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Horribleman

Pixar are not good film makers

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Having a young daughter, I've been in the position to watch and rewatch a lot of movies suitable for kids. 

 

I'm pleased to say that there are a lot of excellent movies suitable for kids. 

 

The Ghibli movies, Kubo, Iron Giant. 

 

Loads of good animation too. Over the Garden Wall, Gravity Falls. 

 

Having seen all these and then also having to watch Pixar movies because she likes them, I have to say that I think the Pixar movies are almost universally terrible compared to the decent alternatives. 

 

Yelling, constant danger, chase scenes. I'm not take sure but I'd say the technical innovations have clouded many views on the movies stories and characters. 

 

Is this just a hot take or does anyone else feel the same?

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Must admit, it's been a fair while since I thought a Pixar release was great - probably Toy Story 3 was the last one. Everything since I've been pretty cool towards. 

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They fall into formula quite a lot. I remember thinking in the cinema when watching Monsters Inc. when they go to the door conveyor belt place that we were just getting a rerun of the baggage handing system in TS2 - i.e. the chase where we show impressive rendering.

 

And so many of their films are mismatched buddy films too - look at Onward.

 

What seems to be missing is that magic from a lot of them - Toy Story 1 and 2 and Incredibles have it but none of their other output does.

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7 minutes ago, Festoon said:

but none of their other output does.

Apart from Up and Wall-E...

 

Finding Nemo and Ratatouille as well....

 

I liked Brave too. I do get emotional at the end of Cars.

 

They definitely had some proper bottled magic during their earlier films. Now? Not so much.

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Nor is ice age or my little pony.

 

The start of up is the best bit imo but as pure kids films ghibli beats them hands down. The majority of Pixar movies still have adult jokes in them and what have you where the ghibli movies are just nice all the way through but not twee Hollywood nice either. 

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Finding Nemo is far and away my favourite, but also love The Incredibles, Up and Wall-E.  Was never overly fussed about the Toy Story films.

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I’m very fond of their older movies, although I don’t love Toy Story 2 or Bug’s Life. But for me, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Wall E, Up, The Incredibles and the first Cars are all fantastic movies that I really cherished watching with my kids.

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I don’t think the Pixar name is the seal of quality it used to be; I need reviews and word of mouth before I’ll commit to seeing a Pixar film now. I didn’t like Toy Story 4, and while Coco had a terrific premise and arc it wandered into self-indulgent space too much.

Cars was when the rot set in imo (although Ratatouille and Incredibles were great ofc).

I think that (hot take alert) they’ve tapped out their insular and cliquey braintrust process, and are struggling for the next new method. Disney’s recently-reinforced CG teams are no doubt nicking talent, leveraging cross-functional opportunity, and applying political heat too.

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5 hours ago, b00dles said:

The start of up is the best bit imo but as pure kids films ghibli beats them hands down. The majority of Pixar movies still have adult jokes in them and what have you where the ghibli movies are just nice all the way through but not twee Hollywood nice either. 

 

The fact that Pixar didn't just include the occasional adult joke, but made the elements aimed at older viewers a more substantial part of the movie, was one of the things that set them apart.

 

Think of the plane crash scene in The Incredibles, with Elastigirl's plane traffic control dialogue. The jargon is not meant to be followed by kids (or most non-piloting adults!) - I have no idea if the dialogue is authentic, but it has a feel of realism (truthiness? ;)) that helps makes that sequence feel more dangerous than most similar action scenes in live-action.

 

(I think that Disney tried to recapture that in things like the portal experiment in Big Hero 6, but didn't do it as well.)

 

 

It's sometimes said that most Pixar films focus on themes and subtext that are more relevant to adults (specifically the filmmakers going through mid-life crises!) than to their kids who are the primary audience. For example: the Toy Story sequels' theme of accepting that your kids will grow up; Cars' theme of slowing down to appreciate things; the childhood nostalgia of that Anton Ego scene in Ratatouille; Finding Nemo's overprotective parent learning to give his child freedom.

 

There's a lot of stuff about bridging generation gaps in Pixar - but apart from Brave and Coco, most of them are told from the POV of the older/parental figure (Up, Inside Out, Finding Nemo, Cars 3, Incredibles 2).

 

Incredibles 2 was criticised for its muddled messages, but the initial Screenslaver stuff, and the bits with Bob struggling to look after the baby, were all presented from the POV of the older generation. And how many kids' films make their climactic heroic one-liner something like:

 

Spoiler

"At least I have core values!"

 

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1 hour ago, Nick R said:

 

The fact that Pixar didn't just include the occasional adult joke, but made the elements aimed at older viewers a more substantial part of the movie, was one of the things that set them apart.

 

Think of the plane crash scene in The Incredibles, with Elastigirl's plane traffic control dialogue. The jargon is not meant to be followed by kids (or most non-piloting adults!) - I have no idea if the dialogue is authentic, but it has a feel of realism (truthiness? ;)) that helps makes that sequence feel more dangerous than most similar action scenes in live-action.

 

(I think that Disney tried to recapture that in things like the portal experiment in Big Hero 6, but didn't do it as well.)

 

 

It's sometimes said that most Pixar films focus on themes and subtext that are more relevant to adults (specifically the filmmakers going through mid-life crises!) than to their kids who are the primary audience. For example: the Toy Story sequels' theme of accepting that your kids will grow up; Cars' theme of slowing down to appreciate things; the childhood nostalgia of that Anton Ego scene in Ratatouille; Finding Nemo's overprotective parent learning to give his child freedom.

 

There's a lot of stuff about bridging generation gaps in Pixar - but apart from Brave and Coco, most of them are told from the POV of the older/parental figure (Up, Inside Out, Finding Nemo, Cars 3, Incredibles 2).

 

Incredibles 2 was criticised for its muddled messages, but the initial Screensaver stuff, and the stuff with Bob struggling to look after the baby, was all presented from the POV of the older generation. And how many kids' films make their climactic heroic one-liner something like:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

"At least I have core values!"

 

I agree with what you're saying (and without wanting to sound like a dick, the 'truthiness' word you're looking for is verisimilitude) but I don't necessarily think a good kids film should have those adult elements in it. Or have things like the infamous phrase from parents warnings on the box like "mild peril". The majority of ghibli films don't have any of it and personally I think that makes them better kids films all round. I know there's the old 'kids can handle it, they like scares, I saw whatever 18 rated movie when I was young blah blah' but I genuinely think the messages and themes of the ghibli films are better than those of Disney/ Pixar movies. I bloody loved jungle book as a kid and still do but totoro or whisper of the heart it's much deeper in terms of the understanding of children. 

Shere Khan and kaa the snake are unnecessarily scary for young kids and I remember being petrified of the evil queen at the end of snow white, when I saw it as a child, however much fun i might have had along the way. 

 

Even my aforementioned favourite part of Up, the start section, is far more impactful to an adult in regards to the passage of time and getting old. I think there's perhaps a slight disconnect with the Pixar movies in terms of them being animated so they must be kids films. Whereas even the breakout movie toy story is a lot to do with getting older and leaving your favourite toys behind and so on. It also has the famous grim bit with the botched together toys, which is arguably a more pure form of "play" rich kids do - using all your disparate toys together in whatever your imagination wants to but it's portrayed and shot as horrific. 

 

Obviously there's no way of knowing but I think there's a certain amount of nostalgia for parents in regards to Disney/ Pixar movies in terms of "I enjoyed them as a kid, my kids will too" I do wonder if I'd have been as much of a fan of them had we had got English versions (and good ones, I still hate all the delivery in the American dubs) of things like totoro when they came out in Japan. That was in 88 which was the same year as who framed roger rabbit, which I think is great but again isn't remotely similar in terms of being a pure kids film. The closest animated movies by release date are the great mouse detective and little mermaid, both of which are good and I had the great mouse detective sticker book and that but it's no contest in my opinion which of those is a more wholesome kids film. 

 

I know this post has gone on for ages now but I think a big difference is that Disney have often (and generally still do) make family movies, rather than kids movies. 

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4 hours ago, JohnC said:

Big Hero 6 isn’t Pixar. 

 

2 hours ago, b00dles said:

Nor is ice age or my little pony.

 

The start of up is the best bit imo but as pure kids films ghibli beats them hands down. The majority of Pixar movies still have adult jokes in them and what have you where the ghibli movies are just nice all the way through but not twee Hollywood nice either. 

 

I thought Big Hero 6 was. I know the others aren't. It was a "if you think Pixar are bad, wait until you watch some of the other stuff that isn't Pixar" post.

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5 hours ago, Horribleman said:

I'd say Brave is a good movie. It's their best. 

 

Starts a thread about how Pixar are bad and then says this :lol:

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6 hours ago, Danster said:

Apart from Up and Wall-E...

 

Finding Nemo and Ratatouille as well....

 

I liked Brave too. I do get emotional at the end of Cars.

 

They definitely had some proper bottled magic during their earlier films. Now? Not so much.

 

Up and Wall-E degenerate into exactly the sort of action antics I'm talking about. 

 

Nemo I've never liked. It's the template for the "cry you bastards" Pixar films which has been to their detriment, in my opinion. The squad antics of Nemo's new friends are Bug's Life style retreads, and they're just as boring.

 

Ratatouille was excellent, though, apart from the human hero being useless and undeserving of success. Definitely upper tier.

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1 minute ago, Festoon said:

 

Up and Wall-E degenerate into exactly the sort of action antics I'm talking about. 

 

Nemo I've never liked. It's the template for the "cry you bastards" Pixar films which has been to their detriment, in my opinion. The squad antics of Nemo's new friends are Bug's Life style retreads, and they're just as boring.

 

Ratatouille was excellent, though, apart from the human hero being useless and undeserving of success. Definitely upper tier.

 

He's a caricature for sure.

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Ultimately, as Triple A sats, I think they relied on the old 'brain trust' as an infallible method, when I think, after a few films, they actually acted as a homogenising voice, forcing Pixar's films into a very similar feeling area. The mould of their films is too clear.

 

Look at the upcoming Soul and Onward. Anybody think life lessons are going to be learned? Something along the 'follow your dreams now no matter what' variety? I feel like I've seen it all before.

 

There's no way Pixar would ever make Meet The Robinson's for example. Too bonkers, undisciplined, unruly, misfiring and anarchaic. Or the excellent Zootopia/tropolis - there's no way Pixar would make it - too genre for them.

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12 minutes ago, neoELITE said:

He's a caricature for sure.

 

I posted this tweet in the Onward thread - seems a good cue to link to it again.

 

Spoiler

Roger you bastard

 

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1 hour ago, Stigweard said:

 

Starts a thread about how Pixar are bad and then says this :lol:

Yes. It's good so I forgot it was Pixar thinking it was a Disney movie. 

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4 hours ago, Nick R said:

 

There's a lot of stuff about bridging generation gaps in Pixar - but apart from Brave and Coco, most of them are told from the POV of the older/parental figure (Up, Inside Out, Finding Nemo, Cars 3, Incredibles 2).

  Reveal hidden contents

"At least I have core values!"

 

Each to their own but I think Pixar have a good track record of making enjoyable family films that capture the imaginations of kids.  I love Ghibli stuff and some of Laikas stuff too - there is plenty of choice for kids. I think it is a stretch to say Pixar movies are universally terrible when held up against every other family film out there (Emoji Movie? Queens Corgi?). 

 

The reason I quoted the above is just to say that Inside Out is (IMHO of course) told from the point of view of Riley (the main girl/child). However, I've always felt this film is aimed for a slightly older child really. I have seen it help understanding in an older child why someone may feel depressed or suffer with other mental health issues and also how to deal with conflicting emotions. I think it is a very good underrated Pixar movie. 

 

I think sometimes Pixar is being judged very harshly when some of the other rubbish that gets released isn't really commented on much because there was no expectation for them to be good in the first place. 

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7 hours ago, Horribleman said:

Having a young daughter, I've been in the position to watch and rewatch a lot of movies suitable for kids. 

 

I'm pleased to say that there are a lot of excellent movies suitable for kids. 

 

The Ghibli movies, Kubo, Iron Giant. 

 

Loads of good animation too. Over the Garden Wall, Gravity Falls. 

 

Having seen all these and then also having to watch Pixar movies because she likes them, I have to say that I think the Pixar movies are almost universally terrible compared to the decent alternatives. 

 

Yelling, constant danger, chase scenes. I'm not take sure but I'd say the technical innovations have clouded many views on the movies stories and characters. 

 

Is this just a hot take or does anyone else feel the same?

 

I'd strongly disagree, but would normally say each to their own - but "universally terrible" is a hot take and then some even if you are arguing they are terrible when compared to 'good' animation that you do like.

 

Don't watch something like The Queen's Corgi because if you think Inside Out is shit compared to a Ghibli film then Corgi will cause you to smash every screen you own with a hammer and then burn down every cinema in your vicinity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, iknowgungfu said:

Each to their own but I think Pixar have a good track record of making enjoyable family films that capture the imaginations of kids.  I love Ghibli stuff and some of Laikas stuff too - there is plenty of choice for kids. I think it is a stretch to say Pixar movies are universally terrible when held up against every other family film out there (Emoji Movie? Queens Corgi?). 

 

Yes, I completely agree. IMO it's a huge exaggeration to say they're "not good film makers" and "almost universally terrible compared to the decent alternatives" as in @Horribleman's opening post.

 

Quote

The reason I quoted the above is just to say that Inside Out is (IMHO of course) told from the point of view of Riley (the main girl/child).

 

I said that because I think of the film as being primarily focused on how Joy is protective of Riley (much like how Woody is protective of Andy and Bonnie).

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I suppose but it makes it clear that Joy is part of Riley. Joy spends most of the story completely naive to how all emotions have vital functions ingrowing up.  The grown up parts are demonstrated when the film enters the parents head to demonstrate how much more developed they are emotionally.  It's all in the interpret at the end of the day and it will be perceived in different ways by everyone.

 

Tl:Dr - I respect your opinion even though mine differs. 

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