With “Toy Story 4” hitting cinemas on the 21st of June, it’s a good time to look back at what Pixar has achieved in the twenty four years since the original “Toy Story” was released. As I started to write this, I found myself thinking about the obvious choices; “Finding Nemo”, “Monsters Inc.”, and “The Incredibles”. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on five less obvious entries In the Pixar canon of films. Ones that people don’t talk about as much, but are all great films in their own right.
This charming film tells the story of hapless chef Alfredo Linguini who befriends a culinary genius in the form of Remy, a rat, and the two develop a relationship in which Remy helps Linguini to become a successful chef. While this film was a critical and commercial success, it’s not one that springs to mind when people discuss Pixar movies.
The character of Merida has become synonymous with the Disney princesses thanks to the likes of “Wreck-It Ralph”, that it’s easy to forget that the film came out under the Pixar banner. Unfairly reviewed upon its release, the film has held up really well since its release and the story of the trials and tribulations of a stubborn daughter and her mother will never not be somewhat relatable to parents and kids from any time period.
Like “Brave”, this film was unfairly ragged-on by critics that were possibly expecting something different to what we got. This film is set in alternative history where the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed, meaning that the dinosaurs survived. “The Good Dinosaur” once again tells the story of a friendship between animal and human, except in this case it’s a dinosaur and a caveboy who embark on an adventure together after being separated from their respective families. Thematically speaking, this film falls into the category of a western as it features a lot of the tropes associated with that genre, and even gets Western legend Sam Elliot on board to voice one of the characters.
Again, like “Ratatouille” this film was hugely successful and critically well received, but again it’s not one that often gets referenced in conversation, nor is it quoted as much as the original. The story shifts focus from Nemo to Dory as she attempts to put her fractured memory back together and trace her family origin. Obviously she manages to drag Marlin and Nemo on her trip which once again takes them across the ocean. As I said, it doesn’t get referenced as much as the original, but is still a lot of fun.
“Coco” is an absolute gem of a film. We watched it recently, and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable. In addition, it takes a look at the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead and does a great job of basing a relatable story around the tradition but also educates about what the Day of the Dead stands for and what it entails. It also explores the themes of family, remembering your heritage, and the importance of passing stories down from one generation to the next. Typically with Pixar it’s a real tearjerker, but in the best possible way.
These are the credible and talented words of our Kevin Dillon, @kevinwritestuff.
All of the above titles are available here at goldendiscs.ie and in all Golden Discs stores nationwide.
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