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Mutual Assured Delight

Pixar Power: A lesson in Nostalgia


Ever since I was five years, I understand the power of nostalgia. My mother and grandmother both collected animated movies for me and my sister to watch. My mother would always purchase a Disney movie as soon as it came out on VHS, adding countless movies to our collection that seemed to grow exponentially. Some of my favorite and best kept memories are of my family sitting in the living room, the small area alight with excitement, captivated by the mysterious wonder that movies bring. When done right, and Disney did it right, you could feel an overwhelming amount of emotions for a time that is not your own. I feared the fires in Paris that my burned my brethren and I missed the days of yore when Gods walked among men and champions were made, not just born. During Disney’s renaissance (This was a period of time circa. 1985-2000 where Disney returned to making kick ass movies including but not limited to The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Mulan, and of course Lion King) Disney mastered the art of perpetual nostalgia with the unique ability to take any time period or situation and add modern day allusions and twists to the story line. A great example of this is in Hercules when they called Thebes the Big Olive or when the sizzling satyr Philoctetes name was shortened to Phil. This connection of two time periods draws the audience in with something recognizable and at the same time allow us to accept the unbelievable or unknown as fact. Very few other film companies can accomplish the feat. Do you really see yourself sitting down with your kids or grandkids in ten years and watching Madagascar three? I didn’t think so.

 Enter Pixar.

The Disney Renaissance is dead. The Age of Pixar has begun. Long live the king. The mantle of majestic nostalgia in animated films has been passed on. Before I continue, I must warn you. I love Pixar even more than I love Disney. I love the music of Giacchino, the Newman’s, and the newest member to the club Patrick Doyle (Don’t worry. I have an especially long essay to write about nostalgia, the music of Pixar, and why Pixar Is Jazz). I love the quirky characters like Dory the……what was I talking about again, Doug the dutiful dog, and the three silent yet wild princes DunBroch. I love everything Pixar. The way the company is run shines in the movies. Pixar is the new king of nostalgia. They made an exact witches brew filled with comedy, drama, and transcending life lessons that can rival Disney in its tenacity. I recently saw the movie Brave, and it is of little wonder why Brave became the 13th Pixar movie to premiere at number one. Sure, there are certain things that I can happily say I have never experienced (No spoilers for you. See the movie!), but I can fully appreciate the struggle between a young adult and their parent. The feisty Merida’s spats with her strict yet loving mother brought forth powerful memories of slammed doors and raised voices that I thought were long gone. The reason why Pixar’s nostalgia is different yet similar to Disney’s can be found in the type of love that they exemplify. While Disney focused in the love between two strangers who eventually found love, Pixar focused on the types. Maternal/paternal love, self-love, and love between friends. All of these loves are valid on their own way. Each company made these loves their own.

Ever since I was five understood the power that nostalgia has. In the blink of an eye a blank canvas can be filled with the most beautiful and most wretched colors that have ever been seen. The paintbrushes needed to create these perfect pieces of art can be found now in the minds of every single person who works at Pixar. These people who can make you feel like robots can fall in love, houses can fly, and toys can form lifelong friendships hold the keys to the lock that is your heart. In ten years I can cannot wait to sit my child(or children, who knows!) upon my lap and allow Pixar to unlock their hearts and show them the power of Nostalgia.

    -Grant

P.S. I will never refer to Pixar as Disney Pixar. As far as I am concerned,  Pixar is and always has been its own identity that shall never be truly assimilated. Disney=distribution.

The jock is dead. Long Live the Geek!

At my grandma’s house and we got thr record player to work. Jamming out to the original cast of Sesame Street!

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3 thoughts on “Pixar Power: A lesson in Nostalgia

  1. You beautifully paired the idea of nostalgia and canvas and paint. I love the image it created for me!

  2. Just wrote a similar post regarding my personal nostalgia for the good old days of Pixar on my blog, I feel you all the way 😦 Now to go back and watch Up for the dozenth time to make me feel better

    http://rorschachreviews.com/2012/06/26/dear-disney-if-it-aint-broke-dont-fix-it/

  3. Thank you very much attackedbyheart. It means alot to hear positive feedback. And I agree with you r36. Cars too was a good movie standalone, but it was very much at the bottom of the pixar roster. I disagree with you about brave. I felt it was a great movie. My one problem with Brave is that its premise is very close to Brother Bear.

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