Pixar 24-Feature Film Challenge!!! Thanks For Playing ~ Now In Theatres: Lightyear!!!

firechief18

Well-Known DPF Member
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Luca
1. Overall impression of the film?

Honestly…I was very disappointed in this movie. There wasn’t a single element in it that wasn’t borrowed from another Disney or Pixar movie. A reference here and there, or “Easter eggs” are one thing, but to sock the entire thing on a mish-mash of other storylines just doesn’t work. The cobbled together elements lack the cohesion of a good story.

The first correlation is to The Little Mermaid. Luca is obsessed with the surface and the “land monsters,” and yet knows that merfolk like himself can change to look human. He also collects and hides items that he finds from the surface. Just like Ariel, he has no idea what they do, only that they are from the surface. Luca’s mom, Daniela is the taskmaster, disciplinarian, and ruler of the household – totally freaking out with Luca on the land. She’s not that far off from King Triton.

Pinocchio is the second obvious connection. Alberto is Lampwick, hands down. Although he lives by himself, (unlike the Stupid Boys), he has no rules, does what he likes, and pushes Luca to be disobedient and reckless. He may not smoke or drink, but I still half-expected to see Luca sprout donkey’s ears and start braying.

Alberto also shows ties to Peter Pan. He’s basically an abandoned child, thus making him a Lost Boy. There isn’t much difference between the Stupid Boys and the Lost Boys in reality. They are both groups of children in desperate need of adult supervision and guidance. Where Alberto falls, in there, is toward the end where he admits his father went away and never came back. Like a lost boy, he wants a home, a parent to love him. That is a defining factor when he decides to stay with Massimo at the end.

The boys give a short nod to The Lion King. When Luca and Alberto decide to go to the mainland from the island, their frolicking freedom is reminiscent of the “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” sequence.

There is even a brief nod to Mulan in there. Luca’s grandmother, and Grandma Fa both are okay with covering for their grandchildren. When Luca is late coming home, and has no excuse Grandma Paguro LIES to cover for him. Grandma Fa points Mulan in the direction of the courtyard wall to see the emperor’s courier. Not a lie in that case, but certainly a breach of protocol in that household.

Then of course, there’s Ratatouille. When I see the story’s baddie, Ercole Viscotti; hear him speak, and watch his behavior, all I see is Chef Skinner. He is supposed to be Italian, but all I can see is that arrogant Frenchman. No one wants to stand up to him. They are afraid of him and what his two thugs will do.

Snow White’s huntsman is even portrayed. When the boys are revealed in the end to be sea monsters, Portorosso’s master hunter is expected to slay them. But just like the huntsman, Massimo cannot bring himself to do it. Where Snow White’s huntsman sends her running into the woods, Massimo simply defends the boys and the locals back down.

There is even a Simpsons’ moment. When Daniela gets all bent out of shape over the upcoming crab show season, she mentions a competitor who can squeal like a dolphin. When she does her mock imitation of that call the animation is reminiscent of the TV cartoon style found in The Simpsons.

And, it’s all a la Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope. When Luca’s mother decides he needs to be sent to the depths with Uncle Ugo for “one or two seasons,” it’s just like Uncle Owen telling Luke he cannot go to the academy, just for “one more season.”

Finally, the storyline is mediocre at best, if it’s even that good. Luca’s sudden daydreams are not really necessary to the story. They don’t connect to create a purpose, other than to lengthen the time of the cartoon. There were a few funny moments (such as Luca spitting his water on Alberto, or the antics of Massimo’s all-knowing cat – Machiavelli) but they were too few, and far between to salvage the movie. As I stated in the beginning of this rant - trying to mish-mash the best of other stories – intended or not, just doesn’t work.

5. Choose one specific symbol in the film to analyze.

The Vespa Scooter –
Really? An entire story based on two kids wanting an ugly scooter. If the movie was funnier and more tongue-in-cheek…maybe it would have worked. The scooter, be it new, used, homemade, or dilapidated is the singular focus of Luca and Alberto. I will give them credit for working together toward that goal. In that, they didn’t waver. They race to win the money to get it, and succeed. But then Alberto does something totally unexpected. He did learn that there is more to life than things. He sells the scooter to pay for a train ticket for Luca to go with Giulia to school. And he had worked everything out with Luca’s parents. They had intended to get the scooter so they could see the world. They are going to do just that, but not in the ways they had imagined.

6. Choose a single line of dialogue that you find to be the most significant/impactful line in the film and why.

“Sea monster!” – Luca


Betrayal? From the self-proclaimed “good kid?” That is what happened when Alberto (in a fit of jealousy) shows Giulia what he and Luca really are. It backfired. Alberto thought he was forcing Luca to choose him by running off Giulia with the revelation. Horrified at losing his new friend Luca outs him, calling him a sea monster. What is most disturbing about this is that it doesn’t fit with the personality you have come to know as Luca. To betray a friend, for something is more in Alberto’s personality. It feels like the writers forced a change to make it fit the narrative, instead of following the narrative to its more natural pathway.

9. What is the iconic shot of the film? What single frame of animation do you find to be the most memorable and why?

Machiavelli sees everything! He knows something isn’t on the up and up. This is when we know that the cat will be causing shenanigans! There is a bit of humor here. Let the games begin!


10. What single pin do you think best represents this film for you? Why?


Pin FAC/SKU# 465054544502 (only number I could find, Could not find in PinPics and pintradingdb was not responding)

This cat is the best character in the movie. Without uttering a word, he conveys his dislike, distrust, and disapproval of Luca and Alberto. A cat knows a fish when he smells one…this leads to some funny scenes (the only ones worth seeing in the film.) If you can find Machiavelli without the rest of that hideous pin set – that’s who you want.
 

coblj003

DPF Charter Member
DPF Correspondent
Rating - 100%
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Here we are in our final week. Of course I forgot my laptop so I will finish uploading our final film today along with my last discussion/impressions...
 

firechief18

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
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My wife and I have had a great time watching and writing the analysis of each film. The shorts were fun as well. Watched turning red last night. Will rewatch later and complete the final write up.
 

coblj003

DPF Charter Member
DPF Correspondent
Rating - 100%
45   0   1
And here we are in our last week of the Pixar Movie Challenge. The Annies and Oscars were recent and Luca though nominated was shut out heavily(if not unexpectedly) by Encanto and Mitchell vs the Machine. It's been fun and I look forward to reading your final analysis.


Now Playing:
Turning Red(2022); Burrow**(2020) ~ 3/26 - 4/1



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Please remember that you may post your analysis during the one week window starting 00:00 Thursday through to 24:00 Wednesday DLR Time, and any responses/comments for that film by the "wrap-up" day(the following Friday); This will help keep the conversation moving.

Film Schedule

8/9-8/16: Toy Story(1995)
8/17-8/23: A Bug's Life(1998); Geri's Game(1997)
8/24-8/30: Toy Story 2(1999); Luxo Jr.(1986)
8/31-9/6: Monster's Inc(2001); For the Birds(2000)
9/7-9/13: Finding Nemo(2003); Knick Knack (1989)
9/14-9/21: The Incredibles(2004); Boundin'(2003)
9/22-10/4: Cars(2006); One Man Band(2005)

10/5-10/12: Ratatouille(2007); Lifted(2006)
10/13-10/25: WALL-E(2008); Presto(2007)

10/26-11/1: UP(2009); Partly Cloudy(2008)
11/4-11/10: Toy Story 3(2010); Day & Night(2009)
11/11-11/17: Cars 2(2011); Hawaiian Vacation(2011)
11/24-12/1: Brave(2012); La Luna(2011)
12/2-12/8: Monster's University(2013); The Blue Umbrella(2012)
Winter Break: Toy Story of Terror(2013); Toy Story That Time Forgot(2014)
1/6-1/12: Inside Out(2015); Lava(2014)
1/13-1/19: The Good Dinosaur(2015); Sanjay's Super Team(2015)
1/20-1/26: Finding Dory(2016); Piper(2016)
1/27-2/2: Cars 3(2017); Lou(2017)
2/3-2/9: Coco(2017); Toy Story of Terror(TV Special-2013)**
2/17-2/23: Incredibles 2(2018); Bao(2018)
2/24-3/9 Toy Story 4(2019); Toy Story That Time Forgot(TV Special-2014)**
3/3-3/9: Onward(2020);Kitbull**(2019)
3/10-3/16: Soul(2020); Out**(2020)
3/17-3/25: Luca(2021); Burrow**(2020)

3/26-4/1-: Turning Red(2022); Burrow(2020)**
**These Films did not have an accompanied Pixar Short associated with their release; I've paired the remaining with Oscar nominated short films/tv specials.
+Coco: Initially paired with Olaf's Frozen Adventure before it was cut a week after it's premier; I've paired it with the Toy Story of Terror .
+Toy Story 4: did not have a short premier during it's initial release; I've paired it with Toy Story That Time Forgot.
+Onward: Premiered with a non Pixar Short: The Simpsons-Playmate with Destiny; I've paired it with Oscar Nominated short "Kitbull".
+Soul: Not released in theaters; I've paired it with Oscar shortlist short "Out".
+Luca: Not released in theaters; I've paired it with Oscar nominated short "Burrow"
+Turning Red: Not Released in theaters; I've paired it with the last Oscar nominated short "Burrow"
 

firechief18

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
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Turning Red
1. Overall impression of the film?

I was thoroughly entertained. Yes, there were some…points of uncomfortable inconvenience mentioned. But this film was not meant to be comfortable. It is, in fact, a great representation of what all teenage girls go through – from their culture at home, to the friendships at school, to puberty and the changes in their bodies.

It wasn’t an “Oh the hero will come save me because I cannot live without him!” kind of film. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a sucker for the Cinderella/Cinderfella movies. I absolutely prefer happy endings.

This film so frankly addressed a topic for young women that seems to have been taboo in Hollywood for so long. There are always coming of age movies for teenage boys, but in reality, no one talks about when a girl hits puberty. The beauty of it is they didn’t linger on it in a detailed way that should truly make anyone uncomfortable. And honestly the kids these days are probably more informed than you think. A lot of 13 year-old girls are probably relating to the film a lot more than you think, but society’s prudishness is making them keep their mouths shut.

Turning Red really stuck with the realities of being a teenage girl in this day and age. These are things that they all go through – no matter to the world around them.

2. Choose one specific character to analyze.

Ming (Mei’s mother) –
Talk about your helicopter parent (**facepalms and shakes head**)…obsessive, domineering, embarrassing…we have all seen behavior like this, and we all wonder how that child will survive her parents. Of course, knowing what is going to happen to Mei, and based on what had happened to her (in re: the panda spirit) it is a little understandable. Not an excuse for the behavior, mind you, as it was still not in Mei’s best interest.

Culturally, Ming is almost the stereotype Chinese mother – very reserved in dress and behavior, strict with Mei (freaking out over her for being 10 minutes late), disciplined, and unhealthily steeped in a tradition. I’ll be plain – there is nothing wrong with following your cultural traditions, until they become a focus for destruction, be it physical or mental. I say unhealthily because she uses that tradition to turn a blind eye to the here and now. This isn’t the world Ming grew up in. She is not seeing the things her daughter is exposed to. She doesn’t want to see beyond the world of the home and temple. It’s given her tunnel vision. So, with that mindset she is molding, training, and making her daughter into a full-on mini-me.

Well, she’s trying and that didn’t work so well. She doesn’t understand her daughter. She dislikes Mei’s friends – without really getting to know them and she blames them for every transgression that is totally Mei’s. Unfortunately, Mei allows that belief to carry, which reinforces Ming’s helicopter parent behavior. Children want their parent’s approval. They want to be everything their parents want them to be. They have to be allowed that self-exploration, and Ming doesn’t see that. But then again, she really doesn’t even “see” her own daughter for the person she is.

Little children need structure and discipline and bravo that Ming has given her daughter those teachings. But older children and teens have begun to earn the right to be themselves, and explore the world in small doses. Ming won’t even let Mei have that, so there is a full-on rebellion. Ming doesn’t handle that too well and her own panda spirit is set free.

Ming finds her turning point when Mei, Grandma, and the Aunties are able to corral her and send her back to the astral plane to once again separate from her destructive panda spirit. Mei finds her mother as a child, who is sobbing over hurting her mother. Ming says she was “sick of being perfect” and wasn’t going to be “good enough.” We heard that from Mei as well earlier in the movie. Suddenly Ming is completely understood by her daughter. And it is Mei who helps heal her and show her it is okay to be yourself and still honor your ancestors. Ming accepts the change.

3. Choose one specific scene or sequence to analyze – tell me what response is it trying to evoke from the viewer and how does it go about getting that response?

Mei facing her own panda in the astral realm –
Mei wants to do what she has been told is right, and that means finding a way to separate the panda spirit from herself. She was already not wholly sure of the idea and when starting her push through the portal she and the spirit see each other. The look of pure sadness on the panda’s face is heartbreaking, and it lets out a whimper. It’s not a bad spirit, and it doesn’t want to go. But it knows that the choice is Mei’s. Mei sees things in that moment that no one else does. She sees herself as the panda, with the panda, and knows that she will be forever with her panda.

Until this point the viewer is most likely sitting on the fence regarding banishing/keeping the spirit. You hear the reasons from Ming, Grandma, and the Aunties. You see the control and fun Mei has with letting the panda out to play. But there is also the influence of quiet acceptance from Jin – Mei’s father. He seems so very grounded in reality. He takes the entire familial blessing/curse in stride. These things all weigh in with Mei’s decision to keep the panda.

6. Choose a single line of dialogue that you find to be the most significant/impactful line in the film and why.

“People have all kinds of side to them. And some sides are messy. The point isn’t to push the bad stuff away. It’s to make room for it, live with it.” – Jin


This quote is beautiful in its perfection. There is so much simple truth to it. Real life is messy, it makes for messy situations and messy people. It’s how you deal with the mess that defines you. Ming and Mei don’t understand that. Ming raised Mei to not understand that. But Jin does. Although he is more in the background, he is still Mei’s father and what he says does carry weight. Not only that, what he says makes sense. He accepts the things life throws at him and finds a way to cope with them. Too few people can cope anymore.

9. What is the iconic shot of the film? What single frame of animation do you find to be the most memorable and why?


Mei finding a teenage Ming crying in the astral plane – This is the beginning of a new world for both Ming and Mei. A quiet confession from Ming resonates with Mei who finds herself in the position of having to provide a strong comforting presence to her mother. As the child it is hard to see your parents vulnerable. And sometimes it’s harder to learn why, especially when you see the events happening again in the same way, for the same reasons. The cycle needs to be broken. It is a moment of learning for both parent and child that each can be strong, and need each other at the same time.


10. What single pin do you think best represents this film for you? Why?


Pin #146869

Mei (as the panda) with her trio of “trouble-maker” buddies Miriam, Abby, and Pryia. Despite whatever other storylines exist within the movie Turning Red, the fact is the underlying support and stability is the presence of die-hard friends who are with you – no matter what. True friends support you when you change, when you do crazy things, do stupid things, need to fight, need a hug, and when you realize you need to apologize. Your friends always forgive you.

PS – Are the statues outside the temple jokingly named Lisa and Bart an Easter egg nod to Disney wanting to put out a Simpsons 2 movie?
 

coblj003

DPF Charter Member
DPF Correspondent
Rating - 100%
45   0   1
Happy Revenge of the 5th(Cinco De Mayo)!!!
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I apologize for my month’s absence but life got in the way with several ER visits, auto breakdowns, changing jobs, and packing for a move. A big thank you for everyone that participated, and I promise to finish up everything this weekend.
 

coblj003

DPF Charter Member
DPF Correspondent
Rating - 100%
45   0   1
Hello everyone and thank you for your patience, I actually signed an apartment lease this past week and I'll tell you the relief that is a huge burden off of my shoulders. As for my absence, add a complete computer crash/cracked phone to my list of unfortunate events the past month.

I think it's fitting that we end the challenge with the latest film, Lightyear. Lets go watch it on Disney+, oh wait... This marks the first Pixar film back in theatres since Onward, and I will say that it seems that Disney went more then above and beyond merchandising this film then the past 4 probably combined. As for the last analysis, just kidding, you don't have to complete an analysis for this for the challenge(unless you want to). That said It would be nice to hear from you what your favorite film, least favorite, and most surprising and/or dissapointing film for this challenge was. I'll upload final tallies up this weekend(I promise this time).


Now In Theatres:
Lightyear(2022) ~ 6/17

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Please remember that you may post your analysis during the one week window starting 00:00 Thursday through to 24:00 Wednesday DLR Time, and any responses/comments for that film by the "wrap-up" day(the following Friday); This will help keep the conversation moving.

Film Schedule

8/9-8/16: Toy Story(1995)
8/17-8/23: A Bug's Life(1998); Geri's Game(1997)
8/24-8/30: Toy Story 2(1999); Luxo Jr.(1986)
8/31-9/6: Monster's Inc(2001); For the Birds(2000)
9/7-9/13: Finding Nemo(2003); Knick Knack (1989)
9/14-9/21: The Incredibles(2004); Boundin'(2003)
9/22-10/4: Cars(2006); One Man Band(2005)

10/5-10/12: Ratatouille(2007); Lifted(2006)
10/13-10/25: WALL-E(2008); Presto(2007)

10/26-11/1: UP(2009); Partly Cloudy(2008)
11/4-11/10: Toy Story 3(2010); Day & Night(2009)
11/11-11/17: Cars 2(2011); Hawaiian Vacation(2011)
11/24-12/1: Brave(2012); La Luna(2011)
12/2-12/8: Monster's University(2013); The Blue Umbrella(2012)
Winter Break: Toy Story of Terror(2013); Toy Story That Time Forgot(2014)
1/6-1/12: Inside Out(2015); Lava(2014)
1/13-1/19: The Good Dinosaur(2015); Sanjay's Super Team(2015)
1/20-1/26: Finding Dory(2016); Piper(2016)
1/27-2/2: Cars 3(2017); Lou(2017)
2/3-2/9: Coco(2017); Toy Story of Terror(TV Special-2013)**
2/17-2/23: Incredibles 2(2018); Bao(2018)
2/24-3/9 Toy Story 4(2019); Toy Story That Time Forgot(TV Special-2014)**
3/3-3/9: Onward(2020);Kitbull**(2019)
3/10-3/16: Soul(2020); Out**(2020)
3/17-3/25: Luca(2021); Burrow**(2020)
3/26-4/1-: Turning Red(2022); Burrow(2020)**

6/17: Lightyear

**These Films did not have an accompanied Pixar Short associated with their release; I've paired the remaining with Oscar nominated short films/tv specials.
+Coco: Initially paired with Olaf's Frozen Adventure before it was cut a week after it's premier; I've paired it with the Toy Story of Terror .
+Toy Story 4: did not have a short premier during it's initial release; I've paired it with Toy Story That Time Forgot.
+Onward: Premiered with a non Pixar Short: The Simpsons-Playmate with Destiny; I've paired it with Oscar Nominated short "Kitbull".
+Soul: Not released in theaters; I've paired it with Oscar shortlist short "Out".
+Luca: Not released in theaters; I've paired it with Oscar nominated short "Burrow"
+Turning Red: Not Released in theaters; I've paired it with the last Oscar nominated short "Burrow"
 
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Ajk

Let's party like its 2019.
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Sorry to hear about all the bad news, but glad things are better.

Obviously I didn’t participate in this but I did pop in now and then to look at the posts and I really enjoyed them.

I really appreciate @coblj003 fir hosting it and keeping it going and @firechief18 fir participating all the way through. It was pretty great.
 
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