Wednesday, July 09, 2008


This weekend, Sheryl, their kids, Uncle Paul, Aunt Sarah and I got out to see WALL-E. I've read the reviews, of course, and it's apparently the greatest Pixar movie ever, which is saying something.

I really enjoyed it. Naturally, anytime you see something with a 2 year old in tow, you're going to miss some details (a dropped passy can take your attention away for a bit), but I thought it was really quite good. I loved the opening part where there was only sound, but no dialogue. I thought that the film makers did a great job establishing WALL-E as a character and his idiosyncrasies. It was a bit weird to show human emotion between two robots, especially some of the conventions of the romantic comedies, but all the work the film makers did in the first part of the movie to establish WALL-E paid off for that part.

The "environmental" message of it was about as subtle as getting hit over the head with a skyscraper girder, but it was well done too. More subtle was the message about the tendency toward inactivity that humans have. I don't think most kids will see themselves in the human characters in the movies, but I know I did.

So, was it the best Pixar movie ever? I didn't think so. I think Toy Story was groundbreaking; A Bug's Life was good, but not outstanding. Toy Story 2 was Godfather 2 to Toy Story's Godfather, an incredible improvement on the original; Monsters, Inc had heart and a concept that was almost the most creative thing I've seen on film (and had the best final shot of all the films). Finding Nemo captured the parent-child relationship in an amazing way (and works as an interesting allegory for Christianity). The Incredibles was simply... incredible. Cars was off the pace of some of the others. Ratatouille shouldn't have been the success that it was but was a pretty outstanding film.

If I had to put the Pixar films in order of preference.

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


Tony Arnold said...

I agree with your review Phil. I think Wall-E would have had more initial impact on us if it had not been hyped so much. A major problem with films these days.

I thought the Pixar short accompaning Wall-E was awesome. I love Pixar's short features.

My opinions of the Pixar films are similiar to yours. Cars just never wowed me, not bad, but just ok. The country version of Tom Cochran's "Life Is a Highway" turns me off. The original rock version did not need any improvement.

Two of my favorite animated films, and Maria's too, are not Pixar films: Treasure Planet and Chicken Run.

Chicken Run cannot be fully appreciated unless you have seen all the great WWII films, especially "The Great Escape", "Stalag 17", "Dirty Dozen", etc. The dialogue is awesome in Chicken Run. One of my all time favorite movie lines is from Chicken Run. The American rooster (ironically played by Aussie Mel Gibson) telling the UK chickens, "I am from a place called the land of the free and the home of the brave." Then a Scottish chicken piping up with, "Scotland!". "No, America!"
Hilarious line for students of history.

My all-time favorite animated film is Treasure Planet which unfortunately many have not seen. Treasure Island animated into a science-fiction story line and environment--you cannot get any better than that. The character development and dialogue are superb and the casting of voices excellent. The music is great too. Maria and I watch it together all the time (another reason it is my favorite).

If reader has not seen Treasure Planet, it is worth renting to get your on opinion. May not become your favorite but you will not be disappointed.

My Pixar ranking:
1. Monster's Inc.
2. Toy Story 2
3. Incredibles
4. A Bug's Life
5. Toy Story
6. Wall-E
7. Finding Nemo
8. Ratatouille
9. Cars

Brian said...

Final Fantasy hasn't been mentioned in the ratings. I haven't seen it yet because my wife doesn't like Scifi, but my workmate says it was so well done that his wife didn't realise it was animated when she started watching it.

judy thomas said...

I guess I will have to go see Wall-E

Justin said...

Wall e was pretty incredible. I conclude that its Idiocracy for children.

Suzie said...

I don't know that we will see Wall-E because when I saw the previews, all I kept thinking was they were remaking "Short Circuit". :)

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