Pixar. Again.

December 22, 2007

I can’t think of another company that’s had a string of successes in quite the way that Pixar has.

Toy Story – a great tale, well told. Toy Story II, possibly an even better story but just as good. A Bugs Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, (have I left anyone out?)… the list is terrific. The secret to Pixar’s success isn’t that secret I don’t think. It’s that the story is key, not the animation. Story above and beyond all else. Yes, the hairs on the Monsters look well cool. Yes, the water bubbles stream past Marlin in incredible detail, but all that wonder is secondary to the story and each story has been a killer.

I was delighted to see Pixar and Disney fall out over Toy Story III. The plot that I saw (Buzz gets recalled and the Toys go Out to Save Him) seemed tired and trite (especially after TS II – the true nature of what it is to be a toy. Top that!) and Pixar refused to have a bar of it. Disney insisted and it wasn’t until Disney had a change of leadership and ended up buying Pixar (making sure the head honchos were all on board as part of the contract) that the thaw came. First decision out of the box – cancel TS III.

Now Pixar is, in effect, what Disney was. A studio that made great stories into watchable movies. Disney itself hasn’t done that, certainly in an animated way, for decades now. The Lion King was probably the last great cartoon out of Disney – everything else has been a remake packaged as a sequel. Useless.

Pixar’s new movie not only looks great but has all the potential to be a great film. SF buffs of the world, check it out.

Interestingly, the first trailer doesn’t follow the Pixar tradition of being a stand-alone trailer that never features in the movie itself. Instead, it features a brief message from one of the creators about a meeting in a cafe towards the end of the filming of Toy Story. Interesting stuff.

Wall E looks a lot like a certain other robot (Number Five of course) but shares even more DNA with a less-remembered beastie. Mysterious Dave, five points if you name that Bot and his cohort before the end of the Christmas break (he says, knowing full well MD has gone home for the hols and doesn’t have broadband).


9 Responses to “Pixar. Again.”

  1. Hmmm. Having seen the very smallest sized windows media ad which can barely down load over our link – okay I’ll guess.

    The way the robot crushes things, the hands that grab things and the binocular like visual sensors reminds me of Mek-quake. Mek-quake was part of the Ro-Busters in the strip that ran first in “Starlord” and then “2000AD”. The more famous characters of the Ro-Busters were the robots Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein, and of course the owner “Mr 10 Per Cent” who was slightly, and still legally human.

    Wall E is certainly more loveable than Mek-quake though. Mek-quake was psychotic…

    Should I go back to the drawing board? How many guesses do I get?

  2. audent Says:

    That’s yer lot. He looks a LOT like Rojaws… without the Cockney accent. Nuff said.

  3. Oh no he doesn’t! This is what Ro-jaws looks likemy friend.


    see if you can embed it.

  4. audent Says:

    Yes yes, my myopic buddy. Too much time spent in Wellington in the wind has affected your ability to see beyond the brim of your hat. Rojaws… have a look at the eyes, the boxy chest wherein garbage can be stuffed. Sure, the legs are different (one wheel versus tracks) and the extendable head is pure Number Five but I stand by my statement. I think there’s lineage there. Lineage!

  5. Brian Says:

    I will agree that Disney has basically turned into poo.

    Although I won’t agree that the last good thing that Disney did was The Lion King. I thought Mulan was pretty great as well.

  6. audent Says:

    Oh, I’d forgotten about Mulan… a very nice film, although it didn’t exactly rock the box office (mind you, that seems to be something the studios pre-determine to a large degree… “Hmm, this movie will do well so we’ll open in eight million cities! This one won’t so we’ll open in six.”).

  7. Brian Says:

    Haha, yep that’s the way it works usually.

  8. Sorry, just got back.

    Dear Audent,

    Too much time in the Winterless North must have burnt out your retinas my dear old thing. The extendable head is pure Mek-quake, as are the eyes, and Mek-quake ran on tracks.

    I think your poor fond heart dreams of seeing Ro-jaws everywhere… such a romantic!

    My favourite Disney was “Aladdin”. Such wonderful dance numbers… “Prince Ali, fabulous he, Ali of Babwa…”

  9. audent Says:

    I will not be questioned in my own blog! Dammit, I’m right! Dave, you’re too mysterious for words.

    and a ho ho ho.

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