Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pixar vs the World

OK, not the world... but at least a couple of the movies I've seen in the last few weeks.

Just a few days after I saw Cars, I watched Herbie: Fully Loaded on DVD. The animated races in Cars were exciting, visually interesting... and emotionally compelling. In contrast, the races in Herbie felt like CGI-manipulated versions of the Herbie races from the 60's & 70's. (Yes, I acknowledge that Herbie: Fully Loaded was intended as an homage to the past glory of the Love Bug... but it still felt like a Disney Channel original rather than a fully-fleshed out movie... like Cars!)

Friday night, Shari & I saw Superman Returns... after watching The Incredibles with Braeden that afternoon. As gorgeous as the Superman film is - incredible special effects! - it has very little heart. It's symbols & CGI & wirework... with very little magic and/or fire to the performances or the story. (Exception: Kevin Spacey is the world's greatest bad guy. Ever.) OTOH, The Incredibles were... well, incredible. By the end of the film, you have real feeling for the Parr family. Their adventures are amazing in their inventiveness & humor, while still maintaining a real sense of suspense & fear. (Look, I'd seen the movie before - and I still found myself drawn to the TV to watch it again. A couple of times during Superman Returns I wondered exactly how long the running time was... 'nuff said.)

My personal reactions make me deliriously happy that John Lasseter and the rest of the Pixar crew has been given the keys to the Magic Kingdom & Disney animation - yippee!

1 comment:

Rick said...

I share a similar opinion, which only goes to show that story goes a long way towards making a good film. I'm not going to waste breath on any offering that stars Lindsey Lohan and a VW Beetle, but Superman Returns had a story that was sorely lacking in heart. Beyond the one magical moment of Supes flying Lois off to talk to her (and the dialogue was stilted even then) there really wasn't much to hang your hat on. However, given that Supes is one of the hardest characters to write a comepelling story for, I'll give Singer and his crew a B for effort.