Sunday, December 28, 2008

Greatest Hits

You know you're having a slothful weekend when the only thing you can think of to blog is where you would rank the Pixar movies. This is coming to me after seeing WALL-E over the weekend. I liked it when I saw it the summer, but I wasn't over the moon about it for some reason. No idea why, just the mood I was in. The crowd in the theatre were talking, I was in a bad mood and despite the movie's many charms, I just wasn't won over.

Then I watched it again over the weekend and was just wowed by it. I have no idea why I didn't love it more the summer, but it's just a fantastic movie. There's some talk of the movie being nominated of a Best Motion Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards (that it's going to be nominated and win for Best Animated Movie is pretty much a given). I wouldn't have a problem with that. At all. Aside from Pixar's usual stellar animation, this is one of the more clever screenplays I've seen for an animated movie in quite some time. The way of communicating things without using words is impressive.

Having said that, I still don't think it's my favourite Pixar movie, but that's because the top ones are just that damn good. If I had to pick my Top 5, it would be these:

1. Monsters Inc.
2. The Incredibles
4. Finding Nemo
5. Ratatouille

Monsters Inc. wins because aside from it being a lot of fun, it's also the movie that myself and Cathy met at when we were set up on a blind date. So yeah, that's always going to win. The Incredibles gets it because it's the movie the Fantastic Four should have been. But WALL-E might creep up over time.

And for those curious, here's Cathy's picks.

1. Monsters Inc.
2. Finding Nemo
3. The Incredibles
5. Ratatouille

You know, I saw an article on CBC this evening talking about the tricks Hollywood is getting ready to use to wow audiences, including new 3-D technology. When you look at that list, and when you consider that Pixar has had very, very few misfires...maybe the studios might want to focus on telling really entertaining stories. Radical idea, I know, but worth a shot.

Last Five
Greatest Hits - Fleetwood Mac


Anonymous said...

One of the things I really love about Pixar is their shorts. In part for same reason you like Wall-e. In many of them their is no dialogue and they really convey a lot without. Probably their experimentation with short films strengthens their features. I'm guessing many of their techniques are born there.

And they do have some extremely talented writers. Sigh.

Aida said...

love Monsters Inc! and i think polar express comes second, though i dont think it was pixar

Megan said...

There are only five Fleetwood Mac greatest hits? Impossible!

towniebastard said...

The first 30 minutes of WALL-E just floored me, not just from the visuals, but the writing. To convey so much information about the world, what had happened and the main characters with virtually no dialogue....I could only dream of being that good one day.

Aida, alas Polar Express is not Pixar, although I do have some fondness for it.

And Megan, don't you have more important things to do in Vegas than harrass me? ;)

Adam Snider said...

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks that 3D is a ridiculous gimmick, and that maybe studios should focus on producing movies that actually have good stories.

As for Pixar's top 5, I think my list would go like this:

2. Ratatouille
3. The Incredibles
4. Finding Nemo
5. Toy Story

It's suspiciously chronological, I realize, but I guess that's just because, in my opinion, Pixar has gotten better over time.

Tracey said...

I own all of the Pixar movies you mentioned but Wall-E. I wanted to get it when it first came out on DVD because I liked the preview but my daughter didn't seem interested. So I have yet to see it.
I did buy her the latest Narnia (Disney) movie called Prince Caspian but I didn't like it as much as The Witch and the Wardrobe.

dups said...

Yes, telling a story well is what makes a movie, I think even George Lucas must be finally realizing that now. No matter how real or fancy it looks if the story is poor, you get a bad movie (there is also the "hidden valley" situation in 3d games and movies where there is a point where the animation might be close to real life but not enough and that turns off viewers -- see Final Fantasy the Movie or Polar Express).

Tracey above, I just watched Prince Caspian and I have to agree with you. I think it's because Adam Adamson took out the childlike niceness of the actual story and instead went to change it to give epic battles and 3D effects. The Narnia books have an innocence which the Prince Caspian movie lacked. I hear Disney is stopping funding of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is too bad, but then I don't want to see another Prince Caspian.


barb said...

Hi there Craig. Spending the day at home with a sick child and realized I hadn't e-mailed to wish you and Kathy a merry Christmas. So now it's Happy New Year from me. Hope all is well. Next time you drop by for a visit, lunch is on me.
If you're in St. John's in June, around the 20th, I'll be there to see Cirque du Soleil at Mile One.
And, since I've dropped by today during your chat on movies, I have to say the Incredibles and Finding Nemo top the list.
But I also loved Madagascar (not sure if it's pixar) and Disney's Robots - especially the dialogue in the last one. some funny stuff there.


towniebastard said...

Barb, I've been trying to email you on and off for the better part of a month and your email account keeps bouncing. Are you having problems? But a Merry Christmas to you and I look forward to reading your short stories soon...;)

Someone will likely pick up the Narnia movies. Caspian made money, just not as much as expected. And while I've never read the books (I'm a hard sci-fi, not fantasy guy) it's my understanding the next two books are much better than Caspian. Also, one of the producers of the Narnia films is Walden Media. It's owned by a billionaire who wants to make family friendly movies.

So somebody will snap it up, it just might mean a delay in the next one coming out.