AirToob Lightning

Tags  →  pixar



Having seen the trailers for Brave, I wasn't sure how much I would like this latest movie from Pixar - but I did, enormously. The extraordinarily detailed CGI world in which it is set (much more impressive than appears here), the Celtic atmosphere and the slightly unusual story made this a winner for me.

Highly recommended (and definitely worth seeing on the big screen, in 3D if possible).


Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011) artist currently unknown

Not many people change the way we see the world, but Steve certainly did. He was a genius with an obsessive belief that people would pay extra for engineering quality, and had the ability to create and maintain a range of closely integrated products that had that quality.

Sadly, I still don't own one of his computers or mobile phones, but I am eternally grateful to him every time that I watch a Pixar animation, since without his belief and financial support many of my favourite movies would never have been made.

I loved the comment from a mother who was resignedly watching her toddler who, with sticky fingers, was trying to wipe pictures across the family's TV screen. In so many ways, Steve is still with us...





I watched Ratatouille again recently, and was reminded of what a great (and hugely enjoyable) work of art this is - it's my personal favourite of all Pixar's productions so far.

Click the picture if you would like further ramblings on this subject!


With WALL-E, Pixar Animation Studios excelled themselves in several ways.

The creation of the desolate earth environment, and the space-going cruise ship, are incredible artistic achievements (as well as superb technical achievements) in their own right. I can imagine some people being put off going to see the movie because its first part is set in a planet-sized garbage tip, and who would want to see that? In fact, the earth environment is a work of strange, desolate beauty, lit by a coppery light and given wonderful aerial perspective by the haze in the polluted air. This picture (one of several concept background paintings for WALL-E at the Pixar - 20 Years of Animation exhibit in Finland) gives some idea, but the environment realised in the movie is so imaginative, so detailed and so highly textured that you really have to see it on the big screen. I shall certainly buy the DVD but it won't be the same!

The visual environment is only part of it, of course. The inventiveness of the story is quite exceptional, and it has some of the magic and pathos of the silent movies of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. When WALL-E plays his treasured tapes of old musicals, the contrast of Earth's past with the current desolation is highlighted, but the musicals also provide an uplifting background to the unlikely romance between the two main characters, which is conducted entirely without normal speech.

The movie also has a serious side, very unusual in popular animated films. The space-going vessel (awesomely realised) is a combination of mega Caribbean cruise ship and aseptic Disney theme park. It is a pristine, gleaming vision of hell in which nothing has changed for 700 years, except that the passengers have become helpless and obese, doing nothing and creating nothing for themselves, seeing the world only through computer screens and having their every need attended to by an army of robots. Don't worry though, WALL-E is about to change all that... and the movie becomes (in addition to everything else) a really exciting adventure story.

In spite of the sombreness of the underlying themes, this is a joyous movie that sparkles throughout (and which has numerous Easter-egg references to other great movies). My favourite scene is probably the one where WALL-E and EVE are outside the space-ship, performing a kind of aerial (or vacuum) ballet as WALL-E uses a fire extinguisher to try to get back on board, which turns into a weightless dance worthy of "Singing in the rain".

It's magical stuff.


[Other WALL-E links]
[Pixar's previous masterpiece: "Ratatouille"]
[Japanese animation at its finest: the master-works of Hayao Miyazaki]
[My movies page]




For me, Ratatouille was the most enjoyable movie of 2007. Apart from the appealing story and the staggeringly good animation, there was the wry experience of being educated in the enjoyment of good food by a rat!

Like many people, I suspect, I now take great animation like this for granted. I have to keep reminding myself that thinking about the artistry in this movie (or in any good animated or special-effects movie) as "computer generated" is like crediting the artistry of Rembrandt to the hog bristles in his brushes and to the pigments in his paint!

This article gives some idea of what was actually involved in making Ratatouille. It really is a case of art concealing art (I knew the expression but never looked up its origin, hence the link!). Pixar Animation Studios can be justifiably proud of this one.

(I am glad to see that the DVD also has a copy of the hilarious Pixar short Lifted, which was shown with Ratatouille in our local cinema.)






[Japanese animation at its finest: the master-works of Hayao Miyazaki]
[My movies page]