Manuel Betancourt

Pixar, or How Everything I Learnt I Learnt from Animation

January 21, 2008 · in Everything I know I learnt from Animation

The Pixar Edition

To think there was a time kids didn’t have the powerhouse that is Pixar producing gems like The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. After watching over and over the entire collection of Shorts produced by the Emeryville, CA based production company [for class… mostly], I feel /that/ much closer to its roots and its materials. I now give you:

20 Things I Learnt from Pixar Productions:
1. Anyone Can Cook! (Except young French redheads… they need Patton Oswalt’s help)
2. Saying everyone is special is a way of saying no one is. (I’m talking to all you soccer moms out there: stop lying to them!)
3. Falling in style is the same as flying. (Er, don’t try it at home though. Certified space toys only)
4. Turtles are cool. (And not just in a ‘Discovery Channel’ sort of way)
5. Monsters are afraid of children. (As am I now, really – cause certain kids haven’t learnt #15 yet)
6. Self-awareness is awesome (see the 3D bloopers of the early films and the film theatre end credits in Cars: “You’re a space car toy!”)
7. Kevin Spacey is scary-shit. (Yeah, I’ve never been able to look at him/any grasshopper in the same way)
8. Clownfish aren’t really funny. (But funnier when voiced by Albert Brooks than by originally cast William H. Macy)
9. Toddlers are funny. (This one’s a Pixar staple: See Tin Toy for more proof)
10. Old people + guns = Not a good combo. (Forgive me for not knowing that, but I don’t come from a Red State)
11. It’s a bug-eat-bug world out there. (Also, fables work best when dealing with insects)
12. Trucks are vehicular cattle.
13. Toys want to last forever. (Especially when they’re voiced by Tom Hanks. That greedy Tom, as if Forrest, Joe, Allen and Andrew hadn’t given him ‘eternal’ status in our cultural imagination already…)
14. Only some people are super. (And yes, they dress up. Does that make me super?)
15. Laughter > Screaming. (What, like you knew that before Monstropolis’ electric grid collapsed with Boo’s laughter? Please)
16. French people are rude. (Well, maybe only those voiced by Janeane Garofalo…)
17. Evil people wear black (Don’t believe me? How do you explain Syd, Syndrome, Waternoose and Anton Ego’s costume palette? …What is this “cultural connotation” you speak of?)
18. Music makes a movie (Okay this might go back to Alan Menken. But I am thinking here of Michael Giacchino, – oh, how I love your work now. Er… What do you mean you don’t know who ‘that guy’ is: The guy behind the amazing music in Ratatouille, The Incredibles and One Man Band… What do you mean you don’t know what ‘that’ is: One of Pixar’s most accomplished shorts. Go. Get LearnĂ©d!)
19. Jelly Fish are evil (Okay, that one I learnt the HARD way, but it’s still a valuable lesson!)
20. It all starts with a lamp. (I’m sure that has some metaphysical Zen lesson hidden but Brad, John, Andrew & co haven’t really mined it until… well, now when by putting it on the table I’ve pretty much required them to do so. Watch them prove me right)