I am a sucker for cartoons – especially Pixar cartoons. One of my very favorite family traditions it to go with my brother to the latest releases (oh, and we take some of my children, too).

That being said, I am a bit concerned with the direction that Disney-Pixar seems to be taking. Their animation has always been groundbreaking – but the true secret behind their success has always been that their storytelling has been breathtaking. They invite the audience into a previously-unknown world. But quite frankly, their last few releases have failed to do that (notice how low I rank their latest works).

In addition, I fear that they are dabbling in Dreamworks’ territory of potty-humor. They are better than that. And for the record, aside from Dreamworks’ infatuation with sequels, their original works like Kung-Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon are quickly catching up in the creative plot category.

Without further ado, here is my rankings of Disney-Pixar feature films (some of them being some of my favorite films of all-time (another blog for another day):
13) Cars 2 (2011): An average children’s movie at best. They just wanted to sell product. Too much Mater.
12) Brave (2012): Scattered story. They did too much and therefore not enough with the characters. However, I did love that they told a parent-child story. So much potential!
11) Wall-E (2008): Propaganda. Too much – and insensitive to obesity.
10) A Bug’s Life (2001): Indifferent. The more I watch it the more I like it. But it really does not give me enough reason to watch it more?
9) Ratatouille (2007): This movie did not really bring me into another world. However, the film continues to grow on me.
8) Toy Story 2 (2002): These characters will never get old. But sequels are sequels.
7) The Incredibles (2005): So creative – and far different than anything before it at the time.
6) Cars (2006): Fun.
5) Up (2009): I cry every time she dies.
4) Toy Story 3 (2010): Like seeing old friends. Never as good as it used to be – but so good to go back. The ending makes the movie.
3) Finding Nemo (2004): Incredible underwater detail. Father and son. Pixar in the prime.
2) Monsters, Inc (2003): Probably should not be this high – but for some reason I loved this story. I can’t wait for the sequel – but I am afraid for the worst.
1) Toy Story (2000): I don’t think I have ever seen a better animated movie in my lifetime. Forever changing the craft.


4 thoughts on “Pixar

  1. Brother, I hate disagree with you, but you say “I fear that they are dabbling in Dreamworks' territory of potty-humor.” Disney/pixar is not above it.

    Disney has long used outside studios to release things they felt would 'sully' the Disney name/brand.

    Do movies like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Color of Night, From Dusk til Dawn, Hellraiser, The Crow, Halloween, Face/Off, ConAir…Any of those classics sound familiar?

    Guess who made or distributed them?


    Disney in the last 35 years created Touchstone Pictures, bought and partnered with Miramax; owners between 1993 and 2005. This was the Quentin Tarantino Era. Still Run by the Weinstiens, but financed by Disney. In doing so they had a piece of Dimensions Films (purveyors of movies like Scream), they also had Hollywood pictures.

    Disney now owns Paramount pictures, the same place Michael Eisner came from before heading Disney during the 80's-90's.

    Heck, you talked about potty mouthed DreamWorks animated films. Disney is now partnered with them too!

    Disney likes to hide behind other studios, but they own a lot of the stuff coming out of Hollywood or were distributing it.

    I don't think anything is beyond Disney to tell you the truth. But I have to say, Ratatouille -stank. Disney beat Pixar that year with a better animated film called “Meet the Robinsons.” The box office didn't hold up as well, but Robinson was better.

    And “Up,” like somebody said, told a better love story in 8 minutes of than Stephanie Meyer did in four books of “Twilight.” I cannot watch the beginning of UP without tearing up a little.


  2. I was speaking of Pixar specifically – not Disney. Great stories that didn't need to go in that direction. Not the companies. I agree. Never been a Disney fan. Pixar has saved them over the last decade.


  3. But when you speak of Pixar now, it is owned by Disney. Sometimes Disney is like the older kid who you start hanging with who smokes and reads playboy. They corrupt. I wonder how proud Walt would be…

    I generally agree with your list, but I've never watched Cars and couldn't stand Finding Nemo. And for some reason Monsters Inc. is too much like Little Monsters with Howie Mandle and Fred Savage…which….yeah. One never quite approaches apple juice the same again after seeing that movie.


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