Episode 125: Pixar



Kittyhawk of Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki joins us yet again as we explore the amazing history of Pixar, Disney’s now primary animation house. Pixar exploded onto the scene in 1995 with Toy Story and has captivated audiences ever since.

Join us for our 80-minute main show and our after show. In all, one hour and forty-seven minutes of entertainment for you!

10 thoughts on “Episode 125: Pixar

  1. Hey guys, long time listener first time caller you heard this shit already, let’s get back to the comment.

    First of all, the Green Lantern show was pretty good. I really don’t like the “looks bad” excuse. You know what else looks bad? Fine food. Doesn’t mean it sucks. You just gotta get past the look and see how good it tastes… sometimes. And we all overestimate the budget a CGI TV show has. Especially one on Cartoon Network’s DC block that doesn’t sell that many toys.

    I think you guys really overplayed the “villainy” on Disney’s side. It’s necessary to point out how Frank Wells’ death affected the company. Without him to essentially be the guy balancing Eisner and Kratz (at least that’s what I remember about the story), we had Kratz leaving, Eisner losing his head and yada yada yada you know the story. Now, my point is that the real “less good” guy of the story is Eisner, not Disney. There were lots of people in Disney that thought Eisner was doing shit and that he should get the hell out so the people with creativity on Disney could once again do what they were hired to do and work with the Pixar guys- one of these people was the guy who got Eisner the job, Roy E. Disney. The reason why Disney slowly stopped making movies and started making /products/ was because Eisner became obsessed with making money, while Pixar’s philosophy stayed true to the making movies idea- which they would later betray with Cars 2. So while it’s high-larious to go “look at how shitty Disney is”, that’s like pointing at an entire country and saying it’s shit because of its dictator. Also, Disney is back on track. Look at Princess and the Frog and Wreck It Ralph, with many movies on the way- including a rumored Mickey Mouse buddy comedy. If only they could work out their live-action department… -glares at Lone Ranger-

    Brad Bird’s working on a movie I’m looking forward a lot called “Tomorrowland”, based on… you know… the Tomorrowland land in the Disney Parks. Hey, say what you want, there’s a market there.

    The problem with Cars is that it’s not a bad movie. It’s a bad Pixar movie, yes, but even the bad Pixar movies are really good animated movies. The problem is that somewhere in the production of this movie, someone realized that this thing sells and hypnotized John Lasseter to make Cars 2. Or just gave him a lot of money. There’s a good movie hiding inside Cars, but I swear to god not even the Scooby Doo Gang could find it, since it’s hidden so much “LOOK AT THE CARS DON’T YOU LIKE THE CARS BUY THE CARS”.

    Wall-E is my favorite Pixar movie because of just how ballsy it is. It’s a Disney movie- a movie made by one of the biggest corporations out there- that criticizes capitalism and all that. I mean, they criticize everything. The way we treat the environment, the way we just hand our lives to mega corporations (I felt really creeped out by the fact that it wasn’t the UN that commanded the ship, it was Buy n’ Large. A CORPORATION.) Buy N’ Large has this excellent feeling to it- the catchy song, the manager, everything- and it’s a movie I make a point to showing to the children of my family when they get to the age where they can understand the messages of a movie. That song at the end gets me every time. And it helps that it is a brilliant love story and a movie with almost no dialog in a world where movies about Superman have shaky cams during conversation scenes. I mean, I liked Man of Steel (hold on, hold on, I had fun, but that doesn’t mean it was a good movie- I had fun in the Lone Ranger and that was horrible!), but come on guys!

    Whenever I want to cry, I just watch Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3. One after the other. Up is a really good masterpiece, the first movie I saw my mother (who had a really bad relationship with my father) crying in. That soundtrack is just soooo good. Toy Story 3 is the second movie I saw my mother crying on, but that was because of just how well timed it was. Kids watching Toy Story 1 were going to college during Toy Story 3. I wasn’t one of those kids, but I am going to college next year, and Monsters University just came out… so, yay?

    One interesting thing about Cars 2 is how everyone celebrated its release because finally they could use the phrase “PIXAR HAS LOST ITS TOUCH”. You could just hear the critics yelling out in joy as they rushed to their laptops and wrote how this is the downfall of Pixar and how they finally made a bad movie. For one day, critics were in heaven as they wrote lengthy texts about how bad the movie was. Oh, and I just hate Larry the Cable Guy. I just hate his kind of humor.

    Brave isn’t a bad movie. It’s beautiful, it’s fun, I like it. But the fact it came after Cars 2 made this already cynical world look at it with even more cynical eyes. But here’s something that this movie did bad: IT STOLE AN OSCAR FROM WRECK IT RALPH. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but, COME ON. Wreck It Ralph!

    I’d like to end this lengthy comment by mentioning one line PKH said. “It’s not Pixar, it’s Disney.” Now that made me think, because by all accounts, the Disney classics are not bad movies. They’re great movies and yet we put them in different baskets from the Pixar movies. Why? Why do we instinctively divide these two movies like they are completely different genres? The reason is that we see them as being two different genres when in truth, they aren’t. “Pixar’s movie have an appeal to both kids and adults.” Oh, and Lion King doesn’t? “Pixar’s movie have more modern message.” Even the oldest Disney movies have classic, timeless messages, like Beauty and the Beast’s message of “it’s the inside that counts”. And yet we keep on saying “it’s not Pixar-like it’s Disney-like” because it’s easier to point at the movies from the 50s and yell “THAT’S DISNEY THAT’S DISNEY” instead of looking at the movies they’re putting out now and realize how they have always been able to do the same thing Pixar has. They just didn’t have Pixar’s luck of being the company that’s essentially setting the trend for this new industry of computer animated movies. The same luck Disney had when they started the animation industry. I look forward to the day when Disney movies won’t be held to the “godly Pixar standard”- that people are so quick to forget that it’s the same standard Disney started- and when Pixar movies won’t be associated with this stupid stereotype that is “Disney like”- after all, Disney and Pixar are essentially the same company right now. -points at John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer at Disney AND Pixar-

    Sorry for the long post. Bah, who I’m kidding. I ain’t sorry at all! Keep doing a good job!


    • Thanks for the feedback. I can only speak for myself, and I was not involved in the Disney bashing. I kept pretty quiet on that front.

      Disney is, after all, a large corporation, and staff filters in and out all the time. You can’t even really consider it to be the same staff from movie to movie. It’s always going to be in a creative flux. So, I’m not one to portray Disney as an evil entity in itself, because as staff changes, so too does the direction of the company.

      And speaking of things in flux, I think it’s inevitable that Pixar will fade into Disney some day. Maybe the name will stick around, but as people retire and animators and directors cross-pollinate between the two animation divisions, the differences between them will start to fade. Kind of like how Hanna-Barbera eventually disappeared when there was no one left that made it unique from the other divisions at Warner’s animation studios. Some of the very last Hanna-Barbera cartoons seemed to carry on the studio in name alone.

      On the topic of the anti-corporate message in Wall-E, that was something that I personally did not like about the film. I thought the character story was fine, but I’m so sick of corporate bashing.

      And it’s not that I like huge corporate conglomerates. I really don’t. I just feel that in today’s marketplace, they are easy villains to cast whose motivations are so oversimplified and one-dimensional as to be a straw man. I personally don’t think it was brave of Pixar to put that message in the movie. I think it was blatantly hypocritical, because Disney IS a corporation. It kind of betrays the message, as if to say, “It’s okay when we do it.” Also, Wall-E was designed and marketed to be successful and make money every bit as Cars 2. Both movies are entertainment products full of copyrighted and trademarked content. It’s just that Wall-E had more inspiration going for it, even if it did take some cheap jabs at corporatism.

      • Wall-E’s jabs at corporationism seem more like a ballsy move, and the whole marketing argument, while reasonable, does seem a little weird. The people who make the movie are not the same people who market it. There are many instances where movies are marketed the wrong way. And while corporations are easy targets these days, I just haven’t seen a major movie- an animated one, which has more chances at influencing kids- tackle with them in such a straightforward way. It’s not a message that you have to look closer to see how it relates to real life. It’s there, right there, and it’s not hard to notice. But it still doesn’t detract from the characters, which is great for people who didn’t like the movie, like you.

        There was a lot of bashing in this episode- unnecessary and incorrect bashing too. Especially on the Dreamworks part. When Dreamworks tried to be Pixar, they failed and crashed horribly. But when they didn’t, they made some beautiful and really good movies. Megamind, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs Aliens, Rise of the Guardians, How To Train Your Dragon… and even I, a die-hard Disney fan, have to admit that Shrek 2 is pretty funny. And I am looking forward to their Peabody and Mr. Sherman movie.

        I’m just saying that the time that could have been spent talking about what made the Pixar movies so good was spent saying how bad Disney was and how shitty Dreamworks is, and if you gotta put down others to talk about how good these movies are, then I don’t think you’re doing it right.


  2. Cars probably would have been a better film if it wasn’t about a world full of sentient cars with cartoon faces. Hayao Miyazaki managed to channel his love of planes into amazing cinematic moments in his films or entire movies like Porco Rosso and his upcoming animated biopic of a World War 2 era Plane designer. John Lasseter’s obsession with cars and Studio Ghibli should have wielded a far better film but it ended up being aimed strictly at small children who want to play with Hot Wheels. Very odd coming from a man who directed two great film about living Toys.

  3. I thought it was Ice Station Zebra that Howard Hughes watch in a loop during his “I ain’t ever cutting my nails or hair” years.

  4. Well apart from the Disney and Man Of Steel bashing good episode but what I didn’t get was the Pixar can do no wrong and underlying dislike for Dreamworks to me they did something that Pixar very rarely does they make me want to see more of that universe , take their latest movie Rise of the Guardians I wanted to see more of that world in other mediums maybe comic books or shorts the only Pixar movie I can say that about is The Incredibles.

    • Hey P! Honestly, we did show where Pixar went wrong, and I did say I liked Shrek. I thought we were being somewhat balanced.

      • True but I would have liked to hear your opinions on the controversy at Pixar now surrounding Brave and the the whole John Lasseter maybe has a bit too much control over the creative things in both Disney and Pixar.

        But the Dreamworks side did kinda come off as one sided but I know that might not have been your intention.

  5. Honestly, I thought the main plot and characters of Wall-E were so enjoyable to watch, it kinda overshadowed the anti-corporate bashing for me. I’m not into movies with an overbearing agenda (pro-environmental movies are huge offenders. I’m looking at you, James Cameron’s Avatar), But Wall-E’s characters were so well done, I didn’t think much of it. One thing I didn’t like about the movie was the pet cockroach. Ugh.

    Chicken Little was…. um, I rather not say.

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