Monsters University (and other great Pixar films)
After a gap of 11 years since the release of 2001’s Monsters, Inc. the long-awaited prequel is released on DVD this week. Monsters University follows Sulley and Mike in their early days before they became friends, and follows their mission to pass their exams and fulfill their ambitions to become ‘scarers’.
The original Monsters, Inc. was one of Pixar’s biggest box office hits. We take a look back at some of their other finest moments.
The one that started it all, Pixar’s first cinematic release is still one of the best. Starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen on voice duties, 1995’s Toy Story tells the heart-warming story of Andy and his favourite toy, a cowboy named Woody. When Andy gets a brand new toy, a space adventurer named Buzz Lightyear, Woody becomes jealous and fears he may end up on the scrapheap. Buzz, however, has other priorities, and the other toys fear he may be in need of a reality check.
An enduring tale about friendship and the value of materialism, Toy Story was a game-changer that launched Pixar into the cinematic stratosphere and set the standard for CGI animation for years to come.
Released in 2009, this film, along with WALL-E, marked a return to form for the Pixar studio after indifferent reactions at the box office for their two previous films, Cars and Ratatouille. Up details the story of Carl, a widower who embarks on an incredible journey to keep his promise to his wife and childhood sweetheart, Ellie, after she passes away. Under pressure from developers to sell his home to make way for new buildings, Carl uses thousands of helium balloons to transform their home into an airship and begins his adventure.
Featuring an opening sequence that will reduce even the most hardened of grown men to blubbering wrecks in mere minutes, Up manages to be both a tearjerker and a feel-good film that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
2004’s The Incredibles features the Parr’s – a family trying to live the quiet, suburban life and who are completely normal in every way except one: they all possess superpowers. Retired superhero and father Bob Parr quits the crime-fighting business after a string of lawsuits resulting from collateral damage and tries to settle down. His plans are soon ruined however when he and his family are called into action to stop a giant malfunctioning robot.
Featuring the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson, The Incredibles is perhaps the first straight-up action film from Pixar and lends a comedic twist to the genre.