The most important animated films (part 2)

Welcome back to my most important animated films list! As mentioned in Part 1, this is not a list of the greatest animated films ever. All here would qualify for that, but these films are here to illustrate their innovative nature and major impact still felt in the industry today.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

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Eddie (left) and Roger Rabbit (right) catch in a disagreement. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” helped restore studios and audiences faith in the medium of animation after years of disappointments.

In the mid-1980s, animation was struggling. The industry craved for its impressive past era after reaching a critical and commercial blow with Disney’s The Black Cauldron in 1985. Something needed to be done. 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? showed that if done right, animation could return to its glory days. The wide variety of classic cartoon characters in the film must have led people to strive for the days of classic animation, and they succeeded. What followed was The Disney Renaissance, a return to form that greatly impacted the entire animation industry. Other studios followed suit, creating great works for theaters and television alike. Thanks, Roger Rabbit!

Akira (1988)

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Traditional animation vs CG (part 2)

As promised, here is part two of Traditional animation vs. CG. Each form has its pros and cons, so let’s review them, shall we?

Traditional Animation Pros

Each frame is physically touched by a human hand. I see this as more of an artistic achievement, whereas I see the actual animation of CG films as a technical achievement. Traditional animation has many styles, where CG is limited in its unique look. For traditional, there is anime, cartoony Tex Avery style, rotoscoping (hand drawing over frames of live-action film), bright, dull, lush, etc. CG animation has yet to prove its diversity in styles (although The Book of Life looks a little different visually). This is mainly do to the fact that CG films are almost exclusively created for a childhood audience, and since since these films are marketed to that demographic, brighter colors are usually used.

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Pensive about Pixar: Ending Credits Outtakes

Pensive about Pixar is a series of musings observing what separates the studio from many others.

Once a film is over, there should be plenty to think about (especially if the film just viewed was a good one) : what did that character really mean? What does the open-ended finale imply? Or, what does this film say about society? Pixar films often make viewers think about these questions, but they have a little fun at the end too.

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Roz from “Monster’s Inc” plays an old-fashioned scare prank on Sully, featured in the film’s credits. Scenes like this humanize Pixar’s animated characters.

Beginning with A Bug’s Life and continuing in Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Cars,  “outtakes” role after each of these Pixar films are over. In these sequences, the characters flub their lines, occasionally say things related to their personal lives, and prank each other on the filmset. This clever idea implies there are actual film crews on location in Monstropolis (Monsters Inc), Radiator Springs (Cars), among other places.

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Tuesday Shorts Talk: “Geri’s Game”

Tuesday Shorts Talk is a weekly discussion of an animated short film, featuring classics and lesser known works.

In 1997, no one was aware of excellence that Pixar would soon produce. Up to that point, their only full length film film was Toy Story. A few years later in 1997, Pixar quietly made “Geri’s Game,” a short film about an old man playing chess. Whoa, sounds like a blast, right? Take a look:

With “Geri’s Game,” Pixar proved they had the ability to make just about anything interesting and entertaining.

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Pixar through Science

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An imagine of Sully from “Monster’s Inc” as seen in the Science Behind Pixar exhibit in the Boston Museum of Science.

Want to experience how Pixar films are made? Now you can find out at The Science Behind Pixaran exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science, sponsored by The National Science Foundation. The focus of the exhibit is to teach individuals the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) behind the studio’s ward-winning films. It runs until December 2015.

For those animation fans who are interested in a STEM-related field of study, I would imagine that this exhibit is something of a dream come true.

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Pixar: there is no “best” film

Anyone who says they have a favorite Pixar film is wrong. Oh, you like Toy Story the best? No you don’t. You say you that Up is obviously the best film the studio has made? You’re wrong.

I see lists like this all the time such as: “Pixar Films Ranked from best to Worst” and “Top Ten Pixar Films.” Although there is some merit to these rankings and your personal ranking of these films, in the end, you are still wrong.

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When it comes down to it, the “Top Ten” Pixar lists and related lists are meaningless. Pixar films cannot be ranked, they are (mostly) all equal.

People like lists. They like items to be ranked in order of quality. However, this system does not apply to everything, such as: listing one’s own children, Cold Stone Ice Cream combinations and Pixar films. There are no “bad” Pixar movies, but I can use maybe a finger or two to count the lesser ones.

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“Inside Out” review: a memory soon not forgotten

Inside Out did not disappoint. The Animation Curation team checked out the film today to see what all the hype was about and came to the conclusion that Inside Out is a one of Pixar’s best works due to its imagination world-making, excellent symbolism in each scene, relatability and lasting impact.inside out review

In the world of Inside Out, each person is controlled by a range of emotions (Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust) in characterized form, living in that person’s head. The actions of these emotions are commanded by a control panel, operated by the emotions themselves. If Joy controls a situation,  then the person will respond positively to a situation. If Fear controls, the person will be cautious toward a situation. Not only is this system wildly creative, it is very believable.

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Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” cast changes

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After experiencing a production full of changes, now Pixar has decide to replace the majority of “The Good Dinosaur’s” voice actors. The film will be released on Nov. 25.

The Good Dinosaur, Pixar’s second film of 2015 (due on Nov. 25), is undergoing some serious cast changes. According to Cartoon Brewfive cast members have been replaced, including high profile comedians Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris. A few new cast members include Anna Paquin,  Raymond Ochoa and Jeffrey Wright, among others.

The Good Dinosaur’s production has been shaky since it was first announced at the 2011 D23 Expo. Since then, the film has experienced a change in directors, a story overhaul and now last-minute cast changes.

Will the final product reflect its tumultuous production? Five years ago, there would be no doubt in my mind that The Good Dinosaur would be flawless, regardless of its journey to the cinemas. However, in the past few years, we have learned that Pixar is not perfect.

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