November 22, 1995- I remember sitting in an AMC theatre off Richie Rd in Houston, TX and watching Toy Story. What an amazing experience. Who could have guessed the success and pure magic that would follow this flawless debut? But here were are, 14 years and 10 films later, and not one misstep in the bunch! To honor Pixar's monumental achievements in digital cinematic history, I'd like to hop into Uncle Rico's time machine and revisit all 10 films of Pixar pixel perfection:
1. Toy Story (1995)- The 1st and still my favorite.
2. A Bug's Life (1998)- An inventive retelling of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai but with bugs instead of bandits.
3. Toy Story 2 (1999)- A rare sequel that is as good, if not better than the first adventure. With the smashing success this film enjoyed, it is hard to believe Disney wanted to slap it out as a cash-grab direct-to-video sequel like Aladdin 2 or Cinderella III (poor Uncle Walt, how far your company has fallen from your ideals).
4. Monsters Inc. (2001)- If I had to pick my least favorite of the bunch, this would be it. However, it is still superior to any animated fare put out at the time.
5. Finding Nemo (2003)- Easily one of the greatest animated films of all time. In fact, FN is one of the best films period.
6. The Incredibles (2004)- Forget Batman, Superman, and Spidey- This is the best comicbook hero film of all-time. Absolutely amazing and far better than 95% of its live-action peers.
yep, I'm staring at you Fantastic Four!
7. Cars (2006)- Ties with Monsters Inc. as my least favorite Pixar gem, but a diamond in the rough nonetheless.
8. Ratatouille (2007)- A cinematic feast! My compliments to the pixel chefs!
9. Wall-E (2008)- I appreciated this one a lot more the second time around. This film proves that Pixar is always ahead of the curve. Outstanding.
10. Up (2009)- As I said in my review, another instant classic. Ed Asner is such an incredible actor!
It is inevitable that one day, when the original brain trust passes on, Pixar will fall into less capable hands who will trade on the Pixar name for mega profits. It happened to Disney, it will happen to their newest acquisition. But until the day that shareholder interests demand a direct-to-DVD Wall-E 2.0 and Toy Stories: Toy Story 5, I will rush to my local megaplex and watch each new Pixar classic with kid-like enthusiasm!
As a matter of fact, I have seen every Pixar film in the movie theatre and I will continue to do so until the day I die (and even then I'll do my best to earn a day-pass from the great beyond!).