Pixar Studios has been delighting children for a full generation now, beginning in 1995 with Toy Story. That remains one of the studio's biggest franchises, and it will be the first to get a fourth installment this weekend. To mark the occasion, CableTV.com used Google Trends to determine what each state's favorite Pixar movie is.
Pixar movies are almost universally loved, and many viewers agree that there have been few bad releases from the studio over the years. Still, some stand out above the rest, as the map below shows.
The fan favorites vary from state to state in interesting ways. In many cases, neighboring states share a Pixar preference, while elsewhere a single state may stand alone. Some states that are not neighbors but are similar also share a favorite, such as the two northern corners Maine and Washington state, for example.
Obviously, there are no losers in the world of Pixar movies, but it is fun to see which ones rise to the top in a national poll. Here is a look at each state's favorite Pixar movie.
State by State
Overall, the nation has a pretty healthy spread in terms of Pixar fandom.
A few heavy hitters obviously win out, and there is even some regional dominance that is interesting to consider. Still, there are one hit wonders spread throughout, proving that Pixar has more than enough popular movies in its library.
The infographic above gives plenty of detail if you look closely enough. For franchises with multiple movies, the background color has been textured to show which installment the state favors. A few textures were not even used, although they were made just in case. The minimalist symbols leave no doubt as to which movie they represent.
'Up' Sweeps the Nation
The overall winner of the map is Up, the 2009 modern classic following an old man's journey into the unknown with an intrepid boy scout and a talking dog for his sidekicks. The movie was the favorite Pixar film in 17 states, including:
District of Columbia
Sequels Win Out
There were a few cases where sequels won over their original counterparts. Upon reflection, this should not be too much of a surprise, as Pixar movies are marketed for a younger audience, who may imprint on whatever movie comes their way first.
While the original Cars film does not appear on the map, Cars 2 was the favorite of Arkansas, while Cars 3 won in Kentucky. Meanwhile, Toy Story 3 was favored in Nevada, Connecticut and Delaware, and Toy Story 2 in Idaho. Only in Florida did the original prevail.
Perhaps the most striking sequel victory is Finding Dory, which had five states over Finding Nemo's one. While Hawaii may prefer the original, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all had Finding Dory at the top of their lists.
One of the most interesting parts of the state map break-down is the places where a single state favors a movie. This is true for Cars 2 in Arkansas and Cars 3 in Kentucky, and in a few other places as well.
In Louisiana, for example, their favorite Pixar movie is A Bug's Life, but no where else. The movie was only Pixar's second release ever, and it never had a sequel. Nonetheless, clearly it still reigns supreme in the Pelican State.
Meanwhile, Vermont alone names Ratatouille as its favorite Pixar movie, and only Idaho likes Toy Story 2 best. Outside of the mainland, Alaska's favorite is the melancholy Wall-E, while Hawaii's is Finding Nemo.
Over the last 24 years, Pixar has released 21 films, but only 17 appear on the map. Many of the missing movies include sequels, though not all of them.
The original Cars, for example, is no where to be found, nor is 2017's hit Coco. The other two MIA movies are The Incredibles 2 and Monsters University -- both relatively recent sequels. It may be that these movies simply have not found their footing yet, but with the Pixar catalogue soon coming to the Disney+ streaming service, they may still find their audience.
Lastly, we can forgive Toy Story 4 for falling short of the list, having just come out on Friday.
Pixar's Secret to Success
Movie-goers have marveled at the magic of Pixar movies ever since they first hit theaters, yet the studio's success does not rest on its cutting edge animation style or pitch-perfect casting. Quite simply, Pixar can attribute its consistent success to incredible storytelling, whether the movie concerns toys, princesses or bugs.
Pixar Animation Studios began in 1979 as a division of LucasFilm. It incorporated independently yeas later with help from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and it was acquired by Disney in 2006. Through all that, the studio's approach to storytelling has changed little, and it has reaped huge rewards.
In the last several years, some of Pixar's biggest creators have shared the secrets of their success with the world, leading more and more fans to dissect the studio's approach.
This includes a lauded 2012 TED Talk by screenwriter and director Andrew Stanton, who explained that Pixar writers work backwards from the ending of a movie.
Of course, the list above is not written in stone, especially considering some of Pixar's plans for the future. They released Toy Story 4 this past weekend, which will be its last release for the year, but the studio is not resting on its laurels.
There are two Pixar movies due out in 2020 — Onward and Soul. Onward is an urban fantasy, set in a world similar to ours but populated with magical creatures like elves, trolls, mermaids, centaurs and goblins.
The fantasy elements will be juxtaposed against the setting for a modern fairytale, featuring an A-list cast of voice actors like Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer. Onward is due out in theaters on March 6, 2020.
One year from today, Pixar Animation Studios will take you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions. Disney & Pixar’s “Soul” arrives in theaters on June 19, 2020. pic.twitter.com/tEDczWARfN— Soul (@PixarSoul) June 19, 2019
Meanwhile, Soul is dramedy directed by Pete Docter, though little is known about it so far. Pixar released an intriguing synopsis for the film last week, but it raised more questions than answers.
"Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from? What is it that makes you... you? [The film] takes you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life's most important questions."0comments
Soul is due in theaters on June 19, 2020. Pixar has at least two more released scheduled for the following year as well, though they are untitled and mysterious. Beyond that, it seems safe to say that the company will continue putting out fan favorites for years to come.
Toy Story 4 is in theaters now.