For my birthday last Thursday my fantastic girlfriend bought me Disney’s Fantasia. I had put off comitting to purchasing the Disney DVD’s/Blu-Rays for a long time. I had always planned on only buying them when I had my first child and, when the boy/girl was barely born, we would start to watch all the Disney ‘Classic’ Collection in chronological order. With this single present, it has started me off early and within days I have watched Fantasia, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Beauty and the Beast. I believe this has no replaced my James Bond marathon indefinately.
So, having noticed that Pixar are credited on Beauty and the Beast (responsible for the, now quite dated, 3D dance-hall Beauty and Beast dance within during the unforgettable song “Beauty and the Beast”…), what better time to reflect on my current favourite Pixar films (especially as their track-record seems to have been stalled by Cars 2 according to the US reviews)…
5. Ratatouille – I have only watched this once and I think it is at ‘5’. I need to watch it again if I’m honest as, I’m sure you’ll see, I’ve cheated a little and films such as A Bugs Life, The Incredibles and Up shockingly don’t get a look in. Bottom-line is that the whole idea of criticism is something very close to my heart and this seems to tackle it in such a way that art – and what is art – is the core of the story. This, in itself is huge, expansive story-telling … but for kids.
4. Cars – This was the last Pixar film which I have watched and it has always come across as the lesser credible film in the Pixar canon. I have to tell ya’ – I completely disagree. This film, like the best of Pixar, focusses on a bigger topic: Capitalism and destruction of small-town America. The fact that we currently see how print-press may be having an exceptional hit in the recent news, again, shows how the bigger fish ultimately eat the small fish in the capitalist business structure. I am a little worried that Cars 2 will tarnish the reputation of this brilliant first outing.
3. Toy Story Trilogy – I’m not going to split them up. They are all, very much, independent films but so many aspects cross-over. If I say how much I love the characters – thats in all three films. If I like the colours and the playful attitude, again, this is in all three. The only thing I could fundamentally separate the films by is the narratives in each film and they are so evenly match I think I can comfortably place them in a third-place tie.
2. Wall-E – I only recently told a pupil that I believed this is my favourite
film and, akin to Cars it is because of the profound themes it explores. Add to this some incredible sequences – most of which do not even require dialogue – and you have an accessible, deeply moving, highly intelligent, artistically-experimental mainstream film. Can you get anything more awesome?
1. Finding Nemo – But, when I think of the story, I look at Nemo. A film with so much heart. Two-characters on the road to discovery and what, I believe, will bring a tear to my eye when I have my own child. I think, visually, it takes you to a place which, on one level you know and feel like you are a part of, but you are shown the ocean in a way you have never seen. In the same way that I believe Jurassic Park is my favourite film, I understand that it is a personal preference – opting for The Godfather as my ‘professional’ favourite film. Finding Nemo is my personal favourite whilst, Wall-E would reside as my ‘professional favourite. But this is my blog… so personal wins out.