I remember the first preview of Wall*e. That ultra simple ad that features a little robot staring up at the stars. So much said with so little. A chill went down my spine. But that's what Pixar does so well. Quick little moments that capture so much. Once you watch all of these movies together, certain themes start appearing. A realization of one's own potential. An epiphany that takes you back to what really matters. Plus, they are all fun, funny movies with great action sequences and fully realized characters.
Here is a rundown of my favorite Pixar movies has done, along with my favorite moments from each one. Spoiler alert! (I may skip some of the shorts)
Toy Story: A movie that really captures the feeling of kids thinking that their toys are actually alive. Favorite scene: Buzz Lightyear realizes he is not a space man and has sort of a nervous breakdown. Of course, he realizes that he is a toy and that, in some ways, is more important than saving the galaxy. Don't define yourself by what you aren't, but by what you are.
Toy Story 2: My favorite Pixar movie and, miraculously, even better than the first one. Takes the characters to a natural progression. Andy is growing up, and losing interest in the toys. How do you react when you go from being very important to completely useless? Fave scenes: Woody being stitched up by the toy expert guy(awesome balding visual gag in there), "I am your father" and the Sara Mclachlan song, "When she loved me", which plays over a montage of showing Jessie's journey from favorite toy, to being simply discarded . The excitement when her owner finally pulls her out from under the bed, only to leave her on the side of a road. I am a bit ashamed that a Sara Mclachlan song got me teary eyed, but I would say it has more to do with the magicians at Pixar than her songwriting.
Monster's Inc.: Second favorite Pixar movie. The door rollercoaster scene is amazing. But this movie has one of my favorite final beats of any movie ever. (Along with Before Sunset, but that's a blog for another day.) Sully opens the door. Looks for the girl. Off screen, we hear the little girl exclaim "Kitty!" Sully's face lights up. Credits. It's what they don't show you.
The Incredibles: Dash, after a life of repressing his super power, runs so fast he can skim across water. At first he is terrified. A beat later, he giggles, and accelerates even more. A little kid just beginning to realize his potential. Magical.
Ratatouille: Upon eating our hero's titular, masterpiece, a cynical food critic is transformed back into a little boy coming home from playing, eating his mom's home cooked meal. I can't even write about it without getting all mushy.
So there you have it. Will Wall*E have any magical moments like that? I bet it will. They've made rats, toys, monsters, bugs, and superheroes capture moments from my mundane life. On Friday, a little trash robot will join that list. I can't wait.