Sunday, January 02, 2005

Pixar, and why they rule

Pixar, and why they rule

Fark had a link to this interview with Craig Good, of Pixar.

I liked this, on the superior quality of Pixar flicks:

We don't make movies for kids. We make movies for adults, actually ourselves, and then just make sure there's nothing in them that the little ones shouldn't see. The local cineplex is littered with movies made by studios who want to second-guess what the audience wants. We find we get better results by making what we want, and then assuming that there are other people like us out there.

If audiences in general are underestimated, kids really get the patronizing treatment.

A buddy of mine said something similar to this about the Star Wars prequels, the originals were made for the kids in everybody...Star Wars especially, while the prequels seem to be aimed at kids, and kids alone. It's a bit insulting, kind of like reading the Golden and Silver Age comics, when you realize a lot of what's going on is grownups writing down to kids....

I also liked this line:

I like what Brad Bird says: "Animation is not a genre." There is no kind of story that cannot be told in animation. Unfortunately, in this country at least, there's a strong association between animation and "kid's films" (whatever those really may be). In Japan, on the other hand, animated films are made for all ages, including action/sci-fi films which are clearly for adults.

Pixar, with The Incredibles, made the best SF movie, for my money, this year. In a couple of years. Maybe the best American SF since The Iron Giant (also an animated Brad Bird flick).

They also made one of my three favorite movies from 2004, with The Incredibles.

I don't know where the hump is, in American filmgoing society, or where that line of demarcation is that says "Cartoons is kid flicks!" I don't know what has to be done to cross that line, where we could start having really kick ass animated stuff over on this end.. I can only say that if the folks at Pixar keep making flicks like The Incredibles, they can go a long way toward helping that message along.

It strikes me that South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was and is still one of my favorite movie comedies of the last few years...that may be apropos of little, but it's just about the only other American animated flick I can think of in the past few years not aimed exclusively at the kid market....

My gripe about the Incredibles is that even though its target market isn't entirely (even halfly) the kids market, it was marketed almost exclusively at the kids. On shows where kids would be sure to watch. On cereal boxes, toy tie-ins and McDonald's Happy Meals, and the like. I waited to see it for a long time after it came out. I liked both the Toy Story movies, and I liked Finding Nemo. I had faith that Pixar would put out a good product. But because the movie was marketed almost completely at kids, I didn't want to see it in the theater.

Because I hate kids.

That's not true. I like kids. But I don't like kids in movie theaters. Because they're loud and because they get up to pee twice a movie.

But more than that, I hate kids' parents. Sometimes, it's because they're all chatty themselves. Other times, it's because they don't discipline their kids. For little telling the kids that when the movie's going it's time to shut up. Or, bigger things. I mean, there's no good reason for the kid to run up and down the aisles, or climb over the seats. So, it appears I mostly hate the kids parents for bringing the kids in the first place, when they treat the movie like a time they're exempt from having to govern their ragamuffins.

One of these days, I'm gonna bust out the discipline stick, and start whupping other people's children. And I'm afraid it's gonna be in the middle of a movie, at which time I disturb patrons, and I become the enemy to the quiet theater.

But I digress....

See, to avoid the ragamuffins and their parents, and possible incarceration for whupping somebody else's kid, I waited a long time to see the Incredibles. We went on an afternoon a month after the movie had been out. At a time when few kids would be in the movie.

What I wonder is just how many people didn't see the flick for the reasons I just mentioned. It's a really good movie. Like I said, one of my three or four favorites from 2004.

Don't know what I'm going on about anymore. Because if we do cross that line where Cartoons is No Longer Kids Movies, and more people show up at animated flicks besides the kiddies, then there are more people in the theaters to do annoying grownup things, like talk at the screen or talk on the cellphones throughout.

Ah well. I'm just griping to gripe, I suppose.

I do applaud Pixar for making good movies. I feel like when we look back at this time period for the classic flicks, twenty or thirty years down the road, it'll be Pixar flicks, and any movie made with that same philosophy will be what we're talking about.


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