How is it that a movie studio that produces kid’s films can be responsible for so many of the best films in cinema?
Twenty years ago, that question would be directed at Disney. Now it’s more likely to refer to Pixar, Studio Ghibli, or even Dreamworks of late. What is it about children’s entertainment that has, time and time again, managed to capture the hearts and minds of adults as much as it has their offspring?
Perhaps it’s a result of these films rekindling our lost sense of childlike wonder and naively adventurous spirit. Perhaps it’s their universally accessible narrative simplicity, always ready to charm away our worries with the awe-inspiring visual splendor through which these tales are so often told.
Whatever the case may be, with thirteen films under their belt, the Pixar formula is one that’s proven itself to leave a lasting impression, transporting us to spectacular, gorgeously rendered and thoughtfully defined worlds — second only to the passionately heartfelt and funny stories of family and friendship embedded within.
What’s more, Pixar is able to achieve this mixture while emboldening children to think for themselves; to challenge the status quo; to recognize their true potential, as well as their limitations. As fun and charming and pretty as Pixar’s films are, it’s the complex ideas and emotions they explore that makes them truly special, affording youths the opportunity to confront the realities of the world around them in a way they can understand and cope with. While everyone else is content to pander to kids, Pixar knows that the best way to communicate with children is to treat them as equals.
But equality is not a trait shared by the current roster of Pixar films. Despite the technical virtuosity on full display with every production, it takes a lot more than stunning animation to make a film great, and that’s not a balance that Pixar always strikes — at least not recently. At one point it may have seemed like the studio could do no wrong, but that was a short-lived romantic notion, and hardly one that merits much deliberation. No, far more instructive would be to scrutinize their missteps in conjunction with their successes, and try to determine what exactly it is that makes any one of their works richer than the other. After all, what better way to understand what makes a story great than to study the best? Read More »
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This one is going to be short and sweet. After the jump you can link to Pale Designs, the blog of Jess Fong who has created a gorgeous Pixar themed wallpaper for your iPhone home screen. Check it out below. Read More »
When Steve Jobs died in October of last year, it was a blow to us all. The loss was felt especially hard at Pixar, the successful film company he helped not only create, but isolate from the Hollywood machine. John Carter, directed by one of Pixar’s most prolific directors, Andrew Stanton, comes out next week and though it’s not Pixar, the film is dedicated to the memory of the legendary businessman and inventor. During the credits, a card says:
Dedicated to the Memory of Steve Jobs, an Inspiration to Us All
At a recent press junket, Stanton was asked why he decided to dedicated Carter to Jobs and his answer was both logisically sound and beautifully poignant. Read it after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by Angie Han
We’ve featured a handful of director montages here on /Film recently, and while this “25 Years of Pixar” compilation isn’t quite that, it’s actually pretty similar. In terms of look, tone, and quality, I’d say Pixar is as consistent as many directors.
For the video, NkMcDonalds pulled scenes from works spanning over decades — from ’80s shorts to this year’s Cars 2. If you like Pixar as much as I do, it’ll definitely make you smile and it might even make you tear up a little tiny bit. Watch it after the jump.
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If you collect toys and love Pixar, then these videos will start as exciting and turn into depressing. It shows a wing at Pixar Animation Studios that specializes in 3D printing. Basically, employees can take a frame from any of the Pixar movies and, through specialized printers, output a picture perfect, plaster, 3D model of a character or object from a movie.
While toy companies who deal in Pixar materials can certainly make merchandise that looks like it’s from the movie, these machines make models that are precisely from the movie. Which is incredible. But the fact that I can’t have the little alien in the video – that exact one – on my desk right now, or ever, is upsetting. Watch at your own risk, and find out exactly what these models are used for, after the jump. Read More »
Every once in a while, The Simpsons still hits the right notes. A few months ago the show opened with a Banksy-designed sequence that was the most pointed bit of animation seen on the show in years. Now The Simpsons is turning barbs toward the film award season, and is taking easy but amusing shots at Pixar, Aardman Animation, Sylvain Chomet and more. Some of the ideas in here are pretty well-worn (Mixar instead of Pixar?) But there are moments of good stuff that are worth watching to find. Check out the episode after the break. Read More »
When in doubt, turn to Pixar. That appears to be the new adopted motto by Disney, who only weeks after being revealed to have had a helping hand by the world’s most celebrated studio on Tron, have now turned to Pixar once again to receive input on the new Muppet movie (previously titled The Greatest Muppet of All Time, or possibly, The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made, according to IMDB). More after the break. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Brad Bird’s The Incredibles has long had many political meanings read into it. Perhaps most controversial is how well the film lines up with Ayn Rand’s objectivist movement. It’s also quite popular with politically conservative types as well — the National Review named it number two on their list of the top 25 conservative movies. Tom Elrod, over at The House Next Door, points out that The Incredibles isn’t the only Pixar film that could be read conservatively in a recent post. He argues that while Pixar’s movies may not be politically conservative, you could apply a more relaxed notion of conservatism to many of their films due to their focus on preserving the family unit.
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