Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Story of the Little Company that Could

From Upcoming Pixar
Now, after Super Size Me, I realized I should probably steer clear of food movies for the duration of this illness, whatever it is (My first migraine or a really weird sinus infection...the jury is still out on that), so I looked through my instant watch list after I was becoming bored out of my mind from just lying around and found I still had The Pixar Story in queue. Nothing can make you happier than a bunch of people who clearly love what they do producing some of your favorite movies - you even hate that you have to stop watching to run yourself to the emergency room because your body is rejecting pain medication that is supposed to help you.

However, after you've gotten that taken care of and are at least back to where you were before the experiment with Vicodin, you come back and settle down and watch John Lasseter's contagious enthusiasm fill your screen and you're bummed you gave up on that dream to become an animator on that dark day in 4th grade when you realized you had no drawing ability whatsoever. Because, basically, The Pixar Story is the story of this one little computer animation company that could. That wasn't willing to say something couldn't be done and that was willing to sacrifice everything for a good story. It is a movie of triumphs, of these rebel computer scientists and artists proving to the world that 3D animation could be done and done well. It is clearly a movie of a company that knew they shouldn't have succeeded so quickly once they got their name out there but they did so they ran with it and just kept beating the odds. Completely re-working Toy Story 2 over a weekend when they realized the story just wasn't working. Making up the rules as they went when it came to new techniques needed for Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. If nothing else, The Pixar Story is a testament that if you pay attention to the story and the craftsmanship of the film, the bottom line takes care of itself. A lesson animation studios are still learning years after Pixar has proved it time and again.

The films wraps after the success of The Incredibles so there are no mentions of the Pixar successes since such as Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3,  perhaps the best of the Toy Story trilogy. I wonder also how it would handle Cars 2, arguably the weakest film to ever be released by the whiz kids up in Emeryville. A film that is still heads above the competition but does present a little worrying fission through Pixar devotees. Until one watches the trailer for Brave and you realize every studio gets its one off. Even when that one off is still wildly successful, fun, engaging and leaves you wanting more.

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