The Pixar Story

2007

Documentary

3
IMDb Rating 7.7/10 10 7075 7.1K

Director

Top cast

Tom Hanks as Self
Tim Allen as Self
720p.BLU
815.1 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
us  
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
Seeds 64

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 8 / 10

A Nutshell Review: The Pixar Story

Pixar has made so many blockbuster hits, each just about being almost better than the last in terms of anticipation translated to box office receipts, that it's tempting to speculate whether an upcoming movie will be the one infamously credited to bringing the juggernaut to a temporary halt. Going by what The Pixar Story presented, so long as the team stays hungry, focused and passionate with transforming their ideas into films stemming from the heart, then it's probably a formula that would be difficult to break, and computer animation fans will be in for a treat, for a long time to come.

The Pixar Story is a documentary charting the meteoric rise of the company we all have probably in one way or another, come to love, with its groundbreaking effects and animation taking the world by storm with each new release. It's tough for any studio to build upon and better the success of its previous release with the new one, but somehow Pixar always managed to come through unscathed. But as the documentary reveals, it's never plain sailing, and thank goodness most of the cockups, especially weak stories, get junked and reworked, rather than the company crossing its fingers that a mediocre work could cut it. Technological advances also meant that animators get constantly challenged to break new ground, and the film systematically presents these challenges so that we the audience could take a step back, and appreciate the efforts.

Most history buffs will already know that Pixar has its first origins from Lucasfilm (and you can sense George Lucas reeling from letting this opportunity run away), where a division with a mixed expertise of computer scientists and animators spun off to do what they love, and that's to explore the possibilities of combining their skills to make animation. And with angel investor Steve Jobs providing seed funding and despite the studio being in the red in the first few years, one short clip lead to a short film, and with Disney on board in an initial uneven partnership, Toy Story was born, and as they say, the rest is history.

The first parts of the documentary devoted quite a lot of time to John Lasseter, who's credited with making things work with his direction of the first crop of movies coming out of Pixar. It traces his professional start as an animator with Walt Disney, the run ins and the unfortunate firing, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise on hindsight. We see how he, and the rest of his co-workers, had to undertake pressure to perform, each pouring in copious amounts of personal sacrifice to turn their dream into reality. And with each success, the director taking over the reins for the next movie, will no doubt feel the pressure of its predecessor's success, especially Pete Doctor coming off Lesseter's impressive track record, and others like Brad Bird coming from outside the company culture.

We take a sneak peek into the facilities at their swanky company grounds, admiring the grounds in which Pixar creations are conceived, but what is of extreme value here is the tons of archived footage, most of which are unseen because they never see the light of day, be it rough storyboard sketches or skeletal computer animation, most of which contain early stages of the characters with whom we've been acquainted with. The Pixar Story spent significant amount of time on Toy Story (since it's the first movie), and you can witness how the early Woody character and storyline was rejected because they didn't seem right. And it seems that Pixar doesn't compromise on quality - that plans do get trashed if they don't measure up, even with a fixed deadline looming. Talk about grit, determination and perfectionism all rolled into one.

With plenty of interviews with the creators, big name CEOs past and present, and the stars sharing their experience with providing the voices for their digital counterparts, director Leslie Iwersk also provided a brief look into the political wrangling behind the scenes, just for completeness sake, making The Pixar Story well suited for anyone curious to know how it call started, and how the energy is sustained until this very day.

Reviewed by Sergeant_Tibbs 8 / 10

I'll never get tired at looking at Pixar's offices.

Like almost every child of my generation, I grew up on Pixar and in particular Toy Story. Some of my fondest and most memorable cinematic memories were going to see Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles (where afterwards I thought "I can't wait for the sequel"). I remember that one of my first dream jobs in film was to write stories for Pixar and explore all the imaginative possibilities. Now that I've gotten more into film, I've gained a deeper respect for their storytelling and their technology and how hard it is. The Pixar Story tracks the origin of Pixar from when John Lasseter was first inspired to pursue animation to around 2007, before Ratatouille hit the screens. It's an informative look into how the company came to be and of all the struggles. It's very interesting as I would like to get into the industry as well. The biggest chunk is the struggle to create Toy Story - not just to get it commissioned but also to find the story. This is also a trouble with Monsters Inc. where they had the concept but almost too many possibilities to explore. Narrowing down those possibilities is a incredibly difficult job and is something I'm aspiring to achieve at this very moment so it was especially fascinating to watch.

It's always great fun to have a look into their offices with their scooters and arcades. However, perhaps this documentary has come too soon, they talk about fears of being too factory-line, setting a standard they can no longer top and as this comes before one of their most successful strands of films with Wall-E, Up (a film that I didn't like at first but it's grown on me) and Toy Story 3 and then perhaps the beginning of a very boring strand with Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University, I want to know whether they think they're topping themselves or have sunken into a comfort zone. A short reflection on their fears would be very interesting. The doc focuses on the followup chaos after the Toy Story section, with second project syndrome lingering over the Pixar team. A Bug's Life was considered a success at the time and although in hindsight, many disagree, the documentary put me in the mood to rewatch and while the first act is perhaps a bit too childish, it grows and grows and is exceptional storytelling in the end. I hope Pixar haven't peaked with the closure of Toy Story 3 and they can continue making films that get to me. The documentary also makes great use of graphics and animation which is pretty appropriate for this topic. Very entertaining and informative.

8/10

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 9 / 10

Interesting and very moving documentary

As a huge animation fan, I like the Pixar films very much. They are funny, poignant and are beautifully animated with lovable characters. In fact, while I prefer some of their films over others there is no Pixar film I hate. I saw this documentary by chance knowing little about it, and I loved it. The Pixar Story was so interesting and even moving. The interviews are well delivered and written, and I found them and how certain scenes were animated and done really intriguing. I also loved the music and the animated sequences featured especially for the door climax from Monsters Inc and the incredibly moving When Somebody Loved Me from Toy Story 2(Tom Hanks summed it up brilliantly). The Pixar Story goes along at a good pace and is a perfect length too. If anything though, I would have liked to have seen more of the Pixar shorts, as some of those are gems. But this is just nitpicking and doesn't take away from the fact that this documentary is wonderful. 9/10 Bethany Cox

Read more IMDb reviews

No comments yet

Be the first to leave a comment