Tag Archives: Pixar

A couple of words and some Oscars

16 Jan

Hello everyone, I hope that 2016 has treated you well so far! I want to thank everyone for being so supportive of my blog. I’m sorry it’s been slow content wise.

Now this is the point where I SHOULD say that’s all changing, but it’s not. Mother luck has smiled upon me this week and my laptop crashed (also my iPad screen cracked but that’s another story). I am unaware at this point when or even if my laptop will be fixed.

What this means for the blog is that updates will be slower for the time being, because it all depends on when I can get to the local library to leech off of their computers. I’m actually not too upset about this situation, as I need to spend less time online and walking 20 minutes to the library is good exercise.

I’m away in Wales next week for a conference, and the weekend after that I’m heading off to Rome. Which is fun for me, but not fun for people wanting to ready my goofy blog. I’m sorry, but I have big things planned in February!

I suppose I should say something about animation too? Since this is what my blog is about? Well this week we got nominees for the 88th Academy Awards. That’s fun!

Now, I’ve only seen a few 2015 animated features so far. Inside Out (which I saw AT Pixar, one of the greatest experiences of my life), Minions, Hotel Transylvania 2, and The Peanuts Movie (or as it’s called here in the U.K. Charlie Brown and Snoopy: The Peanuts Movie which is just a tad of an overkill IMO).

My thoughts on the films?

Inside Out

12

Minions

15

Hotel Transylvania 2

1

The Peanuts Movie

13

Alright, and my thoughts on the nominations?

Well, I’m overJOYed that  Inside Out received a nomination for Best Screenplay, very much deserved. I am a bit disappointed that it did not get a Best Score nomination however. Also, my favourite film of 2015, animated and not.

As for snubs? I’m also overjoyed that Minions was not nominated. Not only am I sick of seeing those little bastards everywhere, but the film was mediocre at best. I am also sad that The Peanuts Movie was not nominated. I felt that its animation alone justified a nomination.

I also want to say that I’m glad that Shaun the Sheep got a nomination on the basis that I love Shaun the Sheep. Aardman does great stuff.

What are your opinions on the 88th Academy Award nominees? Let me know!

 

 

 

A Nostalgic Look at Monsters University

24 Jun

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For most of us, Monsters University was a very nostalgic experience. Because of this, I’m going to be a bit nostalgic and go down memory lane (Stay with me, it’s relevant).

When I was but a small inkling, I was crazy for one movie. Monsters, Inc. I remember having it on VHS. For a month after getting it, I watched it every single day. I had the Monsters Inc video game, and I religiously played it when not watching Monsters, Inc. Heck, I even watched the bonus features from it. Who watches the bonus features on video games?

The Nepal level pissed me off to no end.

The Nepal level pissed me off to no end.

To this day I am an avid Disney pin trader, and guess what my first pin was?  Boo from Monsters, Inc. I also want to take a moment and say that most kids who saw Monsters, Inc. found a connection with Boo because she was cute, Mike because he was funny, or Sully because he was brave. Oh no, not me. I had a weird fascination with Randall Boggs, the villain. I seriously thought he was the coolest. I’m sure that says something about me, that as a child I was fascinated with such a villainous and despicable creature. But that’s between me and my psychiatrist.

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Basically the reason why I like Steve Buscemi so much

I loved all Disney movies at that age, but I’m going to have to give credit to Monsters, Inc. for being the catalyst in my admiration of animation. It’s not surprising that I would eventually become a moderator on a Pixar fan site and write for an animation blog.

I actually remember seeing Monsters, Inc in theaters. I went with my neighbors on opening night. And 12 years later, I went to that exact same movie theater to see Monsters University on its opening day. So yes, I’m pretty nostalgic about that matter, which is perfect because this movie is a pretty nostalgic thing unto itself.

FLASHBACK, FLASHFORWARD

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If you are a Monsters, Inc fan then this film is especially a treat. There were a lot of great references to its predecessor. The first of which I noticed was the score. Pixar staple Randy Newman returns as the composer for this film. Several pieces of the music can be traced to Monsters, Inc. Especially the scenes involving the factory itself. The soundtrack also has amazing new pieces of music, and the end credits song is the headliner on my tumblr playlist at the moment.

In addition, some lines and dialogue were taken directly from Monsters, Inc. Word for word.  Pixar cameo staples such as AII3 and the Pizza Planet Truck make appearances as well. I was especially happy to see that Mike brought Little Mikey to college, but my favorite nod to the first film is easily Randall’s “Winds of Change” poster.

winds

If you don’t know the reference, then I am disapoint.

 And of course, there are a lot of familiar faces. It was a real treat to see the likes of George Sanderson, Waternoose, Roz, and the Abominable Snowman.  This film is fun on its own, but being familiar with Monsters, Inc will make this film much more enjoyable.

SOCIAL MEDIA AT ITS FINEST

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

I would definitely fit in with Oozma Kappa

I would just like to take a moment and applaud Pixar’s marketing department. Because they outdid it with social media. Any old movie studio can create some funny trailers and appealing posters. But oh no, Pixar won’t settle for that. They created a fully functional University Website. Because I spent the past year working on transferring to a University, I have seen my fair share of University websites. And Monsters University’s is completely accurate. They list the schools, the majors, the classes, even the fricken’ textbooks required. There’s a store where you can buy MU gear. The Greek Life gets a section, the faculty gets a section, the parents get a section.  You can read up on how MU’s football team is doing. Heck, there’s even a map and directions page.

And if that’s not enough. Pixar pranked its own website. On April Fools, the Monsters University website was ‘hacked’ by its rival school- Fear Tech.

Oh, and Pixar also created a tumblr account for a student at Monsters University- Grumblr. Grumblr is a “Monstropolis transplant, MU sophomore, and self-diagnosed coffee addict”. Grumblr posts about frustration when MU looses a sports game to what certain students are up to on campus. So kudos to Pixar, they definitely did a fantastic job drumming up interest for this movie (as if it wasn’t needed already!)

AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE

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I enjoyed Monsters University way more than Pixar’s last two endeavors (Cars 2 and Brave). I thought that Brave was a sub par film, to be honest. There are a lot of reasons, but for this articles purpose I will focus on one. One reason why Pixar movies work so well is that they create entire new universes. In most Pixar films, we get to see the second lives of toys, cities and colonies for bugs, an alternate universe for Cars, or the Monster universe. And they don’t half ass it either. These universes have rules on what can and can’t work within them, and there is continuity. This is sort of Pixar’s niche- glimpses into new worlds is the basis of most of their films. There are exceptions, and Brave is the most notable. It was in world with a precise location and time. I applaud Pixar for going outside its niche, but it isn’t that Pixar ‘flair’ that most of us know and love. Creating new worlds is, and they have fun doing it.

Monsters University works so well because the studio expanded on the idea of the Monster Universe. We get to see a bit more of the factory itself, but we also get to see a previously unexplored idea- how Monsters get to Monsters Inc.  We see how doors to the human world are made, how great scarers are made, and even what birds in that world look like. This film is remarkably creative, and that in itself makes it incredibly enjoyable.

THE UNIVERSITY LIFE

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Poor Mike can never catch a break

This movie is especially fun if you’re a college student. I graduated last month from my community college, and I’m transferring to a University this fall. I actually had my orientation the day before I saw Monsters University. Don’t you love how the pieces fall together like that sometimes? So the film’s setting especially appealed to me, and peers who grew up with Monsters Inc, and are now college students themselves. There was defintely a lot of familiar sites. From the overly excited Orientation Leaders to the pre-finals coffee addicted students.   We also see a student who is incredibly anxious and optimistic to see his dreams come true, and we also see the overpowering pressure sense of fear should failure happen. This film is remarkably east to connect with if you’re a student.

A POWERFUL MESSAGE

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

~Alright, this next part has no outright spoilers. However, I will be talking about the overall theme of the movie, what the message was. I won’t be talking about plot points, but you might still want to avoid this part if you want to keep a blank slate before seeing the film~

Monsters University is unique in its message. Basically it’s, “Guess what, just because you put a lot of effort into something doesn’t mean you’ll succeed. There are some things you just can’t do. Not everyone’s dreams come true”. And I loved that. Too many films (notably from the House of Mouse) have messages along the lines of “If you believe in yourself, your dreams will come true”. While it’s good to believe in yourself and have a dream, in the real world things don’t work out the way you want them to. The fact is that there are some things we can’t change about ourselves. No matter how much we try. And that’s alright. Because everyone has their purpose, their place. Not everything in life will go according to your plan. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be happy or find new dreams. So thank you Pixar, for this very unique and realistic advice.

—–

I don’t know what else to say. Just go see Monsters University. I know that I will be seeing it again, and I can’t wait to see what details I notice the second time around.

P.S. Terri and Terry Perry were awesome.

terry and terri

 

Send help, I’ve been ‘Tagged’

11 Apr

Well, I’ve been tagged! And I know what you’re thinking.

“What’s ‘tagged’, why should I care, and what does this have to do with Animation?”

“Tagged” is this game circulating about the wordpress-o-sphere. My first follower and fellow animation enthusiast, The Animation Commendation, has tagged me. Basically Animation Commendation answered 11 questions. He tagged 11 followers. I, as one of those followers, answer 11 questions. Then I tag some other people, and they answer stuff.

This doesn’t have too much to do with animation, but you will get to learn a little bit about myself. And it’s always nice to know who the Sam Hill is behind the blog you follow, right?

The More You Know, right?

All right, let’s get started.

1) What is your least favorite color and why?

Oh boy, this is even harder than choosing a favorite color. In all honesty, I don’t have one? I even like browns and grays. But as far as lipstick colors go, I’m not big on Coral Blue #2.

“Actually it’s Coral Blue #3”

2) What word do you always mess up when trying to spell it correctly?

I end up spelling”Atheistic” instead of “Aesthetic” and those are two totally different things

3) What is your favorite animated film?

WALL-E. Maybe it’s my love for Silent Films. Perhaps it’s my fascination with Post-Apocalyptic scenarios. It could be how I was just so impressed with how the animators were able to carry a whole film with two characters-lacking in features like eyebrows and mouths- and still make them very expressive. Its humor, its heart, its pathos. Magnificent. (I’m actually terrified of robots however. They don’t bother me in this film. But robots creep me out in general)

I also am really fond of Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Ratatouille.

4) What is your least favorite animated film?

“What in God’s name is this?” ask those who were fortunate enough not to see it.

5) What school subject would you like to be eradicated from the curriculum?

I was going to say math, but that’s actually extremely important. I won’t go so far as to say it should be eradicated. But probably French. It’s an important language as far as culture and history goes. But Spanish, Japanese, German, Mandarin, Arabic, Portuguese are all much more useful languages for the 21st century. (As far as international business and technology are concerned). As I said before, maybe not get rid of it completely, but definitely we need to invest in other language classes as well.

The fuck is this

I’m sorry Bread Thief and main character of Les Miserables, Jean Valjean. But French has had it’s time in the spotlight. Also, I’m sorry to my French relatives and ancestors. Maybe its the German blood of me coming through.

6) Which celebrity have you met? And if you’ve never met one, which would you like to meet?

None! I actually live in the same neck of the woods as John Lasseter (The current Big Cheese at Pixar and Disney), and literally everyone in my family has met him except for me. The one out of all of us who is a big animation nut. Just my luck.

My life would get infinitely better if I met Steve Carell, Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert.

The triumvirate

7) Do you believe that the Loch Ness Monster exists?

Of course! And that bastard owes me Tree Fiddy. Don’t give him money.

8) If this is that, and that is this, then would a little bit of this and a little bit of that equal to one this or one that?

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What

9) Did you understand the previous question?

pinocchio

“Ohhh! This makes it perfectly clear”

10) How amazing am I on a scale of 10 to 10?

A solid VIII 1/2

11) What song would you like to be your theme song to be played as you enter a room?

This would be intense.

Alright. So I have 13 followers so far! And you’re all amazing. Some of you have already been tagged, and some of you don’t have blogs. So my list of tagees is a bit small.

1. Leslie

2. mikemadigan

3. elliekayba

4. Thalita Carvalho

5. L. Marie

6. Merida DunBroch

7. AmandaLyn11

And your questions:

1. If you could date any super hero, who would it be?

2. Have you ever cried during an Animated Movie?

3. Would you rather star in a Western or a Sci Fi Film?

4. Which language do you wish you were fluent in?

5. How is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

6. What’s one quote that really inspires you?

7. How many States in the United States have you been to?

8. Which Disney character are you most like?

9. What is the cheesiest movie you’ve ever seen?

10. If you could be a bird, which bird would you be?

11. What is one job that you’d be terrible at?

The best of luck my friends! I look forward to reading your responses!

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Anthony Bourdain, stap. Stap being so creepy.

The Return of Nemo?

2 Apr

Or, apparently  more like the return of Dory. I’m sure I’m not breaking news of this to anyone, as the news has been out all day. But Pixar has confirmed that there will be a sequel to Finding Nemo, and will be entitled Finding Dory.

If only I could get college credit for being able to speak whale.

If only I could get college credit for being able to speak whale.

I’m actually a HUGE Pixar fan. It’s my favorite animation studio, ever. (I’m sorry Walt Disney Animation Studios. But I’ve been constantly impressed by Pixar save a few exceptions. But your portfolio has some masterpieces, some bombs, and some ‘mehs’.  I know that’s not entirely fair, as Disney has been around a whole of a heck longer, but that’s just my opinion. I love me my Pixar)

So what are my feelings on the matter?

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Dory please, your face!

I must be OUTRAGED right? How dare they make another Nemo film, while the previous one was fine on its own? Or I must be so EXCITED. So many opportunities! Pixar is a great studio, they must know what they’re doing.

That seemed to be the two options for everyone else. Either you’re upset because it’s going to be a bastardization, or you’re excited because it’ll be another classic.

My reaction? “Meh”. That’s right. Meh.

Come on, this film is coming out in 2015- at least. All we have is a logo, a one sentence description, and Ellen DeGeneres fangirling over the matter.

Usually it's me fangirling over Ellen. Seriously, she's hilarious.

Usually it’s me fangirling over Ellen. Seriously, she’s hilarious.

That’s definitely not enough for me to get invested into this film- for or against- yet. Just on all the internet spheres that I haunt around, people are generally freaking out about how bad it’ll be. And we have literally nothing to say that it’ll be bad- or good for that matter.

This is all we have.

This is all we have.

Ask me in a couple years when we see trailers and posters what I feel about it. I’m certain that I’ll have some strong opinions. I am curious about Nemo’s fate. That little shit should be grounded for all that trouble he caused.

One thing I will point out is that the setting for this film will apparently be the California coastline. I think that is an interesting contrast to the Great Barrier Reef. But how the hell do they get there?

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Oh and PS. My first article should be ready by tomorrow. Jiminy Cricket, The Three Caballeros, The Crows from Dumbo, The Mad Hatter. What have they all in common? I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.