Features / Film

A look inside Pixar & the wonderful world of inanimate animation


18 years ago, Pixar’s tale of toys on an adventure touched the collective heart of audiences worldwide. With the recent cinema release of Disney Pixar’s ‘Monsters University‘, what better time to take a look at the imaginative world of animation and pick out some of the best inanimate objects that have unexpectedly shot to fame!

The Brave Little Toaster in 1987 led the way with Pixar’s co-founder John Lasseter one of the men behind the inventive adventure. Here you’ll find your everyday appliances are the centre of attention, as we join the brave toaster sharing a cabin in the woods with a radio, an electric blanket, a lamp (named Lampy) and a Vacuum Cleaner called Kirby. Together, they travel to the city to search for their owner and so set the foundations for future Pixar possibilities.

As we move to 1991, we discovered Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast. When Belle flees to the Castle to find her lost father, she stumbles upon French candelabra Lumiere, a moustached clock named Cogsworth and how we can’t forget Mrs Potts the teapot with young, ever-hopeful Chip the little tea cup. Of course, these particular objects were under a curse but what’s so clever is they use this to their advantage before it is eventually broken.

Pixar then changed everything in 1995 with the beginning of the ‘Toy Story trilogy and Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, Rex, Slinky and Mr Potato Head shot to fame. It fundamentally proves that the stories you’d make up with your imagination as a kid were all true, if you’re willing to believe, and it’s made us all check the attic just to see if those old favourites are up to something adventurous.

In 2008 Pixar’s ‘Wall-E’ focused on a small, square robot that collects rubbish on a desolate Earth. At first look, you’d wonder how this could work but Pixar focus on the positive, the possible and somehow they manage to light up the literal world of refuse. That’s not all either, as they also add an inanimate love story but juxtapose it with a modern and relevant comment on climate change and how we can save our own planet; a tremendous piece of film making.

If you’ve seen ‘Monsters University’ then you would have also seen ‘The Blue Umbrella. Saschka Unseld’s beautiful story of a red and blue umbrella that meet accidentally on a stormy, rainy day in the city is a wholehearted tale of chance and old fashioned romance. Now, just before you go, I also wanted to offer a couple of ideas that I’d love to see:

Lost & Found

We delve into the dusty world of the London Underground and their Lost Property department. At the end of the day when the lights flicker out, we being to see technology switch on with sparks of different coloured lights. Then you’ll hear a trumpet, a crash of a cymbal and a strange-wind-up monkey bangs some coconuts. An orchestra of old and new is warming up!

The Terrestrial

There’s a stormy city with rain lashing down, with windows and shutters banging in the wind and people trying to tie things down. We then focus on a TV aerial that’s pushing against the wind but it seems to turns against it and starts to ‘signal’ to another Aerial on the next roof, and then another and another. They all look to a Cockerel on a Weather Vane spinning in the storm but then, a ray of light hits his face and he smiles as something extraordinary will happen.

[Article originally published on Yahoo! Movies]


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