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View Full Version : Has Pixar finaly lost it's touch?



Wonderpup
08-04-2006, 08:48 AM
A bit late with this I know, but it I was thinking about Cars and realised it is the first Pixar movie I had no interest in seeing. Untill Cars, going to see a Pixar release was practicly a reflex- the idea of not going simply did not occur me.

But Cars is diffferent- something is flawed about the concept. Somehow I can accept talking fish but not a world populated by sentient cars in which people never existed. It's odd- but I think Pixer here have violated a basic rule of fantasy which goes something like; no matter how unreal a given universe is it must be consistant with itself- Cars seems to violate this rule in some way, for me at least.

I used to paint fantasy book covers and I remember arguing about how big a dragons wings would need to be in order to be 'credible'- if you drew them too small relative to the body it just didn't work- even though the whole idea of 50 ton lizards taking flight is totaly impossible- there seemed to be rules in play that were not written down but clear to everyone.

krimpr
08-04-2006, 08:56 AM
Well, if the concept seems flawed to you I guess that's a "different strokes" kind of thing. The execution of the animation, however, oozed the Pixar Magic that makes them great IMO. In my eyes their image remains bulletproof.

mjcrawford
08-04-2006, 09:21 AM
A bit late with this I know, but it I was thinking about Cars and realised it is the first Pixar movie I had no interest in seeing. Untill Cars, going to see a Pixar release was practicly a reflex- the idea of not going simply did not occur me.

But Cars is diffferent- something is flawed about the concept. Somehow I can accept talking fish but not a world populated by sentient cars in which people never existed. It's odd- but I think Pixer here have violated a basic rule of fantasy which goes something like; no matter how unreal a given universe is it must be consistant with itself- Cars seems to violate this rule in some way, for me at least.

I used to paint fantasy book covers and I remember arguing about how big a dragons wings would need to be in order to be 'credible'- if you drew them too small relative to the body it just didn't work- even though the whole idea of 50 ton lizards taking flight is totaly impossible- there seemed to be rules in play that were not written down but clear to everyone.

I understand what you are saying, and before I saw Cars I would have aggreed with you. But then my 6 year old wanted to see it so I took him. while the marketing of Cars did not appeal to me, the film itself was a great Pixar flick living up to the legacy they have established. The Animation was the best I have ever seen, and the story was (like in Nemo) very funny and touching at the same time. This was an ensemble peice and unlike most, at the end of the film you felt like you got to know each character in the film. Go see it and then decide if Pixar has lost its touch. I think they did just fine.

MooseDog
08-04-2006, 09:47 AM
combining two previous thoughts into my own original one :D


...a basic rule of fantasy which goes something like; no matter how unreal a given universe is it must be consistant with itself- Cars seems to violate this rule in some way, for me at least.

mho, this does work. the landscape, the town-scape, interior shots, exterior shots, all consistently promote the willing suspension of disbelief. again, mho.


...and the story was (like in Nemo) very funny and touching at the same time.

agreed: very similar story-telling. dis-agree: also the film's weakness as it's a mundane story, oft-repeated.

my daughters loved it, i loved the animation. a limited success for pixar, imho:)

Wonderpup
08-04-2006, 10:17 AM
I appreciate that as a poll of 1 my reaction means very little, and I don't doubt the film is incredibly well made. I just find my own reaction noteworthy to the extent that its different to before- something about this particular configuration bothered me and I'm not big headed enough to belive I'm unique so I can only conclude that there is a least one bum note in Pixers hitherto perfect harmony. Or am I just getting old and cynical?

jbarker
08-04-2006, 10:32 AM
I was kinda like you in that I had no desire at all to see a movie about talking cars - just had no interest for me. My kids (7 and 4) wanted to see it though so I took them. I enjoyed it MUCH more than I thought I would. You can definitely see the quality across the board come through in all aspects of the production - especially when you've suffered through something like Hoodwinked or it's ilk.

cresshead
08-04-2006, 10:57 AM
well, same here...not seen cars as yet...and can't see me doing so in a cinema..maybe i'll rent the dvd...and just to note pixar for me at least haven't been 100%...finding nemo was 'okay' and bugs life had it's moments but was far from perfection like that of toystory1 & 2 or monsters inc or incredibles...which i think is they're best film yet...yeah i know i havne't watched it..but the trailers and premis just don't 'gel' for me...

hey...don't get me started on ''red's dream''!...was awful!..as bad as that darn sheepp thing....yuk!

jeremyhardin
08-04-2006, 11:44 AM
I felt the exact same way. I'm not interested in the culture it's going for. It looks boring and uninteresting.

I went to see it, honestly, because Barnyard had a trailer in front. (Haha. Shameless I know.)

And I loved it. I laughed. I cried. I laughed 'till I cried. I cared for the characters. It was storytelling at it's best.

I highly recommend it. Beautiful story, beautiful visuals. Real characters. Great film all around, with some poor marketing (IMHO).

jasond
08-04-2006, 11:44 AM
Isn't it premature to have an opinion? Until then shouldn't you say that the Pixar marketing department has lost its touch?

I have yet to be thrilled about their concepts as presented in previews, but they've always suprised me.

It's the film itself that justifies the premise. I don't think there can be a fatally flawed premise, just unconvincing followup.

JamesCurtis
08-04-2006, 11:46 AM
Wonderpup,

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Cars. We are both in our 50's!! Maybe you are getting old and cynical [just kidding about that, BTW]

I never thought they could pull it off, but they did !!

krimpr
08-04-2006, 12:04 PM
I felt the exact same way. I'm not interested in the culture it's going for. It looks boring and uninteresting.

I went to see it, honestly, because Barnyard had a trailer in front. (Haha. Shameless I know.)

And I loved it. I laughed. I cried. I laughed 'till I cried. I cared for the characters. It was storytelling at it's best.

I highly recommend it. Beautiful story, beautiful visuals. Real characters. Great film all around, with some poor marketing (IMHO).


Yeppers; I saw your trailer and thought of you right away!:thumbsup:
Just thought I'd say it looks awesome and will be there when it's released. Good on you Jeremy:bowdown:

Titus
08-04-2006, 12:09 PM
If you havent' seen it... Isn't it premature to have an opinion?

I think the same.

jeremyhardin
08-04-2006, 12:14 PM
Yeppers; I saw your trailer and thought of you right away!:thumbsup:
Just thought I'd say it looks awesome and will be there when it's released. Good on you Jeremy:bowdown:
Haha. Thanks krimpr. It's out today. On my way to the matinee in 20 mins. ;)
(I did get to see it at the premiere (http://jeremy.lwidof.net/premiere) though. Enjoyable indeed imho. I'll be interested to see your guys reviews when you see it.)

Pardon the thread hijack.

cresshead
08-04-2006, 01:02 PM
all i can say is that the trailer, and advertising didn't 'do it' for me to be a paying customer at the cinema...maybe it's a great film..i'll wait for the dvd though.

feels abit like shark's tale and chicken little did in that the trailer and adverts for it just left me cold...and i've YET to see either of those on dvd...and i'm in no rush to either.

geez i sound spikey!...

yeah i WILL see cars on dvd...just not a cinema ticket.

mjcrawford
08-04-2006, 01:30 PM
I think the real issue here is the fact that so much 3d crap has been comming out lately that Pixar and Dreamworks are no longer special in that they do 3d animation! just this year we have had
ICE AGE 2
the Wild
over the headge
Cars
Barnyard
Monster House
and a few I can't even remember right now. that is too many! I love good 3d animation, but the moviemakers are flooding the market! I do not blame Pixar, they have not made a bad film yet imho, but I have never seen this many animated fetures of any kind in one year. let alone CG animation.

I have seen Ice Age 2, the Wild, Cars, and over the hedge and I plan to see the rest, but I had to filter it down.. (yes Barnyard is next on my list but I still don't get why a boy cow has udders) and I really liked Cars and over the headge, the rest I could have done without. I just hope that this is the only year we get too many CG films.. I would hate to see CG go the way of Star Trek where it literaly gets done to death! (yes I know about ST XI but Star Trek is dead, and waiting for resurection right now, and please don't flame me on this, I am a hard core fan of ST)

Scazzino
08-04-2006, 02:14 PM
I saw Cars in the theater and I loved it. I thought it was great. The all "cars" angle took a while to get used to, but it was OK. I particularly liked the little flies... that were "VW bugs"... leaving little tire tracks in the dust...

The only thing that lessened it slightly for me was that the story line was so close to Doc. Hollywood... I kept expecting to hear Michael J. Fox's voice as the main character...

JeffRutan
08-04-2006, 06:06 PM
My wife and I are in our 40s and we don't have any kids, but we have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Pixar films. However, I was not impressed by the advertising for Cars and might have waited for the DVD. But I got a high recommendation from a friend, so we went and saw it in the theater. I think it was even better and funnier than some of the others, and I am so glad I did not miss the big screen showing to fully appreciate the awesome quality 3D graphics that just keep getting better each movie from them. The story was not very original, but the humor and character development were first rate!

Pixar really knows how to make a kids movie that also appeals to adults with subtle references and visuals that go completely over kids heads but they enjoy it anyway on different levels at the same time! I just hope that Disney ownership does not screw up this magic formula. I have not been impressed with Disney animations recently. Hopefully Pixar folks will teach the Disney folks what they have forgotten about story telling over the last several years.

Speaking of this, I also heard some wonderful praise for Barnyard. I did not intend to go see that in the theater either (the guy cows with udders is just wrong). But I may give it a shot if I can talk my wife into going out.

-Jeff

Bog
08-05-2006, 01:21 PM
But I may give it a shot if I can talk my wife into going out.

"But honey, it's research!" ;)

Wonderpup
08-05-2006, 03:55 PM
Of course it's fair comment to say you can't judge a film by its advertising- but thats exactly what we all tend to do- which is why so much is spent on advertising.

So it is sort of relevant that this particular idea seems to have missed the mark with a fair number of people, the fact is, I chose to pass this time- something I never expected to do with a Pixar movie.

All of this is totaly relative, of course. I'm judging Pixer by the extraordinary standards they themselves have set- and I have no doubt that they will go on making great movies in the future. ( and no, this is not me sucking up in the hope of repairing my chances of getting a job at Pixar. :D )

BeeVee
08-05-2006, 11:08 PM
For myself, I didn't expect to like Cars overly based on the trailer, etc. but having seen it twice now I can say it's one of my favourites. Saw Over The Hedge on the plane back from Boston and that was superb, but has the strange quality of the human characters as in Shrek that makes them feel "off" somehow to me. I'm really looking forward to Ratatouille based on the trailer however.

By the way, don't leave until you see the Pixar logo at the end of the credits. There's some funny stuff there...

Oh yes, and did anyone else seeing One Man Band think that perhaps the little girl was Boo from Monsters Inc slightly grown up?

B

THREEL
08-06-2006, 12:53 AM
CARS... What a great movie! So, the trailers and promos left a little to be desired. The marketing department must have been asleep at their meetings, because, normally, several promos are made for a movie to appeal to different audiences. Everyone from over-the-hillers to middle agers to toddlers are usually dangled a sweet, juicy, celluloid carrot in front of them to intice them to see the latest cinematic wonder that Hollywood, Ballywood, etc... has to offer. However, I must say that Aesop would be proud of the "morals of the story" that are offered up in a film about talking motor vehicles. Topics such as humility, kindness, and true friendship are covered brilliantly in CARS.

It was not a perfect Pixar film, however, which is no big deal to me, but the continuity department was out to lunch for some parts of this movie. For those of you who do not know what continuity in a film is, here is an example. Let's say we have consecutive scenes in a film that are shot in a library, and these scenes were shot on different days, let's say Friday and the following Monday. It is the continuity department's job to make sure that every book, magazine, and anything else in this library setting that has not been physically moved prior to the next shot is in the exact same place from the first shot to the next shot.

What does this have to do with CARS? For those of you that have seen the movie, do you remember when Lightning McQueen was fitted for those retro-white wall tires and got his new paint job? Did anyone notice how these features mysteriously changed back to the way they were before Lightning's retro-makeover? I know you could say he was "un-madeover" on the way to the exciting and touching final race, but the CAR race annoucers made mention of his new look as they were announcing the race. Now, this in no way detracts from the climax of the film, and I know I'm far from perfect, but I thought it was a little sloppy on Pixar's part to allow that to slide by. Unless they did it on purpose to see if we were paying attention.

One final note, as far as the influx of CG movies is concerned, get used to it, because we are going to see more-and-more of them every year. And... CG is not just in film, it's everywhere. Everything from talking/walking chocolate candy to cel animation to Arnold's metallic hand and body is totally or partially accomplished through CG.

I love working in 3-D CG, but sometimes it can be very freaky to see some of the things that we are doing with this type of media. In fact, I remember hearing a story about someone who claimed that in the future we would not need real, live, human actors, because we will be able to duplicate them with CG.

WHOA!!!

Ernest
08-06-2006, 11:26 AM
Oh we will still need live human actors in the future just as much as we do today. The only difference is that it will no longer matter what they look like, only their talent.

Ivan D. Young
08-06-2006, 08:53 PM
I think that Cars is under achieving a little for Pixar. I am not sure , but the numbers don't seem as good as they can be. Of course this is also due to the fact that there are more CG Films this summer. And Disney is beating Disney to an extent with Pirates of the Carribean, which has more exciting effects and CG skills than Cars, in my opinion.

riki
08-06-2006, 10:10 PM
I didn't expect to like the Incredibles, but really enjoyed it. I've got the same apprehension with car. The concept seems a bit odd, but hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

So far we've had toys, monsters, superheros and cars. I wonder what it'll be next?? "Golf Balls?"

THREEL
08-06-2006, 10:36 PM
Don't thank me, just pay me!

:ohmy: Amen to that! Did you ever notice that your work is the greatest thing that anyone has ever seen, as long as you give it away, but when you want compensated for all of your tremendous effort, it all changes doesn't it?


So far we've had toys, monsters, superheros and cars. I wonder what it'll be next?? "Golf Balls?"

We already have talking vegetables (gotta love those Veggie Tales), and animated sports balls (probably a golf ball in this one). I don't think there is a limit to what can be created with an exuberant imagination and software like :lwicon:.

I guess in the end it will all come down to the quality of the story telling, animation, and vocal talent. Not necessarily in that order.

jeremyhardin
08-06-2006, 10:38 PM
I didn't expect to like the Incredibles, but really enjoyed it. I've got the same apprehension with car. The concept seems a bit odd, but hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

So far we've had toys, monsters, superheros and cars. I wonder what it'll be next?? "Golf Balls?"

rats.
:D