Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tuesday Top Ten Eight: Pixar Preference

tuesday top ten: for the listmaker in me and the listlover in you

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?


Emma said...

01. Finding Nemo (in my top 20)
02. Toy Story
03. A Bug's Life
04. Monster's inc
05. The Incredibles
06. Toy Story II
07. Cars

Benji said...

Haven't seen Ratatouille, but it would be so tempting to include Pixar shorts here. Really, every DVD includes a great short film (Knick Knack being the best)!

But the best features:

1. The Incredibles (the most adult of the bunch)
2. Finding Nemo (cute, great cast)
3. Monsters Inc. (my first Pixar I saw at the cinema and not on DVD)
4. Toy Story (good fun)
5. Toy Story 2 (dito)
6. A Bug's Life (god, can't remember it really)
7. Cars (great animation)

What do you think, are there other CGI-films that can compete with Pixar (besides Shrek 1+2)?
I thought Flushed Away was quite good, with the great Ian McKellen being a blast as the frog villain.

Anonymous said...

"Finding Nemo" should be higher than that, but some good rankings there. I haven't seen the new film though.

J.D. said...

1. The Incredibles
2. Finding Nemo
3. Toy Story 2
4. Toy Story
5. Monsters, Inc.
6. A Bug's Life (It's still one of my faves)
7. Cars (you have to admit have so incredibly detailed and beautiful the animation is, right?)

John T said...

I haven't seen Ratatouille yet, but I'll be working on it this week. Otherwise:

1. Toy Story
2. Finding Nemo (both in my personal top 100)
3. Toy Story 2
4. The Incredibles
5. Monsters, Inc.
6. A Bug's Life
7. Cars

Deborah said...

The two I love beyond all others are The Incredibles and Toy Story. I haven't see all of them; apparently I haven't seen most of them.

I liked Finding Nemo; I loved Dory but Albert Brooks got on my nerves, and the message was too message-y.

Jason Adams said...

You gotta see Toy Story 2 again Nat, it doesn't have that kick of "wow, I've never seen this before" that the first one did (though the first one didn't have that for you in the first place from the sound of it) but I thought the 2nd one was even richer. My list would probably go (not having seen Ratatouille yet)

1- The Incredibles
2- Toy Story 2
3- Finding Nemo
4- Toy Story
5- A Bug's Life
6- Cars
7- Monsters Inc.

A Bug's Life
is that high for the character of Heimlich the caterpillar alone; I LOVE HEIMLICH. Otherwise Cars would probably have stepped one higher.

Luke said...

I have not watched Ratatouille yet but we have the same favourites and least favourites.

The Incredibles is a masterpiece and should have gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Pic in one of the weakest Best Pic line-ups in Oscar History - M$B (one of the worst best pic winner ever imo esp for landing Swank her 2ND Oscar, and also worst best actress winning role..), Aviator (a bit messy), Finding Neverland (sappy), Ray (for Foxx only) and Sideways(good but not great). Incredibles trumps all of them flat IMO! Brilliant animation, best animation of humans hands down.

I'd put Monsters Inc at #2 because it's just so sweet and perfect. I adore Finding Nemo and both Toy Story movies so they'd be #3-#5 respectively with A Bug's life at #6.

Cars is the weakest by a mile, although the animation is stunning, it's just too long and slow moving and the characters aren't as lovable. Plus it isn't something that could actually be happening in our world, it's not believable regarless of how you stretch your imagination...

Basically I love everything Pixar, although I just 'like' Cars.

Sorry for ranting but animated movies are one of my favourite genres! Can't wait for Ratatouille!

theremin said...

Your list is almost perfect.

All you need to do is bump Monsters, Inc. up. If you could knock it up from #4 to either 1 or 2, it'd be perfect.

Monsters, Inc or Incredibles at the top slots (can't pick just one).

Toy Story 1 + 2 at the next slots. Don't really care which is which.

I haven't seen Cars or the Rat yet, but hopefully I'll see the Rat soon (I have little to no interest in Cards).

-----The Other Nat-----

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

1. Toy Story 2
I agree that you should watch it again, Nate. It is as great as they say.

2. A Bug's Life
I agree that's it a tad forgettable, but that makes it feel fresh and more hilarious than you remembered every time you watch it again

3. The Incredibles
I agree that a repeat viewing of this one is much more worthwhile than a first-time viewing of 90% of what's showing in multiplexes this very moment.

4. Toy Story
I agree that this isn't the 99th best American film of all time, but then I do need to see it again

5. Finding Nemo
I agree that Ellen DeGeneres' persona was ideally suited and lifted the entire movie, and I agree that Shark Tale was a thoroughly soulless travesty that made me very very angry

6. Monsters, Inc.
Here I can't agree. Except maybe on the production design. And the little girl was adorable.

7. Cars
I agree that it's Pixar's weakest and most misguided and I agree that it's beautiful to look at all the same

Glenn Dunks said...

1. Toy Story 2 (A)
2. The Incredibles (A)
3. Finding Nemo (A)
4. Toy Story (A-)
5. Cars (A-)
6. Monster's Inc (B+)
7. A Bug's Life (B+)

Ratatouille isn't out here until August, but I can't wait. I don't get the whole "rats in the kitchen? gross?" angle considering it's an animated movie. It's not a real restaurant...

Cars is quite simply the most amazing animation I have ever seen. And I'm a sucker for Americana that that film was bathed in so I love it.

You really should see Toy Story 2 again though. It's really amazing. The action, the jokes, the set-pieces, etc. It's just so smart and amazing and I love it.

Glenn Dunks said...

Also, the Becoming Jane preview was probably there because it has a PG rating and they figured parents would be there with their kids.

Anonymous said...

1. The Incredibles (A)
2. Ratatouille (A- / A)
3. Monster's Inc (A-)
4. Finding Nemo (A-)
5. Toy Story (B+ / A-)
6. Toy Story II (B+)
7. A Bug's Life (B)
8. Cars (B-)

And not only does Pixar create consistently good films, but their short films that precede every feature are funnier than most current feature-length comedies.

SusanP said...

Pixar has been consistently good to great.

I think it's worth noting that two of your top three have the additional creative energies of Brad Bird behind them. In terms of animation, I consider him among the top talents today. Well actually, he's among the top talents in filmmaking--why put animation in a ghetto with such quality?

I have not seen Ratatouille yet, but he is two for two with The Incredibles and The Iron Giant to his credit. Based on what I'm hearing, Ratatouille makes him three for three.

I think it's important to point out, because the success of the Pixar films is in large part due to the creative force and talent behind the films.

par3182 said...

i can only do a top six (surprise) as i didn't bother with cars and ratatouille isn't out here yet

1. toy story 2
2. a bug's life
3. toy story
4. the incredibles
5. monster's inc
6. finding nemo

Steven said...

1. Finding Nemo
2. Toy Story
3. Monsters Inc.
4. The Incredibles
5. Ratatouille
6. Toy Story 2
7. A Bug's Life
8. Cars

That was incredibly hard to do. I'm still not sure if I'm happy with that list. They're just all so good. Okay, maybe not Cars.


Kurtis O said...

1. Finding Nemo (by far)
2. The Incredibles
3. Toy Story
4. Monsters, Inc.
5. A Bug's Life
6. Toy Story 2
7. Cars

I cannot wait to see Ratatouille. There's something to be said about Pixar, that with all of the big films being released this summer (even though many of them are most likely blink-and-you'd-miss-'em junk) this animated rat tale is currently the one I'm jonesing for the most. Pixar is leagues above all of the other animation studios, mainly for the reasons that you mentioned. And, ugh! The whole Shark Tale debacle infuriates me to no end! What a shameless, unoriginal, pop culture infected cash cow. A Katie Couric fish? Puh-lease.

Anonymous said...

The Incredibles is, for me, excellent for casting Holly Hunter and introducing me to Sarah Vowell alone. Not to mention its great story and animation.

Michael Parsons said...

"The Incredibles" by a mile. Animation does not just have to appeal to adults.
Brad Bird did wonders with "The Iron Giant" as well.
Cute is fun, but give me some drama and reality as well.
I know it ain't Pixar, but did anyone else get toally moved by "Lilo and Stitch"?

Anonymous said...

Here goes:

1. The Incredibles (A)
2. Toy Story 2 (A)
3. Toy Story (A)
4. Ratatouille (A)
5. Finding Nemo (A-)
6. Monsters, Inc. (B+)
7. A Bug's Life (B+)
8. Cars (B)

Best Picture noms for The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo. We'll see about Ratatouille.

J.D. said...

For Lilo & Stitch -- :yes:

Carl Joseph Papa said...

1. Ratatouille
2. The Incredibles
3. Finding Nemo
4. Toy Story
5. Monsters Inc.
6. A Bugs Life
7. Toy Story 2
8. Cars

check out my blog hehhe


i feel so vindicated that Cars is doing so poorly... so how did it have such incredible box office?

J.D. said...

It's Pixar. What do you expect?

Jason Adams said...

I know I'm not speaking for everyone but Cars was towards the bottom of my list only because this is Pixar and they've churned out classic after classic and being towards the bottom of a list of 7 here means nothing. I still think Cars is a lovely film with some of the most gorgeous imagery of any of their movies; it also had the misfortune of being their follow-up to The Incredibles which, I mean, who wants to follow total perfection?

Anonymous said...

I'm a soon-to-be 45 year-old man, with a 5 year-old son and a lovely wife. Just an average Joe from anywhere, USA. I cried at the end of Ratatouille. There, I said it. It touched me in a number of different ways, and I left thinking Brad Bird should get an oscar for best director (and I mean the big category, not just animated features). I know Iron Giant is not a pixar movie, but if you haven't seen it, run to best buy or wal-mart or the store of your choosing and buy it now. Brad Bird is maybe the best director working in movies today!

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

01. The Incredibles
02. Monsters Inc.
03. A Bug's Life
04. Toy Story
05. Finding Nemo
06. Toy Story 2

Was never affected by Toy Story like many seem to have been.

The rat does not arrive here for another three weeks.

I never bothered with "Cars" since, well, WE HAD "MONSTER HOUSE" that year and it needed all our support.

Anonymous said...

1. Toy Story (A-)
2. Finding Nemo (A-)
3. Monsters Inc. (B+)
4. The Incredibles (B)
5. Toy Story (B)
6. Cars (B-)

I never bothered to see A Bug's Life for some reason. Maybe I should.

Anonymous said...

5. Toy Story 2 (B)


i had a great time at ratatouille but as usual there's IMDB craziness. it's already in the top #40 movies of all time in their lists.


Anonymous said...

01. Toy Story (A)
02. Finding Nemo (A)
03. The Incredibles (A)
04. Toy Story 2 (A-)
05. Monsters, Inc. (A-)
06. A Bug's Life (B)
07. Cars (B-)

n/s Ratatouille

Ben said...

A lot of these have a lot of lag time because I haven't seen them in a while, but... well, I'll try my best.

Finding Nemo - Gorgeous animation, perfect voice casting, and great writing.
Monsters Inc. - Ingenious premise and awesome animation.
The Incredibles - Trademark well-done animation and an engaging story.
Cars - Weak weak weak premise (cars can talk! And... and they can talk! Look at them talking!) just equalled a yawnfest. Meh. I'll take weak Pixar over anything else any day of the week.

Ratatouille I have not seen yet. The three missing from my list are just too foggy in my mind to remember (those being the Toy Stories and A Bug's Life).

Agustin said...

I will never know why everybody loves the incredibles so much.. I saw it twice and i still don't love it. i like it though, but not that much

1-Toy Story
2-Finding Nemo
3-Monsters, Inc
4-Toy Story 2
5-A Bug's Life
6-The Incredibles

The first 4 though, i absolutely LOVEEE
they could easily be in my top 25 or most probably top 50

Ratatouille over here comes out in a day, :)

Glenn Dunks said...

See, I recently rewatched all the Pixar movies except for A Bug's Life and Cars, which I don't own. But I watched Cars three times last year and while it's been a while I've seen A Bug's Life about three times too so my memory is still quite good on them.

Deborah said...

That's so weird. I just realized that I typed "The Incredibles and Toy Story." Which isn't true. What I meant to type was that I adore The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. above all others, and I also love Toy Story.

Anonymous said...

1) Finding Nemo
2) Toy Story
3) Monster's Inc
4) Toy Story 2
5) The Incredibles
6) A Bug's Life

haven't seen cars or rat. Finding Nemo is first by a mile here... truly an all time great film.

Anonymous said...

1) Monsters Inc. ( I dont know, i just love it!!)
2) Ratatouille (the best of the year so far!)
3) The Incredibles
4) Toy story (still the best picture of 1995)
5) Finding Nemo (the most accessible one)
6) A Bug's Life
7) Toy Story 2 (I dont know it just doesnt works for me)
8) Cars (not bad, just not the "pixar great" we're used)

I saw Ratatouille on saturday, but I saw it dubbed in portuguese (subtitle copies in Brazil only this friday), but even dubbed it's totally amazing, even better than The Incredibles. They took off Collette's french accent, but whatever, still pretty amazing!!!
Hey Nat, what you have to say about the Production Design and the Score??? Oscarworthy???


the production design was superb but i have no hopes for it for Oscar --they don't vote for animated films there.

Yoda said...

I'm seeing Ratatouille tomorrow so I can't include that in the last but my top 7 is this:

7. A Bug's Life
6. Toy Story II
5. Cars
4. Finding Nemo
3. The Incredibles
2. Toy Story
1. Monsters Inc.

Vance said...

You know. I find myself REALLY having to think about this list. Only 8 films but it is quite difficult since Pixar does them ALL so well. And yes. Cars wasn't perfect. Definitely their worst. Still, far superior than most of the films out there.

Okay. here goes:
1. The Incredibles
2. Finding Nemo
3. Toy Story
4. Ratatouille
5. Toy Story 2
6. A Bugs Life
7. Monsters Inc.
8. Cars

Though really you can interchange anything between 2 and 7 and I'd be okay with it.

Still, at this point, nothing has even come close to Ratatouille this year and in a perfect world, it should be seriously considered for a Best Picture nomination.

lylee said...

Y'know, I actually really liked "Cars," though I ranked it relatively low on the Pixar list. But I agree with ja - that's still an honor. Can't figure out why "Cars" didn't make my top 10 list last year.

I'm in the minority on "Finding Nemo," though. It was good, but it just didn't do it for me as much as the others.

1. The Incredibles and Toy Story (tie)
3. Ratatouille
4. Toy Story 2
5. A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. (tie)
7. Cars
8. Finding Nemo

Anonymous said...

1. Toy Story 2
2. The Incredibles
3. Toy Story
4. A Bug's Life
5. Finding Nemo
6. Cars
7. Monsters Inc

I don't get why everyone loves Monsters Inc. Cars is beautifully animated with a nicely melancholy tenor at times. Finding Nemo is gorgeously animated. A Bug's Life is fun. Toy Story is fun with an added kick.

But the top two is where the magic lies. Toy Story contains so many beautiful moments ("When She Loved Me," Buzz at the toy store with all the other Buzz's, Woody finding his earlier self, the action-packed climax) and it's ending is beautiful in it's simplicity and sadness. The Incredibles is a bit less moving, but just as terrifically entertaining.

ikcaban said...

Ok, here I go:

1. The Incredibles (A)
2. Finding Nemo (A-)
3. Ratatouille (B+/A-)
4. Toy Story (B+)
5. Monsters Inc. (B+)
6. Toy Story 2 (B-)
7. Cars (C+)
8. A Bug's Life (C-)

Ratatouille is a delicious and magic movie!

Anonymous said...

The Incredibles = WAY too overrated.