It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

Jim Hill has apparently calmed down a bit since I last read him (when he was continually blathering about how Cars was a complete and total failure because it didn't bust the box office records wide open like every other Pixar film before it.) Today one of his staff writers presents an article on Pixar's artistic and creative dogma. It's an interesting read, especially the part where it's explained that Pixar made a conscious decision not to let themselves fall into the Typical Disney Story Development traps. This passage completely illustrates it perfectly: charting this course into feature film territory, Pixar came up with a few rules to differentiate themselves from other animated fare. In fact when Tom Hanks was approached to be part of [Toy Story], he probably summed it up nicely when he asked, "You don't want me to sing, do you?"

Of course Pixar calmed his fears early on since they had already determined that in their films there would be:
  • No songs
  • No happy village song
  • No love story
  • No villain
  • No "I want" moment / song
Interestingly enough, when the folks at Disney reviewed Pixar's "Toy Story" script, they were a bit concerned. So some guy named Tim Rice ( I believe it's Sir Tim Rice now) suggested they should add:
  • Songs
  • A happy village song
  • A love story
  • A villain
  • An "I want" moment / song
It was at this point that Pixar knew they were on the right track...
Okay, so perhaps they've gone back on some of these commandments (I would certainly count Al from Al's Toy Barn in Toy Story 2 a villain, and of course Syndrome from The Incredibles...) but when they've revisited that which was forbidden, they've done a good job of approaching the cliches and making something useful out of them. Such as, say, Jessie's song from Toy Story 2, the emotional highlight of the film, or Syndrome's meta-villainous attitude ("Oh, you sly dog, you got me monologuing!")

Cars perhaps went a little too far ("Life Is A Highway" annoyed me) but there you go. In the past 12 years, Pixar has done their damndest to retool American feature animation, to get it out of the Disney Story Mold. There's a lot more to do, and the production company certainly isn't infallible, but man, they've done a lot of good stuff.

Yes, I'm summing up by saying "they done did some more gooder stuff." Deal with it, pinkboy. My lunch is over and I gotta go back to work.
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