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  #31  
Old 03-16-2013, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
I like both Cars movies, they're good fun. Wasn't crazy about Brave or A Bugs Life. Every Pixar is a league above everything else, though.
There are plenty of other animated movies as good as Pixar movies, especially their weaker ones.
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  #32  
Old 03-16-2013, 06:14 AM
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H-holy freaking crap.
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  #33  
Old 03-16-2013, 06:28 AM
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There are plenty of other animated movies as good as Pixar movies, especially their weaker ones.
OK, yeah, there is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Edit: More serious answer - yes, it's a broad statement, and a generalisation. Would have been better to just say that I find even their weaker movies to be a step ahead of everything else I've seen in CGI, Dreamworks' output, Blue Sky Studios, etc. I like a few of the Dreamworks movies for varying reasons but I just don't think they've come close to the heights of Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, especially Ratatouille... I didn't care much for Wall-E and it was still an amazing experience.
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  #34  
Old 03-16-2013, 06:37 AM
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I'd put at least 10 CGI movies above what I would consider to be Pixar's weakest films, Cars and WALL-E. And many of them match up to Pixar's regular output as well.

Then again, I don't rate Pixar as highly as most people.
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  #35  
Old 03-16-2013, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by qindarka View Post
I'd put at least 10 CGI movies above what I would consider to be Pixar's weakest films, Cars and WALL-E. And many of them match up to Pixar's regular output as well.

Then again, I don't rate Pixar as highly as most people.
Welp, you lost me.
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  #36  
Old 03-16-2013, 07:30 AM
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I'd put at least 10 CGI movies above what I would consider to be Pixar's weakest films, Cars and WALL-E. And many of them match up to Pixar's regular output as well.

Then again, I don't rate Pixar as highly as most people.
It's all good, though I'm now curious!
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  #37  
Old 03-16-2013, 08:26 AM
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Making bank
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Originally Posted by Sarcasmorator View Post
Just like every movie Pixar has made that wasn't Cars.
Box office receipts and DVD sales are a pittance next to merchandising.
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  #38  
Old 03-16-2013, 08:36 AM
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The original Toy Story is still my favourite Pixar movie. I think it's their most consistent movie.
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  #39  
Old 03-16-2013, 08:53 AM
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People don't like Wall-E? I mean, some parts in the second half are a bit cheesy, but it's a wonderful film.

Wall-E, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo are the only Pixar movies own, though I used to have a lot more. I still haven't seen Brave though, so we'll see where that stands.
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  #40  
Old 03-16-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by qindarka View Post
I'd put at least 10 CGI movies above what I would consider to be Pixar's weakest films, Cars and WALL-E. And many of them match up to Pixar's regular output as well.

Then again, I don't rate Pixar as highly as most people.
10? Really?
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  #41  
Old 03-16-2013, 09:23 AM
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Movies better than Cars that I've seen:

Tangled
Shrek
Shrek 2
Ice Age
Madagascar 2
Flushed Away
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Movies I haven't seen but that sound a lot better than Cars:

Wreck-It Ralph
Rango
Madagascar 3
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  #42  
Old 03-16-2013, 09:25 AM
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You'll have to revisit this thread when Planes comes out in August. Work that sucker into the weird Cars world theories.
I just looked this up to see what terror awaits me. Not only is it not made by Pixar, it was originally planned as direct-to-video release. Also, it stars Dane Cook.

I'm not a huge fan of Cars but it is well made, and the world doesn't seem that strange because you see so little of it. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.
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  #43  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:00 AM
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Wall-E and Up are too downer to watch often but they're certainly good. We have a copy of Cars (maybe Cars 2, I don't recall) but have thus far not introduced those to the child yet. I don't like them much and I know they'd go on the "watch constantly" circuit. The real danger is all the merchandising. That's a lot of little things with wheels to trip over!

Daughter loves Brave - she cackles with glee when the bears do scary rar things. She also loves Wreck-It Ralph, which has the added appeal of all those pop songs to dance to.
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  #44  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by blinkpen View Post
10? Really?
Sure, let's see. Shrek, Shrek 2, How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Guardians, Kung Fu Panda, Bolt, Tangled, Wreck-it-Ralph, Ice Age, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Flushed Away, Arthur Christmas, Despicable Me.

I don't necessarily rate all these films that highly, just that I really do not care for the two Pixar ones I mentioned as the weakest. May have been excessively harsh on WALL-E and I know my opinion of it is very much a minority one.
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  #45  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:18 AM
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Despicable Me is one of the most mediocre movies I have ever seen. I haven't seen it, but Puss In Boots always looked really bad too.

But fair enough! Wall-E was alright but it is not their best movie. Up, though - holy crap I love Up.
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  #46  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:50 AM
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Puss in Boots does AMAZING things with kitty cats.
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  #47  
Old 03-16-2013, 11:12 AM
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Puss in Boots does AMAZING things with kitty cats.
Well, I'm sold.
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  #48  
Old 03-16-2013, 11:16 AM
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My least favorite Pixar movie after the Cars is easily Nemo. That movie does not get enough indifference.
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  #49  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:41 PM
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My least favorite Pixar movie after the Cars is easily Nemo. That movie does not get enough indifference.
+1 Indifference

The standouts for me from the Pixar catalog are Incredibles and Up. I don't care much for the rest of their stuff. (I have not seen Wall-E.)
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  #50  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:55 PM
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The tonal inconsistency in Up, Brave, and even to a lesser extent Ratatouille - the way they maintain such a rigid separation of the slapstick and the pathos - keeps me from enjoying them as much as they perhaps deserve. For some reason it doesn't bother me in Wall-E though.

It is clearly not an issue for The Incredibles or any of the Toy Story series, though.
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  #51  
Old 03-16-2013, 01:28 PM
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Toy Story 2

Oh. A sequel? Already. Well, I guess it was nice while they lasted but it's time to write these Pixar guys of as just another hack studio that will disappoint you.

More or less my reaction to this film upon seeing it pop up in theaters. I had seen Return of Jafar, I knew what to expect. Lower quality animation and voices and a much less endearing and memorable story. Not worth tainting the magic of the original over.

I didn't even bother to see Toy Story 2 in theaters. It wasn't until quite some time later, not long before Monsters Inc. was to come out that a friend of mine mentioned that it was actually surprisingly good. It wasn't until I was doing one of my usual scouting missions at a Suncoast Video for Godzilla movies I didn't own yet (oh those dark days before Amazon) that I happened to notice the film playing on the television sets scattered around the store that I saw it actually looked pretty interesting. I picked up a VHS (which must have been among the last VHS tapes I ever picked up) and took it home to see if it measured up.

I was caught completely off guard by this film's quality. It became truly clear here that these Pixar guys weren't fucking around, and weren't going to put out a sequel just as a cheap extension of a brand (yet). They were going to make sure it was damn good, and maybe in some ways outshining its predecessor.

Don't get me wrong, Toy Story is an almost perfectly constructed tight little film, with humor and gravitas all in the right quantities and moments. And though it does address some nice universal themes about fear of replacement by someone you love and being outclassed at the things you do best, it doesn't touch too close on the themes that keep you up late at night when your psyche is at its most vulnerable.

Toy Story 2 however, is a story about coming to accept mortality. It's so subtle you can miss it on the first pass but it's there, and it's strong.

One thing that's fun about the film is because the characters are already established now, the movie can just run with the ensemble cast and involve more of the side characters without robbing the very Woody-centric main plotline of its focus. When Woody's arm is damaged and he's left at home by Andy rather than accompanying him on a summer camp trip, he fears that this is the beginning of the end, of inevitably falling apart to be discarded by Andy and forgotten. He maintains his spirit of leadership to the other toys, a role he now shares with his best friend Buzz, and in an attempt to rescue another toy from a yard sale is accidentally noticed and stolen by a toy store owner and vintage collector named Al.

Al knows what Andy's family doesn't, that decades ago Woody was actually a star of his own show and a merchandising sensation just like Buzz Lightyear is today, complete with a cast of supporting sidekicks and in a nice touch, the origin of the "You've Got A Friend In Me" theme song. Finally having a rare Woody doll to complete his collection, he plans on selling it to a japanese museum for big bucks. While trapped in Al's apartment (and after recieving a clean-up job with a cameo by none other than Geri from the pre-Bug's Life short) he becomes acquainted with some of his fellow toyline members, Jesse the Cowgirl, Bullseye the trusty horse, and Pete the Prospector voiced by Kelsey Grammar, who is a mint-condition toy never removed from the box.

Special mention has to go to the great attention paid to Jesse's character. She seems deceptively like just an annoying loudmouth female counterpart to Woody but displays surprising vulnerability when he expresses the desire to leave, which would mean her going back into more agonizing decades sealed up in storage. We eventually learn that back in the 60's just like Woody she had a little girl who loved her dearly and played with her every day, until she grew up, and bittersweetly gave away the doll in a donation box, in the first of what would become many iconic Pixar Breaks Your Heart sequences.

Woody's buddies lead by Buzz show up on a rescue mission full of entertaining hijinx, and he's suddenly posed with a pretty serious question. Does he go back home to the rapidly aging Andy, knowing that eventually the good times will end and sooner or later he'll end up destroyed or abandoned? Or does he stay with his new friends and enjoy a permanent existance as a pristine fixture in a museum to be admired for all time? It took me a couple passes to really pick up on what is going on here. Does Woody choose the mortal life of personal joys and fulfillment that will inevitably end or the eternal but distant bliss of forever? It's basically a story about Woody rejecting Heaven, accepting that good things are only good because eventually they end, and that extends to life itself. It's such a deep and powerful message for a family film to have, however sneaky it may be, with the average viewer probably easily glossing it over. But it's there, and I think it's that blink-and-you'll-miss-it depth of such a compelling message that makes Toy Story 2 resonate with so many people.

The movie looks great, even after only 4 years you can see a remarkable improvement in quality with the human and animal characters. Andy's dog Buster looks a little overly detailed but is pretty much there specifically to show how how stark the contrast is between him and Scud from the first film. Andy still looks a little wonky, but most of the other human characters are a lot better defined, with Al especially needing special attention with how much direct screentime he has. The movie's got a trifecta of villans, starting with Al as an outside force working against the heros, an Emperor Zurg toy who's just there for a comedy relief diversion and some fanservice, and to really drive the point home that there seems to be thing about Sci-Fi toys never understanding that they are toys right away. And then there's Prospector Pete, who I think is the best of the Toy Story villains, if not the most compellingly intimidating. His wise, kindly demeanor throughout the second half of the film is a fantastic piece of narrative deception as he patiently and gently tries to convince Woody that life in a museum is what's best, with Jesse taking up a far more aggressively antagonistic tone as a misdirection. His arguements seem very compelling and legit to the point where even the audience probably agrees that this is best for Woody. It's only when Woody makes the final decision to return to Andy that he shows his true colors, a very understandable bitterness for being one of those unpopular toys to spend decades on the shelf ignored while others sell like hotcakes. And I find his comeuppance the most fulfilling of any of the Toy Story villains as well, ending up in the bag of a cheerful little girl who likes to draw on her dolls and give them makeovers. It implies that the experience is going to be humiliating for him initially but I think also it implies a redemption for him in time as he learns to love being a toy as much as Woody does. It's not often that Pixar villains are given that kind of open-ended denouement.

It's a really well-constructed narrative while still having all those shticky little moments you come to expect from the Lasseter-directed Pixar flicks, adding a lot of humor and charm and the occasional naughty wink at the audience, like Buzz's wings popping out when he watches Jesse perform some cowgirl heroics to let Buster out of the room near the end, which always gets a big laugh from me.

I guess the only thing I can really strike against the film is how interesting the touched upon idea of seeing Andy grow up and actually forcing Woody to deal with that reality would be. It almost makes me wish they would someday actually make a film that follows through to that conclusion, but surely even Pixar wouldn't do something like that.

Last edited by blinkpen; 03-16-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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  #52  
Old 03-16-2013, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarcasmorator View Post
Movies better than Cars that I've seen:

Tangled
Shrek
Shrek 2
Ice Age
Madagascar 2
Flushed Away
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Movies I haven't seen but that sound a lot better than Cars:

Wreck-It Ralph
Rango
Madagascar 3
Rango is phenominal. Rise of the guardians is also excellent
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  #53  
Old 03-16-2013, 03:05 PM
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I never got around to watching Toy Story 2 or 3. The time may be right for a marathon of the whole series.
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  #54  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:27 PM
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Apparently there's a Toy Story 4 in the works, and I don't even know what they'd do with it, story-wise. 3 was the perfect capper to the arcs for basically all of the characters, and now they're much more effective as the subjects of hilarious shorts (a la Toy Story Toons).
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  #55  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:38 PM
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Thoroughly enjoying this thread so far and can't wait to read your thoughts on my favourites.
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  #56  
Old 03-16-2013, 05:20 PM
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Apparently there's a Toy Story 4 in the works, and I don't even know what they'd do with it, story-wise. 3 was the perfect capper to the arcs for basically all of the characters, and now they're much more effective as the subjects of hilarious shorts (a la Toy Story Toons).
I remember hearing that they would continue on with the new girl who andy gave the toys to.
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  #57  
Old 03-16-2013, 05:33 PM
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I remember hearing that they would continue on with the new girl who andy gave the toys to.
Well, right, but I can't figure out what kind of ground they could cover that already wasn't in the first three. It seems like the characters emotional arcs have been covered, and now they'd work best in little humorous vignettes. I could be wring, though!
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  #58  
Old 03-17-2013, 02:32 AM
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I never got around to watching Toy Story 2 or 3. The time may be right for a marathon of the whole series.
As far as I'm concerned this will be a richly rewarding experience for you.
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  #59  
Old 03-17-2013, 02:35 AM
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I think they'll expand upon the new toys in a similar fashion as toy story 2 and woody. Toy Story 3 is especially poignant for me because I went and saw it with my mom the summer before I went to college half-way across the country. We both cried our eyes out at the ending.

Also, if you haven't caught the pixar documentary that was (I dunno if it still is) on netflix go find it. It's a nice historical overview of the company and their work. It underplays their technological advances a bit though.
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  #60  
Old 03-18-2013, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
The tonal inconsistency in Up, Brave, and even to a lesser extent Ratatouille - the way they maintain such a rigid separation of the slapstick and the pathos - keeps me from enjoying them as much as they perhaps deserve. For some reason it doesn't bother me in Wall-E though.

It is clearly not an issue for The Incredibles or any of the Toy Story series, though.
Toy Story 3 has huge tonal inconsistency issues. It jumps wildly from silly gay jokes to worker abuse to more silliness to staring down the mouth of hell.
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