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.