Skip To Content

    The 10 Greatest Friendships In Pixar Movies, Ranked

    From Buzz and Woody to Mike Wazowski and Sulley, here's to the ship that never sinks.

    We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI: Platform, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

    I watched Luca, Pixar's latest film, this week, and there was a lot I liked about the coming-of-age story. I enjoyed the beautiful animation, getting a glimpse of how sea monster society functions, and, of course, the people speaking in Italian accents. 

    Alberto and Luca enjoying ice cream.
    Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection

    But even more than Italian accents and sea monster society, what I liked about Luca was the central friendship between Luca and Alberto, the slightly older sea monster-turned-boy who shows our titular protagonist how to survive in the above-water world.

    And seeing the power of friendship on full display in Luca made me think about how in Pixar movies, more often than not, the most important relationships are friendships. For kids especially, I think it's great to see it celebrated so prominently.

    LUCA, from left: Alberto Scorfano (voice: Jack Dylan Grazer), Luca Paguro (voice: Jacob Tremblay), 2021. ©
    Disney + / Courtesy Everett Collection

    So, as tribute to Luca and Alberto's friendship, I decided to go through all 24 Pixar movies to pick my 10 favorite duos. (Spoilers ahead!) 

    10. Remy and Alfredo Linguini (Ratatouille)

    Remy plays the puppetmaster by pulling Linguini's hair.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    At first, Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) and Linguini (voiced by Lou Romano) are less friends than reluctant partners, as Remy puppeteers the bumbling garbage boy to get him promoted to chef. But after hours of working together to perfect their unique cooking style, the two learn to trust and appreciate each other while Remy gets to live out his dream of making delicious meals that people love. The two have their differences but manage to always work through them, eventually opening a popular bistro together, which really is the dream all friends secretly have. This may not be an elite friendship by Pixar's extremely high standards, but they still deserve credit for looking past their differences to create a friendship as rich and flavorful as the culinary concoctions they cook up together in the kitchen.

    Watch Ratatouille on Disney+.

    9. Carl and Russell (Up)

    Russell looking at an annoyed Carl through binoculars.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Pixar loves an odd-couple friendship, and one of the oddest couples is Carl (voiced by Ed Asner) and Russell (voiced by Jordan Nagai). Carl is an old grump who just wants to be left alone after the death of his wife, while Russell is a motormouthed Boy Scout who loves to share every single thought he has out loud. When Russell accidentally ends up as a stowaway on Carl's one-way trip to Paradise Falls via flying house, it seems like Carl's worst nightmare. But ultimately, Carl learns to open his heart back up and love Russell like his own son (or, more realistically, grandson). The only reason this doesn't land higher on the list is because as sweet as the connection between Carl and Russell is, it ultimately feels more familial than like a friendship.

    Watch Up on Disney+.

    8. Mr. Incredible and Frozone (The Incredibles)

    Mr. Incredible and Frozone are ready to fight crime.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The Incredibles is a franchise that is primarily focused on family, so we don't get to spend that much time diving into the platonic relationship of Bob Parr (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) and Lucius Best (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), forcing us to deduce the nature of their friendship. Fortunately, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see that these two are true blue buddies who always have each other's backs.  The two know they can always count on each other, and when Bob's kids are in trouble, Lucius immediately steps in to protect them. Lucius and Bob's friendship goes back a long way, but they've kept their bond as strong as ever and prove to be way more than two dudes who happen to fight crime together. They're best pals.

    Watch The Incredibles on Disney+.

    7. Lightning McQueen and Mater (Cars)

    Mater is confused and Lightning is bemused.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    When we first meet Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), he's the most talented car in the world, and it's very clear that he knows it. So upon meeting Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), the slightly dim-witted but extremely good-natured tow truck, McQueen is way too full of himself and has no interest in them becoming friends. He just sees Mater as a dumb hick, but as he slowly learns humility, he and Mater end up forming an unlikely friendship that becomes the defining relationship of all three Cars films. Whenever McQueen needs advice or guidance, he ends up calling on his good buddy Mater, showing just how deep their friendship has become.

    Watch Cars on Disney+.

    6. Joy and Sadness (Inside Out)

    Sadness wallows on the ground while Joy tries to motivate her.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Why be sad when you can be happy? That is the philosophy Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) holds toward Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith) for most of Inside Out. She just can't understand the purpose of this morose emotion who only seems to exist to bring everyone down, especially Riley. But over time, she starts to understand that Sadness is an essential part of Riley growing into a fully functional human. Because without Sadness, Riley can only express her negative feelings through Panic, Anger, or Disgust, which leads her to run away from home. In a sign of the respect she has developed for Sadness, Joy lets her take control when Riley returns to her parents, showing how far Sadness and Joy have come as friends.

    Watch Inside Out on Disney+.

    5. Wall-E and Hal (Wall-E)

    Hal the cockroach and Wall-E staring at each other.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    When we first meet Wall-E (voiced by Ben Burtt), the little lonely robot is the only living (depending on your philosophical definition of what it means to be "living") being left on planet Earth, all alone to collect trash and watch old movies. Except he's actually not, as we quickly see that he has at least one friend in Hal, a lovable little, indestructible cockroach. There's an immediate unspoken intimacy in Hal and Wall-E's initial interaction, and as we see them spend time together, it's clear that they have helped each other cling onto hope and sanity in this desolate wasteland. Once Eve is introduced, you might expect Hal to virtually disappear, but he remains a presence in the movie, showing that the friendship was not merely one of convenience. In fact, Hal is the first to approach Eve, basically being the perfect wingman for Wall-E, who is too nervous to introduce himself. Hal and Wall-E do end up separating when Wall-E heads to space to follow Eve, but that is only because Wall-E forces Hal to stay back because he knows that his cockroach amigo wouldn't survive out in space. And once Wall-E returns, Hal is right there ready for a reunion — and if that's not true friendship, I don't know what is.

    Watch Wall-E on Disney+.

    4. Marlin and Dory (Finding Nemo)

    Marlin and Dory are are terrified and surrounded by jellyfish.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    For much of Finding Nemo, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) doesn't like Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) so much as he tolerates her general existence as he heads towards P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, to find his son. But even though she can barely remember her own name, Dory understands how much they need each other and refuses to leave his side. While Dory helps Marlin remember to enjoy life rather than live in constant fear, while Marlin gives Dory a sense of belonging, which is something she has always lacked due to her short-term memory loss. Without each other, Marlin would likely never have found Nemo, and Dory would still be wandering aimlessly around the ocean. But thankfully, they did find each other and demonstrate that in the best friendships, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Watch Find Nemo on Disney+.

    3. Luca and Alberto (Luca)

    Luca and Alberto admire the bike they built.
    Disney + / Courtesy Everett Collection

    What really makes the friendship of Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) and Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) so special is the timing, as the two meet and bond in their early teen years just as they are starting to gain a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. The friendships a person forges during these formative years can shape them for the rest of their life, and it's clear that that is the case with these two sea monsters. Luca has long been curious about life above the surface, but it's only when he meets Alberto, a fellow sea monster, that he has the courage to actually enter into the human world for the first time. As they explore human society for the first time, their friendship deepens, and they rely on each other to navigate this entirely foreign environment. Their friendship is far from perfect, but they manage to learn from their mistakes in order to grow and form an unforgettable bond. 

    Watch Luca on Disney+.

    2. Woody and Buzz (Toy Story)

    Buzz and Woody
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen) are easily the most iconic duo in the Pixar universe, and their unlikely friendship has been the foundation of the entire Toy Story franchise. But what's really interesting about the relationship between the two is how often they are in conflict with each other. In all four Toy Story movies, Woody and Buzz are philosophically opposed in some way, but no matter how often they fight, they have proven time and time again that they will do anything for each other. And in an ultimate sign of true friendship, Buzz even supports Woody giving up his single-owner lifestyle and leaving all of his pals behind to join Bo Peep and the Lost Toys in their freewheeling community at the end of Toy Story 4.

    Watch Toy Story on Disney+.

    1. Mike Wazowski and Sulley (Monsters, Inc.)

    Sulley and Mike watching TV.
    Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    A best friend is not just the person you laugh the most with or have the most fun with; it's the person you know you can count on when you are in desperate need of help, no questions asked. And no Pixar pals embody that spirit of friendship better than James P. Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal). When Sulley has his sights set on the scare record, who is there every step of the way to keep him motivated and focused? Mike. And when Mike needs the perfect restaurant to propose to his girlfriend, Cecilia, who gets him a reservation at Harryhausen's? Sulley. Even when Sulley accidentally brings a human into the Monstropolis, who is the one person he knows he can tell? You get the picture. Do they have their moments of disagreement? Of course. But at the end of the day, Mike and Sulley have been through it all together, and it has only made them better friends. From college enemies to lifelong best buds, these two prove to have not just the best Pixar friendship but one of the greatest movie friendships, period. 

    Watch Monsters, Inc. on Disney+.

    Get your Disney+ subscription now for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. If you’re not ready to commit yet, you can test it out for seven days for free!

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form