As you know, I’m really really looking forward to Pixar’s newest movie Inside Out which comes out in one month. Sadly though, this will be my first Pixar movie since A Bug’s Life that I will not be able to see in theaters. Our daughter’s not old enough and I’m not going without my wife and trying to convince my work buddies to go see an animated movie with me would be kinda awkward (at least there’s Jurassic World which we plan on seeing).
So I’m gonna have to wait until it comes on DVD sometime in November.
It’ll be a hard wait, but I’ve got a little countdown going on: I get to watch two Pixar movies a month. By the time I reach the last one, I’ll finally get to watch Inside Out.
So I watched Toy Story last night. What made the movie so popular? What’s the genius behind it? What’s the allure that still holds up today, twenty years later? To be blunt, what makes it so flawless?
Uncle Walt’s nephew, Roy Disney said that every single frame in the movie pushes the story forward.
And I think that’s it. Not a single frame is wasted. The movie makers really did a magnificent job of getting inside a toy’s psych: What makes a toy happy? (To have his purpose fulfilled and be played with.) What is his greatest fear? (To be replaced or lost.) And the movie answers those questions, and not only that, every single person on the planet can relate with these characters.
And the movie broke three rules in the animation genre at the time (I’m shameless enough to admit that I pointed them out when I saw it in the theaters at twelve years old):
1) It was the first animated movie that was also a buddy movie, where the protagonists had to overcome their stubborn differences to meet a common goal. (Disney was against this, not wanting to break the rule, but the Pixar guys held firm.)
2) The songs were voiced over, not sung by the characters. (The Rescuers did this, too, but not to enhance the story.)
3) It’s the first time the opening credits appeared on screen after the start of the movie, which gave it (and still gives it) a more mature feel, like, this movie isn’t just for kids.
Toy Stoy is one of my desert island movies for sure. I can watch it over and over and not get bored with it, always finding something new (I can’t wait till my kids can start watching it!). And indeed, when I write, I go to movies like Toy Story, and I ask myself continually, What did these guys do so right?
They told a clear story without wasting time and they dared to break the rules.
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