Sunday, July 01, 2007

Why I like Brad Bird.

The new Pixar film Ratatouille includes an unusual statement at the end.

...the end of the credits, which included a weird little seal of self-approval, with a smug-looking rat presiding over the words "100% Animation" and a boast that "no motion capture or other shortcuts" were used in making the film.
Bravo, Mr. Bird. "We created everything you saw here, and didn't cheat by filming some of it separately." Again, I hear something I agree with and support from Pixar and specifically, Brad Bird.

Another story from that film is the finding of voices for two characters among the members of Pixar staff.
"They were simply the best voices, and Pixar isn't about just getting celebrity names for the voices," Bird said. "They let me pick the best voices for the roles, and this was what we came up with."
This is not hiring a celebrity and telling them to use their normal voice so people can recognize them. This is using the right voice for the task. Both of these parts were expanded when these actors were discovered.

It's also wonderful that Pixar is set up to allow a creator like Bird to exercise this kind of judgement and make the right decisions.

The film itself is getting positively transcendent reviews. From The New York Times:
Written and directed by Brad Bird and displaying the usual meticulousness associated with the Pixar brand, “Ratatouille” is a nearly flawless piece of popular art, as well as one of the most persuasive portraits of an artist ever committed to film. It provides the kind of deep, transporting pleasure, at once simple and sophisticated, that movies at their best have always promised.
Whoa. That gushing noise you're hearing from the critics is a result of the lousy sequelitis that this movie season has produced so far. Something genuinely original seems like a brightly shining star.

I thought it was terrific.


Mkae said...

I cannot wait to take the kids to this one. We passed on Surf's Up, Shrek 3 (thank God) and a couple of others. This one though looks too good to wait for DVD.

Jason said...

If you thought it was great, you'll love the sequel!

And -100000000 points for putting a second "e" in judgement.

Jason said...

Er, in "judgment." Damn you, English!

Aussie-Askew said...

According toRottenTomatoes, this was one of the best reviewed wide-release movies of the year, making comedy the big reviewwinner this year (Knocked Up was another around 90%).

Brad and Pixar have the midas touch, because the write enjoyable stories for adults with beautiful use of the art form for kids, but they never treat them as kids.

Bravo, oft imitated, never surpassed.