Wednesday, May 27, 2009

About Pixar Films: Why Are They So Fascinating

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.