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Jun
29th
2018

Top 20 Pixar · 4:46pm Jun 29th, 2018

Egypt, Greece and Macedonia, Rome and Germany have something in common: they were all great powers in their time, they all conquered the world and, as such, they ran the great and obvious natural risk of succumbing sooner or later, an event that eventually happened. This cycle of life has also finally reached Pixar. Surprise? Yes. Definitive? I don't know.

Pixar is known for creating stories that excites everyone, no matter our age, stories that catch us, captivate and let our imagination fly, stories that we liked as children and now, as adults, they thrill us again, reaching greater weight in our lives. But it's also known for stealing ideas and concepts from unknown authors and films and passing them off as their own, with most of their works being unfairly labeled as original (like Quentin Tarantino or fanfic writers [aka many of us], with the difference that at least these guys admit their plagiarism). Even with all this, as a spectator, as a critic and as a former fan of this company, I can't really complain or get angry with them, because despite the mediocrity and sexual harassment problems that are haunting the cheering house, there's a team that has demonstrated to respect a standard of quality in art that had never touched the absurdity until the appearance of that horrible marketing weapon called Lightning McQueen that is far from being called "good cinema" and that, being completely sincere, was part of my childhood, as well as that of many of you.

I find myself stupefied, disappointed and to some extent betrayed by the prostitute Pixar has become, however, the numbers speak. That's why, with the premiere of their most recent work, the time has come to look back and judge the house that massacred Mickey Mouse himself.

Before starting, it's necessary to clarify some points:

-Yes, I know, these are animated films for children, but ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about Pixar, one of the houses of animation that a few years ago produced innovative and themed stories for the whole family, not for being animated and kid friendly, it's excluded to criticism and analysis.

- There will be spoilers, major or minor, for everything, so be warned.

-I will try to put my likes aside as much as possible, because I'm doing this from a critical point of view, not personal (the top would be very different from being like that). In some I will be brief and in others I will expand, depending on how much I have to say about each one, and I'll say who's the best character of each film, as well as my favorite scene of each one (except for The Incredibles 2). If you disagree with the position of these films, you have the right to say so in the comments box. Grab a snack, a drink and get confortable, because this is going to be long.

The One That Must Not Be Named

I really don't have much to say about this film. Everyone has criticized the same problems to the point of exhaustion (an excessively presumptuous direction, a script with mediocre moments and dialogues and forced jokes, and a series of vain characters lacking that distinctive spark, action sequences devoid of that pacing and the creative lack of a plot basis), with which I concur. There are few things to rescue, such as a more varied soundtrack and believe it or not, having Mater as the main character was the best choice, because it would have been another step back to have Lightning McQueen repeating the same arc. A disaster not only in the quality and complexity of their stories, but also in the development of it. It's not the worst I've seen, but it hurts by the company standards. And Steve Jobs curses them from the afterlife.

Best character: Nobody.

Favorite scene: The ending credits. Enough is enough.

The Frozen BETA

Disney, who until a few years ago was only the vehicle of promotion and distribution, now transforms into "The Boss", bastardizes and generalizes what could have been a very different test for Pixar and turns it into a film with a poor script , predictable and shoehorned; the characters, although well structured, are still the same figures of his films sown and harvested since the 30's, and the characteristic comedy in this type of productions goes to the background, becoming a series of clichés and physical gags centered on the " childish prank ". The worst thing is that the film recycles ideas and concepts previously seen in other films such as Brother Bear, The Beauty and the Beast and Disney's Robin Hood, including several elements such as the communication problem between Merida and his mother. Sadly, this makes the film feel like a Frozen prototype, due to the similarities between both films. The landscapes and the fact that it's one of the only 2 films I remember in having a mother-daughter relationship as the main focus are of the little salvage of this film (and in case you are wondering, the other one is I, Tonya). Hiromi Hayakawa (Merida) and José Lavat (Merida's father) are wallowing in their graves for not having any idea of ​​the mess they got into.

Best character: The triplets.

Favorite scene: The Witch gives us clues to what's coming next. It's also a remanescent of the wasted potential this movie could have.

The Generic One

I'll be honest, I don't give a fuck as they met and our heroes became friends. This premise is quite recurrent in television series, but nothing sticks with an animated class A production, and certainly doesn't appeal to me. That said, it's fair to recognize that how the bond between Sully and Mike is forged, how they learn how much they need each other, is clearly the best thing about the film. But to see that we have to endure an empty plot, extremely predictable and full of clichés, which are not necessarily bad if used correctly, but here the story doesn't ask for them, they are rather formulas required to complete the script without having to make an effort. This movie uses them in the second way. Thus, the "conflict" of the film, taken from any college comedy, doesn't catch me or move me at all. Easily one of the most boring movies of the studio.

Best character: Mike.

Favorite scene: Would you believe me if I say she reminds me of my mom, only changing metal for religious chores?

The Multi Rip-off

This is a film that I had to see again in order to have a second opinion, because I hadn't seen it for a long time and therefore, my opinion could change for better or for worse. The result is degrading. The story of a dinosaur surviving a natural disaster and trying to find the way home is something already seen to the weariness in other films with this same style (The Land Before Time). Not only that, but to differentiate itself from other products, it steals themes and topics from other movies such as The Lion King, Ice Age, Brother Bear (after this I begin to ask if this really is as bad as they say), How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Arlo is quite bland as a protagonist and there are moments that are unconnected within the plot. On the positives, Spot is actually charismatic and the T-Rex family is great. It's content with being a passable film, entertaining, to meet the annual premiere fee. But it's decidedly forgettable and doesn't contribute anything to the artistic evolution of the company.

Best character: Spot.

Favorite scene: Like I said, the T-Rex family complements well with our main character and this conversation shows part of the acr Arlo has to go through.

The Unnecessary

Where to start with this late sequel that takes out credible resources to justify a story that can be classified as a film for fans of the first one (myself included). Here we can see that the rules used by the company to create a story are forgotten when everything is resolved through coincidences that go beyond the improbable and when the appointment is reduced to a collection of absurd situations to make us laugh while Dory manages to return their parents. For me, this film is also a total hypocrisy and a lack of respect, because your message of tolerance and respect goes to hell when your comic relief is reduced to a sea lion and a loon with clear signs of intellectual disability. Hank does what he can to sustain the plot, the scene where Dory meets her parents is touching and, being fair, despite the circumstances, she is the same. This could be the first of all those sequels that seemed to have closed their cycle in a natural way, a few decades later, others and shows us that the mouse is hungry and without ideas, but the worst thing is that he doesn't care to destroy what he built for the sake of to continue profiting in an "idle" manner.

Best character: Hank.

Favorite scene: I'd lie if I say this didn't make me feel something. It's charming in its own way.

The Excuse to Sell Toys

The story is so predictable that it gives pain and few surprises. Brian Fee picks up all the argument of the first part to only re-manufacture a correct and very inclusive evolution for all his characters. It's also extremely liar, because the trailer promised us a more serious, deep, dramatic and dark tone and the result is that it's the same as we have seen since the first entry. A too childish tone thus encompasses what in short is a moral on the one hand of acceptance, and on the other of personal improvement, changing protagonist towards the final straight of a climax and series of sequences pastiches of the first film. In one of the correct decisions of the script, Fee decides to get rid almost completely of the tiresome side characters (even the reduced participation of Mater seems like a punishment for the abominable Cars 2) nevertheless in his incorporation of new and poorly molded characters, the cliché and the few humorous situations make the journey of the hero feel forced and recycled in its various stops towards the final race.

Best character: Cruz Ramirez.

Favorite scene: Pixar fake us out really hard with this one... well done.

The Commercial

Believe it or not, my opinion with this movie has changed for the better. I still think it's a mediocrity crammed with clichés, with a crude and simplistic argument and a step back for the company that only a film before had already shown to be ready to play more adult themes, however I consider the films previously positioned in this top as inferior. This would only serve to position his less charismatic and worse defined character (being a mediocre archetype of antihero) as the toy and promotional fashion item par excellence: a car. The script is obviously the least fun and worked until then, with scenarios and recycled characters that purported to be a history of values ​​and the pursuit of happiness. In addition, from an internal logic point of view, it crumbles completely. If there are no humans (and there are not), who built the buildings of this world? Why is this world identical to ours? I mean, a land in which we have never existed and the dominant race are vehicles could be an interesting idea of ​​science fiction, but that these substitute us in this land... Absurd. Within the positives I can include Doc Hudson and the reason for his isolation, as well as the two races that the film shows, perhaps the only thing that takes advantage of the fact that the protagonists are cars. Exciting to say enough, especially that of the end, with a McQueen changed, putting into practice the values ​​learned. Also, they are a real show.

Best character: Doc Hudson.

Favorite scene: This reminded me of my old middle school, which was closed due to conflicts between the neighbors and the authorities for a "historic house" that the neighbors didn't want to be demolished. It's almost ten years since then (the historic house was demolished in the end).

The Forgivable

I feel that, of all the mediocrities the company has done, this is the only one that people forgive, simply because being the second in its still new resume, the public didn't force them at that time to present the quality standard that these days the company has us accustomed to. Considered unanimously as one of the worst films of the producer, I must disagree this opinion after having seen it again. We are facing a great film that leaves in evidence to many other films of the genre. But it's undeniable that the film is a step back in terms of imagination. We are in front of a fable of very classic and simple style, with much less three-dimensional characters than in the previous film, very Disney style moral, and some predictability. The circus "warriors" are the best characters: Each with a unique and wonderful personality, they're the soul of the film. In addition, they provoke one of the funniest scenes that the producer has given us. The rest of the characters can't keep up. There's nothing wrong with them, simple... "they are fine". It only remains to emphasize that it's a funny, pleasant movie... pretty, if I may say. But that leaves no trace as the rest of the productions.

Best character: The Circus Bugs.

Favorite scene: Like the Greatest Showman said, "This is the Greatest Show."

The Late One

As Syndrome said: "Too late. 15 years too late." It's true that the action is better and is on an even bigger scale than the previous one (the bullet train sequence in particular is extraordinary), that the music evokes the atmosphere of the old James Bond films and that the characters behave the same, as if time had not passed. However, the new adventure of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and company, despite being visually spectacular and exuding the essence of the first one, not only fails to achieve the quality imposed by its predecessor, but also doesn't rise above other sequels of the studio, it behaves like a mere "copy-paste" of the 2004 film. Regardless of whether the context is different in this installment and which new characters are introduced, the story proposed by Bird with his new work is, in general terms, exactly the same as that of his predecessor. This sequel also tries to incorporate interesting and provocative ideas, such as the difference between doing the right thing and doing the legal thing, about how convenience makes us sacrifice the right thing, how the dependency or the wait of a "savior" weakens society, but they're very scattered and forgotten as the story progresses. The story is interesting, but when the time comes for a turn or a big revelation, all are painfully obvious (including who's perhaps the worst villain of the company). We could argue that the main reason why the filmmakers are out of ideas has been, in addition to the entire year that was cut production, the perhaps unfortunate decision to place its start seconds after the outcome of The Incredibles, becoming more like an epilogue. It's a shame that Brad Bird and company have not overcome the originality of their first part and have stuck to the safe bet and I'm very sorry, but that's not what many of us were looking for.

The Creative One

When this movie first came out, it seemed perfect, without mistakes and original. Today has come down to be barely enjoyable, because every time I see it I find more flaws (The Peanuts Movie, which came out the same year and despite being inferior to this one, improves every time I see it). However, that doesn't mean that it has become bad or that I no longer enjoy it. Docter manages to reconnect with his audience by bringing us stories with which we can all identify and manages to portray part of the difficulty of carrying all kinds of relationships, although it falls into some vices of easy tear-jerker (Bing-Bong's death doesn't age well after seeing it a second or third time), recycles many jokes and have some inconsistencies (how emotions have emotions being emotions themselves?), as well as their concept and main history, which are rip-off from Osmosis Jones and the short film Brain Divided (better made that the previous 2, granted, but that doesn't it from stop being a copy). But in the end we have a product worth enjoying. Another great success is how they manage to adapt the whole process of thinking, reasoning, imagination, dreams, and all the other mental processes that occur within our brain. This is the part I love the most about how you are, the real commitment to deliver a coherent and pleasant design to all, easy for children to recognize without being absurd or boring for "adults". There are endless references that are revealed throughout history that make this trip to the mind a true visual delight that shows us that the people who work at Pixar take very seriously the work of telling stories.

Best character: Sadness.

Favorite scene: A scene that can be relatable to us all, Joy leaves her villainy aside to permit Sadness in help Riley.

The Well Freed Auto Rip-off

I really want to like this movie more and place it higher up in the top... but I can't. Probably the most ambitious project of the company, they managed to give the respect that this beautiful tradition deserves and they made sure, not to appropriate anything, but to give Mexico a gift of cultural empathy. Between the dialogues and the characters, we can see that the researchers did their homework very well, they take the time to bring to the subject every detail of the celebration, the reason for the flowers and the importance of being remembered (even the Spanish Dub is better that the original version, will it be because this movie is designed to be seen in Spanish?). Unfortunately, with all this in mind and despite the respect for the culture of the country, it has many clichés and stereotypes of the Mexican who get fed up and despair at times (Ratatouille and Brave also had this problem, but they weren't as cringey as here), in fact the first third is unbearable for this. In addition, the story is one of the weakest of the studio because it uses tropes already seen until exhaustion, to the point of ripping off another movie with the same plot. And no, I don't mean The Book of Life (which has been unfairly compared, given that they have nothing in common beyond the theme), but Brave, which makes this film an auto rip-off (and Brave is not exactly the most original film to do it). Ernesto joins the long list of villains surprise of the studio (I must say that the twist with Hector and his relationship with Miguel is more interesting and better done than what was done with De la Cruz) and the family doesn't really contribute much. In spite of everything, I like the film and even went one step further: it's the only film I've seen that has reminded me of the importance of my traditions. And here we have to accept the following: the young people of today are young people from the city, eager to eat the world, who raise their voices (even if it's only to say bullshit or curse) but to achieve that they've sacrifice other important things such as quality time with friends and family, they don't have deep-rooted traditions, they don't celebrate their culture, rather they renounce it. This movie reminded me that, despite the passage of time, we must never forget where we came from. And also I invite you to not let you miss the beautiful habit of celebrating traditions.

Best character: Mama Coco.

Favorite scene: The final five minutes of this movie are so overwhelmingly touching, I cry pretty much every time I watch it, especially when grandma places her mother's photo.

The Overrated

If this top was personal, this film would be among the bottom 5, because it fails so drastically in what it proposes that it has become the most overrated animated film I've seen. Outside the scene of the photo album, its content is extremely childish with little enjoyment for adults (especially when compared to its predecessor and its successor), the comedy revolves around a single joke, the drama is manipulative at times, the development of the story loses the authenticity of its introduction and therefore its objective, its characters are extremely annoying (all the problems that Carl went through wouldn't happened if Russell and Dug shut up), the villain doesn't have a reason to be here (which is unfortunate because he's a great villain) and the list goes on and on. To this we must add one of the most absurd climaxes I've seen in my life (I can believe the house flies with balloons, I can believe the villain and the protagonist have the same age despite that Muntz should already be dead by that moment, but... do you expect me to believe that a fight between elders in a mid-air airship with semi-realistic style dogs piloting small planes that fire?) With all the aforementioned shortcomings, why is this film so high? For 3 reasons: first, the original score. Second, with all that I have said about the constant rip-offs of the company, this is undoubtedly the most original work of the studio, because I wasn't able to find a reference or a memory to another work here. And third... I think you already know.

Best character: Ellie.

Favorite scene: One of the most romantic moments of cinema in the first 15 minutes.

The Cute One

By 2001, the company would begin to give birth to more elaborate stories reflecting their greater value, by translating complex and original plots to an accurate script and production for the children's audience, with characters that would quickly take the baton of the fallen Disney, to become cultural icons. Thus, Mike and Sully, two friends employed, would be unforgettable, to star in an intelligent and hilarious film that lacks any plot hole, and where the quality of their perfectly identifiable and delimited characters would define the path of their future species (even if it takes elements from Beetlejuice and AHH! Real Monsters). It also touches a little the subject of growing up and imagination in the form of Boo. It only fails in its villains, because Randall and Watternoose lack development, they feel somewhat flat despite having a great plan.

Best character: Sully.

Favorite scene: The first harsh lesson of your life.

The Artistic One

One of the most dramatic films of the studio, it sacrifices the fun elements in pursuit of a story that, although it has a 100% fantasy plot, permeates the screen with an extremely credible story about the values of growth and friendship; Something like what Disney used to do, but with the touch of the company specialist in scripts and a rhythmic direction of respect. The dramatic moments of the tape and the interaction without dialogue of Remy with Linguini, are mature elements that show an intelligent decision making within the production house. It's a bit slow in its pacing and not all the supporting characters have the development they deserve, but it manages to overcome these problems. If we add one of the best endings of the studio, it would easily become a perfect rehearsal and prelude to one of the greatest cinematographic achievements in history.

Best character: Tie between Remy and Anton Ego.

Favorite scene: As a consumer, as a critic and as a content creator, I can relate to this moment. Critics have to be more open minded and creators have to be prepared to what's coming next.

The Worthy Continuation

The first sequel would confirm that these toys were very far from expiration, presenting a story perhaps not as memorable as its first part, but certainly more complex and fun (with several references to classic fantasy cinema and Sci-Fi), which would serve to define of exact form to its extensive range of secondary characters, as well as also to introduce new villains that would be more attractive to those of its predecessor, due to the naturalness and credibility defined from its excellent script and direction.

Best character: Jessie.

Favorite scene: Although I don't play with my remaining toys anymore, I still love them because of the memories they gave me. That's why I won't give them up.

The Next Step

This beautiful story (although repetitive in its treatment regarding the search and return of the prodigal son), would be the first confirmation of the Pixar leadership. Thus, the abstinence of sharks, the return of the hippie culture, the figure of the herald and the friend (unusual and very funny in the figure of Dory, one of the best characters of the company), are a series of clichés that under the order of Pixar, reached again the originality when being projected in an extraordinary tape with a solid script. It's one of those few movies where I can remember all the casting, from the Fishbowl Gang to Nemo's classmates (who has his own personal arc of self-improvement despite not being the main focus entirely). Another positive point is the absence of a villain as such, there are times when the presence of a bad guy looks more like an easy resource for the hero to have "something" to overcome, but Pixar obviously misses it. This new paternal story would mark the term and the new beginning of a Pixar era.

Best character: Dory.

Favorite scene: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

The Mature One

When I saw this movie for the first time, at age 12, I didn't like it. I think the reason is that, although they didn't sell it as a parody, it's actually a legitimate film of the genre that takes itself seriously, and it's shocking to find something so serious and mature, especially when you have seen the previous works. However, over time I started to comprehend it and now I agree with the majority: it's one of the best in the studio. There is more to see the script. The story, direct and concise, acquires complexity by the dialogues, the construction of the characters and the interaction between them. It's a dense script, extremely rich, and loaded with brilliant ideas. To that we must add a masterful construction of the family. For the first time, Pixar dares to leave all the protagonism to humans, and emerge victorious from the challenge. The entirely heroic part of the film is extremely exciting and exciting, reaching the epic in several moments. An example of good action cinema and a well-understood show. Because if something in this movie is spectacular, is Pixar no longer having limits in the visual, as proof of the credibility, finally achieved, in the recreation of humans (perhaps because this time they don't pretend to be realistic in design, total success), which could still be improved. It's extremely intelligent in its subjects like the reward to the mediocrity, the sacrifices of the adult life, what must be done vs what can be done. It proves definitively that they could create stories with an important dramatic load, and that the human protagonists were no longer a problem (extra points for the best villain of the company). An exciting and perfect film in all its sections.

Best character: Syndrome.

Favorite scene: Triple Tie. Syndrome's monologue.

A preview of what are going to see.

And, or course.

The Nostalgic One

Definitely one of the best third parties in the history of cinema. This episode would confront the toys to the climax of their history, combining all their previous elements to direct them to a real problem in order to deliver an unforgettable conclusion for the generation that grew up with its story. Without denying it, it's the maturation of its most profitable product because this film is directed especially to the people that grew up with these characters whom they already loved and identified. Thus, the spectator of 18 years and older could release the tear without shame when recognizing that this was an excellent outcome. Undoubtedly one of the best films of the studio that within its species was very close to perfection.

Best character: Woody.

Favorite scene: Transcending into adulthood and literally leaving childhood and the first friends we've ever made. "So long, partner."

The One that Started Everything

This film would be revolutionary. Said film not only would win special prizes for its important technological contribution that would revolutionize cinematography, but it would serve as a platform of promise for the next movies of the company for a long time. The most important, it originated a series of endearing characters that would procreate two sequels. While the story of toys that come to life can be branded as an unoriginal creative tool (it had already been used in The Brave Little Toaster and several previous short films), the mastery lies in a direction, a script and some superb voices that entail to a little complex argument is transformed into a story very well prosecuted that would become an instant classic for the cinema in general. Without being the best, it deserves to be classified as a masterpiece for its innovation in the cinema.

Best character: Buzz.

Favorite scene: Great opening for a great movie.

The Magnum Opus

The best animated film in history has the fortune of being also one of the best proposed exercises of sci-fi, being one of the 2 films of the studio focused exclusively on adults (the other one being The Incredibles), it doesn't stop representing a complex apocalyptic story that approaches the subject in a mature way and that in the end doesn't feel at all unreal compared to other stories allusive. Moving and exciting, while paying homage to the history of cinema itself (and in the final credits of the history of humanity), it's responsible for portraying an unfortunate human evolution in a spatial life served to consumerism and technology. The simply endearing protagonist is already an icon of pop culture (although his design is clearly a R.O.B. rip-off) and the author of the work balances the aspects romance - adventure - drama effectively under the highest virtue, which is a script that lacks dialogue in 80% of its footage and that is developed in the most agile and captivating way possible thanks to its correct timing, characters and a climax that enhances and increases the level of the whole tape.

Best character: WALL-E.

Favorite scene: "And that is all that love's about. And we'll recall when times runs out. Let it only took a moment to be loved a whole life long."


Now tell me, what are your favorite Pixar movies? Your favorite characters? Your favorite scenes?

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