Originally a division of Lucasfilm in 1979, John Lasseter (an animator), along with Steve Jobs (of Apple) set up Pixar as a corporation in 1989. Pixar changed the face of animated films with Toy Story in 1997. For the first time, adults were enjoying taking their children to the cinema. Unusually, for this genre of film, Pixar characters were far more developed than they needed to be for a children’s film, but that is what made all the difference, that Pixar were bothered to get it right. The secret of Pixar’s success has always been a fantastic voice cast, a good story with likeable characters without being twee or nauseating and enough humour to keep both adults and children’s attention for a couple of hours.
Let’s look at the best films Pixar have made; the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Up!, Wall.E and Ratatouille. Funnily enough, the only two I never thought were up to scratch, Cars and Monsters Inc., were the ones selected to have sequels. Then there is Planes, I won’t even go there.
I shed a tear when Ellie lost her baby in Up!, I held my eldest son’s hand, with a lump in my own throat when he cried as Andy left Woody in Toy Story 3, Ratatouille was a delight from start to finish, Wall.E and Eva were funny and wonderful. Equally, I laughed along with my son at Spanish Buzz , Ken and Mr Prickle-Pants in Toy Story 3 and at Doug the dog in Up! “Squirrel!”. These are the Pixar films that count.
I was not surprised that before commencing animation on Up! that the Pixar artists all flew to Venezuela to paint and sketch the landscape because they wanted to get Paradise Falls just right for the film. You can see that people cared about every aspect of this film. It’s all in the details.
Rumours keep flying about Toy Story 4. Well, I personally think the trilogy are perfect as they are and I don’t want it spoilt for my children by an unnecessary, below par sequel. If the rumours are true, perhaps John Lasseter/Pixar could prove me wrong as it would be a shame for Woody & Co to fall under the weight of the need for more dollars and merchandise. Let’s hope I’m proved wrong because it would be lovely to watch new magical Pixar films with my sons.
All images courtesy of Pixar, via Google Images.