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Pixar Movies: Not Just For Kids
Pixar Movies: Not Just For Kids
I grew up watching Pixar movies.
It started with Toy Story. It was incredible. All the toys I had growing up were walking and talking, and it was incredibly funny, and touching at the same time.
Since then, Pixar has grown into a household name, with an incredible library of movies. Every movie they've made, whether an original or a sequel, has been box office gold.
The best part about Pixar movies is that they are movies for all ages. They work well for kids, and the stories always have a complexity and a humor that adults can enjoy as well.
Take a look and see what they've done so far, and why they're such great stories!
Released in 1995
Toy Story was the first in the series of feature films created by Pixar. It featured Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and a host of other toys that could walk and talk. Their goal in "life" was to make children happy.
In the story, Woody is Andy's favorite toy. This status is threatened when Buzz is given to Andy for his birthday. Woody has to deal with issues of jealousy, while also dealing with the fact that Andy and his family are moving to a new house. Thanks to fighting between Woody and Buzz, both become lost toys, and must get back to Andy and avoid the viscious kid next door.
Throughout Toy Story, jokes suited for children pop up frequently, making this a great movie for kids. There's great adult-oriented jokes interspersed through the movie though. They'll go right over the head of a child, and keep adults laughing. What makes this movie great for all ages, however, is that the plot is dealt with in a mature manner, with real care and affection for the characters. This is a beautiful movie, in style and in story.
Woody to Buzz
YOU! ARE! A! TOYYYYY!
A Bug's Life
Released in 1998
A Bug's Life isn't easy.
Every year, Flik and the rest of the ants prepare a gathering of food before the grasshoppers arrive. The grasshoppers are bullies, and demand the food or else....
Of course, this year, Flik accidentally knocks the food into the river, and the grasshoppers give the ants one chance to come up with what they owe by fall. Flik is fed up with the treatment the ants receive at the hands of the grasshoppers, and sets off to find help in fighting them off, instead of just giving into their demands. He finds a circus troupe, and thanks to them misunderstanding the situation, they agree to help.
This movie is great for showing that bullies don't need to be tolerated, and that you can stand up to them, and regain your pride. It's a strong message for both kids and adults, and was again shown with a grace and talent many other movies would do well to imitate.
Early Pixar Movies
Toy Story 2
Released in 1999
Toy Story 2 showed us that Pixar doesn't just make great movies, but that they can make a sequel that is even better than the original.
Woody has been stolen by a toy collector, and Buzz organizes a rescue party to go after him. While they are fighting to get to his rescue, Woody finds other toys like him, and makes some fast friends.
This movie deals with the negativity of greed, and also demonstrates the power and importance of friendship.
Toy Story 2 Trailer
Released in 2001
Monsters Inc is the power company for the city of Monstropolis. Mike and Sully are monsters that work there as "scarers", terrifying children at night to create power for the city. The catch is, monsters are more afraid of children than children are of monsters.
When a child follows Sully into Monstropolis, Mike and Sully learn that children aren't as scary as they had thought. The child, Boo, is sought after by some of the other monsters, to extract their fear in a more efficient way. Mike and Sully find a better way, and try to return Boo to her home.
The reason I love this story is because it shows that you have to challenge ideas, even if you know them to be true, because it may turn out that they're wrong.
Did You Know?
There are Disneyland posters in the children's bedrooms, as well as in the Monstropolis travel store.
Released in 2003
One of Pixar's best movies, Finding Nemo is about a clown fish named Marlin with a son named Nemo. Nemo ventures out into the open sea, despite many warnings from his father about how dangerous it is. Nemo gets caught by a diver, and added to the fish tank of a dentist.
Marlin sets off to rescue Nemo, and finds a blue tang fish named Dory. Dory is awesome, and loyal, and has a slight problem with short-term memory. However, with Dory's help, Marlin travels through great danger to find Nemo and rescue him.
This story teaches about courage in the face of great adversity, but also is a warning to adults not to over-protect your children.
More Pixar Movies
Released in 2004
The Incredibles lived up to its name in 2004, by being a larger than life story about superheroes forced to assume normal lives and stop fighting crime.
Mr. Incredible and Elasti-girl become Bob and Helen Parr, and have three children named Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. Bob works in insurance, and Helen is a housewife. A super-villain tracks them down, and gets Mr. Incredible involved in a plot that assures his destruction. His family, having forced to be "normal" for years, find themselves coming to his rescue and finding out how incredible they are as well.
The Incredibles show the power of confidence in yourself, as well as the strength you can get from your own family.
During The Incredibles, you see 35 explosions, hear 640 gunshots, and watch 189 buttons being pressed.
Released in 2006
Cars shows that Pixar can bring life to any idea.
Lightning McQueen is the greatest race car alive. He's vying for the Piston Cup, but has to travel to California for the final race. While travelling, he gets himself lost in the town of Radiator Springs, and wrecks the main road into town. He's sentenced to labor, resurfacing the road. While there, he learns about friendship and love.
The biggest lesson I got out of Cars was the belief that, no matter how famous or important you think you are, you need some humility in life, because you're not actually any different than anyone else.
Hey Look! More Pixar Movies!
Released in 2007
Remy is a young rat with a passion for cooking. His family disapproves, because it's just not the rat thing to do. After a mishap washes him into the sewers of Paris, Remy finds himself in the restaurant created by his idol, the famous French chef Auguste Gusteau. In spite of the dangers of being in a place so incredibly anti-rat, he finds a young scullery boy named Linguini that is willing to help him become a chef.
There are two great themes in Ratatouille. The first theme is that of being different from the crowd, and that it's okay to be different. The second theme, closely tied to this, is that a person shouldn't judge another by their appearance.
Released in 2008
Wall-E is a garbage collecting robot, and the main character of our story. He's a very unlikely hero.
In the distant future, the Earth has been abandoned by humanity, thanks to the garbage covering the planet, and left for a bunch of garbage collecting robots to clean up. Wall-E is the only one left, and he does his job well. One day, a re-con bot named EVE is sent back to Earth to see if it is habitable again, and meets up with Wall-E. He shows her a plant he has found, and she takes it back to the spaceship that humanity lives on. Wall-E, however, hitches a ride, because he has fallen in love with EVE.
EVE and Wall-E must then fight to show people that they can go back, but their attempts are slowed by those that would rather maintain the status quo than face change.
Wall-E shows the evils of corporate greed, of over-indulgence, and shows that love can be found in the most unlikely places.
Did You Know?
The Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story makes a cameo in every Pixar movie
Would You Believe There's More?
Released in 2009
Pixar outdid themselves with Up.
Carl Fredricksen ties thousands of balloons to his house and floats it off to South America to fulfill a promise to his late wife Ellie. After his house lifts off, he finds that he has a stowaway, 8 year old Russell. Carl and Russell find more adventure than expected, and Carl learns an important life lesson thanks to the enthusiasm of his new friend.
The greatest lesson taught by Up was this: What you think is important, and what is actually important, might be two completely different things. This movie shows the power of love and of family.
Toy Story 3
Released in 2010
After 11 years, Pixar finally came up with a worthy addition to the Toy Story franchise.
Toy Story 3 shows Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toys in Andy's toy box as they are struggling to accept that Andy has grown up, and doesn't need the comfort of his toys anymore. Woody and Buzz have different ideas about how to move on, and they all end up accidentally at a daycare centre. They think they've hit the jackpot, but a group of bullying toys already run the place, and create a great deal of trouble for Woody and the gang. Woody and Buzz have to find a way to get the group back to Andy before he heads off to college.
This is arguably the best film that Pixar has ever made. The story is touching, and teaches again about the strong bonds of friendship and love. It also shows that your kids grow up, no matter what you do, and they don't need your protection as much as they used to. Finally, Toy Story 3 teaches that giving can be one of the most rewarding things you can do.