A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Best Studio Ever

Ok, back in this post I mentioned writing about all of the things I list, so this one is counting towards spending time with my family.

I believe that Pixar Animation is the best studio ever.

Take a look at their films: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille.

Crikey! The worst one in the bunch is probably A Bug's Life and that was a very good film. Lightyears ahead of Ants, which came out at the same time, and superior to almost all the other animated movies since-- with the exception of the other Pixar films. Toy Story is a classic that redefined the genre. All of them have a depth of script and character that is quite remarkable, yet all of them capture a simple truth of life-- or, perhaps more appropriately, recapture a simple and cherished truth of childhood.

Has there ever been any child, anywhere, at any time, that hasn't imagined their toys talking? Coming to life when all the people are gone? Or tried to picture themselves as a bug-- imagined what all those little critters were so busily doing all the time? Monster in the closet? Check. Okay, so maybe it was under the bed or outside the window, but we have all been terrified by something in our bedroom... and we've all wondered how it got there in the first place.

Finding Nemo-- see A Bug's Life, only with fish and with a story so well done that we don't just suspend our disbelief, we lose it altogether. The Incredibles? No brainer. We've all wanted to be superheroes at some time or other-- yet it isn't just another superhero cartoon. It digs much deeper, without losing its whimsy. Cars? People have been wondering about cars having their own personalities since the first days of the combustion engine. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Herbie, My Mother the Car, Christine and on and on. Cars just takes it that one step further-- what if it was just cars?-- and wraps it up with a sincere reminiscence of the days of Route 66 as the mother road. And a tip of the hat to NASCAR, to boot.

And now, Ratatouille. I had my doubts about this one. It didn't seem to fit-- nobody really imagines life as a rat, and most movies or books about rats aren't terribly flattering to the rodents. But they pulled it off. With grace and charm and wit and some truly fantastic and bizarre ideas that somehow are still believable, they pulled it off. It is a marvelous film. Not their best, but then their best is THE best.

Two other thing that Pixar does very well: they manage to make things that are generally only of interest to small groups-- cooking, fish, NASCAR, comic books-- and make them fun and interesting and engaging for everyone. And they manage to remember the past fondly without descending into the maudlin or morose.

So, what does all this have to do with my family? Well, I've seen every single Pixar film with my kids, and most of them with my wife and kids. Which is perhaps Pixar's greatest achievement of all-- their films are great (not okay, not pretty good-- great) for both children and adults.

Which totally rocks, because even as my kids get older, they'll still want to see Pixar movies with me. Well, maybe not when they are between 12 and 18, but pretty much all the rest of the time. The movies are that good and the memories they leave are that special.

Labels: ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?