Tag Archives: Pixar

Toy Story (1995)

It’s ironic how entirely nostalgic it is viewing Toy Story for the first time in a decade.  Though I suppose that nostalgia shouldn’t surprise me, as nearly any Disney title awakens vivid memories of childhood and the wonder of animated cinema.  Obviously the world of Disney pre-Pixar is iconic, particularly for those of us lucky enough to grow up during their late 80s/early 90s renaissance.  My particular favorite was Aladdin, but I’ve never been picky, and would gladly sit through a viewing of The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. Heck, I’d even watch Pocahontas. Still, while Disney’s astounding talent for inserting themselves into childhood is something I’m grateful for, it’s only part of what makes my adult viewing of Toy Story ironic.  The more relevant aspect of that irony is the reality that Toy Story is a movie about nostalgia.  Or at the very least it’s a movie that recognizes the heft of it.  Memories of childhood are either beautiful or awful, and rarely of the mundane; what trauma or drama is there in the tedium of childhood?  Though we catch only glimpses of the story from adolescent Andy’s perspective, the one requirement for enjoying this film is to have been that age, and to have loved those toys.  Perhaps one of Disney’s, Pixar’s and director John Lasseter‘s most charming notions is imagining that those toys could love you back.

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Up (2009)

There are elements of story, structure and general film making concepts that are universally heralded or criticized.  Conflict is good, artificial dialogue is bad.  Character development is good, cliche is bad.  And so it goes.  But there are also enumerable aspects of a film which can’t truly be judged in the same way.  Special effects come to mind as something that can at once be either terribly off-putting or the outstanding piece of the puzzle.  Similarly, an adaptation can fill seats or turn viewers off based solely on it’s faithfulness to the original material.  With Up, this dilemma presents itself in the form of sentimentality.  There’s no lack of emotional resonance here, no shortage of moments that bring a visceral response…that is, if you’re into that sort of thing. Continue reading