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Ranking Pixar Films by Tier 
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
So you're accusing one stereotype of being a small minority, then suggesting they supplant it with another equally ludicrous stereotype? I'm not saying your personal politics are overriding your ability to develop a cogent read of the movie... but yeah, I am pretty much saying that.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:13 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
My example isn't a ludicrous stereotype, it's mainstream thinking.

There are probably only a few hundred people in the world who are too fat to walk. There's an entire industry devoted to sending us back to agrarian poverty

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:18 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
CasualDad wrote:
They both seemed mostly bored by The Incredibles. Most of the humor, for me at least, depends on some familiarity with common and specific superhero themes. At the time we saw it neither had much familiarity.

They're probably still to young to grasp the film's REAL theme, i.e. the Harrison Bergeron-ization of society -- the theme that probably resonates with more than that of any other Pixar film (though it's not quite my favorite film of theirs; I still go for the "Toy Story" movies the most).


Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:30 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
NotHughGrant wrote:
My example isn't a ludicrous stereotype, it's mainstream thinking.

There are probably only a few hundred people in the world who are too fat to walk. There's an entire industry devoted to sending us back to agrarian poverty


Somewhere around a third of American adults are considered obese, so this isn't quite the extreme minority stereotype you're making it out to be. Granted, most of them can still walk, but since when has using satirical exaggeration not been a valid way of making a point? They're showing the very, very, very distant end game of overconsumption. Like many sci-fi stories set in the future it's designed as a caution, a method by which to get people thinking about the problems of the present. If someone is offended by that, I'd urge them to consider why, not just outright dismiss it.

Anyway, since this is a tier thread, here's my rankings by tier:

Upper Tier
Ratatouille
The Incredibles
Toy Story 1-3

Upper Middle Tier
Up
Wall-E
Finding Nemo
Monsters, Inc.
Brave

Middle Tier
Monsters University
Cars

I haven't seen Cars 2 or A Bug's Life. To put this list in perspective, Brave, my 10th most liked Pixar film, either made, or was very close to making, my year end top 10 in 2012. So yeah, I'm a big fan of the studio.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:49 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
It doesn't offend me.

Wall-E is just striking in that despite not being a conscious piece of propaganda, it effortlessly taps into the miserable zeitgeist that humans are a fat, lazy species that will only evolve to watch TV whilst being served by robots.

I'd prefer it if the film delved into who and how those huge inter-galactic spaceships were built. But that would imply we're not quite so feckless after all.

After all, someone built and programmed Wall-E, right?

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:05 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
Pete, you put Ratatouille at the top.

What made it your top pic in your top tier?

Why do you think others have it solidly in the middle?

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:09 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
NotHughGrant wrote:
It doesn't offend me.

Wall-E is just striking in that despite not being a conscious piece of propaganda, it effortlessly taps into the miserable zeitgeist that humans are a fat, lazy species that will only evolve to watch TV whilst being served by robots.

I'd prefer it if the film delved into who and how those huge inter-galactic spaceships were built. But that would imply we're not quite so feckless after all.

After all, someone built and programmed Wall-E, right?



If I had to guess about the spaceships and why the people were depicted as they were, it must have been written by someone who went on a cruise. Carnival, Norwegian, Disney... There's the brochure photo and then there's the reality.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:17 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
PeachyPete wrote:
If someone is offended by that, I'd urge them to consider why, not just outright dismiss it


I wasn't offended either. It just renders large sections of the movie boring if you're not on board with the message. Nothing wrong with it, but message movies from any angle will be boring if you don't agree with, or are not violently opposed to the message.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:21 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
Likewise, Cars is a very message heavy film. It is a message as old as film itself - it is not worth forsaking one's friends in order to persue personal ambitions. Most adults have had that drummed into them through an endless string of parables, stories, cartoons, films, etc. I can't help but think that the familiarity of that message is the reason many adults find it to be pretty stale while pre-teens seem to adore it. Perhaps that is not the reason, but I felt there was plenty of adult oriented humor to keep older folks involved.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:40 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
NotHughGrant wrote:
Wall-E is just striking in that despite not being a conscious piece of propaganda, it effortlessly taps into the miserable zeitgeist that humans are a fat, lazy species that will only evolve to watch TV whilst being served by robots.


I don't think it's unfair to say people are getting fatter and lazier as time goes on, and to then suggest that an over reliance on technology is partly responsible for that. Look at obesity statistics since just the 70s. It's scary how fast we're getting fat (at least in America). If you count the ways life is drastically different since then, virtually all of them have to do with technology making things easier/faster/more efficient.

I guess I just don't really get what you and CasualDad disagree with about the message. It's wrong? I mean, people are getting fatter. That's a fact. Is making the correlation between that and technological advancement where you guys take issue with the message? Also, why would you prefer the movie take aim at things it isn't interested in taking aim at?

Awf Hand wrote:
Pete, you put Ratatouille at the top.

What made it your top pic in your top tier?

Why do you think others have it solidly in the middle?


Ratatouille is probably my favorite animated film ever made. It's message of unpretentious open-mindedness is something I strongly identify with and value. Great art can come from anywhere, at any time. It's something that, especially in the world of film, needs to be hammered home more often than it is. It's also a ton of fun as an adventure/self-discovery film, has a fantastic score, and tells it's story with visual style. It's Pixar's masterpiece, in my estimation, and a perfect mix of art and entertainment.

I really can't tell you why others have it solidly in the middle. My guess is that Pixar has so many excellent movies that they constantly blur the line between really good and great, and some are inevitably going to be forgotten. I can't really fault someone for liking, say, Toy Story 3 more than Ratatouille because it's such an excellent film. The same applies to so much of their output that it's pointless to list.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:59 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
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I don't think it's unfair to say people are getting fatter and lazier as time goes on, and to then suggest that an over reliance on technology is partly responsible for that. Look at obesity statistics since just the 70s. It's scary how fast we're getting fat (at least in America). If you count the ways life is drastically different since then, virtually all of them have to do with technology making things easier/faster/more efficient.

I guess I just don't really get what you and CasualDad disagree with about the message. It's wrong? I mean, people are getting fatter. That's a fact. Is making the correlation between that and technological advancement where you guys take issue with the message? Also, why would you prefer the movie take aim at things it isn't interested in taking aim at?


Because it's largely a nonsense equivocation. People are getting a bit staid, so we'll end up getting TVs thrust into our fat faces whilst bouncing in a spaceship. It's a lazy, cynical and populist (to a certain demographic) trope of modern life.

Perhaps, statistically, people are getting fatter. So what?

- People are also living longer
- Poorer people can afford to give more to charity
- People (on a global scale) are more literate and better educated
- People have devised ways to put entire libraries of information at our finger tips

Yet these, more uplifting, themes aren't given the same precedence, because they're not as inflammatory or pessimistic. Because none of these things make us look fat, lazy and stupid compared to trash collecting robots.

Thing is, I'm not actually that political when it comes to films. But I was pretty damned surprised at the casual negativity Wall-E displayed about the species. It's as if self-loathing has become a new religion. And as I say, I don't actually think the film meant to do this, it just almost by accident does so. Which is even worse.

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Last edited by NotHughGrant on Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:42 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
My first take on Ratatouille was tainted a bit by the environs. It was a kids New Year's eve party (over at 9pm) and it was projected onto an inflatable screen at an indoor soccer center. A caught fragments of it in between outbursts from my own 1.9 year old and all the others at the party. I was very early into my dad-stage and viewing children's movies was barely on the horizon. Offspring was still something to be put-to-bed so life could go on and interests could be pursued. FF a few years and the interests have become the kids and helping them discover new interests. Now I'm in a room with my kids watching "safe" movies that will hopefully entertain. Pixar leads the way in this aspect with DreamWorks being a slightly edgier (less "safe") option with perhaps too many current references to be timeless. Toy Story, Nemo, Bug's, Monsters all arrived first.
Ratatouille appears again and I view it on my terms, in my living room. It has a bit of foreign "flavor" lent by the music, the Parisian setting and characters with accents. I thoroughly enjoyed those elements of it.
If I'm recalling correctly, it was the first Pixar movie with people as characters. Maybe I found that more off-putting than I should have, but it seemed out of place from a group that had brought so many unique creatures to life. For me the sit-comish arrangement of characters, the snidely food critic, the meek hero, the mustache twirling head chef... felt too familiar, even with the addition of a rat.
I fully agree that the rest of the Pixar shelf is SO strong that, for me anyway, Ratatouille slips below the middle.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:44 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
For me it is not a matter of objecting to the message. You care if people get fat, I don't (exception made for my children - I'll try to keep them healthy until they're old enough to know the full impact). Technology doesn't remove a person's choice of how much food to put in their mouth. I'm grateful that technology allows for overproduction of food and gladly accept the trade offs that mean most of us are no longer one short drought away from starvation. I do care if people pollute the planet beyond inhabitable, but that has more to do with overpopulation than technology.

I'm just not particularly interested in a large part of the message.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:46 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
CasualDad wrote:
For me it is not a matter of objecting to the message. You care if people get fat, I don't (exception made for my children - I'll try to keep them healthy until they're old enough to know the full impact). Technology doesn't remove a person's choice of how much food to put in their mouth. I'm grateful that technology allows for overproduction of food and gladly accept the trade offs that mean most of us are no longer one short drought away from starvation. I do care if people pollute the planet beyond inhabitable, but that has more to do with overpopulation than technology.

I'm just not particularly interested in a large part of the message.


I think this is the key bit for me too. My Mum was poor growing up. So poor that it was a question of 'eat or heat' in her household.

Over-production of food - only a Malthusian could object to that.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:49 am
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
NotHughGrant, have you actually read anything by Thomas Malthus? Because, you kopw, his main concern was raising the standard of living particularly for the lower classes. You may argue with his theory on population growth any way you like, but he can most certainly not be called an advoate of undernourishment. Quite on the contrary.

Ignoring the increasing proportion of obese persons in Western countries, most notably in the United States but also Britain and to a lesser extend Germany, is downright foolish. Take a look at the statistics of how the proportion of obese youths in these countries is starkly increasing, corresponding to a rise in youth diabetes, which is a serious health concern. Some medical professionals have called counteracting the rise in obesity the main health concern for the whole population. Coming from a nation with a publicly funded health system, you should know what a rise in obesity means: Higher costs of health care, which means either more taxes or insurance payments for everybody or less service from national healthcare.

I don't have any problem with your dislike of 'WALL-E's environmentalist message. It's fine if you don't like the film because of it. But I think you are about to arguing yourself into a corner with increasingly silly arguments.

For what it's worth: I really like 'WALL-E'. Not because of its message, but becaus it looks great and I thought it was sweet and funny. I agree that the movie is at the best at the beginnig, though. The spaceship sequences are probaby its weakest moments.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:05 pm
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
NotHughGrant wrote:
Because it's largely a nonsense equivocation. People are getting a bit staid, so we'll end up getting TVs thrust into our fat faces whilst bouncing in a spaceship. It's a lazy, cynical and populist (to a certain demographic) trope of modern life.

Perhaps, statistically, people are getting fatter. So what?

- People are also living longer
- Poorer people can afford to give more to charity
- People (on a global scale) are more literate and better educated
- People have devised ways to put entire libraries of information at our finger tips


Again, the movie isn't just saying people are getting fatter, it's making the correlation between that, and technological advancements making that so. That's the "so what" of the matter.

And people living longer is proof of nothing really, other than technology has advanced to the point that we're able to keep unhealthy people alive. People aren't healthier (Unke posted as I was typing this and illustrates this).

NotHughGrant wrote:
Yet these, more uplifting, themes aren't given the same precedence, because they're not as inflammatory or pessimistic. Because none of these things make us look fat, lazy and stupid compared to trash collecting robots.


To be fair, your solution you proposed earlier doesn't exactly fall into the uplifting camp.

That said, the film ends on an upbeat note! It has a hopeful resolution. It sounds to me like you're focusing only on the cynical aspects of the story and not taking the ending into consideration.

CasualDad wrote:
Technology doesn't remove a person's choice of how much food to put in their mouth.


I understand your point, and have no problem with you not liking the message. I also don't think the movie is criticizing technology as it applies to food production, but more that reliance on technology makes everything (not just food) easier to consume. This naturally leads to a more sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, which is what the caricature of the fat people on the spaceship represent.

That said, surely there's more to the obesity epidemic than just personal choice, no? It's such a large scale problem in the U.S. that I have a hard time believing it's just the food choices people make. I mean, obesity has increased in children and adults drastically in the last 30-40 years and personal choice has remained relatively unchanged during that time.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
Health care costs have multiple solutions. Some certainly lies in educating people to the dangers of their choices. However, If a group of people decide to take a collective approach to bearing healthcare costs, I have no problem with the collective imposing attitudes that will help control those costs among those that wish to be a part of the collective.

I do not wish to be part of that collective and, therefore, am not particularly attracted to or interested by the message. I did have much appreciation for other aspects of the movie.

Personal choice hasn't changed much, but it used to be that poorer people (most of the population) did not have much in the way of choices. Their food consumption was very much limited by their ability to afford the food. With food in much greater abundance, the costs are lower and they can eat more. Obesity has always been fairly common among people that could afford to eat as much as they wanted.


Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:33 pm
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
Unke wrote:
NotHughGrant, have you actually read anything by Thomas Malthus? Because, you kopw, his main concern was raising the standard of living particularly for the lower classes. You may argue with his theory on population growth any way you like, but he can most certainly not be called an advoate of undernourishment. Quite on the contrary..


Malthus himself wasn't, admittedly. But I suggest reading some of the stuff on ''sustainability' out there at moment.

Quote:
Ignoring the increasing proportion of obese persons in Western countries, most notably in the United States but also Britain and to a lesser extend Germany, is downright foolish. Take a look at the statistics of how the proportion of obese youths in these countries is starkly increasing, corresponding to a rise in youth diabetes, which is a serious health concern. Some medical professionals have called counteracting the rise in obesity the main health concern for the whole population.


Yeah but such threats don't exist in a vacuum. Our success in medicine means people live longer, but as scientific advancements are often staggered, people living longer means more chronic diseases until said diseases are also cured.

Life expectancy is pushing 80 in much of the developed world. You might want to compare that to 2 generations ago before bitching about type 2 diabetes in 50 year olds.

Quote:
I don't have any problem with your dislike of 'WALL-E's environmentalist message. It's fine if you don't like the film because of it. But I think you are about to arguing yourself into a corner with increasingly silly arguments.


Example?

Quote:
For what it's worth: I really like 'WALL-E'. Not because of its message, but becaus it looks great and I thought it was sweet and funny.



Well quite

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Last edited by NotHughGrant on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
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Again, the movie isn't just saying people are getting fatter, it's making the correlation between that, and technological advancements making that so. That's the "so what" of the matter.And people living longer is proof of nothing really, other than technology has advanced to the point that we're able to keep unhealthy people alive. People aren't healthier (Unke posted as I was typing this and illustrates this).


Hahaha, the last 2 generations of my family have had cases of TB and Polio.

But no, you're right, those extra couple of inches on the waist are far worse.

Quote:
I understand your point, and have no problem with you not liking the message. I also don't think the movie is criticizing technology as it applies to food production, but more that reliance on technology makes everything (not just food) easier to consume


It shows people's use of technology more or less limited to TV and food. I'd say that was hugely negative

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Ranking Pixar Films by Tier
Quote:
Over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as 5 years unless aggressive efforts are made to slow rising rates of obesity, according to a team of scientists supported in part by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The U.S. could be facing its first sustained drop in life expectancy in the modern era, the researchers say, but this decline is not inevitable if Americans — particularly younger ones — trim their waistlines or if other improvements outweigh the impact of obesity.


NIH March 17, 2005
http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/mar2005/nia-16.htm

Obesity is making life expectancy go backwards despite many other illnesses being cured.

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Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:27 pm
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