Because I’m just way too excited about the release of Inside Out next week, I’ve decided to take a look down memory lane and chose my favourite Disney Pixar movies for the first of many ‘5 of the Best’ posts. The relationship between Disney and Pixar is one that defines a generation and quite frankly, I imagine that, for me making this list is how parents would feel if made to pick their favourite child, as every single film (if we all agree to brush over the fact that Cars 2 ever happened) is a piece of cinematic genius that influenced my childhood. But I have taken the hit, I have done the impossible and I have chosen my top 5 all-time D-P movies.
Up holds the Katie Award for ‘Shortest Time Till Tears’ due to that heart wrenching opening montage. yes, I cry a lot at films but it’s rare to get so many people so emotionally invested in a character within the first ten minutes of a film. Unfortunately, this often puts me off watching Up if I’m looking for a light-hearted animation as the memory of the opening scene clouds the feel of the rest of the film. Putting this heartbreak behind me though, the plot is original and heart warming and, even though it’s a cartoon, it’s fairly rare to see the older generation in such prominent film roles, especially in children’s movies. Also, Doug the Dog is one of my favourite things ever and I have never looked at squirrels in the same way.
4) The Incredibles
SUPERHEROES! I LOVE SUPERHEROES! That’s basically all that needs to be said about The Incredibles. Yes I do love The Avengers and Dark Knight etc etc but it’s refreshing to have a light hearted superhero film based on original characters rather than dark, twisted, action packed blockbusters surrounded by 40 year old geeks complaining that ‘Thor’s hair was a different shade of golden in the comics’! I also love seeing superheroes trying to live life as a normal family. It makes me feel good about my own life.
3) Finding Nemo
This is the film that changed aquarium visits forever, and that’s a pretty impressive feat. I mean, no kid is ever going to learn anything there now, but at least they can have fun running around on their own Nemo hunt, maybe finding Dory on the way. I imagine the clown fish community has felt a boost in popularity which can only be a good thing for the environment, so congrats Pixar, you’ve done a good thing. But on a serious note, the film is funny, gripping, and involves a stoned turtle, so everyone’s a winner here.
2) Monster’s Inc
Close to the top but not quite making it, this really is one of the best concepts going. Subverting the fears of children and making the monsters that hide in their closets into loveable characters must have really helped many a parent get an extra hour or two of sleep every now and again. Although Boo is irritating as hell, the rest of the characters and the precise, thoughtful plot more than make up for it and the release of Monster’s University gives you all the more support for the relationships you see on screen. But at the end of day, despite the fantastic execution of the film, the real hero here is whoever thought of this world behind the bedroom, because you sir, are a genius.
1) Toy Story 1, 2 & 3
So I’ve grouped these three together and I know that’s cheating but 1) I just couldn’t pick and 2) This would be a boring list if 3/5 were Toy Story films, so you’re just going to have to deal with me making my own rules. Toy Story isn’t just my favourite Pixar film, it is one of my favourite films ever and serves as a cornerstone of my entire childhood. For a while I demanded to be called Buzz, something which my teachers refused to comply with, and Toy Story 2 was the first film I ever went to see in the cinema. My parents constantly tell me how embarrassed they were when I was stood on my seat, screaming at the screen to try and save my beloved toys from Zurg’s evil lair.
It’s a perfect series and I was the perfect age to enjoy it for exactly what it was. Every kid has toys they wish were alive and rather than having a toy version of characters like with other films, you could have that exact toy. You could own Buzz and Woody, and trust me, I know, I owned a lot of them, and that just made the world all the more real. The genius really hit home when I was sat in the cinema balling my eyes about a month before I moved to university as I watched Andy leave for college in Toy Story 3. Safe to day I then refused to give up any of my toys in case I hurt their feelings. I’ve grown up with Toy Story, with Andy, with Buzz and Woody and for a film to do that is something truly special.
And now we wait. Wait for the next delightful offerings that come from the plate of Disney Pixar. I might not be that easily impressed kid any more, but there’s no denying that whatever amazing concept they come up with next, the outcome will be heart-warming, thought provoking and entertaining whilst appealing to the humour of both adults and children in a way that no other studio can. You do you Pixar. Don’t ever change.
Do you agree? What are your top 5 Disney Pixar features?