Monsters, Inc.

To power their city, the monsters of Monstropolis scare children so that they scream. But when a “toxic” child gets through, two monsters realise things may not be what they seem.

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In 2001, when I was nine, I’d already been writing stories for fun for as long as I’d been able. But Monsters, Inc. and Pixar’s wonderful approach to storytelling proved to be one of my earliest wake-up calls: I needed to do something creative with my life, and I needed to tell stories. Continue reading “Monsters, Inc.”

My Neighbour Totoro

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.

I’m a reluctant member of the generation of Western cinephiles who have embraced Studio Ghibli’s exotic storytelling, characters, and fantasies. This reluctance in no way comes from the source material. It comes from not wanting to be misallocated to the kawaii Tumblr crowd who get the fucking Totoro tattooed on themselves because they’re just so unique. Continue reading “My Neighbour Totoro”

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

As Miyazaki’s second feature film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was made two years before Studio Ghibli opened its doors in 1986 – but in all likeliness, it’s this film that made such a move possible. We have a lot to thank Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind for. Continue reading “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind”

Mary and Max

A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Mary and Max is a recipe for cult status. A unique and inherently funny animation style is the foundation for a story about two isolated, lost souls who become friends from different sides of the world. It ticks all the emotional boxes someone like me needs to love a film – it’s funny, bleak, uplifting, deflating… It’s a tough spectrum to experience in ninety minutes, but I managed. Continue reading “Mary and Max”

WALL-E

In the distant future, a small waste collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

I was quite surprised to see WALL-E in the Top 250, let alone at number 62. With no idea what the film was about beyond its gimmick, I was naturally apprehensive. How would Pixar drag out a film with no dialogue into ninety-something minutes? While WALL-E relies heavily on physical comedy, it’s actually also its most beneficial element – there’s no unnecessary weight, and the story, like its characters, is always moving. Continue reading “WALL-E”

Toy Story 3

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

toystory3Sometimes, I think to myself, “Man, I wish I had been a kid when _________ came out.” That could be a film, TV show, book, video game… Whatever. But then I realise, I was a kid when Toy Story came out, and I was (almost) an adult when Toy Story 3 came out. I grew up with one of the best animated trilogies of all time, and it grew up with me. Continue reading “Toy Story 3”