Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I love Pixar. I would think that most of you who are at least relatively familiar with their work would say the same. I mean, it's almost uncomfortable anymore sitting through an animated feature that they didn't produce; with the slew of trite scripts, sub-par animation and weak art direction that most CG toons seem to be built on, I rejoice every year when the trailers for next summer's Pixar feature start popping up on the interwebs. And for that I am thankful, Steve Jobs. Even though you're a bit of a jerk and a resounding control-freak, you went above and beyond developing a mere computer empire and created what is now undeniably the best animation studio in the industry. Good one.

Before Kelsey and I went to see Up last night (re: the title of this post), I'd been hearing that it left all of Pixar's previous work in its wake of awesome. I was reluctant to accept such a hyperbolic review, seeing as I love Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Wall-E, and I think Brad Bird's Ratatouille and The Incredibles are two of the finest films ever made, animated or otherwise. Tell you what, though. As a man of constant exaggeration in regards to pop-culture preferences I will be try to be particularly clear on this: I have literally never laughed as hard for as long in any movie I've ever sat through. In fact, we have to go back and see it again because we lost a good 25% of the dialogue under the cacophony of the audience's laughter. Plus it was in 3-D which, to be honest, didn't make a huge difference, but everything felt more jovial in funny glasses.

So what does this have to do with pregnancy and baby plans and prophetic notions of Short Round's relative awesomeness? During the trailers (which were all for 3-D animated features) Kelsey leaned over and said something to the effect of, "Isn't it weird that this is going to be the norm for our kids? They won't grow up with regular cell animation like we did." To which I say Huzzah! Well, I didn't in the theater. But I do now. I am perfectly content with our kids growing up on Pixar. In fact, considering how many CG movies I'm going to be watching with them on a weekly basis, I'm almost inclined to declare our house Pixar exclusive (except for Kung Fu Panda- good stuff, Dreamworks). It made me think of all the horrible merchandise-pregnant animated garbage our generation's parents had to sit through before animated features started getting good again. Sure, there were quality films like Lion King and Aladdin and The Emperor's New Groove. But there was also Fern Gully. And Watership Down. Sorry, mom.

The funny thing is there weren't that many kids in the crowd last night. The vast majority of the audience was high school and college kids and kids in their twenties. And a few kids in their fifties. And they were all laughing or crying or both from the first frames of the pre-feature short to the end credits. So the studios are looking out for us, the young parents. And be joyful, because it's about time. If we didn't have the options that we have now, I'd be playing The Iron Giant on repeat in our house every day. Not that I'd necessarily have a problem with that. 


Jessica Kahler said...

i love fern gully.

Chuck said...

This is also what you have to look forward to -

And Pancake Mountain. Being a parent is cool and makes you cry for no reason, and every reason.

Anonymous said...

Was that a slightly cloaked yet honorable mention of the third in your movie party?

sara said...

fern gully? really? that makes the list of unfortunates? that was totally magical for me.