"9" the new feature distributed by Focus Pictures and produced in part by Tim Burton is a worthwhile post apocolyptic story starring little burlap bag robots, fighting other, huge "War of the World" type gargantuan robots. It's an appealing movie with holes in it's simple plot which are easy enough to overlook. All you have to do is concentrate on it's stunning special effects, beautiful, steampunkish artwork and wonderful animation. Yes, there are some repetitive action sequences and one character who keeps repeating that whatever new idea they have isn't going to work (idea hater). It isn't any earth-shattering, genre shaking film but a thoughtful, morality tale with a lot of heart. Good vocal performances by Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer and Crispin Glover. Directed by Shane Acker.
It's pretty clear to me that Pixar approaches each project without any restrictive, preconceived notions of what story to tell, which choice of characters to tell it, or how the story is 'supposed' to be told.
Pixar teams seek and decide on original solutions. They search for creative ways to tell the story and they go with the best route to fulfill whatever they decide their goals are (illuminating character, action, emotion or pushing the story along or all of these).
The Pixar aesthetic is one of high quality. It seeks to celebrate the creative, artistic and beautiful, within the framework of telling a story - without sacrifice.
Clearly, their aim is not to maximize plush sales or games or any cross-platform/cross-merchandising revenue streams. Their creative decisions are independent of such and thus not reduced to deciding on the lowest common denominator as a standard.
The trust they put in their audience is astounding. Pixar does not believe the audience needs to be spoken down to - rather, by using the basic premise that the audience has a brain and that human emotion is universal - Pixar elevates audiences. Pixar gives the audience permission to use their brains to reason and to understand and feel the emotion of the story situation at hand.
You know, you may not remember a specific character or situation in a given movie, but you WILL remember how you felt when you saw a particular Pixar film - and that sets it apart from other animated films which just seek to make you laugh. There's a fullness of emotion, an abstract dimensionality that comes from a Pixar film which audiences find particularly satisfying and attractive.
Certainly Pixar is not formulaic in their solutions and that's why they are able to deliver thrilling, original, quality content again and again and again.
I studied filmmaking and animation, became an illustrator (published in a few books), and graphic designer. I am currently working as a financial services marketing professional. I have a deep yearning for artistic expression and particularly, improving my filmmaking, character design and drawing ability. Follow my @vdr tweets on Twitter! Check out my other blogs below.