Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Top Five Pixar Films - No.2: Monsters Inc. (2001)

**Includes spoilers**

Monsters Inc is about the world behind our wardrobe (closet if you're from the US) doors. As children, most of us believe that there are monsters in our wardrobes out to get us, Monsters Inc explains that "it's nothing personal, it's just their job". The monsters scare human children, because the electricity system of their world runs on the power of screams. They even believe that human children are toxic and that one touch could be fatal. The film follows protagonists and best friends Sulley and Mike. The pair work together at the scream factory and one day they come across a human child who has escaped from the human world. As they figure out how to return the little girl they come across some dark secrets about the factory and future plans for collecting screams. 

As I mentioned in my last blog about La Luna, I love stories which put a new twist on something we're already familiar with. The idea that yes there are monsters in our wardrobes, but they scare us to get paid and, if anything, they're more scared of us. The characters are, as always with Pixar, brilliant. Mike is voiced by Billy Crystal and Sulley by John Goodman, and the two characters have a great relationship that we invest in without question. This means that later when things start to go down hill you feel genuinely upset when they fall out. 

The script is funny, but sensitive at the same time. When the little girl, named 'Boo' by Sulley, first comes through the door there is panic as the pair decide what to do. Later on Sulley starts to care for Boo and when they have to put her back in her own room and watch her door get shredded, (the only way they could have got back to her and seen her again) at the end of the film it's a little bit heartbreaking. Right at the very end it turns out that Mike has reassembled Boo's door so that Sulley CAN see her again. The film ends on a shot of Sulley peeping through her door and then smiling as we hear her speak. So sweet. I'm really excited for Monsters University, but I would quite like a sequel too maybe interlinking with Boo in her teen years? 

Picture For Thought

 The top film on my "Top Five Pixar Films" introduced this horrific yet helpful character.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Top Five Pixar Films - No.3: La Luna (2011)

**Includes spoilers**

La Luna was the Pixar short shown before Brave, in the cinema, it's also on the special features of the Brave DVD. I always love the Pixar short films, but this one has stood out 
for me among the rest.

La Luna is silent in terms of speaking, other than a couple of murmurs and grunts. The film tells the story of a little boy who has come of age and is finally getting to go to work with his Papa and Grandpa. The boy looks up to the two men and tries to copy them, although there are constant disagreements between Papa and Grandpa on how things should be done. The three sit in their boat on the ocean and wait for the full moon to rise. The little boy then ascends a ladder and anchors their boat to the moon. Papa and Grandpa set about their job of sweeping the fallen stars off the moon's surface. After trying each man's favoured technique the little boy eventually finds his own way of doing things and they work together to get the job done.

I had to include this short film in my top five, because it's such a lovely story. I don't know if it is an original Pixar idea or based on a fable, but either way it is brilliant. Pixar show that it is no effort to tell an engaging story without the use of speech. Another reason I love the story so much is because it gives a different explanation for something that we take for granted. The reason the moon seems to change shape in the sky is not because of reflected sunlight, it's because the fallen stars are being swept aside.

Picture For Thought

Film number two features this misunderstood fellow.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Top Five Pixar Films - No.4: The Incredibles (2004)

**Includes spoilers**

The Incredibles is about a family of undercover superheroes. Bob Parr (formerly Mr. Incredible) and his wife Helen (formerly Elastagirl) have been forced, along with all other superheroes, to give up their superhero duties and take on ordinary names and lives within the community. The couple now have three children with super powers of their own: Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. The film focuses on Bob's struggle to give up his superhero life. He takes on a job for a private company testing the strength and intelligence of a new robot; he loves the job as it gives him a chance to use his super strength once again. However, it turns out that the man behind the company is a new evil villain named Syndrome, once an obsessed fan of Mr. Incredible's. When the truth comes out the whole family ends up getting involved in the situation. The kids learn more about the superpowers they were previously ordered to suppress and the family learn to work together.

I always enjoy this film way more than I think I'm going to whenever I watch it. The mix of ordinary family life with the fact that they are also superheroes is perfect. As always with Pixar films each of the characters has their own believable personality for the audience to become invested in. Even Helen and Bob's old friend and fashion designer Edna Mode is absolutely hilarious. Voiced by director Brad Bird, Edna is one of the best Pixar characters and yet isn't really vital to the main plot. Even though the main characters are fighting robots and super-villians they are still totally relatable. One of the scenes that always sticks out in my mind is in the climax of the film when the rest of the family have freed Bob and, suited and booted in their superhero outfits, end up driving a motor-home through the city to the robot's location. Not yet worried about the robot awaiting them, Bob and Helen end up having a full-blown argument about which turn-off they need to take. My family and I crack up at that part EVERY time, because it's exactly like us when we drive somewhere! The Incredibles may be a group of superheroes, but at the same time they are still a normal family.

Throughout the film it is thought that baby Jack-Jack does not have any superpowers, but at the end of the film he shows his true colours... ALL of them. He has an array of crazy powers which help to save him from Syndrome's last attempt to destroy the family. I really want to know what's next for the family, especially in terms of Jack-Jack's development with his powers. Of all the Pixar films I'd say this is the one that most obviously lends itself to a sequel, but nothing has happened... yet.
The Incredibles 2, please, John Lasseter? 

Picture For Thought

Number 3 on my list features this cutie, and it might not be a feature-length film.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Top Five Pixar Films - No.5: Toy Story 3 (2010)

**Includes Spoilers**

Toy Story 3 is (obviously) the third film in the Toy Story saga.
In this one Andy is getting ready to go off to university and at the beginning of the film is packing his room away. As per usual there is an accident that sparks the toys' feature-length adventure. Andy puts his toys in a bin bag with the intention of storing them in the attic. There is a misunderstanding when Andy's mum puts the bag out on the footpath as rubbish! The poor toys assume that Andy no longer wants them and they decide to go to Sunnyside Daycare Centre to make some new children happy. But Sunnyside turns out not to be the paradise they dreamed of.

Toy Story 3 is a brilliant film, but possibly only just made my Top Five, because of its release date. It was released in the summer of 2010, the summer before I went to university. Emotionally, Toy Story 3 hit me hard. Andy was saying goodbye to his childhood things and childhood itself. I totally related and I know many of my other friends going to university did too!

The toys go through A LOT in the film, right from simple arguments to a near-death experience! I'd say, not surprisingly, the near-death experience is the emotional peak of the film. The characters are as endearing as ever and still have their brilliant variety of personalities. One of my favourite new characters in this one has to be Ken, he's so naive and stereo-typically vain, but along with that he ultimately has good intentions and just wants everyone to live in harmony.

At the end of the film Andy chooses to give Woody and the other toys to a sweet little girl called Bonnie, who we learn to love throughout the film. When I saw this in the cinema there was a very small percentage of dry eyes at this point. I have to admit I did tear up a little. The film ended on a good vibe though- an end of an era turning into a new beginning. 

The one thing that I hate about this film is that Bo Peep is never involved. At the beginning in Andy's room the toys discuss how little of them are still left and there is a passing comment that Bo has gone too. But where to!? The whole way through the film I was telling myself that Bo would be at Bonnie's house and that she and Woody would be emotionally reunited at the end, but no such luck. I was devastated. A Toy Story 4 is being planned though and I have everything crossed that she'll somehow make it back to Woody and they'll be together once more! 

Picture For Thought

My number 4 film on the list features this absolute legend of a fashion designer.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Monsters University Is Coming!

On the 12th of July the next Pixar film is going to be released in the UK! 

Monsters University is the prequel to Monsters Inc (2011) and will tell the tale of how Mike and Sulley first met when they were at university.

I am a HUGE Pixar fan and I'm so excited for the 12th July! Only 40 days to go!

In honour of the new film, and to keep myself preoccupied while I wait for its release, I've decided to write five blogs about my Top Five Pixar films.

It took me a while to write down my top 5, it was SO difficult. I'm sure after I've written the blogs the order will change. Maybe I should do my Top Five Pixar films each year and see how they change!

Picture For Thought

The film that makes No.5 on my Top Five Pixar Films is the one in which we first meet these cheeky peas!

Friday, 10 May 2013

I think it's all over... it is now.

Today I handed in my last ever assignment for university. 
It's official. I've finished.

Between last Friday and this Friday I had around 16,000 words worth of assignments to submit. A pretty intense "final push" if you ask me. There's a couple of assignments in there I'm not so sure about, but I've got high hopes for the rest. 

So after I handed my last essay in today I felt a bit like this...

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In general I consider myself to be a little more organised (some might call it obsessive compulsive) than the average person. Throughout life I've always known what the next step was going to be, there's always been another stage ahead of where I am in "the plan". After school I knew I was going to college, after college I knew I was going to university, but now the only thing afterwards is uncertainty and it scares THE HELL OUT OF ME!

Tangled Scared photo tumblr_ls5qr6BQM61qj3g00o1_500.gif

It's not like I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen next, 
it's just that there are a lot of "ifs" involved. 
I'm now starting the epic task of applying for jobs and internships and what-not... wish me luck.

Picture for thought

The Great Gatsby comes out next week. 
Although I have no idea about The Great Gatsby, my friend Rosita is a massive Gatsby fan and is unbelievably excited.
I saw the trailer for the first time today and even as someone new, it looks like it's going to be awesome.

Monday, 6 May 2013

When You Wish Upon A Star (Part 1)

So last summer I managed to bag the best job I've ever had; I was a Custodial Showkeeper at the Hollywood Studios theme park in Walt Disney World!

I applied for the Disney International College Program through a company called Yummy Jobs. They actually came into my uni and did a talk about it. I went to the talk, put my name down, applied online, progressed through the interview stages and got an e-mail saying that I had been accepted onto the program! 


I won't lie, to begin with my excitement was tainted by devastation. One of my best friends had applied too and didn't get through the final stage, and on top of that my role was going to be in custodial... a.k.a. cleaning. 
I'd been so excited for both my friend and I to be going together and having the best summer ever, but it all seemed to be falling apart a bit.

I talked to my friend about it and she told me that I was the biggest Disney geek she knew and that if I didn't go for it I would regret it for the rest of my life.

I'm pretty sure she was right.

Pictures for thought

I absolutely loved it. I'll say more another day. :)