Rat A2E

The latest Pixar offering is pretty good, you should probably go see it. Random thoughts:

  • The preceding short (‘Lifted’) is brilliant; nothing mind-blowing from a technical perspective, but hugely funny non-verbal humor.
  • The main film has a few too many sequences which seem designed to be really easy to turn into a video game. (The Incredibles had the same problem, but to a lesser extent)
  • Visually it’s stunning, with a nice balance between realism and comic observation. It’s more realistic / less stylized than The Incredibles, but given the more mundane setting, it works well, without falling into the uncanny valley.
  • The pacing is a little off in some places – not to the point of boredom, but it doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as most previous Pixar films. Perhaps this is because it’s a full two hours in length? (it certainly felt that way)
  • Kids’ films have kids’ adverts, which are truly frightening. Seeing phrases like ‘healthy nourishing goodness’ being used with complete disregard for actual evidence depresses me, though I realize the Milkybar kid, Cocoa the monkey and many other fountains of wisdom have been doing this for years.
Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2007 under films.


  1. I’ll counter your “pretty good” with a “this is the best film Pixar have done yet” and will go on to make several pointless points:

    Video game sequences: I’m not so sure about that any more. Watching old cartoons, it turns out that most of them have obvious videogame sequences too, which makes me think that we’ve got things backwards and have just been conditioned into viewing them like that because we’ve seen too many crappy video games based on films…
    Visually, I don’t think it’s any less stylised that their other films, but it might be more refined. They’ve improved their fur rendering to the point where it seems like it just belongs there, rather than Monsters Inc’s “Hey, look at our flashy fur rendering.” They get away from the uncanny valley by making all of the human characters hugely deformed, to the point where they’re more distinct than any of the characters in The Incredibles.
    I liked the film so much that I wandered into the Disney store in London yesterday ready to hand them my wallet and beg them to be gentle. But it turns out that all of the toys they’ve made so far are rubbish. Disappointing!
    Even scarier than the adverts are the trailers for the other kids films. There is apparently a movie about an animated bee about to be released called… “Bee Movie”. Also, what have they done to “The Dark Is Rising”? Those bastards!!

  2. Yes, the fur rendering is awesome now, no arguments. And the Bee Movie was the only trailer I saw that seemed okay – it was the preposterous live action thing with Gwyneth Paltrow (The Golden Compass) that really irked me.

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