What makes Pixar so great? Is it just the films? Is it the characters? Is it the joyful and playful ethos behind the company? Or is it all of the above? In an EPIC article, Simon Gallagher tries to find out...
In case you missed it, for a whole month back in June 2011, we were Obsessed With Pixar, a site-wide take-over on our previous home Obsessed With Film that was designed to show our appreciation for the greatest animation studio in the history of film-making.We paid homage to some of the greatest films produced by the animation giant from their early shorts right through to the latest additions to the Pixar family, including a definitive run-down of the 50 greatest ever Pixar characters. But what makes Pixar so great? Is it just the films? Is it the characters? Is it the joyful and playful ethos behind the company? Or is it all of the above? Well, follow the link to find out exactly why we love Pixar...
1. The Characters: Woody and Buzz
The relationship that a lot of Pixar's modern reputation was built on, the sometimes volatile dynamic between the "wimpy cowboy doll" and his Space Ranger best buddy is built on the solid foundation of exceptional character development and wonderful, appropriate voice work by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
2. The Alternative Posters
Not content with merely making incredibly beautiful primary materials, Pixar also regularly release alternate posters, as I discussed recently usually from the hand of unfairly talented artist Eric Tan, and they're all things of beauty themselves. Imagine having something like this on your wall...
3. Cross-Generational Appeal
Ignoring for a minute the phenomenally high merchandising figures (mostly from out of my own bank account judging by the creaking floorboards under my film room), the best indication of Pixar's ability to unify all ages is the serious reaction critics have to the films (apart perhaps from Cars, which seems to be generally considered only a film for kids), despite them being animations. As a result it's almost as if there's some unspoken rule that it isn't appropriate to judge Pixar's films by the same factors, which proves also that Pixar changed the world of animation for everyone.
4. The Music: When She Loved Me
5. Never accepting Inferior Results
As the Pixar history books would tell you, Toy Story 2 was nearly a straight to DVD sequel (more of which later), but thanks to Pixar's unwillingness to accept the dilution of their franchise by that route, we were treated to a superior sequel, that in itself gave birth to the third, and now upcoming fourth films. There's also a reason for the meticulous preparations the studio go through, never letting financial constraints get in the way of a pursuit of creative perfection, and that manifesto is proved in the quality of the final results.