Best Movies of All Time + Tom Hanks



The Pixar Story is a 2007 documentary directed by Leslie Iwerks that chronicles the rise of Pixar Animation Studios. It centers around Pixar co-founder John Lasseter, chronicling his rise into the ranks of animation big-shots. After spending time working with Disney Animation, John left and found an avenue to pursue computer-generated animation. With the help of Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs, the three have helped craft Pixar Animation Studios into the juggernaut it has become today. The film takes the audience through the animators' process of learning how to utilize the computer systems and the struggles it took to craft their first feature film, 1995's Toy Story.

It may all seem like a bit of a success story, but there are quite a few inner workings in the history of Pixar that you might not already know. This documentary works as a pretty good introduction to those inner workings, creating a relatively emotional tale of a group of people who had a dream and did everything they could to achieve it. It's a magical tale that is sure to bring some nostalgic emotions. It did for me, at least.

Unfortunately, I had a difficult time keeping myself from comparing The Pixar Story to the 2010 documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, which I loved oh so much. That film chronicles the struggles of Disney Animation during the mid-1980s, showing how they overcame the odds and entered their Renaissance period in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Because that film packed quite an emotional punch (for me), I was hoping that The Pixar Story might bring the same kind of emotion to the table. It didn't, but don't take that as a condemnation of the film. It's just me comparing two films that probably don't need to be compared.

We get a slew of quality "interviews" throughout the film that add to the narration provided by Stacy Keach. Some of the faces you're most likely to recognize include George Lucas, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Eisner and Billy Crystal. However, some of the more compelling interviews come from the animators themselves. Lasseter is always great, and we get some interesting perspectives from directors Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton as well.

I'm not quite sure what else to say about this particular documentary. It gives a nice look at Pixar Animation Studios, but it's probably not a must-see, even for fans of Pixar or Disney. Still, if you are a fan, you might enjoy it like I did. I just can't say it's going to be the most amazing or memorable experience. Unlike the standard of Pixar films, The Pixar Story doesn't quite go above and beyond. But that's okay, this time around.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B+
1.5 Thumbs Up

Addition to Awards
2007: Best Documentary nominee

2007, Andrew Stanton, Billy Crystal, doc, Ed Catmull, G, George Lucas, John Lasseter, Leslie Iwerks, Michael Eisner, movie review, Pete Docter, Pixar Story, Stacy Keach, Steve Jobs, Tim Allen, and more:

Relevant to: THE PIXAR STORY + Tom Hanks