• Pixar movies are often complete stories that don’t require sequels, but audiences still crave them due to the detailed and fun worlds created.
  • Several Pixar movies, such as
    A Bug’s Life
    , and
    , have not received sequels, either because they were overshadowed by other films or because their stories were self-contained.
  • While some movies like
    The Good Dinosaur
    have sequel potential, it’s uncertain if they will actually receive follow-ups due to factors like box office performance or the studio’s philosophy on creating sequels.

Pixar is one of the greatest and most consistent animation studios, but some of the studio’s best movies surprisingly have no sequels. Pixar has made a name for itself when it comes to telling engaging stories that adults can relate to just as much as children do. The only other animated studio that comes close to Pixar’s layered, emotional, and heartfelt storytelling is Studio Ghibli. Between depicting different cultures, building original fantasy worlds, and still featuring relatable characters, Pixar movies lend themselves to multiple sequels, as a follow-up in any one of the studio’s franchises can be completely different from the last.

However, the studio also admirably tells complete stories with each of its movies, which makes sequels to certain Pixar films totally unnecessary. Very rarely does Pixar attempt to set up a sequel or leave loose ends only to be answered at a later date. Nevertheless, that is bittersweet, as those wholly creative movies are so detailed and fun to live in for 100 minutes that audiences crave sequels — even the long-desired Inside Out 2 is now in production. Whether it’s because the movie was unsuccessful at the box office or simply because there’s no more story to tell, these films remain standalone gems.

Related: 10 Massively Underrated Pixar Movies

13 A Bug’s Life (1998)

Heimlich screaming in A Bug's Life

A Bug’s Life is one of the most overlooked Pixar movies, as its release was sandwiched between the first two Toy Story movies, and the movie about insects simply didn’t have as much of a lasting impact. A pocket of Pixar fans are nostalgic about the movie, but it was never enough to warrant even considering a sequel. While A Bug’s Life follows the classic Pixar formula of “what if X had feelings,” that blueprint was nailed better in later movies. There’s still a chance A Bug’s Life could get a sequel, as Pixar has waited over a decade to make sequels before, but after 25 years, it’s extremely unlikely.

12 Ratatouille (2007)

Linguini talks to Remy, holding him in his hand, in Ratatouille

Pixar had always been the gold standard of animation ever since the studio’s inception, but Ratatouille was the start of an incredible late-2000s hot streak. The movie is about an inadequate chef who all of a sudden becomes the best culinary star in Paris when he’s operated by a rat pulling his hair. Ratatouille has a glowing warmth both visually and in its heartwarming story, and the animated classic is different from the loud bombast that’s expected of usual animated movies. However, that muted style isn’t exactly sequel material. Nevertheless, Ratatouille’s legacy lives on even in live-action movies, as one of Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Easter eggs paid homage.

11 WALL-E (2008)

WALL-E looking at a Rubik's Cube

WALL-E was another milestone for animated movies, as the first 20 minutes is almost entirely wordless, but it still manages to draw in even the most easily distracted children’s attention. WALL-E’s story is complete by the end of the movie, and it’s hard to see where a sequel could go. Nevertheless, Pixar president Jim Morris commented on the possibility of the sequel (via Cinema Blend), explaining, “WALL-E is close to my heart since I produced it. It would be good to go back and visit that world… But that was really a love story that had its beginning, middle, and end, so we’re not really planning any further stories.”

Related: Why WALL-E 2 Never Happened Despite Pixar Making So Many Sequels

10 Up (2009)

Carl's house lifts into the air in Pixar's Up

Up was the third movie in a string of great late-2000s original Pixar movies, and the 2009 release also doesn’t have a sequel. While the first 10 minutes of Up are infamously tear-jerking, if there was an Up sequel, the film would undoubtedly be heartbreaking and morbid given Carl’s age. However, while there hasn’t been an Up 2, there has been a series of shorts made for Disney+. Dug Days follows the adventures of Russell and the titular talking dog. Carl also returned in a short film, as Carl’s Date was screened before Elemental, bringing back the lovable pensioner and an old Pixar tradition, too.

9 Brave (2012)

Merida smiling and looking off into the distance in Brave

Brave isn’t the most obvious Pixar film, as it’s the first to contain supernatural elements and one of the few to feature human lead characters, but it was still another insightful look into another culture. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Princess Merida will ever return, as there hasn’t been much word on a Brave 2. In an interview with The Scotsman, director Mark Andrews did comment on the possibility of a follow-up. The filmmaker explained, “We never make a film at Pixar to have a sequel. It is always nice when you do and we kind of have a philosophy that if we find the right story then we will.

8 The Good Dinosaur (2015)

A boy touching a dinosaur in The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur has a fantastic premise, as it imagines a world where dinosaurs weren’t wiped out by the meteor, and they shared the Earth with human beings. However, The Good Dinosaur is one of the lowest-grossing Pixar movies, with just $332 worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). As a result, it’s no wonder there hasn’t been any word on a sequel. Nevertheless, as the 2015 release didn’t fully capitalize on its premise, The Good Dinosaur has the most sequel potential out of any Pixar movie. The Good Dinosaur 2 could be set millions of years later when humans have built civilization around dinosaurs.

7 Coco (2017)

Miguel strums a guitar as marigold petals raise off the ground around him.

With its story of a 12-year-old boy accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead, Coco is one of Pixar’s best movies, but there has been absolutely no word on a sequel. Just like other Pixar movies, Coco tells a full satisfying story with no unanswered questions. While it’d be great to revisit the movie’s world, as the rich and glowing design of the afterlife is some of Pixar’s most dazzling animation ever, it shouldn’t happen if Pixar has to force a story. The lack of Coco 2 is a testament to Pixar’s choice to not make sequels based on the box office, as Coco grossed $814 million (via The Numbers).

6 Onward (2020)

Bailey watches as Ian holds a glowing blue staff.

Onward builds an interesting fantasy world in which a vast number of stories can be told, but Onward 2 isn’t expected to happen. This is another Pixar movie that likely won’t get a sequel due to its box-office performance. The fantasy film was an outright bomb, as it grossed just $142 million with a budget of $200 million (via Box Office Mojo). However, there’s an asterisk next to that performance, as the film was a victim of its release date — Onward came out just as COVID-19 was spreading across North America, which led to theaters shutting down.

5 Soul (2020)

Joe walking across the street in Soul

Soul follows a middle-school teacher who travels to another realm and learns what it means to really have a soul. There have been no comments from Pixar or anyone involved with the 2020 film about a potential Soul 2 happening, which isn’t all that surprising given that the film is still relatively new compared to other sequel-less Pixar movies. However, a sequel is still possible, as Soul 2 could focus on 22, the soul that transitions to Earth and begins a new life. The movie is an Academy Award winner, and as Soul was released directly onto Disney+, a sequel could get the theatrical release that the franchise deserves.

4 Luca (2021)

Luca and Alberto on bike with seagull

The 2021 movie follows the titular teenage boy who can shapeshift into a sea monster, which makes for a rather eventful vacation on an Italian seaside. Luca is another fairly recent movie that was also made immediately available on Disney+. However, there have actually been comments about Luca 2. Director Enrico Casarosa has expressed interest in a sequel and has even spitballed ideas around. The filmmaker thinks Luca 2 could be influenced by The Parent Trap by following Luca and Giulia’s attempt to get Massimo and his wife back together (via Syfy). Unfortunately, in the following year, Enrico Casarosa tweeted that there were no plans to make Luca 2.

3 Turning Red (2022)

Mei, a girl who changed into a red panda, looks at her three friends in a bedroom.

Turning Red was the final Pixar movie made immediately available on Disney+ before Disney realized that they have always been theatrical events and shouldn’t be relegated to straight-to-streaming. However, streaming Turning Red didn’t take anything away from the movie’s magic about a 13-year-old girl who turns into a giant red panda when she gets emotional. Director Domee Shi expressed interest in developing Turning Red 2, though she was extremely vague. The filmmaker mentioned, “We are open, but we haven’t talked about it. But yeah, it’s an invitation at the end for more stories.

2 Lightyear (2022)

Buzz looking worried in Lightyear.

While Lightyear is a part of the Toy Story franchise, it’s a standalone movie with its own sequel potential. Lightyear sets up a follow-up by teasing more of Buzz’s adventures exploring the galaxy. Though Pixar doesn’t make movies with the intention of them being franchise-starters, the studio surely saw Lightyear’s sequel potential. However, Lightyear was a shock box office bomb. Despite being part of a multi-billion-dollar franchise, the movie barely made back its budget. Lightyear 2 could still happen after Toy Story 5, but given how risk-averse Disney is being by only making sequels to its billion-dollar hits (Frozen 3, Zootopia 2, Toy Story 5), Lightyear 2 is extremely unlikely.

1 Elemental (2023)

Wade looking at a happy Ember in Elemental

There might not be a sequel to Elemental, but the Pixar movie was only just released in 2023. In fact, the movie surprisingly has more sequel potential than other recent Pixar movies, including Lightyear. Despite Elemental’s terrible opening weekend at the box office, the film miraculously became successful by having long legs thanks to positive word of mouth and staying in theaters for months. While Elemental 2 isn’t confirmed, the first movie sets up an interesting fantasy world where a number of sequels can happen. Co-writer Kat Likkel even planned a sequel tease, noting, “They’ve had a baby, and the baby was steam… that was something I kept fighting for.”

By frdlv

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