Author Topic: One Chapter at a Time - The Elite Eleven of Pixar + BONUS CONTENT  (Read 356189 times)

FLYmeatwad

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 03:11:49 PM »
I will read these.

1SO

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 04:03:40 PM »
I know people think this is silly, but Randy Newman is seriously the main reason I don't think I will ever love a Toy Story film because I hate every song he writes for those movies.

This is something I will have to address in my 2nd review post.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 04:07:14 PM »
I have other issues with the films, but ones I think I could perhaps get over.

Antares

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 01:33:21 PM »
I know people think this is silly, but Randy Newman is seriously the main reason I don't think I will ever love a Toy Story film because I hate every song he writes for those movies.

I've hated every song he's written since the mid-seventies. Whenever I hear one of his songs, I think of this from Cheers, because that is what Randy Newman is ... a one melody hack.

1SO

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The Elite Eleven of Pixar - Toy Story
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 11:06:38 PM »


Toy Story - Sheriff Woody
"Reach for the sky!"

The opening scene to Pixar's first feature acts like a Mission Statement for the company, adventure crafted out of pure imagination. Andy creates an elaborate scenario with his toys using action figures and crayoned cardboard boxes for sets. Though the toys come from different eras and genres, Andy has no problem working them into a cohesive whole. It's rather complicated for a child - indicating a level of imagination beyond my own at that age - rather simple for an animated feature looking to dazzle. (The openings to Toy Story's 2 and 3 go for spectacle, but this scaled down approach makes for the perfect humble beginning.)

I love the way Woody's head rises up in the frame as he says his first pull string phrase. It follows two shots where we clearly see Andy moving him into position and pulling his string. All Woody does is flop around, but as he levels up into the shot, he suddenly carries all the necessary gravitas to back up his words. (This is aided by some nice cowboy orchestration.)

At this point, we're still completely in the world of Andy. He supplies all the voices, and invents new twists to his story, like Slinky Dog as a force field, which Woody's dinosaur(!?) is able to chase away. (Many, many viewings later one of the early laughs that remains enchanting to me is Andy's 'yike' noises as Slinky Dog is scared away.) Bart goes to Jail, the crib of Andy's little sister. (This kid uses everything). With that, our film begins.

When it comes to naming negatives, I don't want to get into nit picks just for the sake of appearing fair and balanced. I think this is a marvelous opening, setting up the world, the characters, and the animation style. That being said, Molly's drool is kinda gross. You can argue it's the setup for a joke coming up later, and typical of the constant abuse Potato Head takes, but I still could've done without seeing it.
Rating: * * * *

oldkid

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 10:13:59 AM »
A charming beginning to a great trilogy.  Not until 3 do we get another scene that's all about Andy.  It's great to see why the toys really love Andy and why he's such a great kid to play with (despite the drool).
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 01:49:59 PM »
Enjoying so far and clicking to follow.

don s.

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 07:27:53 PM »
Where's the Follow At A Safe Distance button? I don't want to be close enough to take a swing at the next person who bashes Randy Newman.
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1SO

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The Elite Eleven of Pixar - Toy Story
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2013, 07:52:52 PM »


Toy Story - Opening Credits
You've Got a Friend in Me

Now we come to the drunk Uncle at the party, for this entire Chapter is set to Randy Newman's "You've Got a Friend in Me". I still remember when I first heard the song in the theater and was less than thrilled. Over time I grew to like it okay, especially once Robert Goulet gave it a Vegas twist at the end of Toy Story 2. It's hardly the worst song in the film, not even close. (That is 16 review posts away.) The one evidence I can present against the argument of all Newman's songs sounding like the same commercial jingle is The Princess and The Frog, which uses a lot of different styles, only a couple of which sound like Randy Newman. Also, I think he does a really good job with the score, here and in upcoming Pixar films.

This chapter is also where I start to see the limits of the animation quality back in 1995. While still very impressive in small details, like finger smudges and chipped paint, some of the larger items, like the bannister and chairs, looks fake. (I know a lot of people don't like the humans here, but I think they're fine.) BTW, watching this chapter by itself I noticed for the first time that Woody's mouth is open in some shots, closed in others. Subtle facial changes to help sell the moments. Like Weekend at Bernies.

I love when RC car slams Woody into a cardboard box and the lifeless figure slides down. The bannister slide is a bit show-offy. New technology needs to be tested, but a much better example is just ahead. This is followed by Andy hugging his Woody doll. Something I'm weary of now as a sign of John Lasseter's tendency to lean a little hard on sentiment.

The Chapter ends with Molly beating Potato Head against the crib hard enough to know all the facial features off. I knew the drool was unnecessary.
Rating: * * *

oldkid

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Re: The Elite Eleven of Pixar - One Chapter at a Time
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2013, 10:25:33 PM »
I have always found the song to be charming.  Not a favorite and I wouldn't play it over and again on my iPod, but it offers a good feel to the opening of the film.

Those who hate Randy Newman must lead a sad life.  Oh well.

The animation in the first film does feel a bit weak in retrospect, but at the time it was fantastic.  Still, there is a lot of emotion Pixar was able to pack in these first faces and movements.  Although by the second film they clearly have made progress, it is still amazing to see what they could accomplish with a still progressing technology.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky