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It’s time for a new installment here: Pixar Chick Fridays! (Which became Saturday this week because my wifi is a fickle mistress). We’ve already been psychoanalyzing everyone based on male Disney characters, it’s time to trot out the ladies. Why Pixar you ask? The Disney princesses thing has been done to death on the internet. Do a lot of Pixar films fail the Bechdel test? Yes. Which is unfortunate because many of the ladies in these films are pretty compelling.

Jessie

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A bright young woman with a beautiful yarn full of hair. 

You’re into strong-willed redheads and lets be honest who isn’t? Also you love that cowgirl look and adventurous spirit. You like your women with sad emotionally nuanced backstories. Additionally you love a good wacky sense of humor.

Honestly, Jessie is the Pixar character I most identify with: gangly weirdo.

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When you see your favorite people

Bo Peep

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So porcelain and shiny

You go for woman who knows what she wants and reaches out and grabs it. Don’t let the femme pink floof fool you, this is the kind of woman full of confidence, kindness, and some adorable pets. Annie Potts is your favorite part of Ghostbusters and Pretty in Pink.

Princess Atta

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The men in this film baffle me.

Your favorite TV shows are Veep and Seinfeld. You like a woman with neuroses and sass. This chick put the dork in adorkable before New Girl was a thing. You go for giant blue eyes that judge your behavior when you mess up. And trust me, you will mess up. Most of all you love ladies in positions of power in a matriarchal society.

Celia

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Sushi anyone? 

You like purple and your favorite mythology character is Medusa. You like taking your dates to hard to get into sushi restaurants and love a lady who is impressed by this. You love a good New York accent and a girl who knows what she wants.

Rosie 

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I definitely have some stories about my past lives.

You aren’t afraid of a woman who could kill you if she wanted to. You enjoy vaguely goth ladies with legs for days. You enjoy the films of Bonnie Hunt. All of them, even Cheaper by the Dozen, because she’s a classy lady with a great voice. You appreciate a woman who does not suffer fools.

 

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ElastiGirl/Helen Parr

 

You like snarky redheads who age into gorgeous auburn haired women with a mom cut. You like women who can handle themselves in any situation that comes their way and do it with both attitude and class. You enjoy Mama Bear types, because do not cross this one when it comes to the people she cares about. Helen is #goals. Always marry Elastigirl.

Violet

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Are we having Tony-Loaf?

You go for the seemingly shy wallflower types who are actually full of depth and sarcasm. You own a lot of Sarah Vowell books. Your favorite actress is Aubrey Plaza. You also enjoy women who have a hidden weirdo side. You love Olivia Olson and Marceline the Vampire Queen.

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Generic Teen interests 2004 edition.

 

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Last week while substitute teaching, I watched Finding Nemo in German  (Findet Nemo!). Boy, it had been an awfully long time since I had seen that movie. I had forgotten a lot of it and how it’s basically The Odyssey for kids. With Fish! In Australia! Yay! But really, it got me thinking of Pixar films as a whole and how I would rate them, especially now since there are a lot of them and more coming soon. The Good Dinosaur comes out next year, followed by Finding Dory, and the promise of a sequel to The Incredibles (yay!) and another Cars sequel (nay).

So without further ado here is my list.

1. Wall-E. I love the hell out of this little robot guy. While this film is very different from the usual Pixar fare, it is in my opinion the most artistic, the most risk-taking, and the most beautiful and heart-felt of all of them. Only Pixar could make us care about a love story between two robots. I also like the post-apocalyptic nature of the story. It’s kind of a futuristic re-imagining of the Noah story, Eve is the white dove who brings back the olive-branch. Humanity re-populates the earth, etc. It’s just such a beautiful film.

2. The Toy Story films, collectively. These three films are Pixar’s masterpiece. This is the heart of Pixar, the first Toy Story is the one that started it all and I have such fond memories of it growing up. The trilogy grew with that first audience and even kids who weren’t alive to see this first one in theaters still enjoy it. The heart of Pixar is friendship and family and the bonds we form with others. Toy Story taught us to value that.

3. The Incredibles. One of the funnest, most hilarious Pixar films of all. I also wanted to be Elasta-girl when I first saw this movie when it came out. Really she is the ideal strong fantastic female role model. She does it all! And has fabulous hair while she does it. (Forget about Merida, but more on that later).

4. Monsters Inc. Everyone loves this movie. Mike and Sully have probably the best Pixar bromance since Buzz and Woody. This movie is the most quoted by my sibs and I. Seriously it scares me how much I have memorized of this film. This one ranks high because of the nostalgia vote.

5. Ratatouille. This film ranks in the weird/artsy era of Pixar. It has a unique charm and is so darn French. I just love it. The concept is super weird but yet it follows its own bizarre logic so well it becomes endearing.

6. Up. Don’t squawk that I ranked this so low. Yes it is a charming story and beautifully animated. But at the same time I think it was over-hyped as super artsy quasi-hipster fare. It still ranks above and beyond most animated schlock that gets made these days, but it just doesn’t live up to the hype for me. And way too many hipstery photo-shoots are all over Pinterest because of it.

7. Finding Nemo. I’ve posted before my satirical thoughts about this movie. And I do still think it’s scary and super emotional. But it is also a great story and a well done sort of re-imagining of Homer’s Odyssey but more child friendly and with fish. Not to mention it is beautifully animated like all good Pixar films.

8. A Bug’s Life. Pixar’s sophomore effort has always been underrated in my opinion. While it’s not as grand as many of it’s other films it still holds up in my opinion. It’s very cute, has memorable characters and hilarious dialogue.

9. Brave. This was a film I was supposed to love more than I did. First female protagonist? From a Celtic country? Accurately represents what life with curly hair is like? All things I should love except only the latter is something she succeeded in doing for me. Merida was supposed to be so, so cool. But this film fell flat of it’s potential. I really think it was because the story was re-written after half the animation was done. it could have been such a great fantasy-epic. I would like to have known what this film was before the re-write. That said, the mother-daughter relationship here was very real and heart-warming. Otherwise this movie was basically Brother Bear meets How to Train Your Dragon.

10. Cars. This was cute. The soundtrack wasn’t too bad. It was just cute the first time and maybe it’s just because I enjoy Owen Wilson. The most annoying thing about this movie was Mater. And the fact that it became such a huge marketing ploy for the company it just was so over-commercialized in a confusing way. Much like NASCAR racing.

11. Monsters University. Again, cute. But not amazing in any sense or really living up to the spirit of the original. Some funny inside jokey references to the first film. But really nothing groundbreaking like previous films.

12. Cars 2. The worst piece of dreck to be animated and possible the worst animated film of all time besides late era Don Bluth and most of the other schleck that gets green-lighted these days. (I’m looking at you The Nut Job and Shrek 15: It’s only a matter of time). Let’s take the most annoying thing from the first movie, Mater, and make a film centered around him. Bad form Pixar. Bad form. I thought better of you. This was actually the first Pixar film that made me question their integrity and creative genius. They stooped so low to cash-in on merchandising. My dreams were shattered. But the future looks bright. (Looking forward to you, The Good Dinosaur).

 

 

There are plenty of Disney Dudes I didn’t cover in my previous post so here we go.

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My chin could cut glass.

Kronk.

Let me just say, can I be your friend? If he is your favorite then you are possibly the coolest person ever and have excellent taste in men because Kronk is the ideal guy. Clearly you enjoy funny men with a sense of humor and interesting hobbies like playing exotic bird bingo and speaking squirrel. You enjoy a big strong guy who can make a great dinner and help you whip up that dish to pass on your way to the family barbecue. You’re looking for a good life partner and Kronk is the perfect choice. Just don’t ask him to mix the drinks.

peterpan

I wear tights, can fly and have a fairy friend whom I have placed permanently in the friend-zone. Such great boyfriend material.

Then again I do look pretty cool while sword-fighting. I'm like Jim Hawkins if he could fly.

Then again I do look pretty cool while sword-fighting. I’m like Jim Hawkins if he could fly

Peter Pan

You might have some dating issues on the horizon if not already. I guess he would make a good 12 year old crush but from an adult stand point? NO. Be honest with yourself, he doesn’t want to grow up. You clearly are interested in man-children who want to pal around in the woods with their bros and play video games or go larping in animal suits. You probably think Judd Apatow movies are about your life. You are ok with leggings as pants worn by any gender, clearly.

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Taking my art seriously. Basically the original hipster.

Roger

You go for the musician, artist type. Your favorite actor is probably Jason Segel. You enjoy gangly adorkable guys who are super into their craft but also super into you and your pets. You believe in love at first my dog literally set us up on a date. And you are ok when your significant other writes a song about how your old school friend is evil. Although how you did not realize this on your own is baffling.

Dedication.

Dedication personified.

Guy from Paperman

This guy is Joseph Gordon Levitt in 500 Days of Summer, Jim Halpert, and Roger all rolled into one goofy package. He’s adorkable. He does everything to reconnect with the cute girl he fell for at the train. He’s the American ideal. You probably saw this short film before “Wreck-It Ralph” which means you haven’t given up hope on Disney films after “Princess and the Frog.” You probably grew up during the Disney Renaissance and still remember what Disney magic is like. This short film made you realize that magic wasn’t gone. Can we be friends?

I'm getting kinda fond of you kid.

I’m getting kinda fond of you kid.

Genie from Aladdin

You enjoy blue people and 90s comedians so you probably also have a crush on Megamind. You enjoy puns and celebrity impersonations. You think it is perfectly acceptable to wear Hawaiian shirts even when not on vacation or on the set of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. You like your men to be able to provide you with every wish and flight of fancy you have as long as they love you for you and not because of a magic spell.

Boring capitalist. You can still find guys like me at upscale bars.

Boring capitalist. You can still find guys like me at upscale bars.

John Smith

You like beautiful people darn it and you don’t care if they’re racist or played by Mel Gibson. You don’t care if your boyfriends and potential love interests have any original thoughts. You are perfectly okay that they are a product of a controlling colonizing government who speak in buzzwords and phrases. You don’t care if they want to shoot every animal that walks if it looks unfamiliar to them. You probably thought Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad was a jolly good time. The horror.

Let's get down to business.

Let’s get down to business.

Li Shang

You don’t like messing around and you want to get down to business to defeat the huns. You enjoy when guys take things like training their army seriously. So you like guys who work hard. You also probably enjoy singing show tunes as if you suddenly had the voice of Donny Osmond. Your favorite Shakespeare play is Twelfth Night.

Brave coming out this month means June is Pixar month! Since Brave is supposed to be Pixar’s first film with a female lead, I thought we’d take a look at The Incredibles, which itself features some hard-core and strong female leads in an ensemble cast. And it is my favorite of the Pixar films outside of the Toy Story Trilogy. I love this movie. Just all the things about it. Families of superheroes are immensely entertaining and yet relatable.

1. Helen Parr/Elastagirl. She is everything I strive to be in life. I was fifteen when this film came out and she was the character I related to the most. Riddle me that. Also talking during the wedding. (I talk during everything.)

Both as Elastigirl and Mrs. Incredible she knows how to work it

1b. Also her hair.

Snarky, dead-pan, but loyal to those she loves. Found here.

2. I am convinced that Violet grows up to be Aubrey Plaza. But more importantly she was voiced by Sarah Vowell of NPR fame and author of The Wordy Shipmates. Let us pause for a moment of mind blowing awesome.

3. Mr. Incredible. Pretty much the ideal guy. He is incredible and strong and played by Craig T. Nelson. You know this is the best combination. Also who didn’t want that sweet limo he had in the opening sequence.

4. Dash. I used to babysit this kid. Literally he was just like him. Has anyone noticed that speedy characters tend to be devil-may-care types. Sonic and Rainbow Dash come to mind. Oh look it up on TVtropes I’m sure those lovely folks will back me up.

5. Syndrome looks like the Heat Miser. Don’t tell me I wasn’t the only one who thought this. He also kinda had a Freakazoid-ish vibe going for him.

The resemblance is uncanny

6. Where is my super suit? Brought to you by Samuel L. Jackson.

7. This movie is quoted often by me and I am not concerned. “She’d eat if we were having Tony Loaf.” and “It’s bigger, it’s badder, ladies and gentlemen it’s too much for Mr. Incredible” being the most common.

8. Don’t ‘Bernie’ me!

9. EDNA MODE. I want to be her BFF and enjoy chats with her. “You are Elastigirl pull yourself together! What will you do! Is this a question?” I need someone to say this to me. Everyday.

10. Kari the baby sitter. “Now let’s just sit and look at flash cards. Won’t that be *fun*” Until he caught on fire. Yes she was the Wiley coyote of babysitters. And we all loved every minute of it.

11. Kid on the tricycle. Come on. We all know this kid was totally wicked. If you grew up in the suburbs there was always this kid. You know you had this kid in your neighborhood. You did.

We all love this kid. How can you not laugh hysterically at this scene. 

 

Don’t get me wrong. I am possibly the biggest Pixar fan out there. In fact my sibs and I have a tradition, at least two of us have been to see every Pixar film in theaters when it first came out. I have always been one of those two. (right) This however is my least favorite due to its negative effect on children.
Maybe it was because when it came out I was of prime babysitting age and every single kid I watched wanted to see that little orange fish and his whiny plight over and over again. I think this movie would have been interesting if if was mainly about the tank fish trying to escape. They were all a funny motley crew.
Well here are my reasons for not wanting to show the film to my future progeny:

1. He is not wearing any clothes. I mean come on at least the fish in Spongebob Squarepants (which is a far superior nautical themed show) had the common decency to wear at least one article of clothing, well, most of the time that is.

This is a kids’ show

2. He is whiny.

His chubby little face fills me with such hatred

3. The mom dies. I mean come on this happens in a lot of films, especially animal ones. When Mufasa died you cared because you got to know him. Same with Bambi’s mom. Here we weren’t even prepared.

4. I am convinced Marlin met Coral in a fish bar. Featuring a lame fish pick up line. Why do we learn about the Fish dating scene in a kids’ film? Toys dating is perfectly ok though. Also monsters on a date is fine because they are eating sushi.

5. This movie is in my quoting repertoire. I say lines from it nearly as much as Aladdin. This concerns me.

6. The emotional core of this film is Dory. She is awesome and funny. She has passed the “Jar Jar Test” in that she survived the test of time. Also I like the Sea Turtle. These are the good points for the film. Marlin and his child I could care less about.

7. Alcoholics Anonymous sharks.

8. The scene where he says “I hate you,” to his dad. Other rebel Disney children never went that far.

9. This movie follows all of the marks of an epic quest. They go through challenges. This is a cool thing that you realize when you learn about it in your literature class in college.

10. Cuteness overload.

Again a face that fills me with ire

11. A better switch ending suggested by my brother is where Nemo ends up in in the “Les Poissons” kitchen.

Disclaimer. This is a satire. While I do not care for much of this film I still think it is better than some of the disposable children’s fare out there. I am looking at you Madagascar films.