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The Pixar Thread

post #1 of 310
Thread Starter 
Tried a search and didn't find a general Pixar thread so I figured I'd start one. If there's one that exists and I looked over it, please post the link here and lock this one down.

Pixar has been for the most part, one of the most reliable studios out there today. It's gotten to the point where all I need is a release date and I'm there on opening day. No need for a full trailer or clips to sell me on Pixar anymore. They have my trust.

As for the future of Pixar, I know alot of people want them to tackle more adult stories. I'm sure they'll go there eventually but I'm really hoping they'll make the silent feature they so obviously want to make. If "Wall-E" and "UP" are any indication, this is the direction Pixar really wants to go and where their hearts are.

Besides the movies, this is also the place to talk about their shorts and early work. Have at it!
post #2 of 310
I just want them to do what they do - tell compelling stories. I don't car if they're for kids or whatever. Those people humble me - I doubt anything I say about what they do would be of any value.
post #3 of 310
Silent? What do you mean?
I loved Ratatouille and Wall-E is perfect until they reach the starship.
post #4 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feral Akodon View Post
Silent? What do you mean?
With a few minor alterations, Up could have been done completely without dialog.
post #5 of 310
Pixar has perfected the artistry of 'small' movements: those subtle, fleeting moments that bring forth character. Dreamworks Animation hasn't achieved this level of mastery, relying instead on the big and LOUD gags that grow tiresome.
post #6 of 310
It's the modern version of the old line about Warner Brothers cartoons versus Hannah-Barbera's Saturday morning stuff -- you can turn off the sound and still follow a Pixar cartoon, while you can turn off the picture and still follow a DreamWorks cartoon.
post #7 of 310
It sounds crazy but I'd kind of like to see what those filmmakers do with an R rating.
post #8 of 310
I think I've enjoyed Toy Story and A Bug's Life the most due to their ensemble of quirky characters. Don't get me wrong, Pixar makes great films, but I seriously doubt that I'll ever re-visit Ratatouille and Wall-E (Even though I liked the former quite a bit).
post #9 of 310
The fake outakes at the end of some of their films are a scream. Indeed, the ones for 'A Bug's Life' are superior to the actual movie, especially the ones with Hopper/Kevin Spacey.

'How many times do we have to DO this scene? I'll be in my trailer'.
post #10 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
With a few minor alterations, Up could have been done completely without dialog.
Maybe the first 10 minutes, but you'd have to lose a ton of Dug humor.
post #11 of 310
That's much more true of Wall-E than Up, I think. Wall-E operates as a borderline silent film for 20 minutes or so, Up doesn't. Comparing them in that way I think is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to just loving Up so much.

Plus, I think the 'Kid's Movie' ridiculousness in Wall-E is much more peripheral to the story than the same stuff in Up.
post #12 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
Pixar has perfected the artistry of 'small' movements: those subtle, fleeting moments that bring forth character. Dreamworks Animation hasn't achieved this level of mastery, relying instead on the big and LOUD gags that grow tiresome.
Though they have mastered the art of animating a smirk!


To be fair to the animators at Dreamworks, I'm sure they do their damnest to achieve great animation as anyone at Pixar. Unfortunately, they're hobbled by the general 'loudness' of Dreamworks movies.

I thought the animation for Sifu and Oogway in Kung Fu Panda were great.
post #13 of 310
In Dreamworks's defense, I love Kung Fu Panda and Antz.
post #14 of 310
Thread Starter 
Saw the first Toy Story movie the other day. A few things really stood out for me.

One is that this movie is truly timeless. The movie was made in '95 and it hasn't aged a day. No pop culture references, nothing topical, nothing to say "1995!!". Pixar could have put this in the archives until 2009 and released it this year and nobody would be able to tell it's a 14 year old movie.

The film looks better than I remember. Sure it's not as rich as Ratatouille or Wall-E but within the aesthetic it had, it looks great. It's certainly better looking than Monsters Inc. Most noteworthy are the daylight scenes at the end of the movie where Woody and Buzz are racing to catch up with the car. It looks photo realistic in some scenes (if you squint). Of course the dog and the humans suffer a little from primitive (by today's standards) computers but it's certainly not "Re-Boot" quality.

The Pixar magic was there at the start. It amazes me how Pixar can set up a world and characters so effortlessly in a few minutes. Devin is right. They are the masters of the first act and it's been there from the start.

I'm looking forward to revisiting the Pixar movies in the next few weeks and what a great start.
post #15 of 310

Watched Up with the daughter the other night, and came to a conclusion:  The bit where Muntz has the characters join him for dinner?  The dogs....they do a Harpo on Russell with his food.  The timing there is simply perfect.

 

For comparison's sake..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOe2bTVLRxk

post #16 of 310

Very excited about Cars 2. Every trailer I see just makes me giddy. The first one is probably my favorite Pixar movie ever. And everything I've seen of the sequel makes me happy!

post #17 of 310

So, I decided to rewatch Andrew Stanton's first two directorial jobs before rewatching John Carter, though we often forget that Pixar stalwart and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich served as co-director on Finding Nemo. Ergo, I have some random, disorganized ramblings on both that film and Wall-E for you good, patient people:

 

-It's funny, Nemo has never been on my all-time favorites list when it comes to Pixar, yet every time I revisit it I'm reminded just how fucking great it really is. Now I actually wanna go see the theatrical re-release this fall.
 

-God, the scene where Dory begs Marlin not to leave her might be just as gut-wrenching as "When She Loved Me". First you have Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar-worthy delivery of Dory's little monologue; if she had botched this speech, it wouldn't matter how good the rest of her performance was. Thankfully, she absolutely nails it. The character animation on Dory is equally stunning, getting more and more panicked as the scene goes on but never seeming "cartoony". And Marlin's quiet, perfectly delivered by Albert Brooks line that twists the knife: "I'm sorry, Dory, but... I do."

 

-My other favorite non-comedy scene in the movie is when Marlin's story travels across the ocean, and then Nigel tells it to Nemo. The slowly dawning wonder on Nemo's face and the fantastic Thomas Newman score never fails to make me smile.

 

-Thank God the movie does have a lot of great humor in it, though. Otherwise it would be depressing as hell. From the great Odd Couple back-and-forth between Marlin and Dory, to the still-hilarious sharks, the awesomeness of Crush, and of course the tank characters.

 

-Wall-E on the other hand has been a favorite pretty much since I saw it. Contrary to others, my opinion of the 2nd and 3rd acts has only grown more appreciative upon rewatching. And I think the key to that is the character of EVE, who's easily my favorite character in the whole thing. Consider this: in her relationship with Wall-E, he never really changes, does he? He affects everyone around him, but stays more or less the same aside from falling in love throughout. Normally this storytelling practice bugs the hell out of me, but it works wonders here. And EVE's slowly growing affection and finally love is powerful to behold, especially as she tries to revive him at the end of the film.

 

-Speaking of, that scene is still pretty fucking tense. Much like the junkyard scene in Toy Story 3, just for a moment, you fear that Pixar might actually go farther than they ever had before in terms of darkness. Of course, that would be incredibly unsatisfying from a story perspective; I've always thought there needs to be some kind of purpose to a downer ending aside from cruelly toying with the audience. That would be the only reason to do such a thing here and in TS3.

 

-Ben Burtt. He is Your Sound Design and Editing God. Bow before him!

 

-The Space Dance: still one of the most purely romantic scenes I've ever witnessed in a film. Seriously, how the fuck did these genius lunatics make a love story about robots that is better than 99% of romance movies made about humans?

 

-Thomas Newman again knocks it out of the park score-wise. Incidentally, is he related to Randy? I always thought Randy's actual scores he did for Pixar were some of his best work, especially A Bug's Life (the songs were never bad, though), but Thomas might be even better. As much as I loved Giacchino's score for John Carter, I have to wonder what Tom would've done with it had Stanton chosen to team with him for a third time...

post #18 of 310

Nemo is the film I always kind of gloss over when thinking back on Pixar's work, but then when I actually start thinking about it, there are so many great moments in it. It's just a showcase of all the things Pixar does well, humor mixed with powerful emotion all backed by stunning animation (seriously, how beautiful is that jellyfish scene? Just a gorgeous film). Also, the Brooks/Ellen combo is maybe the best voice work they've had in any of their films. Ellen absolutely knocks it out of the park.

post #19 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

-Wall-E on the other hand has been a favorite pretty much since I saw it. Contrary to others, my opinion of the 2nd and 3rd acts has only grown more appreciative upon rewatching. And I think the key to that is the character of EVE, who's easily my favorite character in the whole thing. Consider this: in her relationship with Wall-E, he never really changes, does he? He affects everyone around him, but stays more or less the same aside from falling in love throughout. Normally this storytelling practice bugs the hell out of me, but it works wonders here. And EVE's slowly growing affection and finally love is powerful to behold, especially as she tries to revive him at the end of the film.

 

 

Glad I'm not the only one.  I love the whole fucking thing.  

post #20 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratty View Post

Glad I'm not the only one.  I love the whole fucking thing.
Far from. I didn't even get why people bag on the second half when I first saw the movie, and on subsequent rewatches it's held up perfectly fine.
post #21 of 310

Did a Cars 2 rewatch as well. Really, aside from the troubling "Ugly American" thing involving Mater and how it's apparently OK, it's not a bad little movie. The racing and action scenes are terrifically realized, Giacchino's score is a terrific spy movie pastiche, and I really like the voicework by Emily Mortimer (Holly Shiftwell), John Turturro (Francesco Bernoulli), and Thomas Kretschmann (Professor Zudnapp).

 

Honestly, perhaps it's a little unreasonable to expect flat-out masterpieces from Pixar every single time. We should expect *quality*, sure, but I wouldn't want to burden my favorite live-action filmmakers with the same sky-high expectations either.

post #22 of 310

I love Wall-E exponentially more each time I see it. I was originially one of those that wasn't crazy about the 3rd act, but I've come around. I think it's because the first act is so completely mind-blowing that it casts a shadow over the rest of the film. It's one of the finest 30 minutes of pure animation ever created.

 

Finding Nemo is a classic, probably just behind Up as my favorite Pixar. I can't wait to finally get it on Blu-Ray.

post #23 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post

Far from. I didn't even get why people bag on the second half when I first saw the movie, and on subsequent rewatches it's held up perfectly fine.

Thirded. The entire film is great.

One thing that I'd like to add about Pixar: they know how to perfectly end a film. WALL-E is a gut punch that gets me every time. MONSTER'S INC....when Boo says 'KITTY!', my heart melts. UP, with the two of them eating ice cream. They get what to do and hit the perfect note.
post #24 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

Honestly, perhaps it's a little unreasonable to expect flat-out masterpieces from Pixar every single time. We should expect *quality*, sure, but I wouldn't want to burden my favorite live-action filmmakers with the same sky-high expectations either.

 

This is more or less where I fall, Chris. Anticipating a Wall-E or a Ratatouille from every Pixar movie is just too big an onus to put on the studio's shoulders. I expect them to make good movies, but not every one of them can be an instant masterpiece/classic. Hell, I haven't put a Pixar film on my annual top ten for the last two years. I'm used to them not knocking every movie totally out of the park at this point. They're artists, not everything they do can possibly match every single one of their "bests", though I admit they're in a tough spot just by virtue of having such a massive run of high-quality films over the last decade and change.

post #25 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

Honestly, perhaps it's a little unreasonable to expect flat-out masterpieces from Pixar every single time. We should expect *quality*, sure, but I wouldn't want to burden my favorite live-action filmmakers with the same sky-high expectations either.
Expecting masterpieces every time, no. (There are lesser Pixar films I won't bag on - I don't think A Bug's Life or Monsters, Inc. have held up as well as the first two Toy Story films, for example, but they're still damn good.) What I do expect is not a fucking Larry the Cable Guy show, and that goes for the first Cars as well, if less so. Maybe it's just that modern hick humor, ostensibly self-effacing but really just as sanctimonious as unironic country sap, really fucking grates on me (I grew up in rural areas of the country that aren't completely peopled with inbred jackasses, so that stereotype's a bit of a sore spot for me,) but God damn. It's like reading through Tolkien and finding a Jersey Shore novelization dropped in the middle as far as jarringness goes.

Though I'll give them credit for honesty, at least: they put that fucker right in the teaser for the first movie, front and center, so I knew I'd hate it right off the bat, and I didn't have to feel bad when I bailed half an hour in.
post #26 of 310

Yeah, when it comes to "lesser" Pixar films, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. are more what I'm talking about. They're not even BAD by any stretch, they just don't quite reach the heights of humor or drama of the other films.  Bug's Life, for instance, still has one of my favorite Pixar villains in Hopper. Kevin Spacey fucking nails it vocally, he has a lot of great lines/moments, and his demise is gleefully karmic.

 

Monsters, meanwhile, is really, really good all the way through, but you can tell Pete Docter was still getting his feet wet in the directors' pool. Like A Bug's Life, the story is a little simpler and easily resolved, though it still deserves credit for not shying away from tough scenes like Sulley's reaction to scaring Boo, or Mike refusing to go back with Sulley to save her. Still, Up would prove to be a massive improvement for him and a great step up for co-director (and voice of Dug!) Bob Peterson. I can't wait to see Pete's upcoming Pixar film on the human mind, or Bob's upcoming solo directing job on the "dinosaurs living among humans" movie.

 

If Brave ends up being among that crowd, it will have some good company. The Cars films are another thing entirely. The first film, and I've noted this before, has a lot of good stuff in it, mainly with Paul Newman and Bonnie Hunt's characters. The montage where the town comes back to life is classic Pixar. And the animation is of course gorgeous and creative.

 

But by Zeus, the pacing drags. I get that part of the message is learning to slow down and appreciate the smaller things in life. However, when you're forcing me to spend time with a supporting cast that is easily the least interesting and funny in Pixar history (they certainly don't have anything on the Toy Story gang), I get impatient. Part of the reason I like Cars 2 a little more is that it zips along much faster.

post #27 of 310

Considering Bug's Life and Monsters were their 2nd and 4th films out of the gate, that they're as good as they are is still pretty remarkable.  It's just the home run of Toy Story and the grand slam of Toy Story 2 are wedged in there.

post #28 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

Yeah, when it comes to "lesser" Pixar films, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. are more what I'm talking about. They're not even BAD by any stretch, they just don't quite reach the heights of humor or drama of the other films.  Bug's Life, for instance, still has one of my favorite Pixar villains in Hopper. Kevin Spacey fucking nails it vocally, he has a lot of great lines/moments, and his demise is gleefully karmic.

 

Monsters, meanwhile, is really, really good all the way through, but you can tell Pete Docter was still getting his feet wet in the directors' pool. Like A Bug's Life, the story is a little simpler and easily resolved, though it still deserves credit for not shying away from tough scenes like Sulley's reaction to scaring Boo, or Mike refusing to go back with Sulley to save her. Still, Up would prove to be a massive improvement for him and a great step up for co-director (and voice of Dug!) Bob Peterson. I can't wait to see Pete's upcoming Pixar film on the human mind, or Bob's upcoming solo directing job on the "dinosaurs living among humans" movie.

I object vociferously! "Monsters Inc." is the best of all the Pixar movies, says I! It's got equal parts heart (the relationship between Sully and Boo) and witty comedy (Billy Crystal's character, with most of his lines and interactions/reactions when with other characters).

 

It has all the visual splendor we expect from the best Pixar movies (amazing how they actually managed to make a freaking factory into an exciting, imaginative place), and like "Toy Story", has a really lovely premise that taps into a part of the childhood experience in a way that seems obvious, but had never been considered before as the foundation of a movie story.

 

I like it a hell of a lot more than "The Incredibles", "Finding Nemo", and "Wall-E" which are way overrated. "Wall-E" starts and ends strongly, but all the stuff with the fat humans and environmental message in the middle is awful and "The Incredibles" is really derivative and simplistic. I can't believe people call it one of the best superhero movies. There are at least half a dozen that do everything it does better, and more.

 

"Finding Nemo" is just dull and schmaltzy and the whole thing being underwater was an eyesore. I can barely get past the moronic premise of "Ratatouille"...I can't get through the whole movie. That premise is a huge drop from the brilliant simplicity of the "Toy Story" movies and "Monsters Inc.".

 

It really saddens me that "Monsters Inc." and "A Bug's Life" could be considered some of the weaker efforts in the Pixar canon (not counting the "Cars" movies). I feel like it's more a case of people just forgetting what comes first...it's this tendency in society to just latch onto the new hot thing.

 

"A Bug's Life" was overshadowed a bit by "Antz", which was much more novel due to its casting, but just because a better animated insect movie came out shortly after it doesn't mean it wasn't excellent too. The casting in that one was wonderful. David Hyde Pearce playing a finicky stick bug was inspired. It was the last Pixar movie I saw in theatres until "Toy Story 3", and I thought it was a lot more original and chanting (although "Toy Story 3" was certainly admirable in its own right).

 

People say Pixar had 'the golden touch' and a perfect streak until "Cars", but from where I'm standing, they were pretty mediocre after "Monsters Inc.". Everything between that and "Up" really disappointed me in various ways. "Up" got them back on track. Sucks that "Monsters Inc." lost the best animation Oscar to "Shrek" when so many less worthy Pixar releases after it got the award.

post #29 of 310

Too true, Richard. I actually find it interesting to go back and compare the earlier films in terms of technology. The first Toy Story has some hiccups, mostly in the humans, though for Sid it's kind of appropriate that he looks and acts so creepy. But the actual direction of the film is still excellent, especially in magical scenes like Buzz's first "falling with style", the defeat of Sid, and the awesome final chase. And everything else about the film (script, acting, music, etc.) still works like gangbusters.

 

Then you have Toy Story 2, which looks way better than the first one only four years later, and 3 is a HUGE leap up from that.

 

Incidentally, is Woody anyone else's favorite Tom Hanks role? He gets to take the character to such interesting and at times surprisingly dark place over all three films. He brings the consummate professionalism from his live action roles. He just kills every single line, be it dramatic or comic, in each film.

post #30 of 310

Naisu: Dude, I didn't even call Monsters or Bug's bad. I love them, they're just not my absolute favorites. And we're really gonna call Nemo an eyesore? I find it beautiful, the best underwater animated film since The Little Mermaid.

 

As for The Incredibles, explain. I find that film to be almost perfectly constructed. My love of Wall-E is documented. And Ratatouille is just as good as The Incredibles, yet in completely different ways. "Moronic premise"? You're gonna have to back that one up, pal.

post #31 of 310

Ratatouille isn't any more outlandish than anything else Pixar has produced to date. We're talking about a studio that's done their own take on talking, living toys, explored the world that exists on the other side of your childhood bedroom's closet, followed a neurotic, nebbish fish across the ocean in a bid to find his gimpy son, and taken us to the end of Earth as we know as seen through the eyes of a curious and adorable robot. A rat learning how to cook fits right in with that mix of eclecticism and whimsy, easily, and frankly stands up as well as many of those other titles (and better than some) even today.

 

I'm biased because Ratatouille represents my favorite Pixar film next to Up (the two wrestle for dominance over my personal top ten list). But I wouldn't think so highly of Ratatouille if I didn't think it a legitimately great film, which I do. Maybe I'm a sucker for films concerned with what drives us to create.

post #32 of 310

For me I think it's easier to distill Pixar appreciation into moments as opposed to full movies: My top 3 that could change daily are the opening 10 mins of Up, Wall-E's Hello Dolly moments, and Sid's torture scene in Toy Story. I'll contend that Finding Nemo is absolutely spectacular from both an animation and voice work perspective and is my favorite
 

post #33 of 310

I want to know which superhero films he thinks are better than The Incredibles.  Because if they don't have Spider-Man, 2, or Avengers in the title, he's out of his mind.

post #34 of 310
I know!!!

Naisu LOOOOOOOVES X2!

Heheheh
post #35 of 310

"Ratatouille" is absolutely gorgeous, man! I love that movie. But I will admit I havn't been really crazy about any of their films since "Wall-E", which is my favorite of theirs. I really wish I loved "Up" as much as everyone else seems too, but outside of the first 20 mins, I just don't really dig it.

post #36 of 310

I love that everyone goes "Oh, Pixar, they've done a lot of great movies. And the Cars movies."

post #37 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Ratatouille isn't any more outlandish than anything else Pixar has produced to date. We're talking about a studio that's done their own take on talking, living toys, explored the world that exists on the other side of your childhood bedroom's closet, followed a neurotic, nebbish fish across the ocean in a bid to find his gimpy son, and taken us to the end of Earth as we know as seen through the eyes of a curious and adorable robot. A rat learning how to cook fits right in with that mix of eclecticism and whimsy, easily, and frankly stands up as well as many of those other titles (and better than some) even today.

 

I'm biased because Ratatouille represents my favorite Pixar film next to Up (the two wrestle for dominance over my personal top ten list). But I wouldn't think so highly of Ratatouille if I didn't think it a legitimately great film, which I do. Maybe I'm a sucker for films concerned with what drives us to create.

I can't see all of those stories as equally outlandish, which is the way you seem to be describing them. Those earlier Pixar stories just seem a lot more logical and grounded to me. Toys having a life outside of when a child plays with them is a really cool and even plausible idea. As is the eternal myth of monsters in the closet being proven as something that exists because there's a monster company that has monsters doing that as a career.

 

And "Finding Nemo" is just the story of a parent looking for his lost child which just happens to be with sea creatures underwater (again, with "Finding Nemo", I just don't like the whole underwater thing, and believe "The Little Mermaid" and 2D animation is a much better venue for an underwater story). I also found the characters really grating. I love Albert Brooks in live action comedies. I didn't think this movie really utilized his unique talents very well. It just made him a stock doddering parent.

 

I don't object to the premises of "Finding Nemo", "The Incredibles", or "Wall-E", I just find them boring and uninspired (well, only the middle of "Wall-E", actually...it starts and finishes pretty awesomely). A rat who is secretly a brilliant chef and 'ghostcooks' for a human chef is just too ridiculous a premise for me. And whose idea was it to make the protagonist of the story a rat of all animals? You can make bugs cute, funny, heroic, and lovable. But I don't care who you cast in the role (even someone as inherently sympathetic as Patton Oswalt), I just don't think you can make a freaking rat easy to root for or identify with (unless his name is Rizzo).

 

I just never got the hype for "The Incredibles". The message is that families should stick together and love each other. Okay, and? The thing with the woman who designs superhero costumes is cute, but beyond that what ideas or insights about superheroes does it have that make it special? Before it there had been plenty of other movies with superhero teams or even just individual superheroes who had deeper and more interesting relationships with their families/friends. Yes, the X-Men for one, whose first two films (even the first one, which I'm not too crazy about) are way better.

 

Not to mention the first two "Superman" and "Spider-Man" movies, which also had much more moving relationships between heroes and families and action that actually felt urgent and dangerous. The CGI action in "The Incredibles" just bores me. It's so obvious that they're just sprites bouncing around a screen, so why should I care about anything that happens to them? Even the clunky '70s/'80s Superman effects were more exciting to watch.

 

I'll admit I have a bias towards more "human" stories. I mean that both in terms of sentimentality and the actual presence of humans. My favourites are "Up" and "Monsters Inc." which are both largely centered around a human (although Sully and Mike are really the heroes of their movie since their human companion is almost mute). After those I like the first two "Toy Story" movies most, and while Woody and Buzz aren't technically human, they basically look, act, think, and react to everything physically and emotionally just like humans.


Edited by Naisu Baddi - 6/15/12 at 2:10pm
post #38 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naisu Baddi View Post

I can't see all of those stories as equally outlandish, which is the way you seem to be describing them. Those earlier Pixar stories just seem a lot more logical and grounded to me. Toys having a life outside of when a child plays with them is a really cool and even plausible idea. As is the eternal myth of monsters in the closet being proven as something that exists because there's a monster company that has monsters doing that as a career.

 

I do not see how toys having a life outside of being played with is even remotely viewable as "plausible", nor how there's plausibility in that closet monster doing what he does for a paycheck. They are very, very clever and thoughtful treatments of specific cultural tropes and myths, and great exercises in imagination, but they're not really "plausible" in the sense that toys are inanimate and monsters don't exist.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naisu Baddi View Post

And "Finding Nemo" is just the story of a parent looking for his lost child which just happens to be with sea creatures underwater

 

And Ratatouille is just the story of a young man who doesn't fit in with his family trying to forge his own identity through the culinary arts. Is that all that outlandish compared to the emotional cores of movies like Monsters, Inc.?

post #39 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

 

I do not see how toys having a life outside of being played with is even remotely viewable as "plausible", nor how there's plausibility in that closet monster doing what he does for a paycheck. They are very, very clever and thoughtful treatments of specific cultural tropes and myths, and great exercises in imagination, but they're not really "plausible" in the sense that toys are inanimate and monsters don't exist.

 

 

And Ratatouille is just the story of a young man who doesn't fit in with his family trying to forge his own identity through the culinary arts. Is that all that outlandish compared to the emotional cores of movies like Monsters, Inc.?


Come to think of it, "plausible" maybe wasn't the best word to articulate what I meant. Ironically, I think you may have made my point better than I could (while making a counterpoint). I like (as you call it) the "thoughtful treatment of cultural tropes and myths" in those stories. Basing a premise on such foundations makes the story feel more poignant and connected to reality to me.

 

And with "Ratatouille", your description is apt, but still, my problem remains that it's a rat. Consider this. All of these characters and their dilemmas in these movies are basically metaphors for humans and their human ways. I know that. As you point out, monsters don't really exist and toys aren't really alive. Their personalities in these movies are analogs for humans and their hopes, dreams, values, etc. But I can't suspend my disbelief enough to buy a rat in that role.

 

If we were talking about a specific culture of people instead of animated animals, you could call me prejudiced. Actually, you can still call me that. Whatever the term should be for someone prejudiced against rats. The bottom line is, I don't think a rat works as a hero, especially when we're talking about a story about cooking.

 

Again, I make the exception for Rizzo the Rat, but even with him, I had to cringe a little at the scene of he and his friends cooking in the kitchen in the "The Muppets Take Manhattan". It's a fun scene and the movie is otherwise perfect, but come on. That's not sanitary.

post #40 of 310

I remember the day that I realized Ratatouille is actually my favorite Pixar movie. A good day.

 

Also, WALL-E doesn't go bad, per se, after the first third. It just goes from something wondrous and wholly singular to a frankly more standard bunch of chase sequences thrown together. I can't help but imagine what it would have been life if it hadn't left Earth, and stayed a silent film about two robots falling in love in a wasteland, and that movie sounds infinitely more interesting and risky.

 

You know, you could do "Pixar codes" the way we did "Buffy codes."* Here's mine (this is based on personal preference, not what I necessarily think is the objective order of quality):

 

1. Ratatouille

2. Up

3. The Incredibles

4. Finding Nemo

5. Toy Story 2

6. Toy Story

7. WALL-E

8. Toy Story 3

9. A Bug's Life

10. Monsters Inc.

11. Cars

12. Cars 2

 

*Prepare your tables, MikeI.

post #41 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteboy Jones View Post

 

You know, you could do "Pixar codes" the way we did "Buffy codes."* Here's mine (this is based on personal preference, not what I necessarily think is the objective order of quality):

 

*Prepare your tables, MikeI.

 

That's... horrifying.

post #42 of 310

You are this forum's statistics monkey. Accept it.

post #43 of 310

Naisu loves mutant freaks!  But can't empathize with a rat.  BURN THE MUTANT SYMPATHIZER!!!

post #44 of 310

Snicker all you want. You know I'm right. Would Christoph Waltz's speech at the beginning of "Inglourious Basterds" have worked as well if he'd used another animal for his metaphor? I don't care how brilliant a chef he secretly is, there's no way you would let a rat into your kitchen for some of your delicious milk.


Edited by Naisu Baddi - 6/16/12 at 6:12am
post #45 of 310

If it's good enough for Peter O'Toole...

 

WHO ARE YOU TO RESIST????

post #46 of 310

Isn't part of the whole point of Ratatouille that it IS a rat doing all this?

post #47 of 310

Yeah, it is, exactly. I don't know, if suspension of disbelief isn't working for you, Naisu, I could see Ratatouille not working, but I don't get suspending your disbelief for living toys and not for a chef who is a rat. (Just based on rats in cinema. I think?)

post #48 of 310

Geez, I go on a canoe trip for a couple days, and look what happens.

 

Anyway, let's switch gears for a moment: Favorite Pixar shorts? I'm talking specifically about the ones that play in front of the films, as well as their first few that helped them get noticed. Of the "based on the movies" shorts, my personal favorites are Jack-Jack Attack and the recent Toy Story ones. As for the others, some brief thoughts:

 

Andre and Wally B-Brief as hell, but it's a nice little showcase for the potential of the medium.

 

Luxo, Jr.-I still find this to be quite charming and funny, and it birthed one of my favorite studio logos ever as well.

 

Red's Dream-The ending of this is curious, as it's one of the few Pixar stories to end with definitive unhappiness. Was Lasseter channeling real-world dissatisfaction into this story? One has to wonder.

 

Tin Toy-Yeah, the creepy-ass baby hasn't aged well, but otherwise this is a solid short with some great gags.

 

Knick Knack-Another charming, funny one, what impressed me about this is how mature Pixar was in talking about their self-censoring of the short for the Finding Nemo release. I can't remember who said it, but I think it was Lasseter, and whoever it was noted that it was a creative decision; at the time the short was made, the makers were young and unmarried, so now they found the giant knockers on the plastic mermaid to be immature and unfunny.

 

Geri's Game-BRILLIANT. That first set of shorts is pretty good, but here's where the shorts start to get into pure classic territory. For one thing, Geri's is brilliantly edited; I can never quite anticipate the moment when Geri seems to actually split into two people, and that speaks to the strength of how tightly this short is edited and directed. The character animation is equally terrific, especially near the climax of the game.

 

For The Birds-Still hilarious. Those squeaking toy birds never fail to make me giggle, and their comeuppance is in the best Looney Tunes antagonist tradition of humiliation.

 

Boundin'-An atypical short, it's ultimately not that funny, but Bud Luckey's narration and direction make for a charming little folk tale.

 

One Man Band-It's definitely far more entertaining than Cars.

 

Lifted-A brilliantly funny twist on teenage driving tests and alien abductions.

 

Presto-In both this and Lifted, there are several moments where I have trouble breathing because I'm laughing so hard. More than anything, it builds to an exquisite frenzy of comic escalation.

 

Partly Cloudy-More sweet than funny, but it ultimately IS quite sweet, especially the "D'awww"-worthy ending.

 

Day & Night-In its message, it's about as subtle as a brick to the face, but at least it's awesomely realized in its animation.

 

So is La Luna playing in front of Brave? I know it's been on the festival circuit for a while now.

post #49 of 310

La Luna played in front of my showing of Brave.

post #50 of 310

Here's hoping, then. No thoughts on the other shorts, nooj?

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