Author Topic: Pixar Appreciation Thread  (Read 27776 times)

Junior

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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2008, 06:39:12 AM »
I recently watched The Pixar Story and they went through the timeline of movies. Every time after Toy Story I was like, "Oh man, they're gonna get screwed on the next one. It can't possibly beat the one before it..." and then, every time, they did.
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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2008, 10:39:30 AM »
this whole thread makes me want to

Can I just ask what it is about Pixar that puts you off? Don't worry, I won't attack you. I have plenty of friends who think my love of Pixar is stupid. I just figure why not have a discussion about it? In the spirit of Filmspotting. Good, intelligent discussion about film.

Bit of my thoughts here:

http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=3350.msg97934#msg97934
http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=3350.msg97951#msg97951

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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2008, 10:28:00 PM »
I personally haven’t seen a single Pixar movie, except maybe two thirds of Toy Story which I saw when I was eleven.  This is mainly because I come from something of an older-school mentality when it comes to "family movies"  I.E. I think they suck, and the notion of someone over 10 going to one without being dragged by a kid just seems really strange to me. 

This is largely in part because I am a grumpy person who hates kids and hates whimsy, and movies designed with the mentality of a child in mind do not interest me.  I don't have any particular distain for Pixar, and I do think that if they're better than their peers they deserve credit, but the fact is that for all intents and purposed they remain kid's movies and as such are of no interest to me.   I did watch about 30 minutes of Shrek on t.v., which I know isn't actually Pixar, but it most definitely fueled my cynicism regarding the critics who claim this new wave of animated films are genuinely great films for adult viewing independent of a need to give kids somthing to do.

Still every damn year another one of these things comes out, the critics start going crazy and I feel a little bit out of the loop.  If someone would explain to me why someone over 10, who has no need to entertain children would enjoy one of these movies without the need to contextualize it and forgive it for being a children's movie, I'd be interested in that explanation because I've yet to hear one that’s made sense to me.
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Junior

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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2008, 10:54:06 PM »
Well, I can't explain why all or even some "family movies" are worth it, I can explain why one is. The Incredibles is not made for kids. It works just as well without apologizing for anything as any movie made with adults in mind. If you just look at it as a superhero movie it is one of that genre's shining examples.
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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2008, 12:19:06 AM »
Well, I can't explain why all or even some "family movies" are worth it, I can explain why one is. The Incredibles is not made for kids. It works just as well without apologizing for anything as any movie made with adults in mind. If you just look at it as a superhero movie it is one of that genre's shining examples.

This is one of the reasons it is my favorite.  It is a revisionist superhero film (that Hancock ripped the core story off of), not a kid flick.

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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2008, 02:33:02 AM »
I personally haven’t seen a single Pixar movie, except maybe two thirds of Toy Story which I saw when I was eleven.  This is mainly because I come from something of an older-school mentality when it comes to "family movies"  I.E. I think they suck, and the notion of someone over 10 going to one without being dragged by a kid just seems really strange to me. 

This is largely in part because I am a grumpy person who hates kids and hates whimsy, and movies designed with the mentality of a child in mind do not interest me.  I don't have any particular distain for Pixar, and I do think that if they're better than their peers they deserve credit, but the fact is that for all intents and purposed they remain kid's movies and as such are of no interest to me.   I did watch about 30 minutes of Shrek on t.v., which I know isn't actually Pixar, but it most definitely fueled my cynicism regarding the critics who claim this new wave of animated films are genuinely great films for adult viewing independent of a need to give kids somthing to do.

Still every damn year another one of these things comes out, the critics start going crazy and I feel a little bit out of the loop.  If someone would explain to me why someone over 10, who has no need to entertain children would enjoy one of these movies without the need to contextualize it and forgive it for being a children's movie, I'd be interested in that explanation because I've yet to hear one that’s made sense to me.


If you have a disdain for animated family films you should read up on Brad Bird's ideas on animation as a tool rather than a genre. He comes from a background of The Simpsons and the animated film Family Dog, a decidedly dark episode of Spielberg's series Amazing Stories. The main idea is that animated films need not be the domain of cheap entertainment for children who are easily amused. Instead they should be used to tell compelling stories about fascinating characters.

Ratatouille is almost the perfect example of this. It is a great story about interesting ideas, focused on great characters. It never panders to a child audience, instead respecting their intelligence, as well as the intelligence of the adult audience. And, of course, there's the fact that it's a story that could not be told in such form without the tool of animation. If you haven't seen any of Pixar's films, particularly the Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, you are definitely missing out. I reccomend giving them a hearty, open-minded try. You may actually be surprised by how adult they are. And I don't mean adult in the sense of adult jokes. I mean in the sense of complex themes and truly developed characters.

Finding Nemo, for example, deals with of parental over-protectiveness, a child's feelings that their parents may not have faith in them, trust in the potential of others, and a child feeling ashamed of their parent. Those are ideas and themes that are far beyond even what most 'actual adult films' have to offer. They are ideas that appeal to adults, and on many levels children understand and relate to them as well.

I'm crazy for Pixar, but it's not because of some silly, misplaced nostalgia for child-like fun and wonder. What appeals to me about Pixar is that they are able to take ideas that would seem very child-like on the surface and inject them with humanity, care, and deep themes that go well above the standard for even the most beloved family films going back to the beginning of film. Sure, they're animated, but the artistry in the visuals, music, and most of all, in the storytelling puts the best Pixar films on the same plane as many of the best films ever made. Maybe not Citizen Kane or The Gofather, but certainly not way too far behind.

Hell, even the AFI saw fit to put Toy Story on their list of 100 best films of all time (though I got the feeling that it was mostly because it was a milestone in the history of film). But nonetheless, it fully deserved the recognition. It had beautiful animation, wonderful voice-acting work, fantastic direction, and a screenplay that I would say rivals any of the great screenplays ever written. It maybe about toys who come to life, but its not about toys. It's true art. It's about the human condition, about friendships forged in the need for survival, about having what it takes to get past a vice as awful as jealousy, about facing those in the world that are only there to test us harm us, about recognizing who we truly are inside, whether that be greater or lesser person than we thought or hoped we knew. A film that can delve into those types of themes while also being incredibly funny, adventurous, and plain beautiful to look at is morth than worth the time it would take you to sit down and watch it.

I hope you do watch a couple of Pixar's body of work, and maybe you'll even check out Wall-E, which in my opinion looks to be one of the great films of this year.
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Dracula

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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2008, 11:42:13 AM »
If you have a disdain for animated family films you should read up on Brad Bird's ideas on animation as a tool rather than a genre. He comes from a background of The Simpsons and the animated film Family Dog, a decidedly dark episode of Spielberg's series Amazing Stories. The main idea is that animated films need not be the domain of cheap entertainment for children who are easily amused. Instead they should be used to tell compelling stories about fascinating characters.

Ratatouille is almost the perfect example of this. It is a great story about interesting ideas, focused on great characters. It never panders to a child audience, instead respecting their intelligence, as well as the intelligence of the adult audience. And, of course, there's the fact that it's a story that could not be told in such form without the tool of animation. If you haven't seen any of Pixar's films, particularly the Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, you are definitely missing out. I reccomend giving them a hearty, open-minded try. You may actually be surprised by how adult they are. And I don't mean adult in the sense of adult jokes. I mean in the sense of complex themes and truly developed characters.

Finding Nemo, for example, deals with of parental over-protectiveness, a child's feelings that their parents may not have faith in them, trust in the potential of others, and a child feeling ashamed of their parent. Those are ideas and themes that are far beyond even what most 'actual adult films' have to offer. They are ideas that appeal to adults, and on many levels children understand and relate to them as well.

I'm crazy for Pixar, but it's not because of some silly, misplaced nostalgia for child-like fun and wonder. What appeals to me about Pixar is that they are able to take ideas that would seem very child-like on the surface and inject them with humanity, care, and deep themes that go well above the standard for even the most beloved family films going back to the beginning of film. Sure, they're animated, but the artistry in the visuals, music, and most of all, in the storytelling puts the best Pixar films on the same plane as many of the best films ever made. Maybe not Citizen Kane or The Gofather, but certainly not way too far behind.

Hell, even the AFI saw fit to put Toy Story on their list of 100 best films of all time (though I got the feeling that it was mostly because it was a milestone in the history of film). But nonetheless, it fully deserved the recognition. It had beautiful animation, wonderful voice-acting work, fantastic direction, and a screenplay that I would say rivals any of the great screenplays ever written. It maybe about toys who come to life, but its not about toys. It's true art. It's about the human condition, about friendships forged in the need for survival, about having what it takes to get past a vice as awful as jealousy, about facing those in the world that are only there to test us harm us, about recognizing who we truly are inside, whether that be greater or lesser person than we thought or hoped we knew. A film that can delve into those types of themes while also being incredibly funny, adventurous, and plain beautiful to look at is morth than worth the time it would take you to sit down and watch it.

I hope you do watch a couple of Pixar's body of work, and maybe you'll even check out Wall-E, which in my opinion looks to be one of the great films of this year.

That's very well spoken and heartfelt.  I'll start by saying that it's childishness I have a problem with, not animation.  I have no problem with animated movies directed toward adults like say, A Scanner Darkley or a good action anime.  I guess my main problem is that I find it hard if not impossible for me to take a talking toy/bug/fish/car/rat seriously.  It's a matter of tone rather than form.

I'll admit this is a subject I'm rather closed minded about, but the very concept of an adult seeing a kids movie without kids is just foreign to me.  Do you really think that someone could walk into one of these movies with no prior knowledge of what they're about to see and truly not think they're watching a kids movie, even if they had no conception of the use of animation.  Can you really say that there's no difference in audience between Ratatouille and There Will Be Blood (violence not withstanding)?

Also this Wall-E thing frankly looks even more annoying than the rest, are they going to talk in beeps through the whole damn movie like they do in the trailer?  Which is ironic because they're finally dealing with robots, which is an entity that might logically be able to talk.
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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2008, 11:50:47 AM »
Makes perfect sense to me: the undead have no soul, after all.
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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2008, 12:15:19 PM »
That's very well spoken and heartfelt.  I'll start by saying that it's childishness I have a problem with, not animation.  I have no problem with animated movies directed toward adults like say, A Scanner Darkley or a good action anime.  I guess my main problem is that I find it hard if not impossible for me to take a talking toy/bug/fish/car/rat seriously.  It's a matter of tone rather than form.

I'll admit this is a subject I'm rather closed minded about, but the very concept of an adult seeing a kids movie without kids is just foreign to me.  Do you really think that someone could walk into one of these movies with no prior knowledge of what they're about to see and truly not think they're watching a kids movie, even if they had no conception of the use of animation.  Can you really say that there's no difference in audience between Ratatouille and There Will Be Blood (violence not withstanding)?

Also this Wall-E thing frankly looks even more annoying than the rest, are they going to talk in beeps through the whole damn movie like they do in the trailer?  Which is ironic because they're finally dealing with robots, which is an entity that might logically be able to talk.

You make a very interesting point about the childishness factor. The only response I can really think to give is that while the films are made with the intention of appealing to a child demographic, they are also made by adults who seem to be more interested in making films that they themselves would enjoy. So, sure, Toy Story is about talking toys. That's clearly childish, and obviously meant to appeal to children, but the craft behind it doesn't seem to be quite so focused on child-appeal as human appeal.

I actually think that it is impossible to ignore people's preconceptions toward American animation. You could say that it's all Walt Disney's fault. In the last 25 years or so there has been a movement to correct this, mostly coming from Japan and Europe, but I don't know that it will ever truly go away. Animation is seen by most in North America as a genre made for children. Genre is not at all the proper way to define animation. Regardless, I do believe that if somebody walked into a Pixar film (especially the better ones) without any preconceived notions about animation they would not necessarily think they are watching a kids movie. There obviously would be a difference in reception between films like Ratatouille and There Will Be Blood. But I think that has more to do with most films that try to be great ignore children and even teens as an audience and go straight for adults and film majors. Ratatouille isn't really a 'kids film' and there was actually concern that it would fail at the box office because children wouldn't be engaged by it. At the same time there is no denying that a film like Ratatouille can appeal to children. The same cannot be said of There Will Be Blood. So really, it's not that Ratatouille is any different from There Will Be Blood as a film and a piece of art, except that There Will Be Blood is decidedly adult and is made with a more narrow audience demographic.

Andrew Stanton, director of Wall-E, confirmed the other day that his next project will be an adaptation of William S. Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. Those are generally very adult sci-fi/fantasy stories, but the film will be produced by Pixar. One might think that this would be awful for the film as it would suddenly be turned into a kids story, but I highly doubt this. Stanton and many others at Pixar are known to be mega-fans of the JCoM books. I don't think they would compromise a film adaptation by forcing it to be a 'kis movie'. What I could see is them trying to do a PG adaptation (though after seeing Prince Caspian I'm not sure PG means the same thing as it used to, what a violent movie) and giving it some more a appeal to a younger demographic will still trying to keep the adult themes intact. They could very well surprise us all and make it a PG-13 film, which would most likely be able to fully capture the adult nature of the books. It's hard to tell what they will do, but one thing is clear, Pixar does not make films for children. They make films for everyone.

And yes, the robots in Wall-E will talk in beeps for the whole movie, but there will be human characters who have actual english dialogue. I believe Sigourney Weaver is doing a voice. And if you're worried about the beeps, you should also know that famous sound designer, Ben Burtt, is doing the sound design. You'll know him from the famous 'Indy getting punched' sounds from the Indiana Jones movies, and the R2-D2 'voice' from Star Wars.
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Re: Pixar Appreciation Thread
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2008, 12:24:21 PM »
Going back to There Will Be Blood, how come it is a brave decision to have no dialogue for the first 15 minutes in that film but when they do it in Wall-E it is annoying?
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