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The Pixar Story Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

The Pixar Story

Poster for The Pixar Story.

© Walt Disney Pictures, Leslie Iwerks Productions

The Bottom Line

You know what you’re getting when you sit down to watch a movie titled The Pixar Story. The ins and outs of creating a studio that evolutionalized animation told in glowing interviews, right? That’s basically what you get with The Pixar Story, although a few more warts are exposed than you’d assume going into a film focused on one of the most successful studios in the business today. Still, The Pixar Story is in no way a scathing exposé on all things animated - or on Disney.

Pros

  • Provides a real inside look at the people behind Pixar
  • Explores the initial conflict between CG and hand-drawn animation
  • Lets audiences put faces to the names responsible for the current state of animation

Cons

  • Any controversial issues are handled with kid gloves

Description

  • Features interviews with Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Steve Jobs, Brad Bird, Roy Disney, Tom Hanks, and George Lucas
  • Written, produced, directed and edited by Leslie Iwerks
  • Running Time: 87 minutes
  • Rated: G

Guide Review - The Pixar Story Review

All was not always happy in the land of computer generated animation. The Pixar Story traces the incredible journey Pixar’s founding fathers went through as they blazed new trails in the land of animated films. Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks, Ub Iwerks’ granddaughter (Disney aficionados recognize that name as the man who drew Mickey Mouse), compiled and condensed the history of the company into a fast-paced, organized and educational documentary.

Iwerks’ documentary sheds light on how a bunch of geeks – and I use that term affectionately - created the company from the ground up, inventing the software to perform the complicated tasks, and coming up with engaging stories to captivate families worldwide. Iwerks incorporates video shot when Pixar was just a dream, and that footage is the film's most compelling. Watching the men behind Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, Finding Nemo, and A Bug's Life struggle to get their artistic visions up on the big screen offers a unique behind-the-scenes peek at all the maneuvering that goes on in each stage of the filmmaking process.

The central message of Iwerks' The Pixar Story is that storytelling is the key, not the technology used to get there. The Pixar Story should be required viewing for film school students as it shows what following through and persevering through hardships can get you. Animation fans and those who like to look behind the curtain will also get a kick out of this film.

GRADE: B-

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