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Pixar's Finest 
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Post Re: Pixar's Finest
majoraphasia wrote:
As for the competition, only Spirited Away bests every single Pixar movie in terms of virtually everything. But that's me; I like my animation hand drawn.

I absolutely agree. And not just because I love Miyazaki.

I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).
3D animation loses some magic in that it consists of distinct 3D objects, as a live action movie does. This prevents it from being as free-flowing as hand-drawn animation. Characters do not blend into their environments as easily. And the filmmaker is stretched less in interpreting his vision for the medium.
It's akin to the argument for B/W films vs. color (and may be as irrelevant an argument given the popularity of 3D animated films). Translating a vision of a 3D world to 2D brings some interesting challenges for an artist and can result in some beautiful films. There are very few 3D animated films that I would actually call beautiful (although Finding Nemo and then Wall-E pushed that envelope). I find The Iron Giant, along with any Miyazaki movie, more visually interesting than any 3D animated movie, even by Pixar.


Thu May 28, 2009 12:51 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Trevor wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
As for the competition, only Spirited Away bests every single Pixar movie in terms of virtually everything. But that's me; I like my animation hand drawn.

I absolutely agree. And not just because I love Miyazaki.

I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).
3D animation loses some magic in that it consists of distinct 3D objects, as a live action movie does. This prevents it from being as free-flowing as hand-drawn animation. Characters do not blend into their environments as easily. And the filmmaker is stretched less in interpreting his vision for the medium.
It's akin to the argument for B/W films vs. color (and may be as irrelevant an argument given the popularity of 3D animated films). Translating a vision of a 3D world to 2D brings some interesting challenges for an artist and can result in some beautiful films. There are very few 3D animated films that I would actually call beautiful (although Finding Nemo and then Wall-E pushed that envelope). I find The Iron Giant, along with any Miyazaki movie, more visually interesting than any 3D animated movie, even by Pixar.


I also prefer hand-drawn animation. In addition to Spirited Away, I like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Steamboy and Princess Momonoke more than any Pixar feature I have seen - and I'm not even a particular fan of Anime.

Tuco wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
Of all the Pixar productions, the only one that I truly cannot bear to watch again is Cars, which, while not being a bad film, is too uncomfortable for me. That Pixar is capable of such thorough front-to-back tripe is terrifying.


Terrifying?

I have my own theories about the (relative) lack of love for Cars. First and foremost, having a large Nascar element to the plot, I think it automatically alienates that portion of the audience who regard racing in general and Nascar in particular as hillbilly hell. Second, cars in of themselves don't have as universal an appeal as, say, toys, or the fear of monsters in the closet, what have you.

I wouldn't argue that Cars is Pixar's finest film. However, I have to say that I disagree pretty much 100% with your take. In my opinion, Cars' greatest strength is it's characters, which in my view are every bit as memorable as those in Toy Story. The depth of emotion might be deeper in Toy Story, but Cars has characters that are every bit as enjoyably eccentric. And while I'm not really a Tim Allen fan, I think he did a wonderful job in the Toy Story flicks. In much the same way, I'm not a fan of Larry the Cable Guy at all (at all), but I think he did a great job in Cars.

And Owen Wilson--that guy hit it out of the park, at least in my opinion. He wasn't Woody in Toy Story, but that's not what the picture was aiming for, either.

If I were to list the weak point of Cars, I'd say it was NOT direction (which I think was exemplary), but rather the script. The script did have a bit of a too-familiar feel to it (the Doc Hollywood comparisons are valid, IMO), and that's a shame. Still, the visuals were incredible, the characters were (IMO) more memorable and funnier than several Pixar flicks, and the music worked.

To each his/her own, and I'm no more correct than you are, but that's how I see it.

Oh, and if you really find the direction/storytelling in Cars to be terrifying, I can give you a list of flicks that'll leave you in a full-on fright-induced coma.

I mean, if you're into that sort of thing.


I must admit that I didn't like Cars at all. I thought it was a by-the-numbers sports picture. But I'll readily admit that I don't like anthropomorphi..., anthromopo..., cars wich are made to look like humans.


Thu May 28, 2009 4:03 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
9. Cars (B) - This is the definition of a solid flick done by people who usually bust their balls making near-perfection.
8. A Bug's Life (B+) - This also defines solid, but I simply like it a lot more.
7. The Incredibles (B+) - I didn't respond to it, but I admire the crap out of it.
6. Toy Story 2 (B+) - It's been a long time since I've seen this. Its placing is almost irrelevant.
5. Ratatouille (B+) - I didn't respond a whole lot to this, either, but its flaws are very minimal and it's by and large a very enjoyable film. I just don't dig France that much, being a Spanish student.
4. WALL-E (A-) - The first half is better than the second, in my opinion. It's like F For Fake was tacked on to Citizen Kane; what's this doing here? Contemplative beauty devolved into compelling action. Neither components are bad, per se; they just don't quite fit together.
3. Toy Story (A-) - I grew up with this film. This film might take the top spot upon rewatching.
2. Monsters, Inc. (A-) - It's been a while since I've seen it, but it's possible that the film made me cry when I saw it in theaters at age eleven. It's so beautiful and emotional and cute and brilliant - and lovable as a result. This film also might take the top spot upon rewatching.
1. Finding Nemo (A-) - Moulton brings up a point about its familiarity (which is completely forgivable), and that's about where its flaws stop. I love everything about Finding Nemo. It's probably the film I've seen the most in my teenage years (I've probably seen Toy Story the most), so perhaps its wonders don't excite me as much as before. I still think very fondly of it, though.


Thu May 28, 2009 4:22 am
Post Re: Pixar rankings
Haven't seen the Toy Stories or A Bugs Life as yet. The list thus far:

6. Cars 7/10
5. Monsters Inc. 7/10
4. Finding Nemo 8/10
3. Ratatouille 8/10
2. WALL-E 8/10
1. The Incredibles 8/10

Cars is my least favourite, but I think that I still prefer it to every non-pixar computer animated movie.


Thu May 28, 2009 12:32 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
I will never understand the love for Finding Nemo or the lack of love for Cars


Thu May 28, 2009 1:05 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Trevor wrote:
I absolutely agree. And not just because I love Miyazaki.

I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).
3D animation loses some magic in that it consists of distinct 3D objects, as a live action movie does. This prevents it from being as free-flowing as hand-drawn animation. Characters do not blend into their environments as easily. And the filmmaker is stretched less in interpreting his vision for the medium.
It's akin to the argument for B/W films vs. color (and may be as irrelevant an argument given the popularity of 3D animated films). Translating a vision of a 3D world to 2D brings some interesting challenges for an artist and can result in some beautiful films. There are very few 3D animated films that I would actually call beautiful (although Finding Nemo and then Wall-E pushed that envelope). I find The Iron Giant, along with any Miyazaki movie, more visually interesting than any 3D animated movie, even by Pixar.


I agree as well, although I do think the digital animation by Pixar in particular is capable of things that hand-drawn animation isn't. The scenery in 'Ornament Valley' in Cars was stunning in a way that hand-drawn animation couldn't have achieved, at least IMO.

That said, I agree that hand-drawn animation is better if the filmmaker behind it has vision (a rare thing, and why I love Pixar even with the digital animation). The thing I love about Miyazaki in particular is not just the style of his animation (although that's a huge portion of it), but the way he pieces everything together. Take the scene in Spirited Away where they're in the train going over the water; the images, the music, it's magic--one of my favorite film sequences of any kind, ever.

I have trouble imagining a Pixar flick achieving that visual, but more than that, as good the Pixar team is (and I think they're great), I can't imagine them ever achieving something so haunting as the perfection in that scene.


Thu May 28, 2009 1:52 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Patrick wrote:
I will never understand the love for Finding Nemo or the lack of love for Cars


I totally agree.

Finding Nemo was good, but I'd rather watch Cars any day.

In order, with Toy Story being my favorite:

Toy Story 1 and 2
Monsters Inc.
Cars
Incredibles
Finding Nemo
Bug's Life
Wall-E
Ratatouille

Patrick wrote:
peng wrote:
I guess that after the amazingness that is Wall-E, poor Up has little chance.
anyway, my list:

7. Ratatouille ***1/4 (Has some complexity among its almost formula trappings)


A 1/4*? What is this, a wrestling match? You think you're Dave Meltzer?



:lol: :lol: BWAHAHAHA! Too funny!


Thu May 28, 2009 2:11 pm
Post Re: Pixar rankings
ed_metal_head wrote:
Cars is my least favourite, but I think that I still prefer it to every non-pixar computer animated movie.


More than Shrek? Besides Finding Nemo and Wall-E, that's my solid #3 for best computer-animated feature.


P.S. - As good as Ratatouille was, the best animated film of 2007 was Persepolis.


Thu May 28, 2009 2:25 pm
Post Re: Pixar rankings
Evenflow8112 wrote:
P.S. - As good as Ratatouille was, the best animated film of 2007 was Persepolis.


Agreed.


Thu May 28, 2009 2:49 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Tuco wrote:
Trevor wrote:
I absolutely agree. And not just because I love Miyazaki.

I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).
3D animation loses some magic in that it consists of distinct 3D objects, as a live action movie does. This prevents it from being as free-flowing as hand-drawn animation. Characters do not blend into their environments as easily. And the filmmaker is stretched less in interpreting his vision for the medium.
It's akin to the argument for B/W films vs. color (and may be as irrelevant an argument given the popularity of 3D animated films). Translating a vision of a 3D world to 2D brings some interesting challenges for an artist and can result in some beautiful films. There are very few 3D animated films that I would actually call beautiful (although Finding Nemo and then Wall-E pushed that envelope). I find The Iron Giant, along with any Miyazaki movie, more visually interesting than any 3D animated movie, even by Pixar.

That said, I agree that hand-drawn animation is better if the filmmaker behind it has vision (a rare thing, and why I love Pixar even with the digital animation). The thing I love about Miyazaki in particular is not just the style of his animation (although that's a huge portion of it), but the way he pieces everything together. Take the scene in Spirited Away where they're in the train going over the water; the images, the music, it's magic--one of my favorite film sequences of any kind, ever.

That's an interesting point as well.
Even the best 3D animated film feels to me like a studio product. I don't ever feel like I'm seeing a director's vision on the screen. Maybe that is just due to the way it is marketed--maybe John Lasseter is a visionary, but his name does not carry the same artistic weight as Miyazaki's yet. Brad Bird's Pixar entries have come closest to that for me.
However, the medium is still young. I'm sure it will improve in leaps and bounds in the next few decades, I just hope hand-drawn animation doesn't disappear completely.


Thu May 28, 2009 7:12 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Patrick wrote:
I will never understand the love for Finding Nemo or the lack of love for Cars


For me, it's because Cars is one of two Pixar movies, along with The Incredibles, where the "message" left me a little cold. With The Incredibles, the politics of the movie are easier to set aside and just enjoy the action, but with Cars, the whole movie is about the message. Cars is still a fun, funny movie with good characters and some great voice acting, but it just left me a little cold.

And Finding Nemo? Well, I can't help you there, probably. Just a fantastic adventure. It's one of the few movies that I just can't wrap my head around someone disliking.


Fri May 29, 2009 9:20 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Trevor wrote:
I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).


I agree with this.

In the mid-80's, when Disney got their CAPS (if I remember the acronym correctly) system going, they started inserting all kinds of computer generated animation into their movies. The two scenes I remember the most are the gears inside Big Ben in The Great Mouse Detective and a wagon-like vehicle in The Rescuers Down Under. I remember thinking that seeing all of those perfect lines moving in mechanical motion just seemed wrong and kind of took me out of those movies, even if just for a minute.


Fri May 29, 2009 9:24 am
Post Re: Pixar rankings
Evenflow8112 wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
Cars is my least favourite, but I think that I still prefer it to every non-pixar computer animated movie.


More than Shrek? Besides Finding Nemo and Wall-E, that's my solid #3 for best computer-animated feature.


P.S. - As good as Ratatouille was, the best animated film of 2007 was Persepolis.


Yes indeed. I barely liked the first Shrek. It was alright, but for some reason didn't really resonate with me. Hell, I liked stuff like Happy Feet more than Shrek.


Fri May 29, 2009 1:03 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Bones wrote:
Patrick wrote:
I will never understand the love for Finding Nemo or the lack of love for Cars


For me, it's because Cars is one of two Pixar movies, along with The Incredibles, where the "message" left me a little cold. With The Incredibles, the politics of the movie are easier to set aside and just enjoy the action, but with Cars, the whole movie is about the message. Cars is still a fun, funny movie with good characters and some great voice acting, but it just left me a little cold.

And Finding Nemo? Well, I can't help you there, probably. Just a fantastic adventure. It's one of the few movies that I just can't wrap my head around someone disliking.


I don't dislike Finding Nemo at all. I just found it too safe and unwilling to take a chance like Pixar usually does. I think maybe if I had a kid I'll look at different. But I do give Nemo a 7.

As for Cars, I don't think that the message is that in the fore-front. It's there but I got caught up in the world of Radiator Springs and kinda wanted to explore that forever. Only Wall-E had such a world that I felt was worth exploring. I think that's why I have a soft spot for Cars.


Fri May 29, 2009 1:06 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Patrick wrote:
Bones wrote:
Patrick wrote:
I will never understand the love for Finding Nemo or the lack of love for Cars


For me, it's because Cars is one of two Pixar movies, along with The Incredibles, where the "message" left me a little cold. With The Incredibles, the politics of the movie are easier to set aside and just enjoy the action, but with Cars, the whole movie is about the message. Cars is still a fun, funny movie with good characters and some great voice acting, but it just left me a little cold.

And Finding Nemo? Well, I can't help you there, probably. Just a fantastic adventure. It's one of the few movies that I just can't wrap my head around someone disliking.


I don't dislike Finding Nemo at all. I just found it too safe and unwilling to take a chance like Pixar usually does. I think maybe if I had a kid I'll look at different. But I do give Nemo a 7.

As for Cars, I don't think that the message is that in the fore-front. It's there but I got caught up in the world of Radiator Springs and kinda wanted to explore that forever. Only Wall-E had such a world that I felt was worth exploring. I think that's why I have a soft spot for Cars.


IMO, Cars is a lot safer of a film than Nemo. Give the average movie-goer the trailer to Cars and they could guess the entire plot from beginning to end with little difficulty. That's not to say it isn't an enjoyable ride (no pun intended), but it's enjoyable in a more cornball, feel-good, American-as-apple-pie kind of way.

I guess it's not too much of a stretch for the viewer to guess that Nemo will indeed be found by the end of the movie and that a few life lessons will be learned along the way, but to me the film's actual story is more original, as are the characters.

Also, cars don't have eyes or mouths or the ability to drive themselves. ;)


Sat May 30, 2009 12:17 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Patrick wrote:
I will never understand the love for Finding Nemo or the lack of love for Cars


Finding Nemo's prologue is what elevates the film beyond all of the others to me. It strikes a chord of despair that gives the rest of Marlin's comments and reactions to Nemo a true emotional undercurrent. That the film uses humor and warmth to remind us of this is truly amazing. I think it's the closest Disney has come to masterpiece status since Beauty And The Beast.

I hate to sound harsh, but I personally figure anyone who likes Cars alot probably doesn't have much of a standard for what they'll pop into a DVD player. It's perfectly watchable, but it's a blu-ray showcase, at best. Say I'm arrogant, but I find Cars to be truly alien - a Pixar film which doesn't have any hidden depths of substance. It's also significantly less funny and blatantly obvious than the studio's best work, so I don't see the appeal on either end. I truly cannot sympathize.


Sat May 30, 2009 1:31 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Trevor wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
As for the competition, only Spirited Away bests every single Pixar movie in terms of virtually everything. But that's me; I like my animation hand drawn.

I absolutely agree. And not just because I love Miyazaki.

I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).
3D animation loses some magic in that it consists of distinct 3D objects, as a live action movie does. This prevents it from being as free-flowing as hand-drawn animation. Characters do not blend into their environments as easily. And the filmmaker is stretched less in interpreting his vision for the medium.
It's akin to the argument for B/W films vs. color (and may be as irrelevant an argument given the popularity of 3D animated films). Translating a vision of a 3D world to 2D brings some interesting challenges for an artist and can result in some beautiful films. There are very few 3D animated films that I would actually call beautiful (although Finding Nemo and then Wall-E pushed that envelope). I find The Iron Giant, along with any Miyazaki movie, more visually interesting than any 3D animated movie, even by Pixar.



I'll go one step further and call 'Grave Of The Fireflies', by the same studios as Miyazaki, the greatest animated film ever produced. The attention to detail here could never be reproduced in 3D with such delicacy and care.


Sat May 30, 2009 1:42 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Evenflow8112 wrote:


I'll go one step further and call 'Grave Of The Fireflies', by the same studios as Miyazaki, the greatest animated film ever produced. The attention to detail here could never be reproduced in 3D with such delicacy and care.


What a painful, wrenching movie that was. Like Spirited Away, it transcends animation and becomes one of a few animated films that can sit aside any other major masterpiece from any era.


Sat May 30, 2009 1:48 am
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
Evenflow8112 wrote:
Trevor wrote:
I think that hand-drawn animation is more capable of artistic expression than computer animation (at least so far--but that may be changing).
3D animation loses some magic in that it consists of distinct 3D objects, as a live action movie does. This prevents it from being as free-flowing as hand-drawn animation. Characters do not blend into their environments as easily. And the filmmaker is stretched less in interpreting his vision for the medium.
It's akin to the argument for B/W films vs. color (and may be as irrelevant an argument given the popularity of 3D animated films). Translating a vision of a 3D world to 2D brings some interesting challenges for an artist and can result in some beautiful films. There are very few 3D animated films that I would actually call beautiful (although Finding Nemo and then Wall-E pushed that envelope). I find The Iron Giant, along with any Miyazaki movie, more visually interesting than any 3D animated movie, even by Pixar.



I'll go one step further and call 'Grave Of The Fireflies', by the same studios as Miyazaki, the greatest animated film ever produced. The attention to detail here could never be reproduced in 3D with such delicacy and care.


Good movie, but I don't get why it reduces people all to tears. On the other hand, I can totally understand those who cry when a robot wants to be Superman.


Sat May 30, 2009 4:13 pm
Post Re: Pixar's Finest
majoraphasia wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:


I'll go one step further and call 'Grave Of The Fireflies', by the same studios as Miyazaki, the greatest animated film ever produced. The attention to detail here could never be reproduced in 3D with such delicacy and care.


What a painful, wrenching movie that was. Like Spirited Away, it transcends animation and becomes one of a few animated films that can sit aside any other major masterpiece from any era.

Best of all time or not, Grave of the Fireflies is a beautiful, wonderful, heart-breaking film.


Sat May 30, 2009 10:23 pm
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