Leaving a movie theater buzzing with joy is a great thing. I hesitate to push a metaphor and say that Ratatoiulle is gourmet but you definitely leave it with a big smile of satisfaction on your face (or, more accurately, you'll leave it with a smile as well as an occassional shudder from the heebie-jeebies. Loved the movie but there are hundreds of rats... in a kitchen. And they're touching food and you're supposed to root for that. Ewwww.) Leaving Ratatouille you may also want to hug anybody who works at Pixar for their consistent commitment to and love of quality. One hopes it eventually rubs off on Disney.
I thought I'd do a Tuesday Top Ten on Pixar but they've only made eight feature films. That ain't enough though I'm happy to wait (assembly line movies don't do anyone any favors. Take your time Pixar, take your time)
Pixar by Preference
(Note: if I included Pixar shorts in this list you could remove movies # 7 and 8 and make room for four shorts which would be Knick Knack, For the Birds, Boundin' and Lifted and probably in that order too)
8. Cars It's the only Pixar movie I don't like. I just could never accept the anthropomorphics which seemed forced. Cars as bugs on windshields of cars as cars who act like humans -- What? The animation sure is purty though.
7. A Bug's Life Not quite as memorable as the others but a very solid entertainment.
6. Finding Nemo I apologize for bringing up A Shark Tale but it's only to illustrated why I can't take the Academy Awards Animated Feature category very seriously. That the latter movie can follow Nemo into theaters, be superficially similar yet inferior in every way, and Oscar still isn't discerning enough to throw it back in the ocean? No thank you. "Dory" (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is the true highlight for me and may well be the best celebrity voice casting ever for a toon. In non-Pixar efforts the casting is usually only about the marquee value of the name. Pixar almost always does right by casting. It's character first. In this case DeGeneres's whole comic persona serves the fish and not the other way around.
5. Toy Story 2 Is it as great as some people think? I don't know. Time to see it again.
4. Monsters, Inc. One of the most underrated films of 2001, the best cinematic year of the decade by a huge margin. How can this feature be underrated when it made hundreds of millions and people generally like it? Because they should love it. It's got all the Pixar strengths in abundance: inventive screenplay, memorable characters, complicated gags, and glorious production design. People thought Shrek was better? Monsters!
3. Ratatouille My full review is up @ Zoom-In
2. Toy Story I'm not sure if it's the 99th best film of all time (as the AFI claims) but I'm glad animation is represented on that list. As long as I live I will never forget the first time I saw it. I went with my brother. We were both excited to see it because I got my hands on a bootleg video of all of the Pixar shorts a few years before so I had already converted my whole family to the cult of Pixar. Toy Story wasn't quite the technical revelation for me that it was for many moviegoers --I'd already seen what they could do --but I loved it. The moment that lifted it into a complete comedic classic for me was 'The Claw' My brother and I hurt from laughing. That's a good kind of pain.
1. The Incredibles From my top ten of 2004 review: "I saw The Incredibles three times within the month of its opening. And every time something else opened the following month that only looked half-appealing I thought to myself. "Now, self, you can always go and see The Incredibles again"...
Gah. Pixar is so awesome. Group hug!
What's your Pixar Preference? Am I cold, warm, or very warm in relation to your ranking?