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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I Was Asked

I was asked by a good fellow on the Facebook why I didn't like a lot of the Pixar films.
This is my response:
A long time ago Pixar made their ...first Toy Story film and it was a good one.
There's a scene in it - the one where Buzz realises he's a toy and plummets down the stairwell.
It's a good scene and a touching one, played smartly for a mainstream animated film.
A Bugs Life didn't really have any of these moments.
Then they made Monsters Inc, and there's that little moment at the end (where Sully finds Boo again) that's again touching and genuine and a nice moment.
Then they made Toy Story 2 and pushed their touching moment even further with the Jessie's Song sequence.
Here they realised they were onto something.
I feel that their consequent films are all about trying to top this meaningful moment rather than making a great, entertaining film.
I don't think anyone walked out of Up saying "Wow - that was so funny and entertaining and witty (or whatever)".
Instead they go on about that cliched and lazy montage at the beginning of the film.
Nobody walked out out of TS3 saying "Wow, l love these characters" they say "Oh, when they nearly died at the end it was really sad".
I understand that these are hugely popular films, so clearly I'm missing something and I'm kind of happy about that.
Quick rundown.
TS1 - Charming, lovely film.
Bugs Life - Great family entertainment with lots of lovely moments.
TS2 - Mostly weird and dull. TS films work best when the Toys are confined to the household, I think.
Monsters Inc - The last Pixar film I really, really enjoy. Last really original thing they did.
Finding Nemo - Sweet film. By now I'm tired of Pixars ensemble cast formula. From here, Pixars films become longer and longer...
The Incredibles - very entertaining, overly long.
Cars - Honest, healthy family entertainment. Not sure why so many people hate this film. At the very least it's better than 100 other shitty films.
Ratatouille - Unbearably long and complicated. The whole Lunguini being puppeted by the rat is such a long and pointless sequence. Stupid tacked on romance. Mostly boring.
Wall-E - Starts of well. Becomes boring satire too quickly. Awful, cheeseball utterly fake ending.
Up - Mostly boring with lots of bad storytelling.
TS3 - Mostly weird and dour. There was a sequel to the film Babe a few years back that was given the same critisism. At least that film is weird and dour and subversive. TS3 is weird and dour and boring.

In short.
My opinion means fuck all.
Enjoy the films.
You'll be much happier that way.


John T Quinn III said...

Well, I agree with you on Ratatouille. I thought it was boring and more importantly the characters were not interesting.
I disagree with you on many other points. I am attracted to the characters and the performances.

I like Dash froim Incredibles.

The young Ellie in Up is for me, worth the price of the movie ticket. I was completely won over by her design and performance. Again as you have said, opinion...fuck all etc. Same for me but, I wanted to play along.

Elliot Cowan said...

Heya John.
Always keen for your 2 cents, matey.

Throughout the films there are plenty of great things - Dash is a lovely character as you say and I don't think there's any animator at Pixar who isn't creating great performances.

Personally, I think young Ellie one of the weakest elements of the whole film.

Thanks for playing along and I'll take your opinion anytime : )

David B. Levy said...

I like how you are taking the broad picture of these films. My assumption on a Pixar film is the professionalism is gonna be there in: design, character animation, voice acting, etc... so, really all that's left to talk about is if it all added up to a worthy film or not.

Elliot Cowan said...

Yes, exactly.
It's easy to whine about the films but the artistry is silly to deny.
The budget is all on screen in all its glory : )

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