Disney recently announced that Toy Story 4 is set for release in 2019. That sparks in me the immediate reaction that we don’t NEED another Toy Story, because we already have three perfect ones. Granted, I had this reaction when Toy Story 2 was announced AND when Toy Story 3 was announced, and while it’s hard to differentiate between how perfect these films are, the sequels are probably both better than the original. I hope the same kind of care to the legacy of these characters (much more recognizable to the children of the world today than Mickey, Minnie, or Pluto) is upheld.
Toy Story 2 introduced a number of new characters to the gang, most notably, Jessie the Cowgirl (voiced by Joan Cusack). Unlike the toys of Andy’s room, Jessie had lead a much more tumultuous life. She preferred life as a collectible, because being loved by a child hurt too much (as all the toys would learn in the next installment) when that child outgrows them. Woody finally gets her to open up and tell her story, which is sad enough, but oh no, no, Pixar wasn’t satisfied with jumping up and down on your heart strings. They wantonly deployed Sarah McLachlan, the master of vocal tear generation, to sing the beautiful “When She Loved Me” over Jessie’s tale.
Pixar’s been in a rut for the most part over the last few years. It is heartening to hear the sequels are stopping after Toy Story 2, and we have had a few gems like Inside Out and Finding Dory, but when you watch a scene like this, you remember what Pixar was and should be again. There isn’t a demographic on Earth not moved by some part of this scene. They didn’t make films for kids, they made them for all ages in a way that never pandered to any age. This is the bar they face in Toy Story 4. So….good luck with that!
Animated franchises that don’t go straight to video are a relatively new phenomenon. The tradition had been they’d go right to video where junior would pop in The Land Before Time XI and set to turning his parents’ brains into tapioca. Animation has upped its game, though, and with the release of the highly anticipated How to Train Your Dragon 2 this weekend, I thought I’d give my Top 5 Animated Sequels. Continue reading Top 5: Animated Sequels→
Latest vs. Greatest looks at directors, actors, actresses, screenwriters and composers to assess the state of their career as it stands. We’ll look back at the latest 10 movies the artist has done, rate them and then average them out to see where they stand today. We’ll also rank their 10 greatest movies and give them the same treatment to compare what they have been doing to their very best work. (A quick side-note: if an artist is/has been a regular on a TV show we’ll also grade the seasons individually; artists need 10 projects to qualify).
Tom Hanks is the most famous actor in America, if not the world. In a career entering its fourth decade, Hanks has already established a body of work of legendary quality. He has created some of the most memorable characters in film history. He has participated in cinema’s most famous scenes. He’s won multiple Oscars and, were it not for the Academy’s weirdness about giving “too many” he’d have several more. He is equally deft in comedy or drama. He’s directed featured films. He’s been the driving force behind three of the greatest mini-series to ever appear on television. He’s one of the most powerful forces in the industry, but I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him (and in entertainment that’s quite an accomplishment in itself). He is, quite probably, the best actor of our generation….and he started it all by dressing in drag on a sitcom. Continue reading Tom Hanks’ Latest 10 Movies vs. Greatest 10 Movies→
Back in the day, sequels were awful….well, come to think of it, most sequels are still pretty awful, but they’re definitely an improved art than they were. Everything that makes $100 million or more gets a sequel now it seems, and franchises rule movie making. There’s a lot of room for juggling and hair-splitting at the top of this list. It could flip and flop depending on my mood (though that could be said of most things I opine on…)
Note: for the purposes of this list, I count Lord of the Rings as one movie, split into three parts for the convenience of cinematic release so that’s why no installments appear on the list.
Each month, Killing Time runs a community poll to get the input of the time stabbing masses as to questions of vital importance. This month we looked at Pixar’s 18-year record of excellence and voted on which of their films was the best. This was, by far, the most voted upon poll we’ve had and the leaders changed several times. However, in the end, the original stands as the KT Community choice. Toy Story was #1 with 22.73% of the vote. Eight of the twelve eligible films got votes. My personal pick was Up and it was way down the ladder with 5% but when you get in the upper echelons of Pixar classics, you’re really splitting hairs. Finding Nemo and The Incredibles tied for second place and Toy Story 3 was third. Thanks for everybody for voting and we’ll have a new poll probably early next week.