Editor’s List: Favorite Pixar Features

The Channels Arts Pages | EDITOR’S LIST

Clockwise+from+top+left%2C+Movie+posters+for+Pixar+animated+movies+Ratatouille+%282007%29%2C+Geris+Game+%281997%29%2C+Turning+Red+%282022%29+and+Finding+Nemo+%282003%29.

Clockwise from top left, Movie posters for Pixar animated movies “Ratatouille” (2007), “Geri’s Game” (1997), “Turning Red” (2022) and “Finding Nemo” (2003).

Bianca Ascencio, Associate Editor

Pixar Studios was founded in 1986 and continues to entertain us with iconic films. Since 2006, the Walt Disney Company has owned and operated the animation studio from Emeryville, Calif. From shorts to full-length movies, Pixar has been a constant source of entertainment and always delivers core childhood memories that we fondly look back on. Pixar’s first full-length feature was the seminal 1995 film “Toy Story” starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. From there, Pixar expanded into the animation giant it is today, with plenty of memorable films under its belt. This week, The Channels Editorial Board selects their favorite Pixar movie. 

 

Rodrigo Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

“Ratatouille” (2007)

When I walked into the theater in 2007 to see a movie about a rat becoming a chef in a top restaurant in Paris, I did not expect to become so attached and impressed by the story and animation. Growing up with the “Disney Renaissance” on constant repeat with VHS tapes and DVDs, six-year-old me was attached to classics such as “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Incredibles.” The latter was made by Pixar and is highly regarded as one of the best films in their lineup. Directed by Brad Bird, I would argue that “The Incredibles” is not Pixar’s greatest film, but instead that title goes to his other picture “Ratatouille.” Opening with a somber and shocking opening of the death of Chef Gusteau and the conditions Remy the rat lives in sets the tone for the rest of the film. Several moments of the movie have been engraved into my mind, such as Remy describing flavors and the complexities of combining ingredients with a chunk of cheese and a strawberry, and the unforgettable line, “I killed a man, with this thumb.” Bird’s directorial style appeals to both children and adults, having deeper themes and meanings when you view it as an adult who grew up with the film. When I rewatch the climax of Anton Ego becoming emotional over one bite of food that took him back to his childhood, it takes me back to the first time I watched the film and I remember the pang of emotion that struck my heart and made my eyes well, which still happens when I revisit the picture. While other films may be packed with action and spectacle, “Ratatouille” puts the audience through an emotionally impactful and exciting story that is grounded and relatable to viewers of all ages.

August Lawrence, Photo Editor

“Geri’s Game” (1997)

This short centers around the title character, Geri, and shows his inner struggle with beating himself in a chess game. It starts with the little old man in an empty park setting up for a round and then playing himself — switching sides, walking back and forth from white to black. The story then takes a wild turn as he fakes himself out with a phony heart attack to eventually beat himself in the game. First released in 1997, this clip was one of the first to show me what the magic of a simple yet smart film could produce. By the end of the thing, you forget it’s only a single person. The animation is a little cringy and the sound isn’t quite truly synced, but it keeps me coming back for just one more viewing. I love “Geri’s Game” for its basic yet masterful comedic timing and for being among the first cinematic pieces to launch my love of movies. 

 

Eric Evelhoch, Sports Editor

“Finding Nemo” (2003)

There’s something so incredibly heartwarming about both the visuals and the stories that Pixar produces. “Finding Nemo” is my favorite Pixar movie because of the wonderful variety of sea creatures it features, and how well they flesh them out as characters.

Be it big, toothy Bruce the great white shark that says “fish are friends, not food”, or Gill, the scarred Moorish Idol fish in the aquarium at the dentist’s office, everyone that Marlin meets along the way to try and find his son Nemo is memorable. To this day, my internal monologue immediately hears the “surfer brah” voice that helps Marlin find his “little dude” whenever I see sea turtles. The film is able to beautifully recreate sea life while also giving them instantly recognizable characters as a tribute to Pixar.

I have a raft of happy memories tied to this film, and surely many people feel the same way. The fact the film was able to knock The Matrix Reloaded off the top of the summer box office speaks to how universally beloved it is. Though I don’t fully follow Bruce’s mantra anymore, the friendly fish in “Finding Nemo” are my favorites.

 

Bianca Ascencio,

“Turning Red” (2022)

Pixar is so iconic to me, the first movie I saw at the theater was “Monsters Inc.” Pixar has provided so much joy and laughter for me. This was not an easy choice as I had 25 movies to choose from. Even now I’m barely watching some of them like Cars after loving Radiator Springs at California Adventure. And now I’m biting my tongue on my Toy Story hate because it’s a good movie. 

I know the movie just came out in March but come on, “Turning Red” really became one of my favorite Pixar films in a short period of time. The film revolves around MeiMei a Chinese-Canadian girl, her family secret and her favorite boy band. I think the part that made it become one of my top Pixar films was that I saw it with my friends and our group related to the story. The group of girls is diverse and loving, similar to mine. Another thing that stuck out to me was how dedicated her friends and her were to 4-Town, that part definitely reminded me of my friends and me, going to numerous shows to chase after our favorite bands together. The girls raise money to see their favorite boy band, 4-Town, and not only that but they stay with her when Mei goes through “panda-monium.” Turning Red also excelled at tackling the challenges of growing up as a young girl too. Mei learns how to manage her inner panda and her emotions all at once. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, do it. It’s available for streaming on Disney+, and you’ll be singing the songs in no time. 4-Town 4EVER!