Ripping My Insides Out

Pixar are at their best when they’re reminding you of the frailty of the human condition. Sometimes I think they’re bold for having the guts to tellĀ honest and often deeply sad stories in a way that has one level of significance to a child and a whole different level to an adult. Other times I think they are fucking our emotions for money.

I saw Inside Out this weekend. Ironically enough, the film is about this very subject. It’s about the idea that you can’t really be happy if you never allow yourself to be sad. It’s also about Pixar’s two other favorite ideas: Your kids are going to grow up and leave you, and then you’re going to die. Whether they’re tugging on our collective heart strings to bilk us out of billions or not, they ARE presenting very adult ideas in a format that is typically reserved for children’s entertainment and they’re doing it extremely well. This isn’t to say they’re exposing children to concepts that should be hidden from them. Far from it. I think it’s good for children to have realistic expectations of loss, and death and the concept of people and the world around them constantly changing. They do… it’s just that they SEEM to lean on this mechanism A LOT. I don’t even know if I want them to stop. I honestly don’t know if I thought Inside Out was a great movie. I enjoyed it, but I’d have to see it again (and like ALL Pixar movies, I will be seeing it again and again and again) before I know how I really feel about it. That’s ALSO a theme of the movie. Feeling more than one way about something, that is. This was a new concept to my Kiddo. For those that have seen the movie already, I explained to Kiddo that she’s probably still in the “single color memories” stage of her life, and she had a few more years before the “colors started to swirl.”

SHARKSPLODERS: Rank the Pixar films using any criteria you like. Entertainment value, cultural significance, number of times you’ve seen them, etc.

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  1. Damn you Watson! I had just barely managed to convince myself that I didn’t need to be the creepy dude sitting in the back of the theater of a children’s movie alone! Again! Now I need to go see it >.>

  2. In order of worst to best (for me personally):
    Cars 2
    Brave
    Cars
    A Bug’s Life
    Monsters University
    Up
    Toy Story 2
    Ratatouille
    Toy Story 3
    Wall-E
    The Incredibles
    Toy Story
    Finding Nemo
    Monsters Inc.

    Have yet to see Inside Out.

    • I find it such a shame that you ranked Brave so low down. I’ve not really understood why so many people think of it as an inferior movie; it’s really an amazing story about a girl and her relationship to her mother as she moves into adulthood.

      • I don’t actually care for Brave much at all when taken as a whole. I really like it BEFORE and AFTER the mom turns into the bear. I know that sounds off, because that’s 80% of the movie that I don’t really care for. I think there was a way to tell that story without the mom turning into a dumb bear.

        • See, and I would put Brave very close to, if not at, the top of my list. I have an almost 6 year old daughter, my eldest child, and both of us are very strong-willed people, and the two of us sat together and sobbed for half the movie (and I still do, sometimes) because its so US, battling all the time on who gets their way and even though she hasn’t gone so far as putting a hex on me, we both want what is best, she seeing through the lens if a six year old who wants only to have fun and me seeing through the lens of an adult who wants to teach her responsible habits now, when they’re easy to form, but we’d both fight a bear, or our dads, to the death, to protect the other from harm no matter how mad we are at each other.

      • I know what you mean. I have seen it several times but I just couldn’t get into the story. I know several women who also really don’t like it. In the end I can only go with personal preference, hence the really low ranking.

  3. Honestly The Incredibles is still my favorite. I love all the stupid people screaming it’s a conservative/Ayn Rand manifesto about an elite ruling class. It’s actually a very subversive send up of helicopter parents and today’s educational system. We deliberately remove competition, and celebrate the lowest common denominator while forcing anyone who works hard and excels to slow down so it doesn’t hurt the rest of the class’ feelings.

  4. Hrm, ranking my favs would be tough. But I think top five, in no order, the three Toy Storys, Up and Monsters Inc. I also feel like A Bug’s Life is underrated, and The Incredibles is somewhat overrated. Terrific blog post to go along with the comic!

  5. I actually thought Cars and Cars 2 taught a very important lesson, albeit in a more metaphorical way than the regular Pixar fare. They taught kids, but mostly their adult fans, that no matter how creative and artistic a company might seen, they’re really just as greedy and opportunistic as everyone else, and will abandon all pretense of artistry the second they find an idea they can milk for merchandising money.

  6. I haven’t seen the film and so I can’t comment on it’s actual contents, but the tag line on the posters is in pretty poor taste. I’ll probably still go to see it because I have trust in Pixar, but I’m amazed that those posters were approved. Well, no, I’m not amazed because no one gives a fuck about alienating schizophrenics.

    My favourite Pixar film is Wall-E, for what it’s worth. I still think it’s a masterpiece.

  7. In order of how many times I’ve watched them:
    The Incredibles
    Ratatouille
    Monsters Inc
    Finding Nemo
    Toy Story 3
    A Bug’s Life
    Toy Story 2
    Up
    Toy Story
    Cars
    Wall-E
    (Cars 2, Brave, Monsters University, Inside Out)

    In order of how likely I am to watch them again in the next week:
    The Incredibles
    Ratatouille
    Monsters Inc.

    Those three are my favorites. I love the Toy Story series. Finding Nemo was cute at first but after the dozenth viewing with my nephews, it’s sort of worn out. Ratatouille will never wear out. I appreciate the imagery in Cars but never really thought the story was all that great. I still need to see Brave (but I don’t think I need to see Cars 2 or Monsters University).

    I am, however, an apostate, as I’ve watched Over the Hedge more than any of Pixar’s entries.

  8. I would say that Pixar has most likely found a niche that they can do well and continue to work with it. There’s not as many animated films that can touch us so emotionally the way Pixar movies do these days and they know it.

    I’m sure they want to make money, of course, but I also think they have some important stories to tell and I’m glad they’re the ones telling them.

  9. Never mind the feature movies – why has no-one mentioned their shorts?!?

    La Luna is my most favoritest of the lot but many of them stand out – while I loved the Incredibles such that I had to watch it again immediately, my wife was there for Bound’n’Rebound – to this day it still makes her figuratively wet herself every time we see it >_<

  10. In order of hair so good it makes me cry because I’m not a computer animation: Brave

    In order of front-loader movies that spend all their best efforts before the opening credits but still do it so well I’ll gladly sit through the whole thing: Up

    In order of making you think about deep questions like can a robot with magnet tape memories develop consciousness if given enough centuries to reflect?: Wall-E

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