Ever since 1995's Toy Story, Pixar has proven to be one of the best production companies in modern cinema, and have redefined the genre of animated films. This week, Pixar's latest film Inside Out hits theatres. In honor of Inside Out, here are our top five Pixar films:
Brad Bird's Ratatouille is a classic underdog story, following aspiring chef Alfredo Linguini and the isolate rat Remy in their pursuit to become the greatest chefs in Paris. It's a bizarre story, but director Brad Bird turns the film into a fun adventure as the two try to concoct the perfect recipe.
Despite the obvious fantastical elements, there's a real genuine sense to the friendship, and the voice talents Lou Romano and Patton Oswalt only add to the fun of the film. Much like the other films in Pixar's pantheon, Ratatouille doesn't just cater to children, instead telling a universal story that's perfect for any audience member.
Inside Out is the epitome of a great Pixar film; it's full of creative ideas strung together with outstanding visuals, as well as featuring strong emotional undertones. It's remarkable that technology allows a film like Inside Out to exist, but outside of the technical marvel of the film it's truly an intelligent story and a high point of creative filmmaking.
Many films are able to create imaginative worlds, but Inside Out is able to tell a story that matches the amazing environment. The journey by Joy and Sadness is a fascinating way in which to explore and explain the universal emotions and their roles, but also gives an interesting development of Riley as a character by channeling the individual emotions and their interactions. It's undeniably an ambitious concept, and it's brought to life in some of the best animation ever to grace the silver screen.
With the superhero film genre at the height of popularity, The Incredibles was a timely and thoughtful tribute to the genre that benefits from the strength of its script. Writer/Director Brad Bird pulled no punches in revealing the hilarious (and sometime grim) realities behind the world of superheroes, and explores the impact of these costumed characters on a larger society.
On top of that, The Incredibles serves as a family story showing a family of super powered individuals serves as an interesting way to explore the family dynamic. It's a very cerebral film at its core, but it's also a highly entertaining and fun summer blockbuster.
Up stands as Pixar’s most emotional and mature film to date, dealing with the aging old man Carl Fredericksen who’s desperate to reclaim the magic of youth. The story is definitely a more adult one, but Pixar takes it in a creative direction by paring Carl with the young boy Russel and the talking dog Dug. The comic banter between the three makes the film appeal to children, but it’s the almost philosophical conversations that the characters have that make it applicable to any audience member.
It’s definitely a non-stop adventure with some great comedy, but it’s also a very deep, and sometimes moving film that broke new ground for Pixar.
Toy Story Trilogy
1995’s Toy Story fostered a new era of animation in its use of 3D animation, but also generated some of the most iconic characters of the generation. While the film was a technical breakthrough, it was the characters that made the film an instant success. The 1999 sequel Toy Story 2 was equally successful, and did a great job developing the characters overtime as they struggled with growing up and growing apart.
The series reached a new height with 2010’s Toy Story 3, which served as an emotional climax to the characters’ journey, and both paid service to the previous installments as well as built off of them. As a trilogy, the Toy Story films not changed animation, but also created a legacy of creativity that other Pixar films, and other films in general, would later attempt to emulate.
By Liam Gaughan, Special Contributor