Fall, one of everyone’s favorite seasons for cuddling up and watching some movies to de-stress between classes. Between the holidays, the weather, the gorgeous colors, and inevitable face stuffing, what’s not to love about this time of the year? As it turns out, fall is also a significant season for the movie industry, more specifically, Pixar Studios. The studio who brought millennials their childhood through heartwarming animated films and stories, and, as it so happens, the anniversary of “Monsters, Inc.” is coming up Oct. 28, soon to be followed by a myriad of other Pixar anniversaries. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at the rise of film accomplishments from Pixar Studios.
Starting out as a graphics company with ties to Lucasarts (the people who brought you Star Wars), Pixar took the projects of the effects buisiness and used more computer generated effects to seamlessly replace what practical effects couldn’t achieve. After enough experience, the company gained funding from Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs. Jobs saw the potential for the company to make films of its own and quickly bankrolled them. He would then take the company to Disney, sourcing out some of its animation work for pictures such as “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Little Mermaid”, being paid for the bits and pieces of the films that they made. It wasn’t until 1995 that Pixar came out with its own full feature project, this time entirely funded by Disney, to make the classic story of toys coming to life.
The first project was “Toy Story”, from Director John Lasseter; The story of a child’s relationship with his toys that has grown to become one of the greatest stepping stones in animated movie history. “Toy Story” was the company’s first feature film, the first computer animated film ever and was nominated for a few significant awards. Over time, it was followed by two sequels, “Toy Story 2” in 1999 and “Toy Story 3” in 2010. Both films were highly regarded, with the latter being the third highest-grossing animated film of all time. Due to the monumental success of the franchise, Disney would began to source more feature films from Pixar over the years until they eventually purchased the monumental animation company for upwards of $7 billion dollars. “Toy Story” wasn’t the only amazing success with Disney backing.
In the midst of the “Toy Story” hype, Director Pete Docter brought his visionary classic “Monsters, Inc.” to the screen. Released in 2004, the film series starred John Goodman and Billy Crystal in an animated society of monsters that protects itself from “deadly” humans only to find that humans aren’t quite as dangerous as they thought. This beloved family film earned an almost unheard of 96 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, as well as an academy award for Best Original Song for Randy Newman’s “If I Didn’t Have You”. It was considered an almost instant classic by critics and fans alike, and earned a prequel in 2013 known as “Monsters University”, just twelve years after the original film’s release. To be sure that it lived up to the would-be sequel it was given multiple pass-overs in story and direction. With “Monsters University” coming out so long after the original it appealed to a much wider audience, due in large part to the fact that most of the children who had seen the original were then heading off into college.
Looking to the future, Pixar seems to be releasing many sequels over a decade after their original feature counterparts. “Toy Story 3”, “Monsters University” and “Finding Dory” are just a few of the recent sequels, and Pixar isn’t stopping there. As it turns out, “Toy Story 4” is in production with Lasseter returning as director, and it is set for release on Jun. 15 2018. A fan favorite, “The Incredibles” sequel is set for release on Jun. 21 of 2019, 15 years after its original. Other rumored sequels include “Brave” and “Inside Out” but the company has stated that these films in the pre-planning stages.
Young or old, Pixar films will always be loved by viewers regardless of how far along they may be. They’ll always create new and amazing films to inspire and entertain the masses. So this season, take some time to relax with some classic Pixar films that put a stressed mind at ease. A throwback to childhood is just what’s needed in the fun season of trick-or-treating and thankfulness.