A LOOKBACK - FROM 1995 TO INFINITY & BEYOND
by Gabriel Chong & Linus Tee with John Li | Posted
20 July 2009
following movies are ranked based on worldwide box-office
# 10: Up
($323 millions and counting)
A 78 year old balloon salesman. An eight year old boy. Thousands of colourful balloons tied to a house. Talking dogs, a multicoloured bird and a place in South America only known as Paradise Falls. Trust the geniuses at Pixar Animation to put these elements together to tell a heartwarming tale of keeping promises and that childhood dream alive. Sure, there are towering robots and wizards threatening to take over the summer blockbuster season this year, but this entertaining and heartwarming feature are an excellent proof that the littlest of things can make the biggest emotional impact.
Having already clinched the 24th place on imdb.com's
Top 250 Movies List, and a healthy box office figure,
this best reviewed movie of the year is definitely going
up, up and away!
Toy Story ($362
The movie that started it all –
Toy Story. Without Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato
Head or Hamm, there wouldn’t be Pixar or even
computer animation so to speak. This 1995 release marks
a milestone in motion picture history by being the first
entirely CG animation feature film. The technology has
improved by leaps and bounds since then but one thing
remains, the heart and soul of the story.
Story was the highest grossing movie of 1995 in the
States. 14 years have passed but it ain’t going
to damper audience’s anticipation for more adventures
coming from Woody and gang which is why Disney/Pixar
is re-releasing it in 3D next year before they unleashed
Toy Story 3.
8: A Bug's Life ($363 millions)
was the year of the battle of the bug movies when DreamWorks’
animated offering “Antz” and Pixar’s
“A Bug’s Life” debuted within months
of each other. Though both had as its key character
an intellectual misfit out of step with the conformities
of ant society, there were immediate differences between
Whereas “Antz” had a more sophisticated
adult feel to it, “A Bug’s Life” was
unabashedly a true-blue family film. Fresh off the success
of “Toy Story”, co-director John Lasseter
populated his second theatrical feature with the same
kind of wacky colourful characters that immediately
struck a chord with audiences. And it was “A Bug’s
Life” that eventually won the box-office “bug”
crown at the box office that year.
7: Cars ($462
After a year’s break, John Lasseter finally embarked
on another directorial project, Cars. Inspired by Lasseter’s
own road trip with his family, Cars is about a hotshot
rookie race car, Lightning McQueen who discovers that
life is about the journey and not the finish line when
he is accidentally detoured to a sleepy town called
Radiator Springs. Released at a time where Pixar were
still busy negotiating for a new distribution partner,
Cars opened in the summer of 2006 to mixed reviews and
its box-office returns weren’t that impressive
as compared to their earlier productions.
the movie’s related merchandising returns really
knocked the socks off the suits. Every little kid it
seems wants a Cars diecast toy car or a blanket or a
water tumbler. Automobiles are meant for the boys and
men and it shows. Those cute talking cars with shining
eyes are destined to go way beyond their intended mileage.
It’s so popular in the end that the sequel to
Cars is coming to theaters in 2011 and Carland is gearing
to open in Disneyland the same year.
6: Toy Story 2 ($485 Millions)
Story 2 remains till now the only official theatrical
sequel which Pixar ever produced out of its properties
despite the fact that its parent company, Disney is
an old hand in churning out related movie sequels and
direct-to-video animations by the truckload. The original
voice actors return for more adventures when Woody is
‘kidnapped’ by a toy collector and Buzz
Lightyear and gang had to embark on a rescue mission
to save him.
a crew comprising of Pixar’s cream of the crop
including John Lassester (Toy Story), Andrew Stanton
(Finding Nemo), Pete Doctor (Monsters Inc) and Lee Unkrich
(the upcoming Toy Story 3), the sequel opens to rave
reviews and subsequently became the third highest grossing
movie of 1999.
5: Monsters Inc ($525 Millions)
do you make a film about the things that go bump in
the night that won’t give the kids nightmares
after? The creative masterminds at Pixar came up with
the ingenious premise of taking the children’s
fears and turning them into that of (well) the monsters’
themselves. And hence the birth of Monsters, Inc- a
company from a parallel dimension called Monstropolis
that sends its monster employees into the closets of
little kids to scare them, the children’s screams
an energy source for the city.
“Monsters, Inc” was an opportunity for the
Pixar artists to let their imagination run free in a
make-believe world and the result was a multitude of
monsters in every conceivable size, shape and colour
in just as inventive and colourful settings. Not to
mention its climactic roller-coaster pursuit involving
hundreds of doors on a never-ending conveyor line, easily
one of the most action-packed finales among all the
4: Wall-E ($525
Whoever said technology had to be cold and unfeeling?
With a rusty Waste Allocation Load Lifter- Earth Class
(WALL E) and a sleek iPod-like Extraterrestrial Vegetarian
Evaluator (EVE), the folks at Pixar told an absolutely
heart-warming and endearing story of the unlikely friendship
between two robots. And all that- with the most minimal
dialogue between its two main characters.
A perfect example of pure visual storytelling, it was
no doubt inspired by the Charlie Chaplin and Buster
Keaton films the filmmakers watched every day during
lunch for a year and a half. Indeed, their dedication
to their craft is no wonder the film went on to garner
6 Oscar nominations- the most any animation has ever
received- and take home the honour of Best Animated
Film in 2008.
3: Ratatouille ($621
Imagine having a rodent as your movie’s protagonist.
The closest we can think of is none other than Mickey
the Mouse. But the eighth movie from the Emeryville-based
company introduced us to a rat named Remy which dreams
of becoming a great French chef in the bustling city
of Paris. One of the challenges here for the artistes
were to recreate the delicious dishes convincingly on
the big screen. But then again when you have a whole
bunch of geniuses at Pixar who truly loves their craft,
there’s nothing they can’t replicate.
the box-office wasn’t that impressive although
it was critically positive however its worldwide tally
positioned Ratatouille as the third highest grossing
Pixar movie among its slate and best of all, an Oscar
for the Best Animated Feature Film.
2: The Incredibles ($631 Millions)
second full-length animated feature by the understated
Iron Giant’s helmer, Brad Bird takes a shot at
a dysfunctional family with superhero powers called
The Incredibles. This is Pixar’s answer to Marvel’s
Fantastic Four. Not only does the animated feature surpassed
most of the market’s live-action comic adaptations
in terms of story-telling, characters and effects (and
you are talking about a CG animation) but it also posed
another serious question to fans and audience –
How does Pixar, an animation company that has no track
records with the superhero genre managed to encroach
a territory dominated by DC and Marvel?
is Pixar at its peak and The Incredibles also marks
the debut of featuring human characters as the main
leads. No bugs, no fishy creatures or wooden toys this
time round, just a bunch of wacky ex-superheroes and
their friends trying to save the day and their own.
1: Finding Nemo ($865 Millions)
atop the Pixar box office chest is a movie that almost
instantly swam its way into the hearts of millions around
the world- its opening weekend in the U.S. the biggest
for any animated film back in 2003. It’s no wonder
really- besides the usual brilliance of Pixar’s
wacky brand of comedy, its colourful visuals of the
tropical underwater had a beauty and form which was
unique upon itself.
Thanks to the combined voice talents of veteran comedians
Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres, audiences worldwide
would forever remember the fretful clownfish father
Marlin and his absent-minded tang fish companion Dory.
Just as memorable were the rest of the supporting characters,
including vege-shark Bruce and surfer dude-turtle Crush.
Yes, this was the movie that probably made aquarium
shop owners very happy- suddenly everyone wanted to
have their own or more accurately, their own clownfish.
Year 2010 and Beyond
2010 brings the highly anticipated return of Buzz and
Woody in the Disney Digital™ 3D summer release
of Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” directed
by Lee Unkrich.
June 2011 marks the return of Lightning McQueen, Mater
the tow truck and an international cast of favorite
and new car characters in Pixar’s “Cars
2,” directed by Brad Lewis (producer of “Ratatouille”).
Christmas 2011 brings Pixar’s first fairy tale,
“The Bear and the Bow,” from acclaimed filmmaker/writer
Brenda Chapman (“The Prince of Egypt”) featuring
In the summer of 2012, Pixar’s “newt”
marks the directing debut of multiple Oscar® winning
sound designer Gary Rydstrom, the seven-time Academy
Award-winning sound designer and director who made his
directorial debut with the Pixar animated short, Lifted.
says in his own words, “This is an amazing time
for animation at Disney and Pixar and it’s a thrill
to be working on such a diverse and original group of
films with such an all-star team of filmmakers".
We are so going to be there with Lasseter and his dedicated
crew at Disney/Pixar.
the 10th movie from Pixar opens here on 5 August 2009
Pixar Touch Book Review
PIXAR official website
two guys that started it all
Flix (Independent thinker ant) and the gang from A Bug's
only sequel in Pixar's history till now
with Sulley and Mike!
and Dory teams up to search for Nemo and ends up a box-office
answer to the Fantastic Four
McQueen is on the fast track and no one can stop him
or is it?
winner of Best Animated Film Feature
lonely robot named Wall-E discovers a new purpose in
78 year old ballon salesman and a 8 year old stowaway
on a journey filled with danger and suspense
Short Films Collection DVD
Images © Disney/Pixar