Name a bad Pixar film?
No, truly bad – not just “not as good as the others”?
Like little islands of joy in the summer schedule each new Pixar film arrives on an ever-decreasing amount of publicity as the studio simply rests on the fact that every other film has been of a high enough quality that people will go to see it no matter what because we know were going to have a good time. The amazing thing is that whilst the publicity department is having an increasingly easy time (“Come see this, these were good and you liked them”) the folks in charge seem to upping the ante each time. Wall-E once again proves that Pixar don’t only want to set the standard for other animation studios, but want to raise it year by year.
On paper Wall-E shouldn’t work. No dialogue for much of its running time, a political message about being careful about the environment and a love story between a trash-compactor and an i-Pod. It’s almost as if they are trying to make life difficult for them before they even start. However within five minutes the frankly jaw-dropping animation is secondary to their most loveable character yet, a cross between Chaplin and Woody Allen (in funny mode) and ET, all clicks and beeps courtesy of the man who brought us R2-D2 – is it any surprise it’s so easy to fall in love with the little fella?
Should we be surprised? Not really. This is a studio that prides itself on the fact that the story is more important than the technology. If this wasn’t the case then why haven’t they gone down the Beowulf route with their human characters? Not that they couldn’t – most of the technology they’ve developed over the years has filtered down to every 3D package used (hell, their in-house system is now the default choice on 3DS Max) – but technology doesn’t get people’s bums on seats. Neither can we say they’re giving themselves an easy ride. Instead they just seem to get quietly on with their work producing gem after gem after gem.
So, Pixar, do you ever intend to produce a bad film?