Why Pixar is Superior


It’s almost impossible to turn a corner in the street or flip through the TV and not see an ad for Disney/Pixar’s newest movie, Monsters University, which comes out this week. Sarabeth and I don’t go to the theaters often, but every summer we make an exception to hit the newest Pixar movie. This Saturday, for us, will be no exception.

You would be hardpressed to meet a person – kid or grown-up – who hasn’t seen at least two Pixar films in their lifetime. I always feel so sorry for the people who refuse to see “cartoons” because they think they’re just for kids. (Silly people – it’s the movies, not Trix!) Now, I can understand if some people can’t tell the difference between a Dreamworks movie and  Pixar movie (or even that there is a difference). If I was uneducated in this complex, competitive field of arts, and I went and saw… oh, I don’t know, Monsters vs. Aliens (DW), I would probably swear off those dumb “Disney cartoons” too.

But here’s what I’d like to say to those people. There is a difference – many, many, many differences – between Disney/Pixar “cartoons” and other cartoon movies.

For the purposes of keeping this post short, I’ll only be picking on Dreamworks, since it is Pixar’s most jealous rival. I’d also like to hear from you, the readers, your thoughts on the subject, as I haven’t quite yet figured out all of the major differences.

Dreamworks has produced some great stuff in the past – don’t get me wrong. I’ll never forget how groundbreaking Shrek was (its immediate sequel remains my favorite of the series), and How to Train Your Dragon, which came out more than a decade later, was a poignant, memorable, and honorable movie, worth many revisits. Oh, and I enjoyed Over the Hedge, but still, it was an afterthought just now. 

But the rest of their movies? They just seem to rely on pop-culture icons as fallback jokes, unnecessary innuendos that you can probably find in any Jim Carrey movie, and big-name stars as their voice actors that really don’t seem like they fit the character they’re playing.

Shark Tale, Flushed Away, Shrek the Third, and Bee Movie happen to be among the worst movies I’ve ever seen – (Megamind was the end of the road for me.) And the rest (save for the three mentioned above) were highly forgettable.

But a Pixar movie? Those are the ones that stay with you for a long time. I’ll give you Cars 2. That one was a mistake and shouldn’t have been made. But 1 out of 13 ain’t bad, right? And judging by the early reviews of Monsters University, it looks like it’s about to be 1 bad apple in 14.

The thing with Pixar movies that sets them apart from others is that their characters are flawed, and relatable, and in the end, selfless and loyal. I love that Pixar – and Disney, really – are still imparting these virtues to our children, and reminding us adults what it means to love and be faithful. These are the themes that bleed from these films, and never in a cheesy way.

Speaking of values and morals, I hear Monsters University takes its viewers in a very bold direction, and imparts a bit of  the world’s harsh realities to its younger viewers. I can’t wait to see this movie. I have refrained from watching the full trailer, so I’ll be in for many fun surprises. The video I have posted below is not a trailer nor a spoiler. It’s just a fun 30 second promo to get you pumped for seeing Monsters University.

Monsters University Acceptance


Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

10 thoughts on “Why Pixar is Superior

  1. I think you can make that 2 out of 13 – Brave was pretty bad too… regardless of the fact that it won the oscar ( it should have been wreck it ralph IMO)

    but i do agree with you on the fact that people who dismiss animated movies as cartoons for kids. Rango was animated and there was nothing childish about it . I love Disney’s more recent stuff than pixar’s to be honest. I loved princess and the frog and the vibrant New Orleans it portrayed. Tangled was brilliant! I havent been able to sit through a toy story movie but that is on me and not so much on Pixar but I think Dreamworks isnt all bad, yes they rely too much on pop-culture references but they do turn in some really funny moments. and you cannot hate King Julian! he stays with you for a long long loooooooooooooooooong time… sometimes in an annoying sort of way but brilliantly funny nonetheless!


    1. I liked Brave. A lot 😉 It’s got its flaws, story-wise, but I think it’s still a mile ahead of Cars 2.


  2. It’s not the kid thing – it’s the animation. I find it distracting. I can’t suspend my disbelief.I get caught up in watching the technicalities and forget the story.


  3. I agreed. DW’s animation is distracting, clunky, dark (with the exception of Madagascar), and hardly ever catches my attention.


  4. I’ve known there was a difference, but never seen the list. I really liked Cars 2 because it focused on Mater so much. Andy loves it. As for Brave (which studio?) I couldn’t stand that one. It seemed like more of the daughter knows better than father slop that we’ve been given for so long (Pocahontis, Mermaid, etc.).

    Other movies that were hard to watch from Pixar were Up and Wall E. Up, because of the serious first 15 minutes of the film, and Wall E because I grow tired of the apocalyptic movie genre.


  5. How to Train Your Dragon is the best! I love toothless! I actually liked Cars 2 for some reason, although I was really young when I watched it and back then I liked every kids movie. Yes, even the very bad ones.


  6. Much animated film *is* unwatchable by adults, and I think that is why American animated film still has the “for kids” reputation. I loved Toy Story, Shrek, and the Incredibles, as well as Big Hero 6, which you seem to be ignoring. Out of those, only Toy Story was arguably made for children, but I would argue it wasn’t. Still so little of what is made in America compares with Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.


    1. Toy Story is full of adult themes, and every adult should be able to relate to it as well. Disney, in just the last few years, has reached par or even barely surpassed Pixar’s status, I think. They seem to be better than they were were in their last hay day. Big Hero 6 is perfect.


      1. I agree. Aladdin is also very watchable. Like any genre, there is good and bad. The fact that, in animated film, the bad is marketed to children, who are far less discriminating, reinforces the stereotype the animated film is for kids.


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