Archive for the ‘Pixar’ Tag

Unforgettable monolouge – Ego’s take on criticism   Leave a comment

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

And that is precisely what Anton Ego conveys in Pixar’s Ratatouille, Ego’s metamorphic journey is from an irksome critic to the more liberated/granulated one. His monologue is well-reasoned and is one of the finest piece of writing.

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“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: ‘Anyone can cook.’ But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.”

This is just one of the reason why I love Pixar!

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Posted 19/04/2015 by 6thstation in Animation, Backseat Conceptions

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Brave – Signaturely Pixar   Leave a comment

Brave, is 13th full feature-length motion picture of Pixar studios, its first fairy tale film, its first film featuring a female lead, and its first film co-directed by a woman. “This is our first period piece. This is our first female main character. This is Brave.” says John Lasseter. Brave is directed by Mark Andrews (Pixar short: One Man Band) and Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt).

La Luna which was the only pixar’s nomination for 2011-12 Oscars, precedes the full length feature. Written and directed by Enrico Casarosa, it tells a story of a young boy Bambino, who is caught in the middle of two personalities (grandfather, father). Their family job is to sweep stars on the moon and on a fine evening both of them introduces Bambino to their line of work. Both the grandfather and father exert control over him and want him to try to be like their own. Amidst conflicting opinions, Bambino somehow manages to finds his own voice which is also the central theme of Brave.

Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is the young princess of a Scottish kingdom- DunBroch that is ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), just like Princess Zelda she is a skilled archer and with her pet friend Angus the Horse, she fearlessly wanders in the forests that hide dark secrets. Free-spirited, Impulsive, Rebellious, tangle-haired Merdia is a tomboy. Always up for an adventure, she wants to live her life, but her mother relentlessly attempts to turn her into a perfect princess.

Elinor summons for the clans and wants Merida to get married into one of three Lords families. Lord Macintosh, Lord MacGuffin, Lord Dingwall each of the lords are determined to have his own son win princess Merida’s hand, but Merida intensely desires for freedom and King Fergus in a candid conversation with her queen pretty much sums up her daughters yearning “I only want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen firing arrows into the sunset”.

Merida humiliates the three clans and escapes into the deep forests where she follows a trail of wisps that lead her to the home of a witch. She asks witch to help her to change her mother. The witch puts a terrible curse and literally changes her mother into a bear. Merida feels regret over taking the unconventional path and has to set things right before the curse remains as permanent.

The film successfully throws light on the sensitive topic i.e relationship between parents and their children, the effects of a strict parenting, the conflicting emotions that arise due to difference in interests and perceptions. Despite the fact that Merida and Elinor, are proud, independent and headstrong, they have their own different views but they never converge to a point and interact with their respective discrepancies. It is only when Elinor turns into a bear, that specific event triggers both of them to grow closer.

Although Brave is very different,plainly whimsical, not so imaginative, ingenious than its other predecessors, the core-essential elements remain very Pixarish. The Characters, landscape is just incredibly detailed esp the Physics on Merida’s hair, it is so fascinating and magical in the way it moves. It has more than 1500 individually sculpted, curly red strands that generate about 111,700 total hairs. The only complaint : Wish I had watched this movie in 2D  because all too often, most of the 3D frames looked too dark, murky and lifeless. The whole point of watching a movie in 3D is to experience the depth of an image that is realistic, larger than life. However, the 3D images  completely removed the great exuberant aesthetic details for which Pixar is normally famous for.

References:
http://www.fxguide.com/featured/brave-new-hair/
http://blog.thewisdomofpixar.com/2012/06/review-bravo-for-brave.html
http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Princess_M%C3%A9rida
http://gnawseah.blogspot.in/2012/06/3d-rant-in-e-minor.html

From “Ka-Chow,” to “Ka-boom!”   Leave a comment

Finn: Finn McMissile, British intelligence.
Mater: Tow Mater, average intelligence.

Well, for the first time Pixar has produced a movie that reflects the above statement. Although, this is from a huge pixar fan, the movie is indeed of average intelligence. Cars-1 was the frailest of the all Pixar movies and Cars-2, currently holds that status. Perhaps this claim may just be a hyperbole because when you compare Cars-2 with the other animated movies released this year; Kung Fu Panda, Rio, Rango. Cars -2 is certainly much more technically, socially, culturally superior. It is just that weight of expectation on Pixar has exponentially increased over the years and that overly high expectations, in this case are not being met.

As it has become a norm of Pixar to begin its movie with a short animated feature, for Cars 2 it was “Toy Story Tunes: Hawaiian Vacation,”. Ken (Michael Keaton) and Barbie doll (Jodi Benson) prepare themselves to spend their honeymoon in Hawaii, but their plans are bungled as Bonnie leaves the bag in her room. Ken is utterly devastated but Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the rest of the toys have a plan to turn bonnie’s room into Hawaii! This animated short feature is just brilliant, very Pixarish. So much is conveyed in such a short span of time. A sparkling short feature that is Refreshingly creative,  really ingenious stuff from Pixar.

So, in Cars- 2, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson)  returns to home after winning Piston cup a record – 4 times, he wants to spend some time with his soul-mate Sally (Bonnie Hunt) but his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) pokes around and involves McQueen to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix. At the same time, british agents Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) are in a pursuit to bring down the wicked Professor Z (Thomas Kretschmann) who is developing a secret weapon to turn the world against alternative energy. The agents recruit Mater in an international espionage mission to stop Professor and travel Japan,  Italy, London to put an end to the sabotage on cars.

Cars 2 is a simple spy adventure which neither makes you involve in the characters nor in the story. It is because of the pace it carries along with it, also there are so many things happening at the same time. However, the good thing about the movie is the artwork. Each frame is so meticulously prepared, especially: Tokyo and its neon-tinted streets. Also, the minute details wherever the grand prix operates. Its ethnicity, vibrancy, captured brilliantly. The pope (a car) inside his pope-mobile. The truck raking sand in a Japanese rock garden. The tiara on the British monarch car.

It is fun, engaging and I enjoyed the movie but it is deficient in communicating the essence, The Beauty of Pixar.

More Reading:

http://m0vie.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/pixar-and-the-weight-of-expectation/

Simplicity Personified: Pixar, A Tribute   2 comments

Pixles and art = Pixar = one of the finest Animation Studios in the world bringing us the best possible animated movies ever. I grew up with Cartoons, comics and have watched tons of animated movies/manga. What makes Pixar or even Studio Ghibli special is the way that they tell a story which translates into the medium of film with amazing simplicity and ease. Every frame is meticulously prepared so that nothing is wasted in telling us so much in so little time. Now, I unreservedly believe in anything that Pixar does. Everything they touch turns to gold, every movie a masterpiece. Combined with awesome animation, larger than life characters, stimulating plots and with outstanding storytelling, every movie artistically expresses hope and respect for the positive values of life.

Pixar was founded in 1979, it was part of Lucas Films and in 1986 it was acquired by Steve Jobs, now Pixar animation studios is subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. With self developed software technologies like Marionette, Ringmaster, Renderman, Pixar has produced eleven gorgeous feature films which are massively successful, both critically and commercially. Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar wrote an article on “how Pixar fosters collective creativity”. I am so much impressed by Pixar’s operating principles and work ethics. Every single employee’s feedback/idea is taken into account, Regardless of what the idea or feedback is or from where they originate, every single thing is examined thoroughly before it is used/implemented. No Egos, no accusations and no complaints. Pixar is a place where working together works. This is their magic formula in delivering box office hits one after another.

If the movies are examined for their originality, Pixar has never bought scripts or movie ideas from the outside. 6 out of 10 movies have been nominated for best original screenplay (Oscars). Also, Pixar avoids pop culture references. “Pop culture references are easy, but they don’t last.” says Brad Bird. For Eg: The screenplay for Toy Story 3 took 2 1/2 years to write and storyboard. Even the Credits that roll out at the end of the movie are neat and authentic.

·         Toy Story (1995) of John Lasseter
·         A Bug’s Life (1998) of John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton
·         Toy Story 2 (1999) of John Lasseter, Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich
·         Monsters, Inc. (2001) of Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich
·         Finding Nemo (2003) of Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
·         The Incredibles (2004) of Brad Bird
·         Cars (2006) of John Lasseter and Joe Ranft
·         Ratatouille (2007) of Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava
·         WALL·E (2008) of Andrew Stanton
·         Up (2009) of Pete Docter and Bob Peterson
·         Toy Story 3 (2010) of Lee Unkrich

From Toy’s to Ants to Monsters to Sea Creatures to Superheros to Cars to Rodents to Robots , Pixar has created characters that have the capacity to love endlessly. Some of the sequences are so heartwarming that they leave eternal impact on you. Say: Woody’s fierce loyalty or Buzz’s ‘To Infinity and beyond!’ or Mike Wazowski’s & Sulley’s friendship or Jessie’s Song or Anton Ego’s Monologue on criticism or Dory’s Advice or WallE/Eve’s Dance in outerspace or Carl/ Elle’s Married life (montage). Thank you very much Pixar! Thanks a ton!

Pixar, now very much deserves the best picture oscar for Toy Story 3 for 2010-11. It is one of the rare gems and THE most creative animated movie ever made in history. I sincerely hope so…

For further reading:

http://www.pixar.com/companyinfo/history/84.html
http://hbr.org/2008/09/how-pixar-fosters-collective-creativity/ar/1
http://extratv.warnerbros.com/2010/06/25_best_pixar_movie_quotes.php

Posted 07/01/2011 by 6thstation in Animation, Backseat Conceptions

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