The 50 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Thus Far from The Film Stage is the kind of list that will raise discussions about whether certain films deserved to be at the top of the list and whether some near the bottom deserved to be on the list at all, but it shows the impressive diversity of quality recent animation: 2D, 3D, stop-motion, and even rotoscopes and supermarianation, from American studios other than Pixar, Japanese studios other than Ghibli, other countries entirely, animation auteurs and filmmakers best known for NOT animation. Argue away about specifics, but just see how cool it is that at least 50 great animated films have just gotten made in the last 15 years. [more inside]
Pixar's 15 movies, ranked: Vulture | Collider | ET | EW [slideshow] | TV Guide [slideshow] | The Wrap | Washington Post, which disagrees on methodology: "My way to rank the Pixar canon is simple: How much did the film give you the feels?" [more inside]
Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why. Several months ago, I watched a fun-filled video on Cracked.com that introduced the idea (at least to me) that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete what I call “The Pixar Theory,” a working narrative that ties all of the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline with a main theme.
The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki) is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
Toy Story 3 hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D and a "real-time" perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst of a generation that grew up with the series. It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2 the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story (itself the first CGI feature in history). And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards (including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation with Up), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history. But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality (of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar), two of their upcoming projects are sequels, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2 in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2 in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously], fellow newcomer Newt has been canceled. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3 guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation of John Carter of Mars and with forays into live-action already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar? Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
With the French embrace of Pixar's Ratatouille, one of the movie's locations has become an unlikely tourist attraction. "Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles" reads the sign above the door of Aurouze, where the bodies of rats 80 years dead hang suspended by iron traps in the storefront window. Meanwhile, American scientists tickle rodents to record thier tiny gales of laughter. Viva la difference!
No Reservations marks the second foodie inspired movie out in the past couple months, after the charming Ratatouille. Slate pegs the animated movie as getting things right, with help from the well renowned Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. But at home and in professional kitchens, things aren't always so pristine. Is this foodie culture better for us, or just part of a greater problem?