Tag Archives: PIXAR

Is Disney’s Monsters at Work Late to Revitalize an Old Franchise?

12 Jul

Character Posters Released for "Monsters at Work" - LaughingPlace.com

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Disney’s attempt at reinvigorating the Monsters Inc. franchise with a series nearly ten years later simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t hit the same mark as the classic sitcoms it tries to emulate. I’m thinking of Taxi, WKRP in Cincinnati and Murphy Brown. To see once freakish creatures attempt to be funny really needs Garry Shandling involved in crafting the concept rather than unrecognizable names penning the episodes. Sadly, he passed away.

Technically, the production team is not all from PIXAR. They are in-house talents (like Roberts Gannaway who is better known for Emperor’s New School) groomed by The Mouse. Although the series was given its blessing by the creators, none of that original charm exists. The only good part is that we have a look at how the creature universe is surviving since the power of a child’s laugh is the only way to keep Monsters at Work.

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Los (or is that Lost?) Luca

24 Jun

Luca PosterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

Not every PIXAR movie starts off with a bang. Sometimes the hook isn’t there, especially when viewers don’t really know that the world is fearful of legendary beasts in Luca. People should learn to love them and I wondered if this film may be this studio’s return to Monsters Inc.

Instead, we have another coming of age tale by Enrico Casarosa making his directorial debut. He drew upon his childhood and knowledge of local (Roman) folklore for his story. I believe he was struggling to decide in what kind of movie to make. It’s definitely inspired by A Little Mermaid. Plus, it has that The Good Dinosaur cum Finding Nemo vibe–especially when the parents go searching for their runaway son. Eventually, the perspective switches into something akin to Splash and Ponyo. This multi-tribute mix is okay, but when this film is loaded with the requisite Studio Ghibli references, I was tempted to turn this film off.

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PIXAR’s Latest is Soulful and Heartfelt

5 Jan

Soul Poster.jpegBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Disney Plus

PIXAR’s got Soul in their latest film about Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx), a musician by trade and teacher when required. He needs a full-time job to pay the bills, but as most people will say, making the big leagues in the entertainment biz is tough and it demands much more.

Gardner wants to make mama happy. But being an instructor leaves him feeling unfulfilled. His dreams of being a professional musician means having a special type of freedom, which he tries to explain to his students: you become part of a special team, and the music made together–the harmonies–infect you. They bring out your soul (this film’s namesake) and when you are in that zone, the effect is an out-of-body experience to which this movie masterfully and colourfully visualizes.

When one of his students points out there’s an opening to become part of Dorothea Williams’ band, he’s on it faster than a honeybee to a flower. She’s a jazz legend, and he’s all willy-nilly. He gets the job, but on the journey home to get ready, he falls down a manhole and the title credits roll!

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Top Ten Animated Picks to Look Out For in 2021!

3 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

In the animated front, the films I’m really excited for are from China. Getting the news from this country is tough, and the studios are mum about what’s next in the Fengshen Cinematic Universe! I tried contacting a Vancouver studio supposedly involved and they never responded.

Because of the pandemic, a lot of production work shifted to either finishing at home or was put on hiatus. The workflow may well have slowed down too. Thankfully, there’s some good news: one particular Japanese animated title is coming very soon.

I’m hopeful the international release is not too much later.

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0
Thrice Upon a Time
Jan 23 (Japan)

The Rebuild tetralogy was on infinite hold when Hideaki Anno was off building Shin Godzilla. Anyone who has seen the original anime will know the general premise–young teens saving the Earth from a holy battle–but with the Illuminati like conspiracies going on, they are locked in an even different secret war. However, this reboot is huge, and it’s one I’m refusing to see one by one over several years. The wait is finally over so fans can see this re-imaging in its entirety.

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PIXAR’s Onward and Upwards Ho!

16 Mar

Image result for onward posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

Fans of TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons will certainly get a kick out of Disney*PIXAR’S Onward. Not only are all the references straight out of the monster manual, I acknowledge the acquisition from Wizards of the Coast–but they are not the true creators of this role playing game system. After saving this property from TSR’s failing infrastructure, they simply fixed it up. That being said, the world building and revolution that creators Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin crafted up is one I’d love to revisit!

Once upon a time, in a world far, far away was a world of magic. Sadly, it disappeared in favour of technological progress. Apparently it took place faster than anyone can realize–perhaps the only failing of this film–and pretty soon fairies, dwarves, elves, centaurs and many more had to embrace change. If they don’t stay progressive, any species I have not mentioned will be left behind. Onward is hardly subtle in this theme of forgetting the fast, and it establishes how this realm has become much like human society, dependent on technology to get by.

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