Monday, May 21, 2012

The Pixar Story

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Pixar Story - 5 out of 5

Mine?
I'm a big fan of Pixar's work.  Ever since they burst onto the scene with Toy Story, I've been a fan of what they've accomplished.  Not only have they constantly, and consistently, proven to be one the most technologically wondrous animation organizations but they've also shown a deeper level of emotional content, story and character that has never been seen in the world of animated films.  Every movie they make keeps breaking records and continues their performance marker of outdoing themselves.  Each movie from Monsters, Inc. to Wall-E to Finding Nemo has shown that Pixar isn't like their parent company Disney.  They don't seek to rehash fairy tales that were old when the Brothers Grimm first wrote them down.  Instead, Pixar sought (and continues to seek) original tales that defy the imagination and become an experience that the entire family can enjoy.

Seeing how Pixar convinced Tom Hanks to do the voice of Woody for Toy Story is one
of the best moments of the doc as the Pixar team animated the Cowboy Toy to a scene
from Turner & Hooch and instantly convinced Hanks to get involved in the project.



I know everyone hates Lucas but how can you hate the
guy who gave us Star Wars and helped give us Pixar?
 The Pixar Story is a documentary that came out in 2007 and shows the evolution of the animation giants from their humble beginnings to their incredible gambles on making animated movies to their rise as the savior's of Disney.  Narrated by Stacy Keach, the film shows how a couple of young and hungry animators disillusioned with Disney as the company hit one of its many animation droughts (and Disney has had a lot of them) began to look into the world of computers for the future of animation.  A familiar filmmaker you may have heard of--a man named George Lucas (he made a little independent film that went on to become a pop culture empire and my drug of choice; Star Wars) ended up teaming with these young animators and engineers to create a software division to his movie empire when Lucas realized that the digital medium was the future of movie making.  With the help of this young Pixar, digital editing became possible and new software was created to assist in new, sparkly digital computer effects for films and the wide-eyed, bushy tail Pixar got to show its skills in the iconic scene that left filmmakers scratching their heads as they made a stained glass figure come to life in Young Sherlock Holmes.


The documentary continues to show how George Lucas went on to sell the company to a young Steve Jobs who saw the potential for Pixar's future and invested an unprecedented amount of cash to get the company up and running and how it eventually went on to be saved by Disney, only to have it, ironically, end up saving the House Built by a Mouse.

John Lasseter...one of the men who was there since the beginning.


Steve Jobs when he was chubbier...and still alive.
Documentaries are always difficult to review because they're not your typical film.  I can't say that John Lasseter (animator and director of Toy Story) is a bad actor because he's a real guy telling the real story of his journey.  I can't say that the special effects are unconvincing because there are none.  Sure a documentary can have bad technical elements like editing, sound, etc. but, at the heart of it, what makes a documentary is the content.  I've seen my fair share of poorly made documentaries that, despite the lack of decent equipment, showed a good story and became very entertaining.  However, The Pixar Story doesn't lack in any department.  The doc is put together quite well as it shows the interesting rise of a company that is all but Gods in the world of animation as it integrates clips of their films, interviews with all who participated in the inception of it all and old home camera clips, behind the scene footage and old photographs.  With Stacy Keach's eloquent narration steering the helm of this ship, The Pixar Story is an informative and fun documentary that shows us how we, the audiences of the world, were given the gift of awesomeness from a company that revolutionized the way we see animated films.

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