Animation Studios: Pixar
The empire of CGI animation.
1.- Toy Story (1995)
2.- WALL·E (2008)
3.- Finding Nemo (2003)
4.- A Bug's Life (1998)
5.- Ratatouille (2007)
6.- The Incredibles (2004)
7.- Toy Story 2 (1999)
8.- Monsters Inc. (2001)
9.- Cars (2006)
10.- Up (2009)
11.- Toy Story 3 (2010)
12.- Brave (2012)
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|ElCochran90's Rating||My Rating|
Toy Story 1995, G)
"To infinity, and beyond!" TOY STORY (1995) Director: John Lasseter Country: United States of America Genre: Animation / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy Length: 81 minutes Pixar Animation Studios is one of the most respectable and admirable animation studios I've ever known alongside with Ghibli. Its enormous creativity, style and originality was noticeable since this studio started to make short films, some of them cool and admirable because of their visual aspect, and some others masterful because of all of the elements they had accompanied by a fantastic story. I particularly loved Tin Toy (1988) (which deservedly won an Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated) and Knick Knack (1989). It may be something really interesting and odd, but I still remember when I was 5 years old (almost 6) and I got to see this on theaters. Although I wasn't fully aware of the fact that this was the first feature film that was computer animated (in fact, I still wasn't able to differentiate between types of animation), I remember that at some point I thought it was REAL, and I still loved it. I have grown up with Pixar since I was 5 and the magic of Toy Story came from the belief that everything was real. The concept itself was (and still is) magical: the toy world colliding with the real world. I was totally blown away. This film is talented from wherever you see it. The effort put in this film for creating a breathing and living world full of people, believable places and very different toys full of life will never be paralleled. The three-dimensional feeling it has was what astonished the world. John Lasseter is a genius. Whereas the first Pixar Animation Studios works focused on showing off their style of animation and amazing graphics, Toy Story literally had the enormous balls to try to make cinema in a whole new way, just like Disney did with its timeless classics. The good news is: it succeeded. The script is outstanding, and very careful with every single detail. The film does not only superbly create an outside world, but also a boy's room full of life, toys, and it is very Disney! The songs are amazing, being "You've Got a Friend" and "I Will Go Sailing No More" my personal favorites, in their respective Spanish versions. The characters, which most of them are actually toys, are perfectly defined characters, all of them being very different from each other. All of them have very distinguishable personalities and physical characteristics and designs. I personally prefer the Mexican dubbing for this film, as I do for almost any animated film ever created. I'm glad that the Mexican dubbing is officially considered as one of the best dubbings worldwide. Honestly I've never heard the Tom Hanks version, and I honestly don't plan to. I listened to it and didn't like it as much as I did with the Mexican one. Of course that the film has some pretty valuable lessons involving friendship, perseverance, self-acceptance and self-esteem. We should value ourselves out of what we are and what we have (emotionally speaking), and not out of what we don't have or what we are not. It is a film which can entertain people from all different ages and sizes, and has something special for each and every one of us. I saw this film 14 years ago for the first time and I still love it the same 14 years later. This film will definitely stand the test of time because of its charm, creativity, extreme originality, amazing dose of comedy and humor, unforgettable characters, astonishing animation and the valuable lessons that can be found throughout. Toy Story received 3 Oscar nominations for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score, Best Music, Original Song (You've Got a Friend) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, which had the help of Andrew Stanton. I even dare to say Toy Story is among the best films Disney ever created, and one of the most memorable. It is not only a timeless cute little masterpiece, but one of the must fun family films as well. A priceless treasure. FUN STUFF: Did you know that this film has several references of past Pixar short projects, such as The Adventures of André and Wally B. (1984), Luxo Jr. (1986), Red's Dream (1987), Tin Toy (1988) and Knick Knack (1989)? Most of them can be found on a bookshelf with some books that have those titles. Can you find the number A-113? 97/100
A Bug's Life 1998, G)
Pixar's take on The Red Harvest and aimed for all ages under the argument: "What would happen if we turned the famous and iconic seven samurai into varied bugs?" Unpredictably, the film is converted into a stupendous fable of moral, loyalty and the power of union. Amazing, and ridiculously underrated.
Toy Story 2 1999, G)
I was one of the few people that actually prefer this sequel over the original, but not anymore. John Lasseter and the whole Pixar crew are back and better than ever. Toy Story 2 has brand new lovable characters, top-notch comedy for all ages, unforgettable moments and dialogues and a whole new adventure. The animation has considerably improved since Toy Story (1995) and Bugs (1998), and the pace of the story is more energetic. When a mad toy collector who ends up being the owner of Al Toy's Barn which appeared in the first film steals Woody from a garage sale, it's up to all of Andy's toys and his new best friend Buzz Lightyear to save him. However, when Woody finds out about the reputation his character has had for generations, he will have to make a very difficult decision with the new friends he has found and an uncertain future that awaits him. The film received an Oscar nomination for Mest Music, Original Song, for the song "When She Loved Me", and I really loved it. It also won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical. This film was definitely above my expectations. Disney sequels tend to suck big time, such as Tarzan & Jane (2002), Tarzan II (2005), The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (2002), Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) and many others, which were enormous pieces of crap, and having Disney this kind of reputation with sequels, I went to see this to the theaters and I was blown away and pretty surprised of the fact that I liked it more than the first one. I know that it was the first film the one that introduced the original concept, the characters and some classic gags, but whereas the first film focused on the characters, this film focused on the plot. This sequel has several movie references to classic sci-fi films and earlier Pixar projects. From Metropolis (1927) to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) to the original Toy Story (1995), the film pays homage to several classics within the genre. This film in fact may be the best animated sequel of all time, since sequels used to have lame stories, an awful script, the same characters constructed worse, sometimes unadequate lengths and stupid and uninteresting situations. Toy Story 2 (1999) worked hard for avoiding any kind of the failures mentioned above, conforming an extraordinary final result. The characters we were familiar with are all back, participating in hilarious and extremely fun situations. The Mexican dubbing has still the same cast and did once again an extraordinary work filling the classic characters with life and unique personalities once again, and I'm pretty sure that Tom Hanks did a splendid job once again as well. The film has also some new fantastic songs throughout, besides the classic "You've Got A Friend". I love all of them, and the original musical score is utterly fabulous as well. The film has once again the most effective and adequate length and the perfect dose of drama and humor. I also want to point something out just for fun. This is the second Pixar film that features bloopers. I love those bloopers! Where did they go? They would've been awesome in Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004). They are totally hilarious. All in all, Toy Story 2 is a film above any expectation. Don't let yourself to be fooled just because of the fact that it is a sequel. Pixar has had an extraordinary filmography for more than 20 years and this film is no exception. A masterpiece in modern animation, Toy Story 2 will entertain all types of audiences arond the world, whether you are a cinema lover, a Toy Story fan, a Disney fan or just a guy/girl who watches some films once in a while. FUN STUFF: Did you know that this film references some past Pixar short projects, such as Luxo Jr. (1986), Red's Dream (1987), Tin Toy (1988) and Knick Knack (1989)? Those can be seen on a TV. The film has also a calendar of A Bug's Life (1998) in Andy's room and a game of A Bug's Life (1998) inside Al Toy's Barn. Remember the Eggman moving company in the first film? The truck also appears in this film. Can you find it? Can you also find the number A-113? 83/100
Monsters, Inc. 2001, G)
Pixar is back with yet another timeless, unforgettable and unique animated classic masterpiece, aimed for both children and adults. In fact, Shrek (2001), which was released the same year, was the first winner for the inaugural Best Animated Feature Film category of the Academy Awards in 2002. Monsters, Inc. was nominated for such category as well along with Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001). The reason why this last film was nominated is because there was no other animated film that year, so it received that honor. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (2001) was not nominated until the following year, deservedly winning the Oscar. Monsters, Inc. was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Animated Feature, Best Music, Original Score, Best Sound Editing and Best Music, Original Song for the song "If I Didn't Have You", winning only the last one. In my opinion, it should have also won for Best Animated Feature since it was better and more clever and creative than Shrek (2001), which mainly relied in crude humor and endless classic fairy tales spoofs. This is the fourth entry in the Pixar filmography after Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998) and Toy Story 2 (1999). Monsters, Inc. has an improved animation and a monstrous creativity throughout. The story takes place in Monstropolis (name that came from the mother of sci-fi films, Metropolis (1927)), a city where the energy supply comes from the screaming of children when expressing an emotion. The protagonists, Mike Wazowski, a one-eyed round-shaped green little monster and James P. Sullivan, a big, strong horned monster with more than 2,000,000 hairs, work in the company that is in charge of distributing this energy to Monstropolis, but chaos and fun ensue when a tender little girl called Boo manages to enter the monster world, since children are believed to be deadly. The film manages a comical concept in a brilliant way. Since most of us go through that typical fobia/fear towards dark and monsters hidden in the closet or under the bed, the irony of the film comes from the fact that monsters are also afraid of children, perhaps even more than children are towards them. The film has an incredible and very detailed visual style and the story is brilliantly original. It effectively mixes science fiction with fantasy, since monsters of all sizes and colors have the ability of traveling to any part of the world thanks to the technology they have created. The previous Pixar films focused more on the character development and the fun of the situations all of the characters were put in, but this time, whereas the film has less depth and dramatic quality, the amazing new world this film creates with an unbelievable unique and creative style makes up for it. The monsters' design is extremelly well done and very different for each monster, not only creating variety, but also distinguishing both male and female monsters. The humans' design, being most of them practically children and young teens, improved a lot over the past years, which definitely got worse in Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004). This film also has one of the cuttest and most tender characters Pixar has ever created along with Nemo and WALL·E. Boo (whose real name is actually Mary) adds a lot of laughs and heartwarming moments to the film. It is a magical and very pure character, and the most amazing and wonderful thing about her is that she ends up defeating her own fear towards the monster that was assigned to her, who is the antagonist Randall. Monsters, Inc. is another successful entry to the wonderful Pixar series so far. It is very underrated in my opinion. It is definitely not their best work, but it is not the worse either. Worth watching for any kind of audience, since even adults are assured to have a couple of good laughs, since this brilliant piece of animation has also the same characteristic of past films which is the mix of different types of humor for all ages. FUN STUFF: Did you know that this film references some past Pixar short projects, such as Luxo Jr. (1986) and Red's Dream (1987)? It also references previous Pixar feature films such as Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and a film which hadn't been released yet, Finding Nemo (2003)! The famous Luxo ball, a Jesse doll, a Nemo toy, a Pizza Planet Truck and the trailer from A Bug's Life (1998) are featured here. Can you find the number A-113? 81/100
Finding Nemo 2003, G)
"P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney."
The Incredibles 2004, PG)
The Incredibles is an outstanding animated film, and if we make a deep analysis, it is unique within its genre. It is definitely not our normal superhero movie, but it is a hilarious action-packed comedy with style. Brad Bird superbly directs his second feature film after The Iron Giant (1999) which was a spectacular animated movie, and notably succeeds. The Incredibles received 4 Academy Award nominations including Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay, winning the first two. It was certainly an easy year for The Incredibles since the other two films that got that nomination were Shrek 2 (2004) and the enormous Dreamworks sh!t called Shark Tale (2004). Hauru no Ugoku Shiro (2004) is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and although it got a nomination next year, it unfairly lost against Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005). Yeah, I know... the Academy can make MORONIC choices sometimes.
Cars 2006, G)
Despite the injustice of Cars being robbed by tap-dancing penguins (give me a break...), it would have not taken too many years for audiences to forget about this high-speed flick. Seems like these predictions of mine were not wrong, since now Pixar is planning a sequel. Fun times, I accept, but I could not perceive it even as a road movie hommage. Nevertheless, full redemption came with Pixar's next feature.
Ratatouille 2007, G)
A modern animated masterpiece with a fragant, European aroma of tasty delicacies! Pixar tries something new that everybody thought would fail. However, the main result was several movie theaters with audiences standing up and applausing (it happened to mine) just to be topped with an Academy Award. Bon appétit!
WALL-E 2008, G)
Hauntingly approaching to cyberpunk epic measures, Wall-E is one of the best animated films of the new century, as well as Pixar's most ambitious CGI creation. A realistic fate of the Earth slowly approaching to become a future destiny mirrored with Wall-E's inert and charming personality, the film is a feast for the senses, an apocalyptic message, a message that promotes the health of the planet and PIXAR at its finest.
Up 2009, PG)
Pixar's latest project surprises, and at the same time it disappoints. Whereas I was expecting a bad movie and the start of Pixar's steady downfall, I got a fun and decent experience; however, the typical fantasy touch that Pixar's films usually had turned into unrealism. I know this is an animated film and perhaps "realism" is the last thing I can talk about when referring to Pixar, but the film felt unusually different. The plot, although somehow decent, is dumb and senseless. The emotional touch the film received because of the death of Fredricksen's wife (don't worry, it is not a spoiler) was a plot element put randomly, and although it appropriately served the purpose of inspiration rather than depression in the audience, it was a little bit too forced. The highlights of the film are its great and accurate cinematography, some of the creativity present throughout and the typical (and occasionally clever) humor this animation company has shown in its films for almost 15 years. The characters are appealing as well, but even the 3D experience didn't save this project from being the second worst Pixar film so far, not only because of some of the dumb and childish events that take place, but also because of the non-solid script, an aspect in which Pixar had always been outstanding.
Toy Story 3 2010, G)
Spectators will mostly be biased thanks to the greatness of the first two Toy Story gems. "It reminds me of my childhood." "I grew up with them." "How on Earth did Pixar made adults cry over toys??!" That last quote I just wrote is my favorite.
Cars 2 2011, G)
Jesus Christ, it reminds me of Fay Grim (2006)...... What a bizarre turn of bizarre events that came straight out from Bizarro world. I saw Cars 2 for the first time exactly one week after watching Hal Hartley's sequel to Henry Fool, called Fay Grim. And it suffers from exactly the same f***ing syndrome: an illusion of international espionage parody. Wha.... Whhh What's the use? What's the logic behind such decision? In what book is it stated that making a film with thought-provoking reflections, either metaphysical, earthly or heartwarming, and continuing it with a "comedic" international espionage twist is supposed to contribute ANYTHING to the story? I would only justify such attempt with independent or renowned filmmakers, as was the case of Hal Hartley, but we are talking about Pixar here, a company focused at making trascendental 3D-animated films aimed at all types of audiences. This had no nostalgic quality, no logic in its continuity, no comprehensible character connections. No, it's just a parody. A bad one. I blame Pixar greatly because it hasn't been listening to the suggestions (let's not call them "demands") of fans: if there must be a sequel, it must be The Incredibles 2, not Cars 2, not Finding Dory, not Monsters University, no Toy Story 3 (an overrated sentimental mess). They are getting it all wrong. 90% of the times, sequels are signs of imminent scarcity in creativity. Pixar falls into that 90% of cases. How shameful. 54/100
Brave 2012, PG)
It was meant to happen someday, even if you deny it. We are greateful enough towards Pixar by now; its legacy has already been established, not only as a golden source of creativity and imagination but as a successful enterprise that went through some red number cycles. For the record, this should be a lesson for Pixar that if Brenda Chapman is in the lead, her ideas should NOT be blocked or censored by G-rating concerns. Bad move. 56/100
Monsters, Inc. 2 2012, Unrated)