Thursday, 3 February 2011

Happy 25th Birthday Pixar!

To celebrate Pixar's 25th birthday, we thought it appropriate to get all Michael Aspel on a studio and take a look at the life of the animation giant.

Toy Story
The movie that inspired a million dreams and started our love affair with the animating pioneers. Adults wanted to be kids again, kids wanted to run home and play cowboys and space rangers, and film buffs marvelled at the wonders of CGI - and the genius of Pixar. Made with a modest budget of 20 million pounds, the film went on to gross more than 10 times that at the box-office. Not too shabby for a first foray into feature film-making.

A Bugs Life
When you’re a multi-million pound company that has hit the ground sprinting with toys, what better way to follow up that success than with a film about bugs! Makes sense if you think about it: first came a toy story then came some Antz, and then came Lasseter and Stanton to blow the ants out of the box-office. Go Pixar! Bug boys, bug boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Run to your nearest cinema, obviously!

Toy Story 2
Another day, another story. 2 to be exact; a suitable sequel to what we thought was the final chapter in the story book. In the end, Woody returned home after being stolen by a toy collector, and he and Buzz cement their brotherhood of doll as they realise Andy will one day grow up.

Monsters, Inc.
Sullly and Mike enter the Pixar sphere in this monstropolitan tale of a group of monsters that power their city using the energy generated from children’s screams. To extract it, the monsters enter homes in the middle of the night and interrupt kids’ dreams. Everyone say ahhhhh! Though Monsters, Inc. lacks the sophistication of previous Pixar films, it’s a charming little movie that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Finding Nemo
Who knew a fish could pack such a heavy punch? Raking in over 550 million pounds worldwide, Finding Nemo, until a few months ago, was Pixar’s most successful film. Set in the deep blue sea, the picture follows clownfish Marlin as he searches for his son, Nemo, with the help of fellow fish Dory. Simple minds render it impossible for these little fellas to remember, but back in 2003, we were treated to a truly scrumptious coral delight. Please Pixar, can we have more?

The Incredibles
It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no, it’s an animated man having a mid-life crisis; only difference is, he’s a retired superhero. Itching to get back into his oh-so-svelte, ass-kicking suit, Mr. Incredible Bob accepts a top secret mission which leads him to danger. Trapped on a remote island, with no escape in sight, his family must slip back into spandex in order to save him. Satisfying stuff!

It made a highly respectable 300 million pounds worldwide, but Cars just didn’t really get our motor going. It was a pretty picture but overall Cars lacked drive. Mater, however, did win the film a legion of fans. 

In a change of pace, Pixar went and brought the frogs in on this culinary masterpiece. The film follows Remy the rat through the streets of Paris as he tries to make a name for himself as a rodent with standards. You see, some rats do ‘ave ‘em. With the help of a kitchen assistant, he sets out on a mission to make his gastronomic dreams a reality – whilst trying to avoid ending up on the specials board himself. Ratatouille anyone? Pixar’s got 400 million pounds worth; it must be good!

Another popular tale in which a waste collecting robot inadvertently sets out on a journey that will ultimately decide the future of mankind. It's not our favourite Pix-flick, but WALL-E and EVE have chemistry to rival that of the living!

The movie that literally reached for the sky and took us on a wondrous voyage across the Atlantic. The intro to this tenth celebration is a poignant, technically brilliant mini movie; however, the traditional ending somewhat spoilt what had come before. Nonetheless, It's a charming story about life after death to enjoy in either dimension.

Toy Story 3
We’ve arrived. 15 years and 11 movies later, we’re back where they started, with the final chapter of the first instalment. A film for all, Toy Story 3 is the best in the trilogy and fortifies Pixar’s unwavering position at the top of the charts. “To infinity and beyond!” - or to Cars 2.


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