Nobody could be more thrilled with the recent overwhelmingly positive response to Inside Out than I am. It is a spectacular film in every way and deserves to be heralded as such. It’s one of those movies I could watch every week for the rest of my life and never get tired of. It is emotional, funny, bright, colorful, heartfelt, smart and creative. But there is one thing in these responses that has annoyed me a little bit. People are way over-doing it on the Pixar ‘return to form’. Pixar had a few less good pictures but they were by no means the bottom of the barrel when it comes to animated movies.
I have to be careful because I don’t want to spoil my reviews for Brave, Monsters University and Cars 2 but these movies are flawed but they are not that bad. All 3 of them lie strictly in my C average movie category which for Pixar is a failure but seriously let’s have a little bit of perspective here.
You want to know what is a truly awful animated film? How about 8 Crazy Nights which has a character named Whitey who is frozen in outhouse feces. You are going to stand here and tell me that Cars 2 is worse than that? Give me a break.
How about Fly Me to the Moon which is 85 minutes of terrible fly puns including a fly exclaiming “lord of the flies!”. It’s mind numbingly bad. It’s bad in every way something can be bad- it looks awful, jokes are puns and cringe-inducing, story is stupid, voice performances lame. You going to claim Brave is worse than that?
How about last years Hero of Color City? A movie that took me a week to watch it was so painful. In a year that had The Nut Job, Hero of Color City swooped in and took the crown as not only the worst animated film of the year but one of the worst MOVIES I’ve ever seen. The animation is awful, characters are all grating and awful, voice performances suck, it’s a cheap rip off of Toy Story and the humor is all in poor taste. I’d like to hear anyone try to claim Monsters University is worse than that garbage.
And I haven’t even seen either of the Titanic animated movies, Doogle, or Foodfight, which I have on good authority from many sources, are the actual worst animated films ever made. I’d certainly rather watch any of the bottom 3 Pixars than The Lorax ruin a Dr Seuss’ book. At least Cars 2 just took aim at itself and not a beloved literary classic.
I could probably think of 50 animated movies that I think are worse than Cars 2 or Brave. I would certainly way rather watch either of those again than Dinosaur, Brother Bear, Chicken Little, or Home on the Range from the Disney canon. I’d rather watch both all day than nearly all of the Disneytoons library minus the Tinkerbell films. Have you seen Hunchback 2? It’s nauseatingly bad.
Anyway, you probably get my point. Yes, the last 3 Pixar movies have problems but they are not terrible films. They are still beautiful to look at with a lot of creativity, color and care put into them. In fact, I own all 3 and enjoy watching them on occasion. I realize that Pixar set the bar very high for themselves and so perhaps the negativity is natural. People expect brilliance when you create one masterpiece after another. So much so that when I do my Pixar ranking it is going to be nearly impossible. The lowest grade I will probably give a Pixar movie is a C- because they all have elements that I like and are at least an average animated film.
On the other hand, maybe this response is a good thing? Perhaps it makes sure they know they can’t be lazy and expect people to accept it. It’s a message that I wish Dreamworks would get more of but instead their lazy films like Home get rewarded and their ambitious films struggle (speaking of Dreamworks I can think of about 6 maybe more of their movies I would put below any of the Pixar bottom 3).
Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion but I’ve just heard this so much this week that I decided to say something. With that off my chest, watch Inside Out. It’s one of the greats.