Things are winding down here at the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon as today is the penultimate day of the blogathon. Kim begins wrapping things up with reviews of several Pixar films. I think you all know who she is by now so there is no need for an introduction. Let’s just jump right into her reviews!
In the 2000s came a change in Disney, the classic animations took a turn for some less appreciated titles with a few exceptions like Lilo & Stitch (that was covered by one of our entries HERE). However, the quality and creativity of Pixar took a turn for some excellent and memorable films within one decade. Before Pixar released the three films in this feature, they took us into a company run by monsters, an underwater search, a family of superheroes and finally a group of talking cars. Today’s triple feature is one that was released one year after the next and each with their own unique twist. The 2000s had a lot of great Pixar features but these are my favorite.
Director: Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava
Voice Actor: Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Peter O’Toole, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo
A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant. – IMDB
Set in the picturesque landscape of France starting at the countryside and ending up in Paris, Ratatouille gives a colorful and delicious picture. It’s filled with a rat with a heightened taste bud who wants to become a chef. It is a bit weird and humorous all at the same time and it is a tone that stays true throughout the entire film giving it a unique charm that makes the audience want to cheer for a rat. You know you are in for some fun when the film starts with an old lady wielding a shotgun to rid herself of two rats she sees in the kitchen. Perseverance is a key theme here. There’s a lot of surprises here and it definitely shows off the writing style and creativity especially for those who are foodies as we watch delicious plates of computer-animated food being made and delivered.
Food, family, friendship, romance and an extraordinary sense of imagination makes Ratatouille a Pixar film that stands out from the rest by just being charming, funny and incredibly witty. Not to mention that they have some great actors voicing some of these characters from Patton Oswalt voicing Remy, our main character who may be small but not afraid to dream big to Peter O’Toole who voices food critic Anton Ego to just name a few.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Voice Actor: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. – IMDB
Wall-E is one of those movies that you probably first may doubt. However, it’s a gutsy move to say the least in choosing this story to portray. For one, the dialogue is very minimal and all about watching the little reactions and small detailed expressions on Wall-E’s mechanical eyes. Its a daring move as well because while Wall-E is cute as buttons, perhaps it is a movie that can be quite the boring affair for little kids because the story has a deeper message and setting especially with Earth having been overrun with waste and a little robot is left to clean up the mess for as long as he can while everyone is living in space because there is space, paraphrasing the movie, of course.
However, for a movie with so little actual dialogue except for when they get to the spaceship, there’s a lot to enjoy here. Wall-E is great on his own and then when he meets Eve, that makes the story go further as we start to wonder why all this happening and going back to the spaceship, it’s even a deeper look at the human nature of those who have fallen to routine and security and not so willing to break out of their comfort zone. What also signifies so much for Pixar is the belief that the deeper meaning of these animated features can still be appreciated by finding that balance of a more refined and meaningful story while keeping its humor and lovable characters.
Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Voice Cast: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Ngai, Bob Peterson
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. – IMDB
As the decade comes to the end, Pixar offers its possibly one of its most successful feature that found both a heartwarming and touching story but also wrapped up a lot of humor and adventure bringing it a lot of charm. There’s the sweet love story that tugs at our heartstrings almost immediately at the beginning that spirals into a story about life’s adventure.
Up is a special animated feature to say the very least. It is so beloved because of its well-established beginning. While the beginning is so loveable, its when the house flies away with multi-color balloons that really makes this story soar to new heights. There are some crazy ideas here and as colorful as our characters are the ragtag group that end up together, its their differences that makes this such a fun journey. Life has a way of leading you back to where you want to be and sometimes it just takes viewing the situation in a different light which is what the main character Fredricksen, voiced fantastically by Edward Asner. There’s something so lighthearted about this film and yet finds that balance of having some more serious issues tackled here like parenthood and idolism and reaching for your dreams. On that note, another powerhouse here voicing the “villain” is Christopher Plummer, an explorer called Muntz that inspired Fredricksen as a child.
Whether its talking dogs or scout guide in training boy or a colorful rare bird, Up takes us for an exotic adventure in the most peculiar way with balloons tied on a house. Up is a movie that also breaks some boundaries. Its story takes a different route from the previous movies and aims to pull on those heartstrings while still giving enough cute and adorable factors suitable for its younger audience.
If you’ve missed any of the blogathon entries, you can find a list of them all here.