Posts Tagged ‘Toy Story 3’
Allow me to explain to you why Cars 2 might forever be known as your first real “flop.”
Some people thought that it was inevitable – that it was just a matter of time before you did something less than extraordinary. You have had one of the most incredibly successful run of releases going all the way back to your first full-length feature film in 1995’s Toy Story. With each new film it appeared that you could do no wrong, following up each critical and financial success with another. What’s more is you have continued to raise the bar for filmmaking practices in general, not just with computer animated family fare. You have become the yardstick to which all storytelling of your ilk must be measured, but it appears the time come when you have finally failed to measure up to yourself.
So far this year we’ve enjoyed the emergence of several very well made movies, such as Toy Story 3, Inception, Shutter Island, How to Train Your Dragon, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Cyrus, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the recently released The Social Network, among others. Exactly what makes these movies so well made are an innumerable amount of things both big and small, not the least of which are their direction, editing, acting quality, and art direction. But with every film, when you get right down to it, what really makes or breaks everything is the writing. A phenomenal director and editor tandem can sometimes get past a so-so script, such as with Steven Spielberg and Michael Kahn with Jurassic Park, but the vast majority of the time the quality of the writing is what determines how good everything else can potentially be.
So far it would appear that the two movies that are being praised the most for their writing quality are Chris Nolan’s Inception and Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network. It seems like every review of the latter has dedicated a whole paragraph to dote upon this particular aspect, crediting both Sorkin and his source material (Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires). The former has received sterling reviews as well, though because of how intentionally ambiguous the film is some critics were hesitant to award it prematurely. In those critics’ defense, it is indeed harder to defend a story’s craftsmanship when its coherence is questionable and the overall theme and thesis lend themselves to expansive debate.
Can the stories of these two movies be compared? Read the rest of this entry »
Director: Lee Unkrich (co-director of Toy Story 2, Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo)
Screenwriters: Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), John Lasseter (Toy Story, Toy Story 2), Andrew Stanton (Monster’s Inc., WALL-E), Lee Unkrich
Cast: Tom Hanks (The Da Vinci Code), Tim Allen (The Santa Clause 3), Joan Cusack (Kit Kittredge), Ned Beatty (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Length: 1h 43m
Synopsis: Woody (Hanks) and Buzz (Allen) and the gang are preparing themselves for the day that they knew would eventually come, and that day is when their owner Andy (now 17 years old) heads off to college and relegates his toys to either the attic or place of donation. All the toys are in a panic, and despite Woody’s efforts to calm them their hysteria is just too great. What ends up happening to them is that they are given away to a nearby daycare center where they are met with many other toys, but also some unruly toddlers. These hyperactive tots viciously mistreat their new toys, and on top of that not all of the daycare’s older toys are quite what they seem to be. All of Andy’s old toys decide they must somehow reunite with him, but figuring out how to do that will be their biggest challenge yet. Read the rest of this entry »
ComingSoon.net recently conducted an interview with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla Anderson. Unkrich has been the co-director for Toy Story 2, Monster’s Inc., and Finding Nemo and has been part of Pixar’s creative team since the company’s beginning, which was why he was given the job of directing the Oscar-winning and highly prestigious studio’s first “threequel.”
In the interview Unkrich and Anderson reveal some interesting tidbits about how Toy Story 3 got off the ground, and how the creative minds behind it were able to make it happen.
For starters, Unkrich and a few others tried getting the film started back when Toy Story 2 was released, ready to continue on to another story involving the characters they grew to love. However, legal troubles with Disney kept the film from being made and so the studio was forced to put the idea of a third movie on the back burner. When Disney eventually bought Pixar, the red tape was finally removed and the studio was free to pursue the project head-on.
Michael Arndt, who wrote the script for the film, was met by Unkrich and the others at Pixar after they looked at a copy of the screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine. They liked his work for that movie so much they immediately wanted to get in touch with him in order to maybe start working together. Later that same year Arndt was awarded an Oscar for Best Screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine, which helped give the studio more confidence that they were working with the right guy.
The interview covers a dozen other issues like these, which help paint Pixar as a company that redefines the word “harmony” when it comes to how its creative teams work together to create such memorable films. Definitely a good read for those of you looking forward to Toy Story 3 opening this weekend.