Monday, June 13, 2011

Pixar Rankings!

Hey, now that I've seen every Pixar film, let's rank them from best to worst, shall we? Does it say something about me that I have so much more to say about the ones at the bottom of the list? It sure does!

1. Up. Nuff said, really.

2. Toy Story 3. Has it EVER happened before that the third move in a series is also the best? Really immaculate with the most terrifying climax EVER in a kids' movie and that ending GOSH.

3. WALL-E. Man, when I first saw Wall-E, I thought it would be impossible to top, but here we are, which is kind of mind-boggling. It's true what everyone says: it loses a bit of momentum when it goes into space, but really not THAT much, and that first part is REALLY incredible. And the closing credits, man oh man.

4. Ratatouille. Really awesome stuff, but this is the first one in which I can detect a distinct flaw, to wit: if we're buying into the whole "anyone can cook" thing, how is it that, to all appearances, the main guy really CAN'T, ultimately? That's just weird.

5. The Incredibles. …but not as weird as the awful ending where it's apparently A-OKAY for the kid compete in races as long as he holds back and doesn't come in FIRST. Some people seem to think this is meant as an implicit critique. Not really buyin' that. But otherwise, it's a great film.

6. Toy Story. That's right, the first one. I think there's something to be said for simplicity, and this is totally fun and charming, even if a little rough around the edges.

7. A Bug's Life. I like this way more than I thought I would. The villain is great, and although the circus-bugs are played a bit too broadly for my taste, I got used to them quickly enough. And then it was all good.

8. Toy Story 2. I know a lot of people would think it odd to see this placed so far down. Don't get me wrong; I like it a lot, and "When Somebody Loved Me" is a really effective tear-jerker, but I feel there was a bit too much not-that-amusing dicking around, like the whole toy store segment and the nonsense with the generic Buzz Lightyear and Zod figures. And seriously, people, the toys driving an actual, real-world car? Hmph.

9. Cars. I didn't really expect to like Cars, but I have to admit: I liked Cars. No two ways about it. However, there's no denying that the world is really, really bizarre and not necessarily in a GOOD way; also, the character designs are, let's face it, kind of creepy. Plus, what with the upcoming sequel (which I'll be highly skeptical about until I see) and this made-for-TV Planes spin-off, it's looking like this could spell the end of Pixar's reign of awesome. Let's hope not.

10. Monsters Inc. Out of all the movies on this list, it's been the longest since I've seen this one, so I'm probably not the best judge, but I remember being seriously underwhelmed: this is the sort of thing that the much-fêted Pixar is doing? Really? More specifically, I found the whole monster-world economy too cute by half, frankly, and Billy Crystal gah. I probably would have liked it more had I been younger when I saw it, but Pixar films are meant to bridge such divides. Very much not hotly anticipating the sequel.

11. Finding Nemo. Yeah, I know this is gonna look like willful contrarianism, but I can't help it: this is the only Pixar movie that I just flat-out dislike. No, I'm not saying it's without merit (he magnanimously conceded), but the whole thing is pitched so, so broadly, and the extremely-allegedly-comic-relief sidekick fish with short-term memory problems is just non-stop horrifically, unbearably irritating, and she is all over the movie. Also, the idea of sharks in an AA analogue to learn to stop eating fish? What the hell are they supposed to eat, then? C'mon. There's suspension of disbelief, and then there's just stupidity. Though I'll grant you it would've been funny if they'd pledged to only devour humans instead. Perhaps the whole father-son thing should have resonated, but it just…didn't. I'm surprised that--checking wikipedia--it's only a hundred minutes, because it feels fucking endless.

3 Comments:

Blogger Thomas pontificated to the effect that...

The point is that the sharks don't have the slightest intention to stop eating fish. Except this gets screwed up by the kid-friendly ending, in which the sharks turn out to be alive AND harmless.

Surely "Cars" must be the worst Pixar-movie? I mean, it starts with race-cars having a race, which is EXACTLY as exciting as a real car race: it has CARS and they're going REALLY FAST. And then later on, two cars FALL IN LOVE and what do they do? Yup, they're going to drive REALLY FAST, because that's what CARS LIKE BEST! It's so stupid, it hurts.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

I'm not sure what you mean by "alive AND harmless." I thought the AA business made it pretty clear that they were at least TRYING to stop eating fish.

I'm certainly not going to argue with you regarding the general dumbness of Cars. In terms of intelligence level, I would certainly put it below Monsters or Nemo...but the fact is, I kind of enjoyed it anyway. It might be a mistake, however, to judge it on the same level as other Pixar movies. It's absolutely true that it's more pandering; unlike other Pixar films, it feels like it was being made with an eye towards merchandizing--a fact which is made all the more painfully apparent by the forthcoming sequel.

I dunno; you've kind of convinced me--but as far as subjective enjoyment goes, it still is what it is.

One thing I will say for it: the cameo from the Car Talk guys was cute.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Thomas pontificated to the effect that...

If you disregard the ending, the AA business can be interpreted as a scam by the sharks. It's very ambiguous. Are they dangerous or not? Next thing, the sharks are supposed to have been killed in an explosion. Except for the sweet ending, in which they are rather alive and very friendly towards the fishes.

Re: "Cars" - I laughed at the über-cute little Japanese news reporter car. I liked the nostalgic bit about the glorydays of Route 66.

6:19 PM  

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