"Cars 2 always comes in last in Pixar rankings, and justifiably so."
July 5, 2015 6:41 PM   Subscribe

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?"

Bonus: Vox rates the trailers and the shorts: "Disastrously wrong about how volcanoes work."

Bonus bonus: Buzzfeed's Herculean in-depth ranking of all 54 Walt Disney Animation Studios films.

Previously: The malleability of memory: Pixar's "Inside Out" [MetaFilter] | Inside Out [FanFare].
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (211 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Considering The Incredibles did not make #1 on any of these lists and I consider it not just the best Pixar movie but one of the best of all movies, these lists are all wrong.

Saw Inside Out today, btw. Rock solid great movie.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:47 PM on July 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


WaPo nails it.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:48 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bonus bonus etc: Mefi's own John Scalzi's ranking.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:52 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


With me Up lost points for the Ellie hankie-wringer, because it was just so nakedly manipulative and didn't fit with what had gone before. Did nobody else notice that Ellie's childhood manner and personality are completely unrelated to her adult character, which consisted purely of being a flawless, glowing repository of all possible love? Okay, maybe we're seeing her through Carl's memory (I know someone's going to say that because this is Metafilter) but it's not presented that way.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:55 PM on July 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


I feel like Ratatouille would score higher if the hero wasn't a rat. It's a gem starring a rat. There's a gross factor to consider and it turns a lot of people off but it's just as good as WALL-E and Up.
posted by guiseroom at 6:55 PM on July 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


I've seen Inside Out twice now (going on a third time), and I already dread having to sit through "Lava" again. Awful.

On the other hand, I had temporarily forgotten about "For the Birds," and just thinking of it again makes me laugh.
posted by mykescipark at 6:57 PM on July 5, 2015


TV Guide might have it closest, but I haven't seen Inside Out yet.

1. Wall-E
2. Up
3. The Incredibles
4. Finding Nemo
5. - 13. I'm indifferent to the order of all these in the middle
14. Cars
15. Cars2.
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:57 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


According to my infallible Flickchart (533 movies, 7413 rankings):

WALL·E
Up
The Incredibles
Toy Story
Toy Story 3
Finding Nemo
Ratatouille
Monsters, Inc.
Toy Story 2
Monsters University
Brave
Cars
A Bug's Life

(I didn't give Cars 2 the time of day, and am planning to see Inside Out this week. A Bug's Life may be dragged down by poor recall.)

I struggled mightily on the top two, finally deciding:
WALL-E was more consistently excellent (Up spent some time in the woods, so to speak, with "Kevin" and the dogs), but Up nailed some amazing emotional highs, especially in the first few minutes. Up also had the edge in music (Giacchino is a genius), but WALL-E had the more sweeping visual scope. This is very, very hard. After some further thought, I'm going to give WALL-E the edge by a nanometer, on account of it having a wider cast of characters, a broader story, and a pretty daring no-dialogue opening.


It's still my all-time favorite. <3
posted by Rhaomi at 7:00 PM on July 5, 2015


Cars 2 is the only reason that Toy Story 2 isn't last in my ranking and it makes me surprised this isn't consensus.
posted by 256 at 7:02 PM on July 5, 2015


Also, Cars is not in the bottom half.
posted by 256 at 7:03 PM on July 5, 2015


Yep. I think that WaPo has the right idea (even if I strongly disagree about WALL-E's position on the list).

There were portions of Toy Story 3 where I was genuinely worried that the writers were going to kill the entire cast. Of course, that would be preposterous, but the film was immersive enough that I never even paused to consider that Disney wasn't going to deliberately scar us that badly.
posted by schmod at 7:05 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I originally placed Cars 2 last only because I shut off Monsters University halfway in and had simply blotted it out.

1. The Incredibles
2. (tie) Ratatouille / Wall-E
3. (tie) Finding Nemo / Monsters, Inc. / Toy Story 3 / Up
4. (vast tie) Everything not named elsewhere.
5. Brave
6. Cars 3
7. Monsters University
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:07 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere."
posted by buriednexttoyou at 7:11 PM on July 5, 2015 [58 favorites]


Wall-E is first. That much I know. It gets a little harder to rank the next five or so.

Up and The Incredibles seem especially overrated in these lists to me. I also think they're two of the uglier Pixar movies with unappealing character designs. Pixar's still not very good at animating people.
posted by painquale at 7:12 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most Pixar movies range from good to great but Cars 2 was an awful, awful movie.

I watch Wall-E, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo even when the kids aren't home. There. I said it.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:13 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


The top 3 include Monsters,Inc , Cars, and Ratatouille. I guess that would only be your conclusion if you like actually care about the message your kids receive watching movies (the things you are taught to fear are frequently not scary and friendship is more important than any thing, friends and heart are more important than fame and glory, and no matter who you are and where you come from you can accomplish anything) and you actually watch the movies with your kids. Certainly, I agree that Cars 2 will always be worst, but Up is chronically over rated, with characters no one sympathizes with and a boring, stupid story. I think Nemo is similarly good but consistently over rated. All the others are great, great films, they don't rise as consistently to the top as Cars, Monsters,Inc, or Ratatouille. At times, I really really like Wall-E or the Incredibles but we have every single DVD and 2 kids under six and therefore my opinion on this is much more valid than most of the rest of you.

What I would like to see is a ranking of films influenced by Pixar as well as those made by Pixar, because holy shit those How to Train Your Dragon movies are good.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:16 PM on July 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Incredibles is best.

I can't talk about Wall-E, it makes me go off on a rant about failed opportunities to tell that story with better science.

All the rest, depends on the day. Except for the Cars movies. They stink.
posted by emjaybee at 7:17 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Incredibles, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc are all shining stars that would be nearly impossible for me to rank. I have high hopes for Inside Out to land among them there.

Up is second tier for basically running into the Saving Private Ryan problem of having an opening so iconic and gut-punching that nothing that follows can live up to it.

I'm in the minority in not really getting the love for the Toy Story movies, because I never found either Buzz or Woody to be anything other than tiresome and irritating, but that's my problem. Haven't seen the third one yet as a result, but I'm sure I will at some point and that might change my mind a bit.

A Bug's Life is as forgettable as they come, and yes, Antz was the superior film there.

Brave is so flawed in undeniable ways but it's like the wounded animal I want to protect because when it works for me it works so well that I get teary thinking about it.

Cars, Cars 2, and Monster's University I have no use for.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:21 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Know what I hate? Ranking listicles. And the shoehorning in of apologies for the arbitrariness of the particular order doesn't mitigate that in the slightest. Know what the #1 Pixar movie is? ALL OF THEM, except for Cars 1 and 2, which don't exist. Boom, done.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:22 PM on July 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


Here's the thing: Wall-E was easily the best film, the best piece of art, that Pixar has produced. But I never need to see it again. Whereas I can recite large chunks of Nemo and The Incredibles from memory, I've seen them so many times. (and I don't have kids)

After that it's the Toy Story movies and everything else was cute and enjoyable but nothing special.

I'm excited to see Inside Out.
posted by dry white toast at 7:23 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Cars is a very good movie, great characters, settings, story, etc. The problem is that Cars 2 is so bad it retroactively made you stop caring about the characters, the setting and the story.
Sort of like The Matrix 2 & 3.
posted by signal at 7:24 PM on July 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


My way to rank the Pixar canon is simple: How much did the film give you the feels?

My way has more to do with "how obnoxiously transparently was the film trying to give you the feels" and the answer is uniformly "way too much" so they all rank equal last. Except the "Presto" short, which is quite good.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:24 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


If we go straight by feels, the opening sequence of Up made me cry hysterically and uncontrollably like I haven't cried since I was in elementary school and watched that sequence where the soldiers shoot the wolf in Dances with Wolves. And at least when I watched Dances with Wolves I was at home and my mom could turn off the television. When I saw Up I was in a theater with the rest of my adult-aged friends who all sat uncomfortably as their friend who they'd never seen cry before was falling out of her seat with the force of her gasping sobs. AWKWARD
posted by schroedinger at 7:25 PM on July 5, 2015 [34 favorites]


1. The Incredibles
2. Ratatouille
3. Wall-E
4. Finding Nemo
5. Monsters Inc.
6. Up
7. Toy Story
8. A Bug's Life
9. Brave
10. Cars


I watched Inside Out and while I think it's entertaining/intelligent and hits all the right places. Something about it feels so very manipulative. I know many of these films tap into that part of ourselves and pull at the heart-strings, but something about it felt off. I'm not sure why. I think I need to re-watch it.
posted by Fizz at 7:25 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's a shame that the shorts list linked above doesn't include shorts that use characters from the features. As great as "Wall-E" is, watching the short "Burn-E" with it makes it even better.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:29 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Cars is a very good movie, great characters, settings, story, etc.

On the internet you can't continue this far without mentioning Doc Hollywood. Sorry.

I love Monsters Inc just for the worldbuilding that Pixar pulled off.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:32 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Dissolve did a Career View of Pixar recently and divided the filmography into eras and, yes, rated each film. "Toy Story 2" and "Wall-E" get the top spots, and the bottom goes to... well, you know.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:35 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wall-E pisses me off for one simple reason, which is that never, not once during the entire movie, do they acknowledge how awesome it is that they've managed to sustain human life for SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS in space, completely unassisted. Sure, they've turned people into gelatinous, tv-addicted feedbags (which is basically, like, my dream life, but I'll allow that maybe that's a bad thing), but they won! Humans BEAT NATURE. Fuck your plant life, humans have managed not only to live but be well cared for and content without needing earth's help at all.

I would have been ok with the movie if there had even been a single token line acknowledging the goddamned miracle of science that was their current existence, but no, nothing. No respect.

IT'S BEEN SEVEN YEARS AND I'M STILL BITTER.
posted by phunniemee at 7:35 PM on July 5, 2015 [26 favorites]


It turns out that this is actually by an ex-Pixar animator, but I think it should still be in the running for best short. I present to you, if you've never had the pleasure before:

Alma
posted by Navelgazer at 7:36 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I consider Lava wonderful just for how beautiful Kuana Torres Kahele's voice is. The story/lyrics: big meh. But he could sing the phone book with those pure high notes and I'd listen all day.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:40 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of ashamedly surprised how many Pixar films I haven't seen. And I have friends who work there, fer cryin' out loud. At least the ones I have seen are toward the top of most of the lists, at least.

I would put Cars at the bottom, but only because it was so bad I swore I would never see Cars 2.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:41 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I watched Inside Out and while I think it's entertaining/intelligent and hits all the right places. Something about it feels so very manipulative. I know many of these films tap into that part of ourselves and pull at the heart-strings, but something about it felt off. I'm not sure why. I think I need to re-watch it.


I feel the same way. I think it might be that we're seeing inside everyone else's head, looking at how their emotions are inspired by their lives and memories. So when the movie pulls on our heart-strings, we're more inclined to take notice.
posted by vogon_poet at 7:43 PM on July 5, 2015


Brave is underrated and in10-15 years will be considered a masterpiece who's influence is deeply felt by many.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 PM on July 5, 2015 [22 favorites]


Brave is underrated and in10-15 years will be considered a masterpiece who's influence is deeply felt by many.

I agree, and features such a great vocal performance by Billy Connolly (whom I dearly hope is with us for a long time).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:50 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]




I thought A Bug's Life was pretty boring right up until I realized they'd lifted the plot from An American Tale, whereupon I turned it off and got mad at Pixar for a bit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:55 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, I'm delighted that I can't pick an absolute favorite. Up, Incredibles, Wall-E and Ratatouille are all great for various reasons and ways. Never was crazy about the Toy Story movies though.

Have never seen Cars 1 or 2 and that makes me proud.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 PM on July 5, 2015


Wall-E pisses me off for one simple reason, which is that never, not once during the entire movie, do they acknowledge how awesome it is that they've managed to sustain human life for SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS in space, completely unassisted. Sure, they've turned people into gelatinous, tv-addicted feedbags (which is basically, like, my dream life, but I'll allow that maybe that's a bad thing), but they won! Humans BEAT NATURE. Fuck your plant life, humans have managed not only to live but be well cared for and content without needing earth's help at all.

Yeah, what good do animals, plants, or the residents of the developing world do for me? Psh, they don't even study STEM. As long as I can get my TV space McDonalds playground, I think we should all feel super awesome about turning a perfectly good life-sustaining planet into an inhabitable wasteland.

For real, WALL-E spends tons of time eye-candying up the spaceship and technology - I don't feel like they needed to add in a "fuck you, nature, we won" moment.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:58 PM on July 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


I thought A Bug's Life was pretty boring right up until I realized they'd lifted the plot from An American Tale, whereupon I turned it off and got mad at Pixar for a bit.

They had one movie under their belt. Who knows how much heavy handed "notes" they were really getting from Disney back then. They weren't sure they'd survive as a company. Oh, and Antz was being raced through production too. If you're calling the shots at at a company that's not really profitable yet, you might make some overly 'safe' and, in hindsight, boring decisions too.
posted by DigDoug at 7:59 PM on July 5, 2015


Best movies that people often think are Pixar movies but are not actually Pixar movies, ranked by me:

1. Wreck It Ralph
1. Antz

Yes they are tied.
This is the definitive list.
You're welcome.
posted by phunniemee at 8:02 PM on July 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'll play! (Although I haven't seen Inside Out yet, unfortunately.)

Finding Nemo — perfect. incredible screenplay. beautiful movie. Dorie's speech at the end is astonishing.
The Incredibles — nearly perfect
Toy Story 3 — I weep at the end of this movie EVERY TIME
Monsters, Inc. — wonderful movie; a little too cute at times
WALL·E — it would have been perfect if there were no human speaking parts; they should have all be in stasis and the entire thing been robots
Up — the lame sub-plot with the explorer drags this one down a bit
Toy Story — how did this get so low on the list? such a good movie.
Toy Story 2 — good, but lacking
Cars — just don't care for the characters very much
Brave — many things going for it, but a cohesive screenplay isn't one of them
Ratatouille — rats
A Bug's Life — still better than Antz
Monsters University — did not need to be made. the only Pixar movie I don't own
Cars 2 — I only own this because it's about cars and I have a four year-old boy.

Honorable mention: Planes. Which is the subplot of Cars 2, made the plot. My god it's bad. Even my four year-old boy can't sit through it.
posted by papercake at 8:06 PM on July 5, 2015


... how awesome it is that they've managed to sustain human life for SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS in space, completely unassisted. Sure, they've turned people into gelatinous, tv-addicted feedbags ...

Yeah, but see, to me that's exactly the problem - the whole "humans surviving in space for centuries" thing came at a cost of reducing the former richness of human experience to mere mass consumerism; life has been reduced to an artificially-constrained and narrowly-curated experience. They're missing out on things like nature, seasons, grandeur, personal development, adventure, etc., the very things that complicate and enrich the experience of living on an infinitely variegated planet. For instance, the captain querying the computer about all the concepts he wasn't even aware of - like dancing, just to pick one. They haven't really "beat" nature, just found a way to get by without it "temporarily". That's not life, in my mind; that's just survival.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:21 PM on July 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm not saying don't go back and fix earth I'm just saying give the scientists who solved literally the single fundamental problem of all biological existence ("just" survival) some goddamned credit.
posted by phunniemee at 8:29 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I've seen Brave twice, and it never fails to make me want to shake off the fog of abject boredom by watching How to Train Your Dragon, a story where the frustrated protagonist actually does something more substantial than hiding a bear.
posted by lumensimus at 8:30 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm not saying don't go back and fix earth I'm just saying give the scientists who solved literally the single fundamental problem of all biological existence ("just" survival) some goddamned credit.

Fair enough, but that would have been a different movie altogether, that doesn't fit in with the intentionally allegorical framing of that one (time- or theme-wise).
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:32 PM on July 5, 2015


Here's the thing: Wall-E was easily the best film, the best piece of art, that Pixar has produced. But I never need to see it again.

It is astounding how you can be so very right and then so tragically wrong
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:34 PM on July 5, 2015


And now you mention it, a moving tale of individuals within a long-term-space-travel context would be a good premise on its own, without tacking on a "we're escaping the earth we royally fucked up" framing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:36 PM on July 5, 2015


the first half of wall e was the most beautiful thing I have seen on screen, the second half was libertarian fat jokes.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:41 PM on July 5, 2015 [21 favorites]


I'm not going to engage in the ranking thing; it's always a subjective game. I've spoken my piece on Cars before.

So I'll leave this here, in case anyone hasn't seen the breakdown of the Pixar formula yet.
posted by nubs at 8:43 PM on July 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


My list:
1. How to Train Your Dragon. The cat-like dragon. The music. The animation of fire, and water, and air. The hero is a thinker and a puzzle-solver, not a basher. THE FEELZ OMG. And pretty much every expression ever of Toothless.

Huh, what's that? Not a Pixar film? Bugger.

Okay, ranked in order of re-watchability, which is just as valid a criterion as anything else, here's my list:

1. The Incredibles
2. Up
3. Ratatouille
4 - 6: Toy Story 1, 2, and 3
7. Inside Out
8 - 12, in no particular order because I have seen them all but have no great desire to watch any of them again: WALL-E, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, A Bug's Life, Brave.
13 - 15, because I have not seen any of them and don't really want to change this: Monsters University, Cars, Cars 2.
posted by Athanassiel at 8:43 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


All I'm asking for is one single line of dialogue of acknowledgement. Or heck, even a plaque hanging somewhere visible on the Axiom, even in the background so you'd have to pause the movie to see it, commemorating the men and women who invented the only reason people aren't dead now. Not asking for a plot rewrite.

Not trying to be super fighty about this (ha ha I'm lying clearly I totally am watch me go) but for seven years now I've run into brick walls trying to explain why I don't care for the movie because people get all "cute robot love story!" and "dumb fat people!" and "walmart is bad!" and don't want to engage any farther than that.
posted by phunniemee at 8:44 PM on July 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


How To Train Your Dragon was an absolute gem of a movie.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:44 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


the first half of wall e was the most beautiful thing I have seen on screen, the second half was libertarian fat jokes.

Man, I disagree. Not with the first part (though not entirely) but the Dance Sequence is seriously possibly the most beautiful thing ever put on screen, and stops to show it knocking Mary and John out of their complacent stupor such that the notice each other, and their immediate interest in one another is played as sweetly and straight as possible. Yes, the future humans are fat, with atrophied muscles, because of the universe they've grown up in. They are also the awakened heroes who restore humanity's hope.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:47 PM on July 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


I thought that Wall-E should have ended with Eve rebooting the broken down hero robot and him rebooting with no personality since he hadn't existed for centuries and had no experience to build up a personality and he goes about his work and no fairy-tale ending. But I'm a bit of a cynical brute sometimes.
posted by hippybear at 8:47 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


the first half of wall e was the most beautiful thing I have seen on screen, the second half was libertarian fat jokes.

Definitely! There could be a great movie about human life on a generational spaceship, but wow, I love to imagine a more grown-up version of WALL-E where the whole movie is like the first 30 minutes, and there are never any people introduced, no dialogue, and maybe never any ship explicitly shown. Unfortunately that'd probably be too bleak, and doesn't give us the magical do-over where we get to have our cake and eat it too, re: running the planet into the ground. But I like the idea of the robots planting the plant, and humans just never showing up again.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:50 PM on July 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


If that Sarah McLachlan number in Toy Story 2 doesn't give you the feels, you're a goddamned robot.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


I thought that Wall-E should have ended with Eve rebooting the broken down hero robot and him rebooting with no personality since he hadn't existed for centuries and had no experience to build up a personality and he goes about his work and no fairy-tale ending. But I'm a bit of a cynical brute sometimes.

Yeah, but the whole magical-realism thread of Wall-E hangs on the concept of the spark that can grow into a movement, in this case the literal spark, but also the sapling, the Captain's first step into the wiki-hole, the dance, as I just said, sparking romance in the humans, etc. That ending would have been bold, to be sure, but for the story they were tleling, I'm not sure it would have been any more "honest" in any meaningful way.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


All I'm asking for is one single line of dialogue of acknowledgement. Or heck, even a plaque hanging somewhere visible on the Axiom, even in the background so you'd have to pause the movie to see it, commemorating the men and women who invented the only reason people aren't dead now. Not asking for a plot rewrite.

I feel like this is perfectly in-line with the movie's themes. The ship was made by Buy-N-Large. That's all they want you to know. How often does any corporate behemoth give kudos to the individual peons responsible for its advances?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:55 PM on July 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a lot of sympathy for the WaPo's view that Monsters University has retroactively tarnished Monsters Inc.'s reputation: yes. Monsters Inc. is a charming, hugely imaginative movie with a killer ending. Monsters U... isn't.

Also, the Buzzfeed Disney list is entirely correct about Cinderella. Rewatched it recently, and wow: it spends an inordinate amount of time on various bird / mouse / cat hi-jinks. It makes me wonder if Disney had already identified the Uncanny Valley : that they could much more convincingly animate stylistically anthropomorphised animals than they could strongly representational humans.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:58 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


phunniemee, my impression was that it was the naughty grasping voracious "Buy 'n' Large" corporation - i.e. the bad guys in the movie - who came up with the space-refuge idea and technology in the first place, and the last thing that movie wanted to do was glorify them at all; it would detract from the movie's "message". I mean, I understand what you're getting at, but my sense is that tangibly commemorating their (I agree, very real and amazing) accomplishment was specifically not the point of that particular movie is all I'm saying.

Now, if you want to discuss how heavy-handed the movie's point was ....
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:58 PM on July 5, 2015


Ok, I simple must interject here.

As for WALL-E...the first act is some of the finest animation and storytelling ever, not just among Pixar films. But whenever the plot switches over to the humans, the film stumbles with some weak attempts at SF. (And no, I don't mean the "fat shaming" aspect of WALL-E; the humans--really just the captain--are given nothing and it shows). Robots? Awesome. Humans? Not awesome.

The Incredibles is my #1 pick, followed closely by Toy Story 2 and 3. I rank the original Toy Story high as well, but the sequels really flesh out the characters and put them in novel situations so goddamn well.

UP starts well but by the end it kind of runs out of...helium (get it??). Still one of the better ones.

Ratatouille has gorgeous animation, one of the best looking Pixar movies. And who cares if the protagonist is a rat? But the other hero, Linguini, wins the Whiniest Pixar Character Ever Award, easily. You have to tread a fine line between being sympathetic to a character so the audience can relate, but not make that character so passive and lame that he/she's unlikeable. Linguini drags down the movie too much.

Finding Nemo is just kind of ok for me--much more of a kiddie movie like Cars. Monsters Inc. is pretty decent, and A Bug's Life is a nice Seven Samurai/Fist Full of Dollars remake. Those I would place in the "decent but nothing special" category.

Cars was obnoxious and bad. I watched about 30 minutes of Monsters University and that was enough. Haven't seen Brave (yet) nor Cars 2 (nor will I).
posted by zardoz at 9:00 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I loved Wall-E and The Incredibles so much and every movie since makes me more and more sad, and now it doesn't even register with me when a new Pixar movie comes out.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:00 PM on July 5, 2015


The ship was made by Buy-N-Large. That's all they want you to know.

This is a compelling point and with that in mind I understand why they wouldn't want to draw attention to it.

Still bitter.
posted by phunniemee at 9:08 PM on July 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


I feel similarly to zardoz about Finding Nemo: it seems to especially resonate with parents, but outside of that I don't think it's as big of a home run as people think it is. The Incredibles is my number one with Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 3 following.

I don't know if they'll ever surpass The Incredibles, which pretty much had every strong point you could have: writing, characters, animation, direction, laughs, action, and intimacy, and an adult sense of humor (and commentary on adult life) coupled with a celebration of play. Really fun on rewatch, too.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:10 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


My way has more to do with "how obnoxiously transparently was the film trying to give you the feels"

I still can't watch the opening of Up without choking back (or failing to choke back) tears, and despite that fact that, yes, it is transparently, obviously, undeniably trying to evoke strong feelings with its combination of aging, partnership, love, loss, death, nostalgia and crushed and then renewed dreams, it is transparent and obvious and undeniable in the exact same way that is is transparent and obvious and undeniable that having a machine gun shot at you is transparently and obviously and undeniably trying to kill you, and my response to it is just about as unavoidable.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:17 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


You have to tread a fine line between being sympathetic to a character so the audience can relate, but not make that character so passive and lame that he/she's unlikeable.

This is what ruins the "Silicon Valley" TV show.
posted by nom de poop at 9:18 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


All of you dissing on Cars (1) need to go out and rent a 4 year old boy right now and sit down and watch it with him. Or go read never used baby shoes linked comment and try not to cry.

Yes, I was once a heartless cynic like you all. Hated it in the theater. Easily would have rated it near bottom. But we had a party one night and decided we needed some Xbox games to entertain the kids and among those I came home with as kid friendly was the Cars video game. I was surprised and impressed with how fascinated the children were with race cars that had faces and personalities. We decided to give the film another try, this time with the kids and with the critical eye of a kid, and I'm serious, it is one of the best films for kids of all time and it is still good on the hundredth viewing. The characters are well developed and the story is quite touching along with having fucking race cars and Big Mac trucks and stuff. Lightning gives up his chance at winning in order to push Strip Weathers across the finish line while the fans boo Chick Hicks taking the trophy. It's full of adult jokes (Click and Clack being the spokes cars for Rust-eZe, the little red convertible fan girls, Mia and Tia, etc).

My god, I never realized someone on the Internet could be so wrong about something.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:22 PM on July 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


I can understand the hate for Cars 2 and Planes and Cargo Ships or whatever the hell else they make to cash in on the obvious toy sales, but I'll defend the original Cars. The animation is simply beautiful - those landscapes, the quite successful conversion of machines into organic things, the full characters. It also gets points for the thought provoking nature of the universe the film represents; do cars fuck? How do the... genetics of that work out? What do you get if you cross a Porsche with a Combi Van?
posted by Jimbob at 9:24 PM on July 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


You get a Mercedes SUV.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:26 PM on July 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


I can't be the first person to notice that both Wall-E and 2001 depict a future where humans have put so much of ourselves into technology that our machines are becoming more person-like while we become less so?
posted by traveler_ at 9:27 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


A lot of the Pixar movies seem to come about through wanting to improve their ability to create reality by solving some kind of problem. There was translucency of the plants that was a problem for A Bug's Life, I remember that hair took a major step forward both in Monster's Inc (Sully's fur) and in Brave. For Cars, it was the dust. Etc etc.

That'd actually be an interesting trajectory to trace across the Pixar catalog sometime, how they developed and improved and exactly what they improved with each movie.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


go out and rent a 4 year old boy

That idea...might not go over so well in the real world.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:30 PM on July 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


I can't be the first person to notice that...

No you are not.
posted by phunniemee at 9:31 PM on July 5, 2015


I remember a lot of "we had to work really hard to get it to look right" press about Finding Nemo's underwater shots, all shimmering light and layers of translucency and floating particles; also for Wall-E a lot of press on Roger Deakin's role in their developing its cinematography (for example).
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:37 PM on July 5, 2015


The most impressive thing about the spaceship in Wall-E is that science has developed a way to make not just free energy, but free mass. They are shown dumping giant mounds of garbage out into space, and they've been doing this for hundreds of years. That's some serious Yahweh level tech.
posted by benzenedream at 9:45 PM on July 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


So I guess I'm the only person in the world to have disliked Wall-E? I literally almost fell asleep. I like most of the rest of them, and would have a hard time ranking them. If forced, I'd probably put Toy Story first, simply because it was such an amazing thing the first time I saw it in the theater the weekend it came out.

Even though there are highs and lows, Pixar has a strong enough track record with me that I'll go see just about anything they put out.
posted by primethyme at 10:09 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a similar problem with Wall-E. Humanity was literally fat and happy with its existence in space. Funny in all the space program threads on MF, manned space flight advocates want so badly for humanity to do exactly that. For humanity to be free of the bounds of Earth. A depiction of that accomplishment is something I can actually get behind.

Still, I felt it would have been much better had Wall-E and Eve left humans in space where they're free to enjoy their existence there and simply took the plant back to Earth, to become the caretakers - gods, really - of life on planet Earth. With the closing credits showing the two nurturing life for billions of years to create a new world. A new world ultimately a product of humanity after all, though indirectly by way of its creations, robots Wall-E and Eve. And their images being passed on to be revered by the evolved life long after they have decayed and left the planet to develop on its own.

But then again, this was a movie that had to appeal to parents with kids. Though I would have been blown away by my alternative version as a kid.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:11 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Non-Pixar movies that can hold their heads high sitting on the same shelf as the Pixar collection:

Kung-Fu Panda
How to Train Your Dragon
Wreck-It Ralph
Big Hero 6

posted by straight at 10:13 PM on July 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


Wall-E needed to end with the humans unable to leave the ship: they've become so acclimated to generations upon generations of ship-living that their bodies literally cannot survive on Earth anymore (which is where I thought they were actually going after that sight-gag showing how the people's bodies have changed over time). To make it a little less bleak you could show their babies growing up Earth and communicating with their parents in the ship or something, whatever, having humans at all was a huge mistake.
posted by Ndwright at 10:13 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cars 2 is not a good movie, and I probably would have felt differently had I watched it with kids, but seeing it with adult friends, I thought it was silly fun with enough gags and spectacle to be enjoyable.

It's still way better than the Madagascar/Monsters v. Aliens/Bee Movie wing of Dreamworks or any of the Ice Age horrors coming out of Blue Sky Studios
posted by straight at 10:24 PM on July 5, 2015


Whats up with the accents in How to train your dragon though?
The main kids accent took me right out of it, everyone else is scotish or viking, but he just has a generic whiny american accent.
posted by Iax at 10:29 PM on July 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


My favorite will always be Luxo Jr. which I saw at an animation festival in 1987 and it blew my mind.
posted by not_on_display at 10:29 PM on July 5, 2015


Non-Pixar movies that can hold their heads high sitting on the same shelf as the Pixar collection:

Surf's Up (I mean ok Shia Laboef sure; but Jeff Bridges Jon Heder James Woods Diedrich Bader Mario Cantone and the translucent waves and the sunset light are you fuckin' kidding me c'mon)
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:31 PM on July 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


if you like actually care about the message your kids receive watching movies

You wouldn't want them watching Toy Story: hey kids, better play with those toys exactly as the Disney Corp made them and don't try and modify them, only psychopaths do that.

Not to mention that the whole series is of course a thinly veiled defence of slavery, in that the only way toys can truly be happy is with a master, that any attempt at creating an independent existence will end in failure and hurt.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:45 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's not my original thought at all, but Syd is a kid from circumstances being creative, not hurting anybody, until he's traumatized into learning the fictional universe's rules that he had no reason to believe existed.

I dunno. Aside from just not liking either Buzz or Woody, something doesn't sit right with me about Toy Story. Like, I'm okay with giving myself over to blatant emotional manipulation, but there, the "heart" feels so manufactured that it just leaves a metallic taste in my mouth. Maybe I have trouble relating to the arbitrary agency-no-agency rules, or I'm bugged by the toys' primary motivation being Neediness, or something.

Give me Violet Paar, the character with the most compelling and realized dramatic arc in The Increibles, taking a set of powers which at first seem to perfectly reflect her shell-shocked introversion but become something else entirely once she begins to assert herself.*

Give me Linguini, who in an almost-unnoticed element of the third act of Ratatouille, reveals that while he might not be a chef, he has an astounding talent for being a waiter. (The movie, taken over by Brad Bird as it was, has a bit of a reputation for carrying his libertarian ethos, but Gusteau smacks Remy down early on for dismissing the plungeur as unimportant, and the climax all hinges on Remy's inability to accomplish anything on his own, but how the talents of an entire team are necessary. Also proper hygiene.)

Give me Merida, realizing at the climax of Brave that while she and her father have always been close, that relationship doesn't mean that he hears or respects her in the way she deserves, and that she must be willing to stand in the way of his sword if that's what it takes to make him listen.

And give me Marlin, who finally "finds" Nemo via swimming out of the reef and having such adventures that the whole ocean spread them around. Finding Nemo is brilliantly set up such that just by getting to Sydney, Marlin and Dory still have no chance. It's only on account of their trials that Nemo knows to make his own great escape back to the ocean, and thus that, even though they are apart almost the entire movie, they meet each other again knowing each other better.

*The Incredibles definitely gets the Brad-Bird-libertarian-hit as well, but I think it's important to remember that while Syndrome's "when everyone's super, no one will be," line isn't just a threat of evening the playing-field, but of leaving Syndrome the only actual super-power left (he keeps all of his best inventions for himself, remember) and also that Mr. Incredible's arrogance in only working alone is both his greatest weakness that he must overcome in order to succeed, as well as the thing that turned Buddy (or Brodie, as Mr. Incredible calls him in, of all things, a Mallrats reference) into Syndrome in the first place.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:19 PM on July 5, 2015 [10 favorites]


Oh, there are some shitty messages in the Incredibles. I especially like how it ends with the parents telling their kid it's ok for him to lord his superpowers over regular people, just so long as he hides it just enough so that the people he's competing with (who can never, ever win no matter how hard they train or what they do) don't realize he has superpowers and just think he's really good. Kind of like if superman joined an arm wrestling league.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:35 AM on July 6, 2015


Eh, they're teaching Dash to exercise control over his powers while keeping the event fun for everyone. I think it all works out.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:15 AM on July 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Cars 2 was terrible. But I don't get the hate for Cars. I had to watch that movie at least a hundred times with my son, and other than some of the songs, it mostly continued to be quite entertaining.
posted by bardophile at 1:23 AM on July 6, 2015


If you wanted to see the author of The Wrap list hash it out with a couple of critic-buddies (Christy Lemire, formerly of At the Movies, and Matt Atchity of Rotten Tomatoes), this is the video for you. "I tell you, nothing starts arguments on my Facebook wall like ranking the Pixar movies..."
posted by flibbertigibbet at 2:12 AM on July 6, 2015


Non-Pixar movies that can hold their heads high sitting on the same shelf as the Pixar collection:

Kung-Fu Panda
How to Train Your Dragon
Wreck-It Ralph
Big Hero 6


Excellent point, Dreamworks in particular makes great animation these days. Going back a bit, I'd add The Iron Giant and most of the Ghibli canon. Kung Fu Panda and Wreck-It Ralph blew me away, frankly.
posted by zardoz at 2:15 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, and Rango! Really underrated movie.
posted by zardoz at 2:30 AM on July 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


I've seen Cars approximately one billiontyleven times and I'll still stop if it's playing when I'm flicking through looking for something to watch. I liked Cars 2 (the boys didn't) but I've only seen it the once. I'd watch it again if it was on while I was flicking through.

Brave is an outstanding movie and I'm always amazed that it isn't rated higher by people. I can imagine it would have been an even better movie if Brenda had had her way but even so. I love it. Top 10!

And A Bug's Life is great! Sometimes we have to remind ourselves we're watching kids movies, and this is an excellent one. It doesn't have to be sublime but there's so much that's good in this.

The beginning of Up devastated me and the bit where the old guy rejects the little boy and the bird and the dog devastated my youngest son. Pixar wants to make you cry!

We all love Wall-E (I really particularly love the animation over the closing credits with the song by Peter Gabriel), the boys hate Ratatouille (but I love it), all three Toy Stories are top notch, I think of the seagulls in Finding Nemo every time we visit the beach (moit!), The Incredibles is incredible but the extra features (particularly the cartoon with commentary by Mr Incredible and Frozone) are amazing, and both Monsters Inc. movies are memorable because you get to see behind the facade.

Inside Out has so many layers and I need to see this one again. The boys agree. We loved it but Pixar made us all cry again. As I was telling my youngest son, who's always the one most affected by Pixar movies, being made to feel is part of what movies are about. It's like a rollercoaster without the motion sickness.

Pixar movies, if nothing else, make you think.
posted by h00py at 3:10 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not giving B-N-L credit for saving humanity on the Axiom is like not giving credit to McDonalds for saving you from starvation with vat-grown "I Can't Believe This Wasn't A Real Cow!" burgers and Syntho-Spud friesTM (The Realistic Potato-Style Fry Made Entirely From Fungus!®) in the distopian hell-world where industrial factory-farming has destroyed agriculture and the biosphere.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:21 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bah, I should have said (given the lack of reasoning for any of my comments) Pixar makes you feel.
posted by h00py at 3:45 AM on July 6, 2015


First - first half of Wall-E
Last - second half of Wall-E
posted by DanCall at 4:21 AM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Big Hero 6

This was almost a good movie. The point at which they lost me(and my partner) was when they all had to become silly fucking superheros to set up the franchise they want to run.

Yes, i'm aware it's based on a comic book. Yes, i know that's the whole point. But the movie had heart and character and hit some shockingly solid and dark story beats for a kids movie right up until then. I was with it up and through the whole "we need to create a way to fight this" subplot until they basically become the teen titans version of the avengers. The movie gets cheesy then. Abruptly. Like, comical jumping of shark material.

I felt this way, and when i poked my partner on how she felt about the movie it was the first thing she brought up. It just becomes a different movie right then, with only flashes of its former self. And like the hashgag bits, it feels like something bolted on to an otherwise different movie.


Similarly, i think the vulture article totally nailed it with relation to Up. The entire movie just slowly loses steam after the beginning. The intro is the strongest part of the whole film, and the initial setup and first act is also strong. It doesn't jump any sharks, but just kind of slowly loses any engaging qualities. I know it's a bit patronizing, but i really do think most people just remember the intro and select bits of a movie that felt like mostly frosting and not much cake. I don't think pixar has made another movie that just felt that... empty.

And seriously that fucking bird was like madagascar cheesy dreamworks character bad are you kidding me. Ditto for the head-bad-dogs busted gag voicebox.

If you showed me, having all my memory of them wiped, a bunch of pixar movies and a bunch of dreamworks/disney/etc ones i would be more likely to think wreck it ralph was a pixar movie than Up.

There's also some good stuff in that article about kung fu panda, in relation to it almost feeling like they were mandated to not let it have too much of a soul.
posted by emptythought at 4:23 AM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't be the first person to notice that both Wall-E and 2001 depict a future where humans have put so much of ourselves into technology that our machines are becoming more person-like while we become less so?

Or that the movies have perfectly analogous structure? I mean, they're the same movie and Pixar knew it. I love it.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:34 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


For my kids, ages 9, 6, and 4, the Incredibles is the Pixar movie they rewatch the most. Whatever is second is a distant second--probably Monsters, Inc.

For a long time I though Monsters, Inc. was the best Pixar movie, and while I still consider it one of the best, I realize now it is actually the Pixar movie with the most perfect ending, not necessarily best overall. And for that, I've come to agree with the kids. I'm not sure the Incredibles is the best animation, or the most touching. Up has the strongest beginning, MI the strongest ending. Wall-E is the most literate and ambitious. But none of them have all the pieces fit together for all-ages rewatchable pleasure like the Incredibles. As a total work, it's my #1.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:49 AM on July 6, 2015


Oh, and Rango! Really underrated movie.

I have yet to go back and watch it a second time since seeing it in the theater, but I remember just being stunned by the character design. It's like they took each animal and cross referenced with a stock Western Character Actor from the 50's and created something... perfect.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:56 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


in the distopian hell-world where industrial factory-farming has destroyed agriculture and the biosphere.

I'm sure you'll have a great view of all of humanity going extinct from up there on your high horse.
posted by phunniemee at 5:30 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't knock the Cars/Planes films because the merchandise bankrolls films like Brave and Up.


I've seen Inside Out twice now (going on a third time), and I already dread having to sit through "Lava" again. Awful.

On the other hand, I had temporarily forgotten about "For the Birds," and just thinking of it again makes me laugh.


If you do go again, mikescipark, watch for the cameo by the birds. (It occurs during the moving scene.)
posted by dances with hamsters at 5:40 AM on July 6, 2015


I really like A Bug's Life and think it's consistently underrated. Its main "flaw" seems to be that it doesn't have the perfectly-aimed killer blow to the feels that's become Pixar's trademark from Toy Story 2 onward. Nothing wrong with that.

As an aside, I've always been surprised that Toy Story 3 went there, or at least came very very close to there, with the incinerator scene. Absolute nightmare fuel. I was barely equipped to handle it in my thirties.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:00 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The main problem with Cars 2 is the title. Had it been called Mater: The Spy Who Lubed Me, expectations would have been set appropriately, and it might have been appreciated as the goofy bit of fluff it is.
posted by Shmuel510 at 6:03 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've never really understood the dislike for Cars. As a non-American, I perhaps had the advantage of having been exposed to neither Nascar nor Larry the Cable Guy prior to watching the movie. (Cars 2 OTOH was terrible—it almost immediately went to dub-only in the Danish cinemas, so I ended up buying the Blu-ray in order to see it. Once).
posted by bouvin at 6:12 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


We enojoyed Big Hero Six, but it's some seriously on rails Save the Cat stuff. Frozen is a better candidate for Most-Pixar-NonPixar-Disney.
posted by Artw at 6:15 AM on July 6, 2015


I really like A Bug's Life and think it's consistently underrated. Its main "flaw" seems to be that it doesn't have the perfectly-aimed killer blow to the feels that's become Pixar's trademark from Toy Story 2 onward. Nothing wrong with that.

The one thing I like to point out about "A Bug's Life" is how absolutely gruesome the villain's death is (even though we don't technically see it). I mean, seriously, Quentin Tarantino did the same kind of scene in "Django Unchained" and caught flack for it.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:16 AM on July 6, 2015


I couldn't make it through the WaPo article because he kept using the term "the feels". Ugh.
posted by tunewell at 6:19 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've spoken about Cars before in the same thread that nubs linked.

However, I have additional thoughts. Since that thread, my son was born and has grown into a vibrant little boy who, yes, loves Cars. So I'm copying and adding to my comment from that thread:

I've been on Mefi long enough to get the general vibe that many people here don't care for automobiles and/or even have disdain for them.

If you are not a fan of automobiles and automobile culture, there are many, many details and references that you're missing in Cars. There's an entire layer of the movie that's invisible to you.

Cars was made for those of us who love automobiles, car culture, classic cars and road trips through small towns.

For instance, the neon lights on top of the awnings of Flo's V8 Cafe blink in the order that a V8 engine's pistons move. The mountain range above Radiator Springs looks like the Cadillac Ranch.

One of the best vacations my wife and I have shared was a road trip down the west coast, through the Redwood Forest, and along the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped in many of the little towns with tacky signs, and ate at the local diners. It was lots of fun and we both remember it fondly. We both enjoy watching Cars because it reminds us of that.

The "Our town" montage in the middle of the movie hits my wife in the feels because she grew up in a small town, and her parents still live there. She has witnessed exactly the sort of decline in her home town that is shown in Cars.

And yeah, the movie contains some stereotypes. Ramone, for instance, is a low-rider with a mexican accent who does custom paint jobs. Luigi is a Fiat 500 who has an Italian accent and loves Ferraris. On the other hand, they are shown to be valuable members of the community who take pride in their stores and their work, and help Lightning McQueen to realize how important it is to have friends who rely on each other and be part of a diverse community that cares for each other.

Finally, having my son growing into a busy and joyful little boy has given me a newfound love of Cars. I recently handed down to him my old late-70s Hot Wheels Rally Case full of my favorite cars from my childhood, and he was thrilled. His first "big boy" toddler bed is a race car, and we have Cars decals on the walls of his room.

Anyway, all of this is not to tell any of you that you're wrong for not liking Cars, it's just to add perspective to the thread. Some of us really do have feels for Cars.

Cars 2 sucks, though and was definitely a cash grab. Cars merch has been worth BEELIONS for Disney, and that's why it was made.

And it's worth mentioning that the Planes movies are NOT Pixar, they are Disney Animation spinoffs.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:28 AM on July 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


How do all y'all's ratings compare to the box office receipts and DVD sales?
posted by clawsoon at 6:40 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked Cars quite a bit more when I decided it was a sequel to Maximum Overdrive. And maybe Christine and The Car.
posted by happyroach at 6:40 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


How do all y'all's ratings compare to the box office receipts and DVD sales?

Not Pixar, but Wreck It Ralph did well (totally deserved) and Antz did poorly relative to A Bug's Life (which was the worst box office Pixar) because people are dumb and wrong.

Toy Story 3 was the best Pixar movie in terms of $$$, which makes sense, since you got little kids, those kids' parents, plus all those people lingering in the 18-35 demo who don't have an organic reason to go see a children's movie but go anyway because they have nice warm fuzzies about the Toy Story movies that came out when they were younger.
posted by phunniemee at 6:49 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


If that Sarah McLachlan number in Toy Story 2 doesn't give you the feels, you're a goddamned robot.

Yeah, I've said before that the main thing Blade Runner gets wrong is that we're not going to need Voight-Kampf in the future -- they'll just play that clip (When She Loved Me, linked here in case you feel the need to weep copiously at work today) and if you don't start sobbing they shoot you.

The only problem is that anything more sophisticated than about a Nexus-3 is going to well up at that thing. It could make a toaster cry.
posted by The Bellman at 6:58 AM on July 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


How do all y'all's ratings compare to the box office receipts and DVD sales?

All probably dwarfed by the vast piles of merchandising money Cars brings in. It may be horrible garbage, but in that regard it is unstoppable.
posted by Artw at 7:07 AM on July 6, 2015


I have a head-canon for Wall-E which I think works nicely to solve the "we beat nature" issue. Buy-N-Large originally launched hundreds of ships. The Axiom which we see in the film was the flag ship that the President of BNL moved to after abandoning the Earth. It's also the only ship left.

All the other ships have been cannibalized over the years to keep the Axiom running. And I don't just mean spare parts for the robots, remember the buffet recycler? Yeah...passengers from the other ships.
posted by Eddie Mars at 7:19 AM on July 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ramone, for instance, is a low-rider with a mexican accent who does custom paint jobs.

Well, low-riders with custom paint jobs came from Hispanics living in the southwest. It is an explicitly Hispanic-American style. Having that character be Hispanic and speaking with a Hispanic accent is correct, having that character being anything else would have been rightly denounced as white washing, and they were in Arizona! So, yeah, I give them full credit for that character. A Hispanic in Arizona running a hot rod shop making low riders on Route 66? That's actually perfectly normal for the setting. I'll buy that. That makes SENSE.

And Fiats were Italian, though that's a little more over the top. Now, what a Fiat was doing there? You tell me. That's a bit over the top. But yeah, an Italian guy being a Ferrari nut. Fine, I'll give you that. But that's a little harder to hand wave.

Every other one, you can say "Yeah, I can see why that guy is there." Hippy in the desert?" Sure. Wide open sky blew his mind. Army guy in the desert? Probably separated from the base over there, never left. Mayor? Grew up here. Maynard? Local Yokel is Local by definition.

Mr. Luigi, though was just meh. Still a funny guy, though.


The mountain range above Radiator Springs looks like the Cadillac Ranch.

The mountains are named Mount 65, Mount 66, Mount 67, Mount 68 and Mount 69.

They match the fins of that year's Caddilac.

And it's worth mentioning that the Planes movies are NOT Pixar, they are Disney Animation spinoffs.

Disney Toons. Not WDAS. Big different. WDAS makes things like Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Disney Toons makes innuermable Tinkerbell movies direct to DVD. Planes was meant for direct to DVD, but they did such a good job that Disney decided to convert it to a theatre release.

But Planes was not Pixar. That's why it's "Based on the world of Cars." and not a sequel.
posted by eriko at 7:23 AM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


As long as we're discussing 3D animation by other studios, I can't believe nobody's mentioned Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the only movie I've seen that inverts the girl-lets-down-hair-and-takes-off-glasses-at-the-end trope.

Seconding the Wreck-it Ralph love, too. I think I realized sometime around the release of Brave that I actually look forward to and enjoy non-Pixar films more than Pixar films these days.

Big Hero 6, though, lost me as soon as the main character had to tell his own brother, "Our parents died when I was twelve, REMEMBER???" Lazy, lazy exposition. The art and animation was wonderful, but man did the writing ruin it for me.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 7:29 AM on July 6, 2015


The Tinkerbell movies are surprisingly good for what they are. I wouldn't touch Planes with a 20 foot stick. It is the Veggie Tales of Pixar.
posted by Artw at 7:29 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I love Brave just for the sets and Merida's hair, both of which were characters unto themselves and because it wasn't princess pap and I could use it as an incentive to get my daughter to read independently (previously)
Mrs. Plinth hates Brave because it contains the subtheme, "if you don't agree with mom, poison her."

I missed the opening scene of Up, so I didn't get the impact. It was co-written by Tom McCarthy, who I went through school with (Tom is second in line in the shooting drill, I'm in the hat. He was a winger, I was a fullback or a sweeper). Tom was making the 'squirrel' joke in high school, FWIW.

The Incredibles was in the class of movie where I didn't want it to end. And I love the music. The trumpet section included Rick Baptist and Wayne Bergeron (see this clip), who are among the top players in the world. Wayne can go from rich and fat to "I'm pretty sure that's a dog whistle" as he does in this version of "O Holy Night". He starts off with flugelhorn which is played perfectly. If you want to skip past the obligatory soprano sax, the shout section starts at about 2:07.

Of the Toy Stories, I think I liked 2 the best.

I really liked Inside Out, especially because it gave my son a metaphor for his feeling that he could work with, although he was very scared by the memory dump. I'm very glad that the protagonist was female and had both parents and a caring relationship. Mild spoiler: I was curious as to why the girl's feelings were both genders, her mom's were all female and her dad's were all male. Didn't seem right to me, but it was an intentional practical approach to the problem of presenting 18 characters repeatedly on screen and coming up with a decent way to make sure that they could be quickly be identified. Mrs. Plinth was quick to point out that Mom's dominant feeling was sadness (my kids have been treating her really badly recently).

Cars was a several hour long toy ad and unfortunately, my son was at an age where he got sucked right in. Guh.

The others were good for what they were and certainly way above the typical bar for kid's movies.

One thing I really enjoy about Pixar's work is the world-building. They go to a great deal of effort to create the environments that support what happens in the stories, so it's wonderful when a crowd of civilians are debating which superhero Syndrome is when he appears, or that you have to have a huge warehouse of every bedroom door, or that seagulls are a mob of greedy villains, and so on.
posted by plinth at 8:07 AM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I assume all the food on the Axiom was drugged, because otherwise there's no way you wouldn't have cults and power struggles in 700 years. No new culture is being created; what could people even talk about on their devices? Honestly, from a robot and resources POV, it would make more sense to put everyone in stasis. But then you couldn't have LOL FAT PEOPLE IN SPACE jokes along with your "digital communication is dehumanizing and trivial!" scolding. Of course, the idea that you could survive in space that long while never recycling anything is ludicrous, even if you did cannibalize the other ships (which is a delightfully dark idea).

This is the biggest problem with Wall-E, basically, in that if you have the resources and tech to create something like an Axiom (and send scout ships out and back periodically), then you have the resources and tech to stay on the Earth and live there. And clearly they also have banks of stored animal and plant DNA/embryos, unless you believe planting one tree is going to magically recreate an entire extinct biosphere.
posted by emjaybee at 8:10 AM on July 6, 2015


This week's The Incomparable Podcast is about "Inside Out," and they have interesting things to say about it and about other Pixar flicks (including "Toy Story 3"), too.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:12 AM on July 6, 2015


Brave is underrated and in 10-15 years will be considered a masterpiece whose influence is deeply felt by many.

I actually came into this thread to say that I was relieved that at least we could all agree that Brave was a terrible, horrible, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie. But, I guess there's always someone (extremely wrong) on the internet.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:21 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


eriko: WDAS [Walt Disney Animation Studios] makes things like Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Disney Toons makes innuermable Tinkerbell movies direct to DVD. Planes was meant for direct to DVD, but they did such a good job that Disney decided to convert it to a theatre release.

On a recent (episode #81, maybe?) "Disney Dish with Jim Hill" podcast, Hill says that the animated Tinkerbell franchise is getting shut down because a live action movie with Reese Witherspoon is already gearing up. So I guess live action > animaton, anyway.

eriko: But Planes was not Pixar. That's why it's "Based on the world of Cars." and not a sequel.

Planes was…words that I won't even use on the Internet. Ugh.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:27 AM on July 6, 2015


Lava seems to be a tech demo with a story stuck in it. There are a lot of amazing numerical simulations of terrain itself, and I kind of swear I saw a lot of the water effects in SIGGRAPH and stuff like that. Not a long-ago SIGGRAPH, mind you
posted by curuinor at 8:35 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've said before that the main thing Blade Runner gets wrong is that we're not going to need Voight-Kampf in the future

I said something very similar a while back.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:35 AM on July 6, 2015


Incept Out (which might actually be a more effective trailer than the one Inside Out actually got.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:39 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Incredibles (which I adore) seems to be the least emotionally manipulative, purely humor- and action-oriented one on the list. It's the one I enjoy most as an adult, not as a parent or a former kid. (And the mod design! Edna! No capes!)

And the choice of voiceover actors definitely affect my personal rankings; i guess I'm more amenable to being given the feels (so to speak) by Goodman and Crystal than Hanks and Allen. Seem less preachy somehow.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:55 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter - because nobody wants to admit they liked Shrek.
posted by Chuffy at 9:26 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Your list is wrong if The Incredibles isn't in number one.
posted by scunning at 9:27 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shrek is one of those retroactively awful things. If they'd just stopped at the first one we'd probably all still have fond memories of it.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


WaPo gives Toy Story 3 number one spot? Man, am I the only person who found that overrated? The Incredibles!
posted by scunning at 9:31 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I join you in shock that a WaPo listicle ranking animated movies could somehow not match up with my personal opinion.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:47 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ratatouille is a great movie not just because it's a great movie but also because it's a great movie, perhaps the actual greatest movie, in which the entire premise is a series of really quite repulsive health code violations.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Metafilter - because nobody wants to admit they liked Shrek.

I unabashedly loved Shrek. The movie hit all sorts of great notes, inverted some tropes nicely, very well done all around.

The second had some decent bits.

The third was a steaming pile of Mike Myers wanting more money.

Also how have we gotten this far and not mentioned Despicable Me/2? MINIONS COMES OUT IN FOUR DAYS BANANA
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:53 AM on July 6, 2015


Joe Posnanski, (the finest American sportswriter currently working in my opinion) and his family ranked these movies recently as well.
posted by Kwine at 9:55 AM on July 6, 2015


I love the Incredibles but the "if everyone is super, no one is" motto tarnishes it a little for me and makes the film's message about everyone embracing their special powers feel sorta Randian.

I want a world where everyone has super powers, damn it, that would be awesome.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:56 AM on July 6, 2015


I guess it's not Computer Animation (though definitely 3D Animation) but I feel like Chicken Run has something akin to the Pixar soul.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:57 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want a world where everyone has super powers, damn it, that would be awesome.

Well, really, what's on offer is a world where everyone has Super Powers(tm) and one person has a monopoly on producing them, so I've always felt that reading was a little off.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mater's Tall Tales (Netflix) would have been a much better sequel to Cars than Cars 2. Lots of silly goofiness with adults only references just below the surface without you know, guns and killing, and demolishing the integrity of the character that the film is ostensibly about.

I fortunately previewed Cars 2 before the kids ever saw it (it was a long flight and I was bored). They are now not allowed to know it even exists.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:11 AM on July 6, 2015


They're just going to learn about it on the streets and before you know it they'll be trading dvds of Antz in shady alleys and poorly lit parking lots.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:29 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Big Hero 6] was almost a good movie. The point at which they lost me(and my partner) was when they all had to become silly fucking superheros to set up the franchise they want to run.

All I know is that I was pretty sure I'd never again get those I'm-12-years-old-again chills from watching yet another superhero-learns-to-fly scene, but Big Hero 6 proved me completely wrong.

The first half of the movie is definitely way-better narratively, but the artwork, design and cinematography are utterly delightful throughout (I adore the shot when the team is exploring the ruins of the teleport test chamber where Baymax is standing behind the team but reaching over to hold the door open for them that is composed like a perfect comic book cover or splash page). And part where Hiro does the thing that changes Baymax is every bit as horrifying as it ought to be.
posted by straight at 10:39 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Incredibles definitely gets the Brad-Bird-libertarian-hit as well

I really don't understand how anyone can see the Incredibles and think it is at all libertarian.

Put it this way: superpowers are guns, the villain is a kid who got mad because adults wouldn't let him play with guns, his irresponsibility causes guns to be outlawed for a while, his evil scheme is to sell guns to everybody, the kid gets in trouble for bringing a gun to school, and the happy ending is that the protagonists are allowed to use guns again under strict government oversight.

The only dialogue in the film that is pro-libertarian comes from the villain and a kid trying to weasel out of trouble with is mom. Calling The Incredibles pro-libertarian is like calling Captain America pro-Hydra.
posted by straight at 11:01 AM on July 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was curious as to why the girl's feelings were both genders, her mom's were all female and her dad's were all male.

I think part of the point is that the kids feelings are a wild, chaotic crowd but the adult's feelings are integrated and working together. The mom's feelings are all mini-Mom versions of herself, while the kid's feelings are like a bunch of separate people.
posted by straight at 11:10 AM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't know of that was entirely it but they certainly seemed to act like very practiced teams rather than zipping in all directions.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on July 6, 2015


Madagascar had a funny zebra in it.
posted by Chuffy at 11:27 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


My life is changing. I actually saw a movie that didn't have an animated talking animal in it with my oldest daughter - Fury Road. This makes me happy.
posted by Chuffy at 11:29 AM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


RIDE ETERNAL, SHINY AND CHROME.

This summer might be the summer we break out Ghostbusters.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


and the happy ending is that the protagonists are allowed to use guns again under strict government oversight.

I've seen The Incredibles a bajillion times and never noticed anything in the end about strict government oversight of anything. Are you sure that's in the movie?
posted by The World Famous at 11:42 AM on July 6, 2015


The Incredibles is a fun, charming, enjoyable movie about why it's dumb and wrong for people to get a trophy just for showing up.

Also, Violet Parr is probably my second favorite animated character after Vannelope Von Schweetz.
posted by phunniemee at 11:54 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


It sounds like Tomorrowland might be the actual real hateful Brad Bird movie.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on July 6, 2015


If the Incredibles were truly libertarian, when the government told them to go into hiding, they'd be all like "fuck you, I'm gonna go on super heroing and if you don't like all the collateral damage you can go fuck yourself and by the way I'm gonna need some henchmen and I'm gonna pay less than minimum wage. Yeah, and Dash is putting tacks on the teacher's chair, the fuck you gonna do about it, he's the school's biggest track star and keeps those alumni dollars rolling in." And they'd do it waving the American flag.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:59 AM on July 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would pay cash money to watch a movie about superheroes getting dinged for the massive damage they cause.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:10 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain me a thing about the Despicable Me/Minion hate? That's about the full extent of my knowledge - there's a film franchise called Despicable Me which has some creatures called Minions and people very vocally dislike the Minions on tumblr. I get you can find people vocally disliking anything on tumblr, but I assume there's at least ostensibly an explanation for it.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:25 PM on July 6, 2015


The Minions are hilarious toddlers who... well, basically they're the Dentrassi from HHGTTG. They're awesome, and they overshadow the other characters.

Problem is, their awesomosity has led to them being used in all sorts of stupid memes, so there's some overload. And now they're being used to shill for voice-activated remote controls of all things. WRONG! Minions aren't supposed to say many real English words!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:29 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Minion saturation. We've reached peak Minion and people are reacting as backlash to the surge in Minion popularity.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:29 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


- there's a film franchise called Despicable Me which has some creatures called Minions and people very vocally dislike the Minions on tumblr.

These people are wrong, broken and wrong. Feel free to ignore the shit out of them on this issue. Minions are the best invention since sliced bananas.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:17 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unless someone is making up the Minion hate thing. Pretty sure it's impossible to hate them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:18 PM on July 6, 2015


The meme pictures my conservative friends post on Facebook with pictures of minions and stupid captions are super annoying, but I simply separate them mentally from the actual minions in the movies, which are, as Brandon Blatcher correctly asserts, the best invention since sliced bananas.

Banana?
posted by The World Famous at 1:32 PM on July 6, 2015


I've seen The Incredibles a bajillion times and never noticed anything in the end about strict government oversight of anything.

When Billy's reckless disaster triggers the superpower crackdown, Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible appear to be freelance Mystery Women and Men. At the end, the government guy says, OK, you can be superheroes again, but you work for us now. (On a smaller scale, Dash is allowed, under his parents' supervision, to run fast, but not too fast.)

The conflict is entirely about responsible use of power, not whether some people were born superior (in comic book tropes, Syndrome's supergenius is just as much a superpower as Mr. Incredible's strength). The narrative directly refutes Syndrome's (and Dash's) libertarian belief (and Mr. Incredible's temptation) that having power puts you in a special moral category which entitles you to ignore the rules that apply to everyone else.

Billy is a reckless kid who wants to be allowed to drive a flying tank; as Syndrome, he's a serial killer and then a con artist who unleashes a murderbot on a city so he can pretend to be a hero as an advertisement for the weapons he wants to sell people. His claim that the Incredibles just want to hoard all the superpowers is precisely like the Joker killing 20 people and, when Batman clobbers him as he's about to murder the 21st, complaining that the Batman only beats him up because he has no sense of humor.
posted by straight at 1:35 PM on July 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure it's impossible to hate them.

Minions have extremely broad consumer appeal among people of all ages, genders, and races, much like fast food and major holidays. It's natural that some people hate them.
posted by phunniemee at 1:36 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The people on Wall-E bothered me as well because, um, how many people fit on that ship? Which means how many people slowly suffocated to death on poisoned air? You know, the 99% who could not afford berths on the arc? How many of those piles of packed trash are made of bones? We had to take my little niece out of the theater because she figured out what happened to all the people during the opening dialogue-free sequence and was too upset to watch the rest of the film. (Smart and sensitive together can be hard on a kid.) This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the film, but it's one of those movies that becomes more and more horrific the more you actually think about it. Hooray, the descendants of the people who committed genocide on the rest of humanity will rebuild the conveniently empty planet. Victory?

The Incredibles will always be at the top of my list because I love superheroes and it remains about the best superhero movie ever made.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:40 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's natural that some people hate them.

Ain't natural, says so right here in my DVD catalog!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:43 PM on July 6, 2015


Oh wow, minion hate is a thing. Oh Tumblr, honey, NO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:54 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's a pretty solid analysis, straight. I dig it.
posted by The World Famous at 2:01 PM on July 6, 2015


But the other hero, Linguini, wins the Whiniest Pixar Character Ever Award, easily. You have to tread a fine line between being sympathetic to a character so the audience can relate, but not make that character so passive and lame that he/she's unlikeable. Linguini drags down the movie too much.

Yeah, I could not get over the fact that a cool girl would fall for such an utterly annoying dude. I find that movie practically unwatchable for that reason.

The Incredibles, on the other hand, is possibly the only movie I've seen twice in the theater in the first week it opened. It's a great action film, and all the little East Bay shoutouts made it extra fun to see here.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:52 PM on July 6, 2015


I was just at the supermarket and in the bakery's cake & cookie display there were frosted Minion cookies and a lady saw them and was like THEY'RE EVERYWHERE, while flailing angrily. I nodded sympathetically and thought about buying one because biting its head off would have been satisfying but I decided on vegan chocolate mousse instead.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:57 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


My sister bought me a thing of those Minion Tic-Tacs* a couple weeks ago, and while tasty, they were not printed with Minion faces!

I am disappoint


*where's the Toe I always wonder
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:03 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


fffm, most people don't like the idea of eating toes is my theory.
posted by phunniemee at 3:06 PM on July 6, 2015


do they taste like minty bananas because that is what was reported to me in disgust by someone who tried one in a fit of minion rage
posted by poffin boffin at 3:06 PM on July 6, 2015


no, the ones I had were passionfruit

they um.... they were definitely for solo eating so people couldn't watch me cram fistfuls in my fat gob
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:09 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Where are all these minion foods, wtf, why are they hiding from me?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:33 PM on July 6, 2015


it is unpossible to hate Minions.

UNPOSSIBLE i say!
posted by Faintdreams at 4:33 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


How Minions Destroyed the Internet
posted by box at 4:47 PM on July 6, 2015


There was about a week where my kids ate only minions. Minion graham Crackers, Minion macaroni, Minion fruit chews. There's enough that you could probably sustain human life on a purely Minion diet for several weeks before malnutrition set in. Now I wouldn't recommend this for parents who are concerned about their children's behavior or people who need to perform their jobs with a high level of skill and accuracy.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:13 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


There was about a week where my kids ate only minions.

On a whim I did an image search for "grilled minion", and was only slightly disappointed.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:39 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cars is a better movie than A Bug's Life. Yeah, the story is recycled, but visually it's among their best, with so many references to real places and people along old Route 66.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:51 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since everybody is doing it, all 15 Pixer movies ranked, A-Z.

A Bug's Life
Brave
Cars
Cars 2
Finding Nemo
Inside Out
Monsters, Inc.
Monsters University
Ratatouille
The Incredibles
Toy Story
Toy Story 2
Toy Story 3
Up
WALL·E
posted by billder at 7:57 PM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


And I guess Toy Story is old enough now that there are adults who didn't see it in the theater when it was first released. We take computer animation for granted now, but that movie really did change everything. Seeing Toy Story in 1995 must have been like seeing The Jazz Singer in 1927 and realizing that talkies were the future.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:00 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


But Planes was not Pixar. That's why it's "Based on the world of Cars." and not a sequel.

Now you tell me. I went to see this, in the theater, because my son was 4 and it was what he wanted to see. And it was our first trip to the movies together! I remember we ate a big thing of popcorn together, it was great.

Oh, but the movie? Christ, no. It makes a whole helluva lot of sense that Planes was non-Pixar. It was so goddamn boring, even my 4-year-old was bored. Maybe 1-2 minutes in total had some nice looking animation, but other than that it was a big ZZZZZZZZZzzzz.
posted by zardoz at 9:24 PM on July 6, 2015


I almost hate to admit I like The Incredibles the best of all Pixar movies, but I do.

I had a friend who saw it for the first time recently and told me she understood why I liked it, I identified with Mr. Incredible. Now, this lady has known me for 20 years; we exchange long, complicated emails about once a week. She knows me better than anyone but my wife. Yet, she thinks I see myself as some sort of defrocked superhero.

Just, no.

I told her I'm 100% Violet. I am an introvert, never sure of myself, having to prove over and over to myself that I have talent and ability. Violet is the best character in a film full of great characters.
posted by lhauser at 9:55 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


My absolute favorite moment in The Incredibles is when Dash is running from the bad guys and inadvertently runs out onto water. That exultant chuckle when he realizes he didn't come to an abrupt splashing halt makes me laugh every time.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:16 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would pay cash money to watch a movie about superheroes getting dinged for the massive damage they cause.

I know this is coming up against a MeFi inside joke even while I type this... but wasn't this a major plot point of Ghostbusters II? (Not that the GBs are superheroes, but yeah...)
posted by hippybear at 12:55 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


She knows me better than anyone but my wife. Yet, she thinks I see myself as some sort of defrocked superhero.

Ask her what hogwarts house she thinks you belong in for an extra order of HORRIFYING BETRAYAL.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:53 AM on July 7, 2015


Spoiler: you will be so deeply offended that she doesn't say Ravenclaw.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:02 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


My absolute favorite moment in The Incredibles is when Dash is running from the bad guys and inadvertently runs out onto water. That exultant chuckle when he realizes he didn't come to an abrupt splashing halt makes me laugh every time.

It's such a great moment in the movie. I left out of my long post upthread that The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar film. I love the Silver Age comics vibe and the mid century modern design, combined with Michael Giacchino's score. I met him at Brickcon in Seattle a few years ago, where he had brought his son to participate. I had a moment of geeking over his music, and he was very cool and geeked over my Lego stuff a bit. He said he really enjoys that 50s-60s era of lounge-y music, which informed his musical score in The Incredibles, which makes me love it even more. <3
posted by Fleebnork at 7:06 AM on July 7, 2015


incredibles
ratatouille
3 toy stories
finding nemo
wall-e
...and the rest which are still better than what dreamworks and disney have put out in the last 30 years
posted by judson at 8:39 AM on July 7, 2015


You sound like someone who has not seen the Emperor's New Groove.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:13 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or Wreck it Ralph.
posted by phunniemee at 9:41 AM on July 7, 2015


Seriously, whiny llama is the best version of David Spade we could ever hope to have.
posted by phunniemee at 9:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, Yzma's boobs are one of the greatest subtle bits of physical comedy in all of Disney animation.
posted by phunniemee at 9:44 AM on July 7, 2015


Yeah but the best version of David Spade is like... the best version of diarrhea you can have is where you get to the toilet in time. You're not exactly winning, you know?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:52 AM on July 7, 2015


I think it is rather unfair to make a list based on "feels" and then downgrade Brave solely on the basis of a weak plot. I agree that there wasn't much to the plot, but I'm a grown-ass woman and the insight into mother-daughter relationships in that movie made me teary as hell - it had way more feels than anything in, say, Ratatouille (which I would concede is a stronger movie overall).
posted by naoko at 9:57 AM on July 7, 2015


YES BUT every single character in that film is poc, and the villains are not drawn with darker skin. It's actually pretty great for indigenous representation in a big studio mainstream film, especially when compared to stuff like Pocahontas.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:59 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yzma is best princess!

(I have a print of Yzmelle, my favorite of the first series.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:23 AM on July 7, 2015


Oh God, my niece begged and begged me to take her to Pocahontas when it was in the theatre. Unfortunately she was slightly too young to have a really in-depth conversation about why everything about it was so damn wrong.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:28 AM on July 7, 2015


the rest which are still better than what dreamworks and disney have put out in the last 30 years

Judging from Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph, I'd say contamination from absorbing Pixar has put a serious dent in Disney's mediocrity.

(Duh, how could I have forgotten Frozen and The Lego Movie on my list of Pixar-calibre 3D animated films?)
posted by straight at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh fuck yeah Lego Movie.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Seeing Toy Story in 1995 must have been like seeing The Jazz Singer in 1927 and realizing that talkies were the future.

I didn't see it in the cinema, but I did see it on DVD while extremely high, and my main memory of it was not one of being impressed by the graphics, but having a minor existential crisis due to empathy with Buzz realizing that he's actually a toy.

I think they almost underplay that moment. If we assume, as we must, that the toys are thinking, feeling, self-aware - essentially adult humans, then Buzz's realisation must have just been devastating. I almost wanted the rest of the film to be him dealing with his trauma.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:07 AM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


My favorite thing about Yzma is that it's possible to read her as not entirely evil, at least from just the show. Kuzco is a tyrant at the start of the film, and it seems like she wants to off Kuzco not to gain power for herself but for the good of the kingdom. But then I'm a sucker for redeemable characters. (I really want to see the homeworld gems make friends with the CGs yes, why do you ask?)
posted by JHarris at 2:12 AM on July 8, 2015


My favorite thing about Yzma is that she's in the funniest animated movie I've ever seen.
posted by straight at 9:43 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, that's good too.
posted by JHarris at 10:28 PM on July 8, 2015


I haven't seen Brave, but apparently the original director was fired and replaced--along with another script. But production had already begun on the original script so there were essentially two different movies ineptly fused together. Or something along those lines. Interestingly (on a non-Pixar/non-animation note) this is also exactly what happened to Prometheus and why that movie was an unholy mess--two different scripts--or likely even more--battling it out.
posted by zardoz at 12:34 AM on July 9, 2015


No, Brave is not a Prometheus style mess.
posted by Artw at 4:17 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


You know another movie that was made of two movies haphazardly fused together? MONSTER A-GO-GO.

It's possible to do it a hell of a lot better than that.
posted by JHarris at 4:18 AM on July 9, 2015


Brave isn't a prometheus style mess, no, but it does feel like it lacks any real direction or goes anywhere. The point upthread that how to train your dragon is basically a version of the same movie where the main character actually does something is a good point.

There's some good stuff in there, but reflecting on it from the position of it being some sort of rush redux and combo of scripts makes a lot of sense. It just never really has that "push" feeling of going anywhere or hitting beats solidly that nearly all the other pixar movies do.

And the thing is, it's still not a bad movie. It's just a mediocre movie in the company of great movies that has decent and clever moments in which you can see that it could have been a lot more.
posted by emptythought at 4:28 AM on July 9, 2015


But How to Train Your Dragon doesn't have a big beautiful horse running around in woodsy glades and majestic landscapes. Nor does it have slapstick comedy hijinx ensuing from a person being turned into a bear. Nor does it have a freespirited young girl who yearns to be understood. Without those things, we lose the essence of the movie, which means I can no longer take it back in time to my younger self so she can eat, drink, and breathe Brave.
posted by redsparkler at 6:39 PM on July 9, 2015


"The point upthread that how to train your dragon is basically a version of the same movie where the main character actually does something is a good point. "

How so? Merida challenges the status quo and changes it for the better, while bonding with Mom and learing responsibility.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:50 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Merida challenges the status quo and changes it for the better, while bonding with Mom and learing responsibility.

Yes, but she's a giiiirl! Coooties!
posted by happyroach at 8:31 PM on July 9, 2015


My favorite thing about Yzma is that it's possible to read her as not entirely evil, at least from just the show.

"Yzma: It is no concern of mine whether or not your family has... what was it again?
Peasant: Umm... food?
Yzma: Ha! You really should have thought of that before you became peasants!"
posted by happyroach at 8:35 PM on July 9, 2015


Yeah, but that's not HUGE, Disney Villain evil. It's more apathy. This isn't Jafar evil, or Ursula evil, or Maleficent evil. It's the evil of middle managers, not world conquerers.

(Also, it's been like fifteen years since I saw the movie, cut me some slack.)
posted by JHarris at 9:02 PM on July 9, 2015


The Pixar Theory of Labor - The Awl, by James Douglas
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:16 PM on July 15, 2015


That article is bonkers.
Monsters, Inc. ... a story about a workplace duo striving to be the most efficient employees
And the guy striving to be the most efficient employee is the evil bad guy (monster).
Up is ultimately a film about how unthinkable it is to retire.
I thought it was about a film about grief, and letting go of the past. And talking dogs.
In Finding Nemo and Brave, Pixar even managed to render family dysfunction as something more like a Human Resources issue.
...
Wayward child Nemo wants to venture out into the Great Barrier Reef, but anxious father Marlin wants to keep him at home; wayward teen Merida want to venture out into the moors of Scotland, but strict mother Elinor wants to keep her in the castle.
That's not HR! That's parenting!
Cars is a film about an ambitious racecar who is forced to chill out and not be so competitive, except he really just learns that chilling out and not being so competitive is the key to being an even better competitor.
And then he decides that being a real hero is about helping others, not winning/being competitive, and he purposely loses the race.

I bet this guy watched Star Wars and thought "oh it's just another cliched story about a young guy joining a small start-up who're threatened by a large corporation, and he has to keep rejecting job offers by the corp's CEO, jeez why are all these films about BUSINESS"
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:31 AM on July 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


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