Now onward into this "Winter Storm Saturn", which sounds stupid and looks like it wants to ruin my vacation.
Now I must teleport away and begin my adventures!
WORP WORP WORP WORP WORP
5th - Brave, 2012
iBrow Percentage: 90 (Revised)
Brave is a beauty, with its abundance of greens and blues and purples, and other soft or cool hues within the surroundings and the characters. This helps the main character, Merida, to stand out with her flaming orange hair. The film was one of my most anticipated this year, and I originally scored it with an 87% in a review. My reasons for upgrading it were because, during July (whilst preparing to do this list), I re-watched Brave, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Wall-E, Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles to refresh my memory, having seen the other Pixar films at some point in the last year. While doing this, I realized that the film is just better in several aspects. The musical score, while not something I'd listen to outside of watching the film was a pleasure to hear during it, and helped to set the film apart.The animation is truly spectacular and possibly the best Pixar has ever done - the only Pixar film that could challenge this is Finding Nemo.
While most people seemed to feel that the relationship between Merida and her mother was just a redx of the one between Nemo and his fater (except not as good), I found that it set itself apart and was entertaining enough to be considered in its own right. If we're talking parent to child relationships, Brave is the one I would want to see. The firey tempers of both characters, who are both right in different ways, is far more appealng than Nemo and his father. I found Merida's relationship to be far more dynamic from the start, as well - right after their first major onscreen spat we see both of them on their own, regretting the argument and wishing they knew how to fix it.
The major faults of the film are the story and the characters. The story seems rushed and cramped - Merida and her mother are built up as the only characters you need to really care about, and the two treat everyone else (with the exception of the King and the Witch) as a mindless mob. I think the film's story could have benefitted from being lengthened by thirty minutes and giving the rest of the cast more of a spotlight.
That said, the characters are also my favourite aspect of the film aside from the beautiful animation. Merida herself is certainly one of Pixar's more interesting characters, but my favourites are the Witch and the King. The King's clueless but fearless nature had me laughing out loud whenever he said something funny, and the Witch was the same. Her matter of act nature and her resigned warnings to Merida's deaf ears made every scene she was in a treat.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on Brave, a month and a half late. Feel free to disagree in the comments below, and I promise to have Rank 4 ready sooner. =P
No more hints, but for those of you late or not paying attention, the following films must still be ranked:
Toy Story 3 - Toy Story 2 - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles
6th - Monsters, Inc., 2001
iBrow Percentage: 90
Here we are people - the best of the best, the greatest of Pixar. Anything Rank 6 or higher is a truly spectacular film, probably beyond almost any other animated film you've seen. If I were to make a list of my favourite animated films, al six of them would be up here
That said, my complaints about Monsters, Inc. are few and they are minor. The first is that, while Pixar films are intended as a family, back when I was a kid I couldn't really understand the little girl, nor was I able to make sense of all those doors. I understand them now, but why not then? D=
However, Mike and Sulley are quite possibly my favourite duo in Pixar, with their back and forth banter throughout the film causing struggles and resolving issues in a way that Buzz and Woody can't (and shouldn't) ever do. The whole incident with the little girl, which sets the main issue for the entire film, was deliciously ironic as the monsters themselves were scared at the sight of her, immediately considering monsters touched by her to be contaminated. The whole "undercover" thing was really sweet.
This is also easily the funniest Pixar film, although we'll see if next year's Monsters University can top it.
Those are my thoughts in short; the hint was hinting towards how children often believe there is a monster in their closet.
Now, for the hint towards Rank 5:
7th - A Bug's Life, 1998
iBrow Percentage: 89
I told you all that I'd be explaining my motives behind ranking A Bug's Life as one of my favourite Pixar films visually. You see, A Bug's Life is stuck in the time between Toy Story, where Pixar was still sort of figuring things out, and Finding Nemo, where every Pixar film became a visual masterpiece. While this doesn't aid Toy Story 2 or Monsters, Inc. so much, I love A Bug's Life so much more because of it. The film has such a unique... everything, really. The visual style is one that hasn't been (and can't be) replicated, nor will we be able to see quite the viewpoint this film gives us either.
Where A Bug's Life goes wrong is with the main character, Flik. Most of the time he's pretty likeable, but at others it just feels uninteresting to watch him. However, there's also his love interest Dot (do you all get the hint now?), who feels stereotypical. Her scenes are all saved by either the main villain's presence (or indeed, the presence of Flik himself), but I really wish she could've been a stronger female lead along the lines of Elastigirl, Merida, or EVE.
Thoughts in short on A Bug's Life! You all know that the dot led to Dot, so now for the hint towards Rank 6:
all children know...
8th - Up, 2009
iBrow Percentage: 88
So, where to begin? I suppose with the visuals. Honestly, I think I would consider Up to be Pixar's best looking film to date. Toy Story 3 is good, Brave is exceptional, and Cars 2 isn't to be mentioned, but none of them can match Up. There are only two Pixar films that come within a finger's breath of Up - A Bug's Life (I'll get to that later) and Finding Nemo, but Up still beats them both. The animation in this film looks so realistic and cartoony at the same time that I just can't help but love it. I truly wish we'd gotten more scenes in the broad daylight with this film.
If I had to have one complaint (unfortunately, you know it's gotta be a major one, right?), it would be the relevation of the main villain. All I can think about when watching that scene is how crushed I would be if I were Carl - I've waited my ENTIRE life, many decades, to meet this guy, and he immediately tries to kill me? That is crushing to the point where I don't enjoy the scene. I also dislike the chase scene where they have to run away from an entire army of dogs. The army of dogs is just too stupid for me to believe the characters are in any real danger. The main villain and his sidekick dog are the only brains of the operation, and that removes much of the threat.
Anyway, my thoughts in short once again. Feel free to disagree in the comments! ;D
The hint from the previous Pixar entry (you know, the one with all the numbers) referenced the number of balloons seen on screen at different points during the film. Now, your hint for Rank 7, coming tomorrow morning:
9th - Cars, 2006
iBrow Percentage: 86
A rookie racecar by the name of Lightning McQueen place in the first ever three-way tie for the Piston Cup. After becoming lost on the way to the final race, he discovers the abandoned Route 66, and the forgotten cars that live there.
Cars is... something else, compared to everything else from Pixar (barring Cars 2 of course). It's written off by many as Pixar's second-worst film, though to me I don't understand why. I feel that Cars does what its sequel doesn't; it adds the flash and dash that a racecar film should have, while managing to hold onto that mystical "Pixar Magic" we all know and love. Lightning McQueen's character goes through a very nice development throughout the film, so much so that after disliking him in the beginning I like him at the end.
The minor characters are a lot of fun to watch on screen too - Sally, Doc Hudson, Luigi, Mac, The King, Mater... and all the rest. The characters are what make the film for me, because there are so many of them but at the same time they all are compelling and make their screen time worth it. The story is fun to watch unfold, and the animation is spectacular, and the soundtrack does its job, but in the end, it's all about the characters. 100%. And it works.
Those are my thoughts in short. As you can see in the poster above, the hint was referencing it. And thus Cars. Now, a hint towards Rank 8...
twenty-three million? try ten thousand, nine hundred twenty-seven. need more? twenty thousand, six hundred twenty-two.
10th - Toy Story, 1995
iBrow Percentage: 85
Do I really need to do a synopsis for this movie? I don't think I need to. If you're paying attention to this entry at all (and trust me, you are all paying attention now), I shouldn't have to explain what Toy Story is. So I won't. Just know that it's a classic, and if you haven't seen it that is a crime to humanity.
This is, I have no doubt, the most controversial placement on this list. Wall-E wasn't as controversial. The reaction to my Ratatouille entry was mainly stirred up by the hint (obviously) leading to this film. And even Up, when it comes, won't be like this. Because right now, I am shattering your minds. I am ripping apart all of your beliefs about Pixar, about Toy Story, about my common sense, about life itself.
I am ranking Toy Story as 10th out of 13.
Why? Because there are a few scenes in the film that I just don't think fit quite right. Chief among them (and indeed, the biggest factor) are the scenes taking place at Sid's house. I felt that the idea of being hunted down by someone fifty times your size to be blown up or ripped apart and randomly sewn back together was a little too dark compared to the rest of the film, and although that period in the film included several necessary plot points, I feel they might have been better played out in a different fashion. Except for the freaky "toys coming to life" bit, which just should never ever exist again. In addition, I dislike how quickly many of the toys are willing to turn on Woody and switch to Buzz in the beginning; what's up with that?
However, it seems I can never stress enough how great every Pixar film is, with the exception of Cars 2 and perhaps Wall-E. This film has an 85/100 from me, and it has had enough of an influence on my life that I used it as one of three things I based my comedy Tahu vs. Tahu on (the other two being Bionicle and Red vs. Blue). The characters are iconic and will forever be ingrained into my brain, and they will always be characters I care for. Except Mr. Potato Head, the lucky dog. Why is he lucky? Wait until I write up Toy Story 3.
Anyway, there are my thoughts in short once more. I'm not going to bother explaining the hint to this one- if you didn't get it, I feel for you. So, here is the hint towards rank 9:
11th - Ratatouille, 2007
iBrow Percentage: 83
A rat by the name of Remy has always dreamed of becoming a chef, and when he discovers upon arrival in Paris that his idol is dead, he forms an unusual alliance with a human by the name of Linguini to set the bar and stun the customers, despite the human populace's hatred of rats.
Ratatouille... I don't quite know, to be honest. The concept just isn't one that interests me all that much, and as such, I have a hard time enjoying the film as much as others. While Remy is, I will admit, pretty cool, I dislike the fact that he can (and must) control human beings, and even more than that, I hate the fact that those human beings must rely on (and obey) a rat in order to cook.
One thing I will give Ratatouille is that, unlike Cars 2, it does have the Pixar magic inside waiting for you to discover. Unlike Wall-E, Rataouille also manages to stay consistent throughout the film. As another thought, any animated film that has dishes I wish I could rip out of the screen and eat myself immediately gains points. They did the food spectacularly. However, the fact remains that out of the two stars of the film, only one of them is worth paying attention to- and that is Remy the Rat. If Linguini's love story were to be removed from the film and more focus were to be given to Remy as a result, I think the movie would be far better than it is right now. Unfortunately, the rather unnecessary edition of the romance keeps this film as average.
I realize that the romance is something I've criticized with both Ratouille and Wall-E; but please don't think I hate romance. I think The Incredibles does a fine job of it, and I enjoyed it in Toy Story 3, Monsters. Inc., and A Bug's Life just to name Pixar films. So... it's just that these two films didn't need the romance (Ratatouille) or simply didn't do it well (Wall-E).
That's my thoughts in short of Ratatouille. If you have any comments or questions regarding my thoughts, please comment below. Now... for your hint towards the film that ranked tenth:
And now, of course, the explanation of the hint leading to Ratatouille:
It was the name of a wine to be released by Disney and Pixar in promotion for the film, but was pulled due to featuring a cartoon character.
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1. SSB4: Most Wanted, Part 1
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4. Character Costumes
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