When it comes to the Pixar’s glittering filmography, WALL-E sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course, Pixar had long been known for making animation that adults can enjoy and admire, but WALL-E in no way catered to children. The 2008 masterpiece followed the titular robot on his quest to find love after he had rediscovered natural life on earth, which is perfectly nice and all, but it largely does away with plot in favour of monosyllabic robots and an overwrought diatribe against man’s distaste for nature.
Now, WALL-E can say little beyond his own name and that of his fembot love, EVE, and he is be strangely emotive in his passivity, but what lifts WALL-E above the pantheon of Pixar greats is the added visual flair of the animators and director, Andrew Stanton. I am in no way saying that the rest of the Pixar canon is not aesthetically progressive or striking, but with other Pixar features, one is taken aback by their technical breadth. With WALL-E there is an added visual scope that is simply dazzling and allows Pixar to transcend their standard palette. Set pieces such as WALL-E and EVE dancing in space are some of the most beautiful in cinematic history and prove that animation is in no way an inferior art form to, y’know, proper film.
Pixar can do little wrong as far as I’m concerned and if Up had never been made, I’d probably have had to fight one of you for your choice, but luckily for me, Up does exist and has claimed its rightful place at the top of all reasonable ‘Best Pixar Movie’ lists. Probably.
The film is an incredibly sweet and almost disarmingly touching look at love, loss, and dreams. The opening montage is enough to move any grown man to tears – don’t even pretend that you didn’t all cry like Bambi’s mother died again – but more than that, the film is almost universal in its appeal. It may have been marketed at children, but there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
It follows a grumpy old man’s adventure to fulfil his and his late wife’s dreams, complete with initially unwanted help from an eight-year-old stowaway named Russell whose mission it is to assist the elderly for his explorer badge. Carl, the old man, succeeds despite mishaps along the way, and Russell finds the father figure he was sorely lacking. Watching the relationship between young and old develop is somewhat poignant and uplifting.
Up is the perfect blend between heart and humour, and it hides under your porch because it loves you. Let it stay.
Okay, so last week didn’t go exactly to plan and I wholly attribute my loss to the phenomenon of Firefly fandom. This group, of which I’m sure Jon is a prominent member, are essentially a cult who largely ignored the show while it was around, are only retrospectively loyal and now desperately try to raise money in the hope that one day it will be resurrected. Actually, this sounds awfully like some particular religion.
However, I’m not going to let Jon’s membership in a dangerous cult and last week’s pummelling (in both the columns and the polls) deter me from declaring that the best Pixar movie is the fantastic Finding Nemo. Pixar has some really great films but what really sets Finding Nemo apart is the assortment of diverse supporting characters. From stoner-surfer turtles to mindless seagulls, each of the characters encountered is brilliantly imagined and uniquely funny. This is not even mentioning Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), the dozy Regal tang, whose bubbly nature and humour is matched only by the vibrant aesthetics of the ocean backdrop.
Finding Nemo is a truly heartwarming and hilarious adventure that remains at the apex of Pixar’s impressive CV. This one should be MINE! MINE! MINE!
Excelsior! Victory at last, with the good, cerebral men and women of UCD appreciating the nuance and brilliance of Firefly. I thank everyone who voted, except the people who voted for someone who wasn’t me. You guys suck.
Now, as we’re all aware, Cars is clearly the greatest Pixar film. Wall-E? Utter garbage. Finding Nemo? A moist snooze. Up? I haven’t seen it, but I hear terrible, terrible things. All I know is that there’s an old man who tricks an egg-shaped boy into his house using balloons. Sick, sick stuff.
Cars, on the other hand, is the product of gentle-hearted genius. It truly is the universal story; there’s these cars, right, and they all drive around without giving two hoots where their petrol comes from or how they reproduce. Then, the main car, the red one that everyone likes, comes up against an obstacle which he’ll have to overcome. It thrilling stuff.
Alright, sure, I have no idea how they built their cities, and I don’t know whether they’re meant to be an alien race on another planet that have, massively coincedentally, evolved to look a lot like the cars of Earth, or whether it’s a hellish vision of an automobile-themed apocolypse where cars have become sentient and have the human race enslaved and working in their underground petrol mines. Either way, it’s a classic.