Pixar Must Be Cheating
I sat down the other day to watch a film with my 2-year-old son. (It was his choice after I choose Saw III last week.) He said one word to me and that was enough to send shivers through my soul. “Car….Car…..Car” he said as he pointed at the TV screen.
Now let’s be clear here, it’s not the Cannonball Run or Dukes of Hazard or The Fast and the Furious. It was the worst film to come out of Pixar’s golden animation team, the Terrible Cars 2.
I liked Cars; in fact I like pretty much all Pixar films. So this got me thinking, how has Pixar been so consistent with its movies? From the original Toy Story to the upcoming Brave. Across the board they have been one of the most consistent film makers in modern times. I admit Cars 2 was bad and Ratatouille was just ok, but considering how good the other movies are we can allow them small bumps in the road.
I think the reason behind their success is their corporate culture. They don’t define the movie roles. They don’t say “Bob will write a script, John will Direct, Jane will produce”. Each story is written by any employee. If they have an idea and can convince those that matter, anyone can make a movie.
This is a freeing experience. This is true film making, everyone has a script idea in them. Be it about superheroes, a tiny fish or a team of monsters that collect scream to power their home world. These ideas are given the independence and belief they can make it.
Pixar use this to get the best films from their staff. We all know how that difficult second album never really hits on the bands first massive CD. This is similar to movies. I admit M Night Shyamalan got lucky with Unbreakable. There are some stand out directors but by using the pool of talent Pixar has to offer they can make instant classics.
At Pixar there is not that need to have another movie from you. There is not that pressure for you to push yourself to places you don’t want to go. I see this as the reason Cars 2 was so bad, it felt like a promotional tool to sell more Lightning McQueen toys rather than made on artistic merit. I feel that this may have been the “Walt Disney Affect” after they brought Pixar in 2006.
Everybody I have spoken to, has a favourite Pixar film. I am found of Monsters Inc and the Incredibles, my family go for any Toy Story or Finding Nemo. We do, however all agree on WALL:E. That little cleaning robot is simply amazing.
What’s your favorite Pixar movie and what would you make?