Friday, August 19, 2011

List: Favorite Pixar Movies

Confession: I am a complete and utter sucker when it comes to Pixar movies. Yup, every single one of them. Heck, even those short films that they feature before each of their movies. Watching them always puts me through a broad spectrum of feelings, from joy to sadness to excitement and without fail fills me up with a sense of warmth by the time each movie ends. It has become my feel good/happy mood drug. But with Cars 2 only coming out next week here in Malaysia (yup, we always get them late), and the bad reviews the movie is getting, I'm feeling nervous. Will the streak finally be broken? Just in case it does buck that amazing trend, I've come-up with my list of favourite Pixar movies (so far).

*this lists reflects on how much I enjoy the movies. Its not the Oscars. And oh yeah, the positioning of the movies often changes from time to time

#11 A Bug's Life [1998]

As the 3rd computer-animated film ever made (and Pixar's 2nd), A Bug's Life demonstrated the superiority Pixar had over its rivals when it triumphed over Dreamworks' similarly-theme Antz [1998] which was released just a few months earlier.

Selected Quote: "You piece of dirt! No, I'm wrong. You're lower than dirt. You're an ant!".

#10 Cars [2006]

I'm fully aware some people will say this movie doesn't live-up to the ridiculously high standards of Pixar and many would also put this movie last on a similar list. While I do agree it is a bit predictable, I still firmly believe that Cars is a highly enjoyable feature with plenty of heart.

Selected Quote: "Ka-chow!!".

#9 Ratatouille [2007]

If the movie was a gourmet meal, Gordon Ramsay would probably say "it tastes absolutely delicious, full of amazing nutrients, and made with a lot of heart".

Selected Quote: Gusteau: "What do I always say? Anyone can cook". Remy: "Yeah, anyone can. That doesn't mean anyone should".

#8 Monsters Inc. [2001]

There's an old leadership debate on whether its better to be loved or to be feared. Well, Monsters Inc. eventually proves that laughter is better than fear.

Selected Quote: "Boo!!".

#7 Finding Nemo [2003]

A character from this movie, Dory, suffers from short-term memory loss. That generally means she's unable to create new memories after the event of amnesia, while long-term memories which happened before the tragedy remain intact. If someone was unfortunate enough to suffer from this condition, please god let that tragedy happen after he's seen Finding Nemo because not being able to remember this masterpiece would be such an enormous travesty.

Selected Quote: "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney".

#6 Toy Story [1995]

Cinematic history will not only remember Toy Story for being the first computer-animated feature film, but also as one of the best movies, animated or not, of all time.

Selected Quote: "To infinity and beyond!".

#5 Toy Story 3 [2010]

There's a rumor going around that a forth movie in the Toy Story franchise is in the works. I pray that isn't the case. This is because while I'm fully confident in Pixar's ability of creating a good story, Toy Story 3 already has the most perfect and magnificent ending, not only to the movie but to the entire trilogy. Another sequel would only lessen the impact of that said ending.

Selected Quote: "Welcome to Sunnyside, folks. I'm Lots-o-Huggin Bear. But please, call me Lotso".

#4 Toy Story 2 [1999]

The magic of Toy Story 2 is best described by Tom Hanks (voice of Woody) in a 2007 released documentary titled The Pixar Story: "Tim Allen (voice of Buzz Lightyear) and I actually saw the movie together at the same time... when it was all done. And we had an understanding of what everything goes on, but then when Jessie's Song came up, we were just 40 year old men crying our eyes out over this abandoned cowgirl doll".

Selected Quote: "You never forget kids like Emily, or Andy, but they forget you".

#3 The Incredibles [2004]

Although I loved the Toy Story sequels and have complete faith in Pixar's ability to make great movies, I'm not particularly in favour of them making sequels. I believe one their major strengths is in creating original and creative stories. The exception to that rule of course if its an Incredibles sequel. Now, that I would love to see.

I also find it fascinating that director/screenwriter Brad Bird chose each superpower based on family members and their position in the family. Dads are supposed to be strong, so he made Mr. Incredible's superpower strength. Mothers are supposed to be infinitely flexible, so he made Elastigirl infinitely flexible. Teenage girls are insecure so he made Violet be invisible and able to make force fields (as a metaphor for teenage girls being defensive). 10 year old boys are energy balls and race everywhere so he made Dash super-quick. Lastly, babies are unknowns, we don't know what they'll grow-up into. So that's why we never know what Jack-Jack will morph into.

Selected Quote: Edna: "I didn't know the baby's powers so I covered the basics". Helen: "Jack-Jack doesn't have any powers". Edna: "No? Well he'll look fabulous anyway".

#2 Up [2009]

Now, instead of putting up a photo from the movie, I'll post a clip from possibly its most memorable scene. Its not really much of spoiler for those whom haven't seen it because its set early on in the movie and it sets up nicely the theme for the rest of the story. This scene never fails to make my eyeballs fall out as a result of crying me teary. Heck, even when I just think of the scene or listen to the song I cry profusely I'm emotionally moved.

Darn, that made me teary again. Got to take some time out before I continue writing. :P

Selected Quote: "Adventure is out there!...... You know, you don't talk very much. I like you!!"

#1 WALL-E [2008]

What's not to love about WALL-E? We're completely engaged throughout the entire silent first half of the movie. We're totally entertained throughout the busy second half of the movie. We fully empathise and believe that a robot has feelings. Our hearts comprehensively melted at every "Eeeev-ah" or "Waaal-ee" uttered. This is arguably Pixar at is best!

Selected Quote: WALL-E: "Diiirrr-ect-tivve?" Eve: "Directive? Classified!".

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