The Pixar Legacy: How to Make a (almost) Perfect Threequel

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Flaremon, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Jason

    "Glad to see I impress you." He put his feet up on the table.

    John came in. "Alright, Hunter and Blizzard are on their way. Jay, get your feet off that table."
  2. A Bug's Life (1998)

    I don't like A Bug's Life. I mean, I don't have any reason to hate it, the movie has plenty of reasons to make me laugh. But it wasn't Toy Story.

    What made Toy Story so great is that it has emotional drama with lovable characters that are very unique, non stereotypes. Flik, the main protagonist of A Bug's Life, however, was like one of those annoying adult-made characters that keep on telling kids not to give up, and have empty hopes that they will someday become one big tree. I hate that. It's not only impractical and boring, it's getting cliche.

    Maybe in the '90s, it wasn't as commonplace. If so, I'll disregard that, because A Bug's Life still out-beats the blatant copycat of Dreamworks in every fucking way. Yes, I have to swear, because that company had the audacity to create the reason I hold my hatred towards that company till today: Antz

    Not only was it proven to be a blatant copycat (its production date was started AFTER A Bug's Life was announced), it was released BEFORE A Bug's Life got to its release, making everyone thought that A Bug's Life was the copycat. This utterly repulsive act is the very reason I detest Dreamworks and their dirty, filthy, animalistic tactics till today.

    Sure, they made ONE good hit in the past with Prince of Egypt, which I still praise greatly till today, but I couldn't ignore the fact that they took away the chance for A Bug's Life to shine at the box office by using such a low-down technique.

    *calms down* But let's get to the good bits of A Bug's Life.

    Kevin Stacey was awesome, especially when he said that line, "I hate it when someone gives away the ending," making possible notion to his role as Kaiser Soze, whose true identity everyone constantly revealed when it was first known. Kevin totally bought the entire movie. That's the thing about villains; they have more exploration of the characters, the human in us. After all, humans are the biggest villains of all. And for Hopper, it is the exploration of Hopper's struggle to keep a system that works for him, a system that keeps him powerful in the circle of life. But when that struggle went out of control... well, too bad for Hopper. I guess I'm slightly rooting for him. :3

    Another thing is the comparison of the grasshoppers to bike gangs (you could obviously tell from the way the beating of their wings sounding like bike engines). It's the symbol of oppression against a weaker society, which is pretty cool for a kids movie. Though it's just a 'big bullies vs. the hopeful younglings' notion, it's quite well done. Instead of just leaving it as cliche, making the whole gang just mindlessly oppress the ants, the members questioned themselves, about the oppression they are setting - with much displeasure to Hopper, of course.

    Overall, it was a fun journey to experience a bug's life. The city bugs were fun to watch, Francis was so much fun to watch as a male ladybug, and there were lots of bug-jokes and references made in this film. Not as great as future classics, but definitely better than most of Dreamworks' capitalizing crap.

    Subtext: Standing up against the oppression, having hope in being stronger; nothing you've never heard of in a kids' movie.
    Character Development: Limited. I only see small development in Princess Atta.
    Emotional Drama: Not much. This movie is more developed on the villains, and is an overall fun experience rather than an emotional one.

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    The toys are back in town!
  3. Hunter

    He watched her process patiently before a sharp pain shot through his forearm. He winced slightly. He dropped her, pushing her back slightly so she'd fall backwards. He saw a bone spike stuck in his arm and a bunch sticking out of her leg. He chuckled, "I'll have to admit, I didn't expect that one. Well done. I would clap but that wouldn't be a good idea at the moment." He chuckled again. He took a step forward and offered a hand to help her up. "You might be the first person to tag me in a very long while, congrats." He helped her up. "We can continue if you wish." Blood dripped from the wound. It hadn't gone all the way through, but it was a decently deep wound which still had the spike in it.


    When he saw the spike straight through his arm, he said under his breath, "Oh my god." He heard him offer to continue. "Is he crazy? That bone could be damaging his arm if doesn't get it out and treated."

    Jason interjected, "Yes but he can't remove it, not yet. If he removes it now, he'll start bleeding a lot. By keeping the spike in for now, he's blocking most of it from flowing out, but we need to stop this now."
  4. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

    It took two years after Toy Story 2's big release before Monsters, Inc. came out, and it was all worth it. It became one of the classic Pixar movies that was finally an original story again and not in the form of a sequel. After A Bug's Life's not-so-successful release, Toy Story 2 managed to boot up Pixar's rep, just enough to allow the company to bring us to another world, this time, the one behind our closet doors.

    And this is one of those classic Pixar films with a theme I don't really care about - energy shortage. Around the time of its creation, I presume that we were facing a similar crisis in the human world as well. (Too bad we didn't know our very own screams could supply as energy, huh? lol) Even till now, I still have little concerns about this. lol I mean, c'mon, I'm a teenager slacking away on junk food and videogames. Sure, I love Toy Story 2's idea about the humanity and the internal struggles, but that's about life, and human emotions, and philosophical stuff, not about some energy shortage.

    And that brings me to what I like about the film.

    For Toy Story 1, it was the one that started the creativity run. For A Bug's Life, it was Hopper. Toy Story 2, it was an awesome animated sequel, and it has deep emotional subtext and story. For Monsters, Inc., there were also two things: Billy Crystal, and the friendship between Mike and Sully.

    I see a lot of Mike Wazowski in me. I wise-crack. I'm bad-tempered. I argued with my ex-bestfriends (all of them) a lot because I felt they didn't understand me, that they didn't relate with me. But still, I would very much like to say I'm an overall nice and decent guy... at times. :)

    Also, I always seem to go for the wise-cracker in a movie. Johnny Cage, Spider-Man, Rick O'Connell, James Edwards, etc. That's why Mike couldn't have been a much more entertaining guy to me.

    Aside from the laughs, there was also the tight friendship between Mike and Sully, of course. For Monsters, Inc., it was like Toy Story 1. The good thing about both of these movies is not the existence of a profound theme, but the emotional character interactions the Pixar team portrayed between the characters. Whether it's Woody and Buzz or Mike and Sully, it is always interesting to see these very human characters go on some kind of journey to rediscover themselves while we, the audience, relate ourselves to them and, while doing so, rediscover ourselves, too.

    I haven't got the fortune to attain a good copy of the original 2-Disc Collector's Edition of the DVD yet, so I can't get to the director's commentary, and thus, unable to know about the other subtext applied here. But of course, there are a few I could guess, like not being afraid of the mysterious and unknown, not being a jackass that kidnaps children for your own selfish purpose. Also, a friendship requires conflict to grow, that's one thing I had learned from my previous friendships. And the conflict here between Mike and Sully is strong enough to make them grow, but their brother love for each other is also powerful enough not for them to break apart.

    These subtexts here are nothing impressive, but who knows? I have only watched the movie, in total, 5 to 6 times my whole life, after all. :P

    About Waternoose, he's another of those villains who struggle for his own survival under harsh circumstances by sacrificing others. Again, survival of the fittest. I've discussed about this when I talked about The Prospector in Toy Story 2, and it seems like a reoccurring theme in the villains of Pixar, all desperate fellows just trying to save themselves rather than care about others. Again, it's not 'bad.' It's a choice. A selfish one, no shit, but still, an individual choice. Whether Boo would've been better off kidnapped by Waternoose and be used in his plan, well, that's a sinister vision we might never find out from Pixar. At least not until Monsters, Inc. 2, perhaps. ;)

    Subtext: Energy shortage, desperate measures with lack of resources, growth of friendship through conflict.

    Character Development: Enough between Mike and Sully to last the whole movie.

    Emotional Drama: Lots between Sully and Boo. Tearful departure at the end of movie.

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    Grab shell, dudes!