books from way before I was born. 1968…20 years before I was even born. But its another book that I remember very fondly and another one that I’ll never forget. One of things I think of when I think of this book is the movie…I vaguely remember watching it in kindergarten and for some reason Corduroy was riding a skateboard? I don’t know, silly memories, I suppose. Either way, another super cute story. Poor Corduroy is living in the department store, waiting for someone to buy him. He’s almost bought by a little girl but he’s missing a button on his little overalls and is therefore “broken”. Corduroy goes on an adventure into the department store, looking for his button. Eventually he’s brought back to his shelf…and the little girl comes back for him, buys him and fixes his button, and brings him home, where she has a little bear sized bed for him. I still can’t look at stuffed animals on a shelf without thinking of this book. I want to hug them all and tell them that someone will come to love them soon. Cheeeesy.

7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 

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Yes, 1989! Finally, one from a year where I was actually alive…I was a year old. I LOOOOVE this book. What a fantastic way to teach children their ABCs. Its fun and original and repetitive, which is good for a teaching book for children that young. Children learn at that age when things are repeated to them, over and over again, and this book is perfect for that. The pictures are simple and bright and the tempo of the book is almost like a song or a chant, “chicka chicka boom boom, will there be enough room?” One of my favorite parts of this book, that I still remember from it, is the little letters with bandages and bruises from falling out of the tree. I am so giving this book to my children when I’m a mom.

6. Where the Wild Things Are

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I’m pretty sure there isn’t a kid out there that doesn’t completely love this book, or remember it from when they were a child. And apparently its a lot older than I thought as well, 1963! Wow, a lot of these books are kind of old…I mean, compared to when I read them. Anyway, you have Max, trouble maker Max, sent to his room without dinner because of all the trouble making he’s been causing. Then Max sails away, all the way to the land of the Wild Things, where he becomes king and spends days partying and eating and dancing and playing with them. Then, after he becomes homesick, he sails home where his dinner is waiting for him, still piping hot. Its a wonderful book and its such a beautiful representation of a child’s imagination. When children are left to their own devices, they have some of the most wonderful stories and ideas, their imaginations are so great. Sometimes I really wish I had the imagination I had when I was little. But then I remember that Maurice Sendak came up with these brilliant book and we all have a little bit of that imagination still in us.

5. The Giving Tree

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I LOVE THIS BOOK. I love it, I love it, I love it. Written in 1964, and possibly the most brilliant story that Shel Silverstein has ever written. Another one of those children’s books that I’m sure every child remembers reading. The beautiful story of a tree and his boy, and how the tree gives up everything for the boy; his apples, his leaves, his branches, even his trunk, everything to help the boy have a good life as he grows older. In the end, the boy comes back to the tree, when the tree has nothing else, is nothing but a trunk, nothing left to give. But the old man just needs somewhere to rest for awhile and the tree and the boy sit together, friends. Its such a beautiful and touching story. Its a book that I’ll never forget. My best friend has a tattoo on her back, a scene of the boy and tree playing hide and seek, and for good reason. Its a lovely book and children love it, and I sitll continue to love it.

4. Winnie the Pooh 

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I adore Winnie the Pooh. I adore the books and I adore the Disney adaptation of it. Winnie the Pooh is a bear of little brain, with his friend Christopher Robin, and other stuffed animal friends, like Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, have adventures in the 100 Acre Wood. These stories were written back in 1926 but they don’t get old in the slightest, they are timeless. They show a little bear, being absolutely silly and having fun adventures and playing childhood games, but they’re also stories of friendship and love and family and growing up. Some of my favorite quotes about love and friendship have come from these books, from the stories of A.A. Milne. And its very much the kind of precursor to what children know of Toy Story today. We all picture our toys as real, as coming to life. Christopher Robin, A.A. Milne’s son, got to see his own favorite toys come to life and have beautiful and fun stories. And now, nearly 100 years later, these stories are still read by children all over the world.

3. Where the Sidewalk Ends 

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Another Shel Silverstein darling written in 1974. This book is simple enjoyment, cute and funny and silly and some downright ridiculous poems. I love these poems. I’m not a big poetry fan, sometimes I just have an issue reading things that just don’t tell me what they’re trying to say. Which isn’t to say that I don’t like poetry. I love me some Emily Dickinson because she was a serious badass. But I’d rather just not read poetry…except for these poems. I seriously never get tired of reading these. There’s one particular poem called “For Sale”, about someone trying very, VERY hard to sell their little sister. As an older sister to two sisters and three brothers, I can imagine many days where I wish I could stand out front with a sign, trying to sell my siblings. Its just super hilarious. Shel has a way of teaching rhyming and rhythm and even just the styles of poetry to children but without making it complicated. Its poetry with fun.

2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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We will not speak of the terrible animated movie, and the fact that there’s a sequel coming to theaters as well. It doesn’t do justice to one of my absolute favorite children’s books of all time. Whew. Okay, got that out of the way. Written in 1978, it tells the story of a town where there is no need for grocery stores, or cooks or anything like that because food is delivered to the people via the weather. It snows pancakes and rains maple syrup. It pours orange juice and hails ice cream. The fog is pea soup and on and on. Its wonderful. Wouldn’t it be kind of cool to go outside, hold out your plate and have food rain down? Of course, it doesn’t really work that way, now does it? The elements have a mind of their own and soon the food that is raining down on the people is becoming a menace, and becoming dangerous. The people build little boats made out of large stale bread and sail away, in hopes that they can find a better civilization where you won’t get squished by a large pancake. I loved this book and I continue to love this book. The illustrations, the story, the whole imagination of it, its a great book.

1. Green Eggs and Ham

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Written in 1960, this is my favorite book for two reasons: one, because I used to know this book entirely my heart. I mean, seriously, by heart. I could recite this without even looking at the book. One time, my mom got my siblings and I together to recite it together right in front of a boy I liked…that wasn’t at all embarrassing in the slightest. But another reason I like it is because Dr. Seuss was a genius. His books are remembered because of their rhyme and their silliness and their ability to teach kids how to read. Dr. Seuss took all these words that were being in taught to children in such boring books and made it fun. He did what other authors had failed to do. He took a list of the simple words that were being used in these boring books (fox, box, house, mouse) and made it fun. He used the same technique of repetition, because repeating things does help to remember it, but he made it fun! And sometimes, when you really pay attention to some of the things that are being said amongst the nonsense, you get some pretty wise words.

So those are my favorite children’s books…apparently all from before I was born except for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom haha. Apparently there’s a reason these are some of my favorites, because no matter how old they are, they are lasting, and they hold on to children’s attentions today as they did twenty years ago, forty years ago, sixty years ago.

What are some of your favorite children’s books? As always, comment below!

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Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Fictional Bromances

I was reading one of my favorite blogs to follow, sickness over at The Urge to Write (which, incidentally, you should all check out. She’s a great writer and her blogs always keep me interested) and she recently did a list of top ten fictional bromances and I loved her list, which you can see here.
But anway, I really liked her list so I decided to make it one of my Tuesday Top Tens. I’m starting to write and plan my top tens before its even Tuesday because I can get SO busy. Like, I haven’t done a Book of the Week in a couple weeks and I meant to write a post about my experiences at Gallifrey One (which I finally did yesterday!) and I just went to a Conan taping on Wednesday for my birthday and I just haven’t done it. I’ve just been busy and when I’ve had a free moment, I just want to do NOTHING. Or read. I am SO far behind on my 200 books this year goal…I think six books behind. I gotta catch up.
And now that I’ve gotten sufficiently off topic…here is this week’s Tuesday Top Ten, my favorite bromances.

10. Damon and Stefan Salvatore 

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Okay besides the fact that these two are insanely hot and look absolutely nothing alike…well okay a big factor is the fact that they’re hot. But what I like about this pair of vampire brothers is that they are actually legitimately brothers. They were close before they were turned and even though their relationship grew tumultuous afterwards, you can tell they would still do anything for each other and they both do. When Elena chooses Stefan, Damon concedes even though you know it has to hurt. Stefan makes a terrible deal with Klaus, an evil Original vampire, in order to save Damon’s life. They’re obviously important to one another and they accomplish so much more when they work together. And they fight like normal brothers do, which gives them some humanity. And they are so pretty to look at.

9. Grover and Percy

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Percy’s fatal flaw, according to the series, is his deep and unwavering loyalty to his friends. We see that in his love for Annabeth and we see it in his love for his Cyclops brother, Tyson. But we also see it in his friendship with Grover. He firsts friends Grover at their school because he is handicapped, shy and nervous. He sticks by his side no matter what, and when he finds out that he is a demigod and that Grover is a satyr and his protector, he continues to stick by his side. These two are basically inseparable and are even connected at one point. I was sad to not really see Grover in the Heroes of Olympus, even though he doesn’t really need to be. Percy just seems kind of empty without his best friend. Grover and Percy are an awesome bromance because they stick together no matter what and have crazy, dangerous adventures together.

8. Will and Jem 

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Will and Jem have an epic bromance because I swear at times, I think they’re going to just ditch Tessa and start making out with each other. Actually, sometimes, I kind of wish that would happen. Ha! What kind of ship name is that? Willem? Jemill? Anyway, I like the bromance of Will and Jem from the Infernal Devices because of their epic loyalty to each other. Will loves Jem, would do anything for him. He never stops believing there could be a cure for Jem’s illness and he is the one who gets the drug for him. Even though Will thinks he is cursed so that everyone he loves will die, he lets himself love Jem, as his greatest sin, because he can’t help loving him. They are parabatai, warriors closer than brothers and you can see that. Jem loves Will, no matter the horrible things he does and says to push people away. That’s brotherhood and love right there. Will also is the same way back, even though he can’t show it for most of the first and second books. Even though he is madly in love with Tessa, he toasts in happiness her engagement to Jem.

7. Buzz and Woody

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Is there a better pair of best friends than Buzz and Woody? I honestly don’t think so. Sure, they’re toys. Not only are they fictional characters, but they aren’t even people or beings of a sort, they are TOYS. And yet they have one of the most real and beautiful friendships that we see in fictional worlds. The friendship starts off rocky, with neither one willing to become friends with the other, both of them thinking they are better than the other. But through out the trials and tribulations of making their way back to Andy’s house before they move, they realize they are more similar than they know and become the best of friends. Throughout the two following sequels, they fight, bicker, both trust and distrust each other and say goodbye to each other. They make fun of one another and help one another and they have a great, great friendship. Its what I would imagine a friendship between two guys to be and you kind want to be their friend too.

6. Legolas and Gimli 

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Haha I picked this picture because its SO funny. I love the dynamic of Legolas and Gimli only because I kind of feel like its similar to that of C3PO and R2D2 (who, incidentally, do not make the list…if only because sometimes my patience wears thin on C3PO haha). Middle Earth is literally going to HELL and there are some serious things going down here: death, starvation, annhilation, sacrifice…this are some epic, epic stories. But you have the friendship of Legolas and Gimli, which is both completely endearing and touching, but also hilarious as hell. They are the comedic relief in the epic battles. While everything is going to shit, they are laughing and counting how many enemies they are taking down, in a contest. I can imagine that Gimli and Legolas stayed friends for years after the war. I can imagine both of them helping to create a less hostile relationship between the elves and the dwarves. They’re both so funny, and they remind us of the heart of the story. I do believe that the hobbits show a lot of the heart but I also think that of Legolas and Gimli. While they are obviously taking things so seriously and fighting hard, they remind us what it is that they are fighting for.

5. Sirius and Lupin

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For some reason, I actually kind of like this as a ship. Like…I totally ship Remus and Sirius. Wolfstar. That’s so weird haha. I mean, let’s make this clear, I love how everything turned out in the novels, and who ended up with who. I know all you Neville and Luna shippers were disappointed but I was okay with it. That being said, I totally ship Remus and Sirius outside of canon. But moving on, I think that these two make a great twosome, a great pair of friends. These two have lost so much, have been through so much. They’ve lost two of their best friends to death, James and Lily, and they lost a best friend to cowardice, Peter. Sirius has spend his entire life in prison for a crime that he never committed…right after hearing of the deaths of his friends. Remus has spent his entire life being judged for being a werewolf. And yet these are two of the strongest men in the book, some of the best teachers for Harry, and even though they’ve lost so much, they have each other, and it shows when they reunite. They are whats left of the Marauders and when they die too, they complete the circle.

4. Jace and Alec 

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I like the friendship between Jace and Alec for several reasons. One reason is that they are parabatai, just like Jem and Will, which makes them closer than brothers. But I also think they have such a great brother dynamic. Alec is the first child that Jace as ever seen in his life, when he comes to live with the Lightwoods, and they become best friends. Jace would do anything for Alec and vice versa but I also think they need each other. Alec is shy, sometimes lacking of courage. He is afraid of his own sexuality and he’s even afraid of killing demons, because he is so busy protecting Jace and Isabelle. But Alec is loving and caring and passionate. He is so true and pure, even if he doesn’t even believe in himself all the time. Jace, on the other hand, is so avoidant of emotions, of love, that he is overly confident and overly outgoing. He pushes people away, even those who just wish to be his family. Without each other, maybe Alec would have never had the courage to come out, accept his love for Magnus and tell the world. Maybe Jace wouldn’t have let his guard down and become brave instead of just reckless. I have them this high up because they are best friends, brothers, parabatai and they need each other.

3. Sherlock and Watson

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Okay, I’m just going to say one thing first: when searching for a picture of John and Sherlock for this post, I had a hard time finding something that’s appropriate and that’s because people ship Johnlock like no other. I must admit, I kind of do too. For anyone who has never watched the show Sherlock, you need to. The first two seasons (which are 3 episodes each) are available on Netflix and the third season probably won’t be out for awhile. But its fantastic; and much, much better than the US version, Elementary. Trust me on this. Its so good and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have excellent on screen chemistry. They need each other. John Watson is content to wallow in self pity, living a half life. Sherlock doesn’t have a whole lot of humanity in him, because he’s so busy showing off his intelligence all the time, using it to figure out impossible puzzles. Together, they make a great time. John gives Sherlock some humanity, though Sherlock still is kind a jerk. Sherlock gives John an exciting life, as part of their crime solving duo. They’re equals in a way; even though Sherlock can spout off some crazy information about a person or a situation, John can often times see a humanity behind, a reason behind it. I am dying for the third season to come so I can have some Johnlock again.

2. Han and Chewbacca

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What would Han Solo be without his Chewbacca, huh? Nothing, I tell you. Han Solo is a badass smuggler but he wouldn’t be half as intimidating if he didn’t have a 7 foot 3 wookiee by his side. If you know anything about their relationship, basially Han saved Chewbacca’s life and so Chewbacca owes him what you would call a life debt, and will serve him for his life. But I think its much more than that. I think that Chewbacca and Han Solo have a serious friendship. They copilot the Millenium Falcon together and go on crazy, dangerous smuggling runs together. Chewbacca is beyond upset when Han is frozen in carbonite and does some serious work (along with others, of course) to get him back from Jabba the Hutt. I think they make a good pair because they are an unlikely pair but it just works for them…especially since I’m pretty sure Han Solo is the only person who actually understands what the hell a wookiee is saying. “You said it, Chewie”. I’ve always wondered what exactly Chewbacca says when Han responds. I guess we’ll never know and that’s the beauty of the friendship.
 

1. Harry and Ron 

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Is there a better friendship between two guys than Harry and Ron? Don’t answer that; you all have strong opinions and I don’t want to hear it haha. I love the Potter universe above any and all other fandoms and that makes the bromance between Harry and Ron my absolute favorite. They need each other, just as much of the pairs before. Harry is THE Harry Potter and his entire life is laid out before him, and he has to be so serious at times. All the pressure is on him. Its opposite for Ron, he’s one of seven children, the youngest of the boys, and he’s more apt to make jokes than anything else. Ron is there to usher Harry into the wizarding world and to help loosen up, and be happy, even when it feels like it can’t be happy. Harry is there to help Ron believe in himself, to help him because the badass wizard that he can be. Even when they are pissing each other off, they always end up friends again: The Triwizard Tournament debacle, the Half Blood Prince drama, the separation in Deathly Hallows.
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What do you think? Do I realllly want to ask? You guys are so opinionated! Haha! But I really do want to know so tell me your favorite bromances below!

The Tuesday Ten: Favorite Pixar Movies

One of the best things about being a nerd is that you get to act like a kid, viagra 100mg and there’s a bunch of other adults who are acting like kids just like you. Its the best part, treat easily. Its like John Green said, side effects you don’t just say “hey, I like stuff”; you get to jump up and down and yell and squeal and get excited. There’s no holding back and its GREAT. You get to show all the excitement you feel for things and it makes you feel like a kid.

And being a kid is fun. And being a nerd is the best of both worlds: I get to be an adult without all those rules of being little but I get to have and enjoy things like we all do when we’re kids. I’m still going to cover my walls in posters and photos like I did when I was younger but instead of NSYNC and the Spice Girls, I now have Harry Potter and Doctor Who on the walls.

But that kind of inspired my Tuesday Top Ten today. One thing that has always really drawn me to Pixar and their movies, especially as an adult, is how you really can have the best of both worlds in their movies. You have all the awesome and fun of a kids movie, with the humor and silliness, and fun stories but you also have these very adult themes, and these incredibly touching moments and lessons.

Over the years, Disney has produced okay movies, but I was a child during the amazing golden years of the 1990s (Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers Down Under, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, etc). So while movies that have come out in the last ten to fifteen years are good, none of them with the HUGE exception of Tangled, have really jumped out at me the way they did when I was a child.

The exception to this (besides Tangled) is the Pixar animated films. Ever since I first watched Toy Story when I was a child, I have enjoyed each and every one that has come to pass and I have as an adult as well. Pixar captures the amazing stories of a kid and an adult and you can enjoy them and love them no matter what age you are.

Sounds a little bit like a nerd kind of thing, doesn’t it?

So that brings us to this week’s Top Ten.

10. The Incredibles 

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Robert Parr, a.k.a. Mr. Incredible, was used to a life of action and worship as a superhero, and he completed the circle by marrying a fellow super, Elastigirl, and started a whole super family. But superheroes are forced to go into hiding, to acclimate into normal society. But Rob doesn’t want that, he misses the day of being a superhero and when he finds an opportunity to get back in the game, he jumps in. It doesn’t take long to realize his enemy has reeled him in and its a race for survival, and to save the world one more time. Everyone wants to be a superhero so whats not to love about this movie? Its a funny, family movie that has its humorous moments (Dash is probably the HIGHLIGHT of this movie-“We’re going to die!”) but it also stresses the importance of family, and appreciating the love you get from the people you care about, and less about the applause you get.

9. A Bug’s Life

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I swear, this Pixar movie is the most underrated movie of the Pixar collection. I feel like everyone forgets this one when listing Pixar movies but it is is so awesome. Flik is a little ant, determined to make a difference, to be different from all the rest. And he’s also determined to protect his colony from the evil grasshoppers who terrorize them. He finds a group of circus bugs and convinces them to pose as warriors to save the colony, to convince the colony that his inventions and ideas are not crazy. Of course, the secret comes out and the colony isn’t happy…but then they realize that together, they can stand against the grasshoppers and eventually defeat them. Its a super sweet movie, and the story teaches us just as the others do: if we can stand together, we can accomplish so much. We should believe in ourselves and think out of the box. Anyone can be hero, no matter what size you are…which is one of my favorites. As a little person (I’m nearly 25 and only four foot eleven), those kind of lessons, that sort of themes, well, they’re awesome.

8. Ratatouille

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Isn’t that picture cute? Its a rat that makes food. A RAT that makes FOOD. Put those two together, and it sounds like something awful. We had rats in our house a few years back and it was awful. Remy is a rat living in Paris, where some of the most delicious food in the world exists, but he is surrounded by his family, who will eat whatever they find. After sneaking into a kitchen and preparing a soup, he is spotted by garbage boy, Linguini, and they pair up to become awesome chefs, to bring back the glory to a formerly five star restaurant. But this movie has so much charm, and its so deliciously French. And it involves food. I love food. Who doesn’t love food? Dumb, skinny people. I’m kidding. But this movie is so CHARMING. Its the first word that pops in my head when I think of this movie. The characters are all lovable, the storys is unique and great and its a fun movie to watch. And it teaches us that you can judge people on what they look like, or your preconceived judgements. Remy is a rat, and you definitely wouldn’t let him into the kitchen, but it turns out he is a great chef, a fantastic one, and he would never have gotten the chance if it wasn’t for Linguini believing in him.

7. Brave

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In response to the fact that Pixar did not have a strong female character, they created this most recent movie, Brave. Brave follows the character, Merida, who is the princess of Scotland. However, she isn’t quite the princess material, not like the princesses we know of previous Disney movies. She likes archery, eating, belching, riding her horse. She wants her freedom and she wants to break the rules. Of course, this doesn’t endear her to her mother, and they disagree often. Then when her mother is transformed into a bear by a spell, they have to work together to fix it and they both learn a little about ecah other. I love this movie because straight up, Merida is badass. Its about time we get a REAL princess. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love Belle (BOOKS! She gets a library from the beast!) and I adore Rapunzel, but they’re so classically beautiful and skinny and perfect. Merida is short, has amazingly wild flaming red hair and can shoot better than anyone in her kingdom. Its a nice movie to show little girls, showing them that they can accomplish anything.

6. Toy Story

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As the first Pixar movie I have ever seen, as the first one to come bursting into our hearts, it has to make my top ten list. I don’t know anyone who didn’t wish their toys would come to life when they were a child. I don’t know many people who didn’t think they actually did. Wouldn’t that be absolutely wonderful? Woody is a cowboy toy, the favorite toy of Andy, and he enjoys being basically the king of Andy’s room. That is, until brand new and hip space toy, Buzz Lightyear comes into the room and everything changes for Woody. In the end, friendship conquers everything as Buzz and Woody realize that despite their differences, they are friends first and foremost. This is a story about friendship, hands down and you continue to see this sort of theme in the other two movies.

5. Finding Nemo

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I LOVE THIS MOVIE. My boyfriend doesn’t really like this one (He’s got this sort of negative bias when it comes to Ellen DeGeneres…and oddly, Kevin Costner) so I don’t get to watch it as much as I wish I could. However, I have seen it several times and I adore it; it really is a jewel in the Pixar family. Marlin is an uptight and overprotective father to son, Nemo, after his wife and the rest of their potential children are killed. One day, Nemo defies his father, in order to gain some freedom and is “kidnapped” by a fisherman. The movie continues as Marlin embarks on an epic journey to track down his son and bring him home, making friends and enemies along the way. I have always been into sea creatures, and I love that every creature in this movie has such a personality from Marlin to Dory the fish, Crush the turtle, Bruce the shark, and so on. And it really teaches us that we have to get out there in the world, experience things. We should always approach things with caution of course, but we won’t experience life or live life unless we loosen up a bit. Brilliant movie.

4. Monsters Inc

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I know a lot of people who would put this a lot lower on their list (Dad!) but I adore this movie. Its monsters, but unlike we’ve really seen them before. We learn of Monsters Inc, a company that uses the screams of children to power their city. They have “scarers”, monsters who sneak into kids rooms and scare them in order to get the screams and the energy. They don’t do it because they enjoy terrorizing us; in fact, they’re kind of scared of us. They just need the energy. Then one day, something goes a little wrong and a little girl, Boo, sneaks into Monstropolis and chaos ensues as Mike and Sully try to get her back home. I like this one because of Boo, mostly; she’s damn adorable and even though she’s a toddler, she’s fearless and she’s able to change the views of everyone in Monster world. It goes back to that idea of preconceived perceptions; they thought children were evil and hazardous but it turns out that they’re not, of course (I mean…most of the time…) and that laughter is actually a better source of energy than screams. I am still waiting for the sequel where we see an older Boo but I can’t wait to see Monsters University this summer.

3. Wall.E

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THIS MOVIE IS SO DAMN CUTE! It is one of the cutest and most romantic movies in the whole world and there isn’t even a lot of talking in this movie. Wall.E is back on earth, an earth of the future, where we have trashed it to pieces and have abandoned it for space. Wall.E remains, cleaning up the mess because that’s his job…until one day, EVE appears and he falls madly in love with the female robot. He follows her into space, on to the great ship where the humans are, and we see them try and convince them to come back, to bring the earth back to where she used to be. Its a beautiful story. First and foremost, its a love story and its one of the most sincere love stories I’ve seen in awhile. Most love stories nowadays are so chaotic and tragic and this one is just so simple and awesome. Some people think this movie is a little preachy but I like it. It may be a little bit extreme but the movie shows a lot of the truth. We need to take care of this planet, no matter how badly it gets and we should never abandon it, because it takes care of us. I also think the whole fat people in hover chairs on the space ship was a little dig too, that we need to get outside and enjoy life more often. I hope that I am able to do that and I know sometimes I am not. Another fantastic Pixar movie.

2. Toy Story 3

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This is one of the most emotional, raw movies I have ever seen…and its an animated childrens movie. We have now reached the end (or so we thought until they brought up Toy Story 4), and Andy is about ot go off to college. The toys haven’t been played with for years and they’re feeling neglected. Woody is going off to college with Andy but the rest of the toys are going to be put up in the attic…until the accidentally get donated to a preschool, and they are suddenly under the tyrannical rule of Lotso Huggin Bear. It really gives the toys a chance to think about their lives, even though their toys, and whether they need to hold on or move on. The scene where the toys hold hands together as they are heading toward death…tears. One of the most mature and real and raw portrayals of death and the acceptance of death I’ve ever seen…and in a children’s movie. The scene where Woody makes the decision that the toys should move on, go on to make a new child happy, and Andy realizes how much the toys have done for him…beautiful. I first watched Toy Story when it come out back in 1995 and to come full circle with these characters that I fell in love with as a child in 2010 at 22 years old is a wonderful thing.

1. Up

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I have seen this movie a hundred million trillion times. I can quote this entire movie. I quote this movie randomly throughout my daily life. (“I like you temporarily”. “But its a talking dog!” “Tomorrow, come back tomorrow and I will have the bird”) Its a sweet movie, it has romance and adventure. It begins with Carl as an adventure loving child, who meets Ellie, another adventure loving child. It shows their entire life together (to the tune of “Married Life”, which I am totally walking down the aisle to…and is the BEST part of the entire movie) all the way up until Ellie’s death, before they are ever able to go on their adventure to South America. Then we see Carl as an old man, stuck in his familar world, afraid to move on, talking to Ellie as if she’s still alive…and then he decides to go on an epic adventure, tying hundreds of balloons to his house, and taking off to Paradise Falls, meeting young Russell along the way. The movie shows an epic romance, a traditional classic romance that we all wish for, and it shows the sadness after the romance is over, after your partner dies. But it also shows us that we can find love in other ways, in the way that Carl finds love in Russell, and he is able to move on. Its such a wonderful, beautiful movie and I will never tire of it. Never ever. There is a reason that this movie (along with Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story 3) is one of the few animated films to ever be nominated for Best Picture.

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So there’s my top ten. I am so eager to see what else Pixar brings us in the future. They have never disappointed me (except maybe in the case of Cars 2, but I’ve never seen it so who knows) and they continue to make fun, and life changing movies.

I left off Toy Story 2, Cars, and Cars 2. I adore TS2 and Cars very much, but they just didn’t quite make the list. I also have never seen Cars 2 because, well, I don’t really have a desire to see it :/ However, I am very, very excited for Monsters University this summer!

Coming soon: post on Gallifrey One! I know, its so LATE but its coming, I swear! This month is insane! SO much going on. Its my birthday tomorrow!

What are YOUR favorite Pixar movies? Share them below!