Mamo #259: Pixar Shmixar!

One of us thinks Pixar only came into its prime after The Incredibles and that Brave is the latest in a string of latter-day successes. The other thinks that once Cars hit the screens, the company lost its way, and Brave is the signpost of how a company that used to be about something has gone and died inside. Well, we can’t both be right, can we?

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo259.mp3

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Chris
Guest

So according to your theory we will never get another great Tarantino film since Sally Menke passed away? I’m not buying that.

antho42
Guest

Eyes Wide Shut is a masterpiece. My favorite Kubrick film.

Kurt
Guest

I agree. EWS has aged really really well in my brain. I consider it top-tier KUBRICK.

Goon
Guest

I thought it was just OK when it came out and am a much bigger fan now.

I also kind of view it as a comedy with the alternate title of “Tom Cruise Can’t Get Laid”

Jericho Slim
Guest

I have to like to any movie with Sydney Pollack acting. That’s just one of the rules I live by.

Kurt
Guest

And that particular scene, in the billiards room with Pollack/Cruise is flat out amazing in its staging, pacing and overall level of engagement.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I totally agree with Matt on this episode.

Andrew James
Admin

That is where you and I just don’t see eye to eye.

Matt Fabb
Guest

I disagree with you Matt as I don’t agree with Matt on the show and think the other Matt is more on the mark.

-Matt

Matthew Price
Guest

LIKE

Sean Kelly
Guest

I think the underlying issue here is that Pixar gained a bit of a reputation of creating films that would connect with both kids and adults and when the adults can’t connect at that level, they complain.

When Toy Story came out, if you asked the 13 year old me if I’d still be watching these films at 30, I would have probably laughed.

I think we have spoiled ourselves into expecting films that receive Best Picture Oscar nominations and we forget that the films are still cartoons aimed towards kids and I have to say that the kids in the audience definitely seemed to be enjoying the film they were watching.

Kurt
Guest

Brave is high in my PIXAR rankings. I absolutely love the film.

Matt Gamble
Guest

You are dumb.

Brittany
Guest

Haha, this is why I love the Cinecast!

Kurt
Guest

We aim to keep the Discourse highbrow and civilized. Oh, wait a minute. That’s why we have Mamo!

Matt Fabb
Guest

I’m of the opinion that Pixar’s later work, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 is far superior than their earlier work. That said, I really didn’t like Cars 1 and never bothered to watch Cars 2. Also I’ve yet to watch Brave and from reviews I might wait for DVD.

One of the Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas has speakers build into the chairs (not sure if it’s every chair or just the more expensive tickets). Anyways, something like THAT might be closer to what Matthew Price is looking for, where it would be technical possible for a character to whisper in your ear. However, people are paying $60 to over $100 a ticket for that show and so they can afford to do fancy stuff like put individual speakers into the chairs. To do something like that in movie theatres, I would imagine they would need quite the premium on tickets to justify it.

I’m personally still not seeing much excitement in people to Spider-Man. I’m actually surprised that it’s release is around the corner, as it feels like something still months away. However, as I often bring up, I thought Scott Pilgrim was going to be pretty huge, so it might just not be seeing it.

Goon
Guest

I think it’s been downhill since Ratatouille, for me that was the peak. Everything else since then (save Cars 2) have been good to very good but with notable flaws.

Since Ratatouille I don’t even think they are making the best animated films of their respective years.

(Quickly investigates Animation Oscar wikipedia)

2008: Wall-E vs Kung Fu Panda and Bolt? Kung Fu Panda. Bolt is close.
2009: Up vs. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, Princess and the Frog,? All of those are better. Up is probably better than Secret of Kells I’d say though.
2010: Toy Story 3 vs How To Train Your Dragon and The Illusionist? Both of those are better.
2011: All nominees were better than Cars 2.

And some of these nominee lists are even missing stuff like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, which I’d take over most of the last 5 years of Pixar product as well.

Goon
Guest

2012: Pirates! Band of Misfits is far superior to Brave. Frankenweenie might be better. Wreck-It-Ralph might be better too. Rise of the Guardians looks like it might surprise. The animation doesn’t look so hot in the trailer but the pedigree behind that one is not to be scoffed at.

Matt Fabb
Guest

Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline and How To Train Your Dragon are great movies. Kung Fu Panda I’ve yet to get around seeing as well as many of those others listed.

Speaking of animation, Avatar: The Legend of Korra season finale came out this weekend and it was absolutely incredible. It’s the sequel to Avatar The Last Airbender, itself a great show with a lot of depth. The new show is a sequel, but is quite different to be it’s own thing while still taking place in the same world. Anyways, anyone disappointed in Brave and is looking for a story with a kick ass young heroine, go check this out instead. Although I imagine the series might be a bit too adult for really young kids, while Brave is likely safer for them.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Don’t forget ParaNorman.

Cringe
Guest

In my opinion I think this year’s best animation films(Mainstream) will come in the form of stop-motion with Paranorman and Frankenweenie. I’m holding out hope that we will get another Monster House or better with Paranorman.

Rick Vance
Guest

So I can’t help bring this back to comics I guess because it consumes most of my time atm in terms of entertainment, your conversation was reminding me of a comparison point and I couldn’t place it until the line at the end.

The way Matt Price described Pixar and what they have become to me is a perfect correlation to 60s Marvel. Lee Kirby and Ditko bottled Lightning with The Fantastic Four and Amazing Fantasy (soon to be Spider-Man). They took a genre that already had incredibly powerful archetypal characters running around (Superman, Batman, Captain America) and twisted the conventions just enough and made them relate able and personable to the reader to ignite a firestorm. Then the company saw the $$ and due to certain decisions and practices drove both the artists away (who continued doing amazing things after they left). Leaving Marvel to continue doing comics with those character yet lacking in that original spirit, I don’t mean to be cruel to everyone who followed them, but once you have read those original stories everything following feels like ghosts and not really substantial.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Time Magazine’s lengthy piece on the Pixar methodology (it ain’t pretty) and the firing of Brenda Chapman, and the evolution of Brave.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2107515-1,00.html

Ky in Boston
Guest

@Kurt: HTTYD>Tangled>Brave

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