Wed - Dec 05, 2007 : 09:51 pm
Why is Pixar so Awesome?
I just finished watching the Pixar movie, "Cars" for the 45th time. Or maybe it was the 4500th time. I don't know... I lost count.
Anyway... During the movie, despite my having seen the movie more times than I've kissed my kids, and even though those kids were crawling all over me and generally trying their best to be a nuisance, I still managed to get a bit teary-eyed. Yeah... You know the part:
You know, where McQueen is starting out the last and final race, and as Chick is talking to him, his mind goes back to when he was cruising on the Route with Sally? Yeah... That gets me. Oh yeah.... And then there's always the part where he decided to slowly drive back (with the single horn playing a salute in the background) to help The King finish his last race. That always gets me, too.
We also recently saw their latest movie "Ratatouille" which, as expected, was another simply wonderful movie.
Before our kids got on the "Cars" kick, they were addicted to Finding Nemo.
All this Pixar stuff got me thinking something which I previously hadn't thought of, or even cared to entertain at all.
Is there a Pixar movie that .... uhh... isn't awesome?
In answering this question, I realize its completely subjective nature, however, since this is my blog, I'll answer it as I see it.
The answer is.... well yes. There is one movie which isn't awesome, but it definitely was a good movie. I'm not even going to mention which one it was, because it was so far from being even an "okay" movie, putting it into any category other than "great" simply isn't fair. It just didn't make the "awesome" cut.
Anyway... I digress.
I guess this post is about why I think Pixar is able to do what they've done and continue to do. The formula might get a bit complex when considering everything that goes into a movie, but when ya get down to the essence of what they're doing, it gets really quite simple. At least the way I see it does.
Pixar simply gets it. And that's that.
Putting the amazing scores and music (like the opening title of Finding Nemo) aside, as well as the technical prowess of their animation skills, and the superb directing, and all the other aspects of movie-making at which they excel.
Yes, putting all of that aside, I believe the core reason why Pixar movies are so good is quite simple:
They know how to connect with the stuff in life that really matters - and they know how to remind us of it.
Looking at each and every one of the eight films they've produced over the years, it's easy to boil the story down to its essence.
Each movie takes an aspect of life which most people have experienced, and exploits it in a beautiful way.
Toy Story takes a look at the aspects of friendship through astronomical, albeit very tiny in scale, differences, hardships, and troubles. It lets us know that differences really don't matter, as long as the friendship is based on what really counts in life.
Finding Nemo always brings tears at least to the "welling up" stage during the part where the seagull explains to a disbelieving Nemo that his Dad is going through incredibly awesome troubles to find him. Man, they nailed that part. Yup, Finding Nemo is all about family, and overcoming what was previously thought completely and totally absurd.
The Incredibles was very entertaining to me. The storytelling, directing, and overall production was so intriguingly entertaining, I almost got lost in it the first few times I watched it. Then the part toward the end where Bob goes running out to fight Syndrome's dastardly masterpiece comes in. He tells Helen to wait for him. She says "No", a debate ensues, and finally, Bob simply says "I can't lose you again", and then breaks down. I'm not 100% sure why that causes me to well up, but it does. Maybe it's the mutual understanding and humility toward one another, maybe not. I guess that part brought back the "humanity" feel of the movie... But then it was right back into the action and ear-to-ear entertainment of it.
I smile just thinking of the line "Don't look down, Jack-Jack, don't look down" as the inferno-like explosion of Syndrome's spaceship ensues above.
At any rate, I can't think of a single company (even after releasing only 8 movies) which could claim to have 100% of their movies entertaining to both most kids and most adults, have 100% PG ratings, and make themselves freaking insanely rich at the same time - testifying to the superior quality and demand of their movies.
I guess I decided to blog about this subject simply due to the absolute garbage being released as media now-a-days. I'd say slightly more than half of all movies made today aren't worth the plastic they're recorded on. That is 100% opinionated and subjective, but with the movies I've seen released lately, I believe also to be accurate.
With such stats, a company like Pixar shines like a beacon, hopefully beconing other production companies to follow suit.
This blogger definitely gives Pixar 5 stars. Thank you, Pixar, for creating such emotionally connecting, yet beautifully entertaining, and subtly inspiring movies, music, experiences and memories.
Keep it up! I'm already looking forward to Wall-E.