Four Em­pire writ­ers defini­tively put the an­i­ma­tion stu­dio’s out­put in or­der

Empire (Australasia) - - Contents -

Team Em­pire ar­gues amongst them­selves as they fig­ure their top 10 Pixar films. De­bate, you fools!

He­len: So, Pixar. Are we pro? Are we anti? Are we on the fence? I don’t ex­pect an anti. Olly: Pretty pro.

Ben: Same. One thing that I think comes through in Pixar a lot is how much of an im­pact they make on you at dif­fer­ent times of your life and how you carry that with you be­tween the older films and some of the newer ones. That comes through in my list.

Dan: I was there at the start with Toy Story in 1995, and was an in­stant con­vert. I will say that my en­thu­si­asm for Pixar has waned grad­u­ally. I don’t get as hyped now about a new Pixar movie as I did 10 years ago, for ex­am­ple.

He­len: Is it not just the name Pixar that ex­cites you? It has to be the ac­tual premise.

Dan: Well, there seems to be two types of Pixar movies now. Se­quels and not­se­quels. I al­most wish they’d just lay off the se­quels. I love In­cred­i­bles 2 but I’d rather see an­other In­side Out. Not lit­er­ally an­other In­side Out, but a film like In­side Out or Up.

Olly: I feel they still do that. The se­quels thing, I get it. They are a busi­ness.

They’re not against mak­ing money.

Dan: They should be. Story is king, wasn’t that the motto? Not, money is king.

Olly: Fine. You go see your com­mu­nist movies then. I think some­thing like Coco, no-one else is do­ing some­thing like that. Even in the early days not every sin­gle one was amaz­ing. A Bug’s Life is good, but it’s not in my top 10. He­len: We’ll start with Toy Story, which was re­leased in the States in 1995, and wasn’t in the UK un­til 1996, so un­less you were on hol­i­day, Dan, you’re ly­ing. Dan: Are you call­ing me a liar?

He­len: Yeah.

Dan: That’s nice.

Olly: Toy Story is un­touch­able. It changed ev­ery­thing. Re­gard­less of the fact that it was the first ma­jor com­puter an­i­mated film, it’s just such a bril­liantly writ­ten movie. It’s so funny. It’s one of the best come­dies ever.

Ben: It’s like the ab­so­lute nu­cleus of ev­ery­thing Pixar have done since. It’s so funny, it’s about cre­at­ing this world you’ve never seen be­fore, and also with these weirder, darker el­e­ments that come through in quite a few Pixar films. Dan: Toy Story is a work­place com­edy, isn’t it? Toy Story 2 is a great ac­tion film. And then Toy Story 3... It’s funny, I ab­so­lutely loved it, but there’s one scene in 3 that has wiped al­most every scene in that movie out of my mem­ory. The one in the fur­nace.

He­len: I gen­uinely thought for a mo­ment that in a Dis­ney-dis­trib­uted, Pixaran­i­mated film, they were go­ing to kill all the toys. I be­lieved for a sec­ond that this is it. Wow, that’s dark.

Olly: There is no other an­i­ma­tion stu­dio, pos­si­bly Ghi­bli, that you think might do that.

He­len: I think Toy Story 2 is phe­nom­e­nal. The di­vide be­tween toys as toys and toys as things that a lot of peo­ple fetishise is bril­liantly done.

Olly: It doesn’t mat­ter what age you are be­cause there’ll be dif­fer­ent things you’ll get from it. There’s so much go­ing on in that film.

He­len: The pin­na­cle of that is In­side

Out. Kids are watch­ing some brightly coloured char­ac­ters have a brightly coloured ad­ven­ture. Par­ents are watch­ing a psy­cho­log­i­cally, re­ally solid, ex­am­i­na­tion of emo­tions, cul­mi­nat­ing in ac­tual de­pres­sion. This is one of the most as­ton­ish­ing de­pic­tions of de­pres­sion I’ve ever come across.

Ben: This film gave me a vo­cab­u­lary to un­der­stand the idea of happy mem­o­ries within your past be­com­ing sad. They’re still happy, but they’re sad at the same time. It’s so per­cep­tive about emo­tion. Olly: It’s a ge­nius piece of film­mak­ing. It’s so rare that you go and see a film and go, “I don’t un­der­stand how that came to­gether in some­one’s head.”

He­len: There’s a whole heck of a lot of great Pixar di­rec­tors, but Pete Doc­ter might be the num­ber one. Up has a very solid emotional through­line which is a man los­ing the thing that means most to him and find­ing some sort of com­fort in the rest of his life. It’s in­cred­i­ble.

Ben: I love Mon­sters, Inc. so much. It’s the great­est world Pixar ever made, the char­ac­ters are my favourite Pixar char­ac­ters. I never get bored of it.

Dan: That’s in­ter­est­ing. It’s my least favourite Pete Doc­ter film. It was too much the tem­plate they set up with Toy Story: a work­place, the se­cret life be­hind some­thing you know about, at the heart of it is a buddy dy­namic.

He­len: I will say that they be­came aware of that them­selves. They’ve talked about that be­ing a part of

The In­cred­i­bles’ move away from it. They recog­nised they were in dan­ger of that be­com­ing their thing.

Dan: The In­cred­i­bles is top. It al­most makes you be­lieve that a fam­ily could get on with each other and work to­gether as op­posed to con­stantly bick­er­ing and driv­ing their dad mad. Look, it’s the hol­i­days, I’m two weeks in and I’m go­ing a bit mad.

Olly: I love the level of minute com­edy de­tail. The fact that the bad­die’s lair is on No­man­is­son Is­land is just one of the best jokes I’ve ever seen in a film, and it’s thrown away.

Dan: I didn’t even know that joke. Oh my God, you’ve just given me some­thing new about The In­cred­i­bles.

He­len: Right, enough squab­bling.

Let’s vote!


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