Billy Crystal and John Goodman are likeable enough in their normal human forms; as cute monsters, they were unstoppable. The world of Monsters Inc was interesting but there wasn't much to take away from this word that was applicable to our reality. What did it teach us? Don't scare kids? Make friends with monsters in your closet because they might be successful actors who can hook you up?
Ratatouille, on the other hand, had a clear message. And it was truly touching and inspiring to hear legendary actor, Peter O'Toole, give a speech about how anyone can succeed and achieve greatness. The only issue with Ratatouille? Rats. Cute and talented rats. But still: rats.
Pixar went after Disney territory by making a princess movie. But this princess was both a damsel in distress and a hero. She was Rapunzel and Flynn Rider in one person. What held the movie back from being an instant Pixar classic was it didn't have the memorable sidekicks most Pixar movies are famous for. The only sidekick Merida had was her epic hair, which was dynamic, but didn't deliver any good one-liners.
Toy Story will always hold a special place in our hearts because it was the first. My first. Everyone's first. It was the first time we heard Pixar's message: we can do whatever want if we set our mind to it! Like, for example, be devoted toys who will eventually be discarded like trash one day!
Also, making a movie about animate toys that wasn't a horror movie is super impressive.
The only concern I have about this movie is that it makes light of Sid's toy abuse. If we're to believe these toys experience consciousness like humans do, then subjecting them to the threat of torture shouldn't be played for laughs.
Wall-E showed us a nightmarish (and plausible) dystopia where humanity's gluttony and greed destroyed Earth, but they made our doom palatable by making the hero a small robot with a fondness for showtunes.
What held Wall-E back from the top 5 was Wall-E and Eve's lack of depth or range. They couldn't communicate more than saying their names. It was like a rom com starring two Hodors. This made the protagonists' emotional arcs less satisfying than those about a talking toy or fish.
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