Pixar ain’t for you, old person.

This will probably go down as one of the least popular posts I’ve ever written but I don’t give a fuck. It needs to be addressed (actually, it really doesn’t but that makes it sound important). I’m fully prepared for the backlash. *deep breath*

When I was a kid, I used to watch cartoons. Good ones. Bad ones. Really, any cartoon that was available. While I watched your typical Bugs bunny and Road runner fair, I also watched that bullshit Gummi bears Cartoon and the USA Cartoon express which featured such third rate characters as Jabba jaw and Hair bear. I watched them all and loved them equally. Why? Cause I was a kid and I didn’t know shit about anything.
Nowadays, I still watch a few cartoons. Mostly just South Park and some things on adult swim but I’m not opposed to watching a cartoon that’s aimed at my interests. There are plenty of off beat and hilarious cartoons that speak to the man in his mid 30’s. What I do not watch, however, is Pixar movies. Why? Cause I’m not a child.

There are two main types of adults when it comes to Pixar movies. Those who ride or die for them and those who can’t fathom why anyone would give a that much of a shit about a movie that specifically for children. I don’t think anyone hates Pixar movies. I certainly don’t sit around cursing their existence while wishing more Muppet movies would get made (though, that would be kinda great). I simply don’t find wonderment in these films. They are no doubt impressive. I mean, coming from an era when some of the cartoons I watched had the same background scenery for 15 years, the things animators are capable of now is pretty amazing. Kids today, as they say, don’t know how good they have it. But, still, I’m not a child. I require adult stimulation. That doesn’t mean I can only watch porn and gore to quench my entertainment needs. I mean , I need something that speaks to my interests. I want to laugh. I want to be scared. I want to think. I require layers. Even some low brow shit that’s made for adults can still have a certain depth to it. I most certainly do not wanna half chuckle at some joke made by a dorky penguin and then go “Aww……”.

The thing is, if i had a kid, I’d be all about these movies. Not in that I actually enjoy them greatly but that they’d be a great meeting point between me and the kid. I’m sure, compared to having to sit through Thomas the tank engine cartoons and whatever else bullshit kids are obsessed with, I’d say Pixar movies are like welcome upgrade. I’ll be the first to admit these movies are totally watchable. There’s nothing offensive about them (I mean that in artistic sense) and kids lose their shit over them. It’s perfect for that. There’s a reason they all make a billion dollars. It’s cause families go see them. Over and over again. Kids love repetition. And seeing any Pixar movie will always >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>seeing some new disney bullshit or a movie about Justin Beiber.

My issue with these films is when grown ups start holding them up in high esteem and acting like these movies are as good as actual movies made for people over the age of 12 (this is the part where Pixar fans get very defensive. I accept your anger…). Every year, critic made year end lists of top movies come out and, inevitably, a few pixar movies will pop up. Keep in mind, these are adult critics. People whose job it is to evaluate cinema. Most likely, they went to school for this shit. And, somehow, out of the hundreds of movies they saw over the course of that year, they decide to give a nod to the movie about some random animal or robot who gets lost or floats away or who gives a shit. It’s a kids movie! It’s made to be enjoyed by kids! Keep in mind, I’m aware I’m in the minority here. I know that if I were to ask like my ten favorite comedians what they thought the best movies of 2012 were, undoubtedly over half of them would throw “wreck it ralph” in there. I get that. And that’s kinda why I’m writing this cause, while I get it, I don’t really “get it”.

A common angle people who love these movies will take is that the humor of these movies speaks to both adults and children. Sure, there are tons of lame ass (or “cute” if you’re being nice about it) kids jokes but every now and then you get a subtle tip of the hat for all the adults out there. A not-so-dirty almost dirty joke that might make two adults watching it together give each other a “Oh no they didn’t!” look cause they’re so shocked that an animated movie would even hint at something not pure as the undriven snow.
It’s one of those jokes that’s extra crazy in context of what you’re watching but, in reality, it’s just a harmless joke that would go unnoticed in the most trivial of PG-13 rated comedies. This “tip of the hat” style is something the Muppet show mastered and did better than any Pixar movie ever could. They did it without being coy but more by being referential to things only an adult could know. It wasn’t dirty or trying hard. And, most importantly, it was legitimately funny. Yet another reason that The muppet show will always be a billion times better than any Pixar movie. But that’s a whole different subject.
Another issue I take with these movies is that they work within very strict character stereotypes. Now, let me clarify, I’m not against stereotypes. In fact, I often find over the top generalizations to be hilarious (That’s basically the backbone of this entire blog). My issue is that , most of the time, they just seem lazy. Any Pixar movie that involves animals will usually have some sort of jamaican speaking animal (this usually come with subtle nods to weed…HILARIOUS!), some sort of latino animal, often a jewy animal and, without question, a wise old , typically large animal that has the voice of a black man/woman. And that’s just the basics. What i’m saying is that a lot of these movies have interchangeable characters. I will say that the recent boom of more human based pixar movies has done a better job at finding unique characters but still…that doesn’t make these movies any less for children.

So, I try to rationalize the adult love for these movies…
I dunno. Maybe I just don’t embrace my childhood like others. I don’t feel a resurgence of youthful bliss when I watch this kind of thing. I gotta think that is some of the allure for adults when enjoying these types of films. I get that there can be a comforting effect but so much so that , when the movie is over, you’re willing to say it’s one of the best films you’ve ever seen? That shit is strange to me.
Sometimes I think adults are enamored by the animation itself. The spectacle of it. I mean, shit…we live in an era where special effects have been raised to a level so high, it’s hard to tell what is and isn’t real (with the exception of old man make up in movies which, for some reason, will always be terrible). As impressive as the animation is, by the same logic, some shit like Avatar would be the greatest movie ever to these people…well, maybe it is (it is not). Who knows. But, really, who cares?
When I really think about it, what it comes down to is these movies are like an imagination running wild. Because they’re animated, you can do literally anything. There are no boundaries and that is admittedly cool. Except there are boundaries. Those boundaries being that , once again, these movies have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. No, not teenaged girls (they’re a close second though), but your typical child. And that’s simply very limiting. No matter how I rationalize it, it always comes back to that. Trust be told though, if they were to make an R Rated Pixar movie, I kinda think it would suck regardless.

Listen, I’m not writing this to shit on the grown folks who love these movies. I have many close friends who I love and respect who get full on erections every time a new Pixar movie drops. And, like i said, I don’t hate these movies. They’re perfectly fine for what they are. In fact, I’d even say they’re great for what they are. But that doesn’t change the fact that what they are is a fancy cartoon made to appeal to the sensibilities of a people who haven’t figured out long division yet. They’re certainly not a slap in the face of intelligence like most of the Tv shows on the Disney channel. When you boil it all down, Pixar movies are high end children’s programming and not much more. Listen, I think YO gabba Gabba is awesome but only cause of what it is. Love them or hate them, that’s what they are. But , hey , love what you love. I’m gonna go chill out and watch Mcgruber for the 200th time.

44 thoughts on “Pixar ain’t for you, old person.

  1. Amen Block! (Not to sound all churchy n shit)
    Look, we are same I think and your blog is actually a crucial part of my days that I spend raising my son out here in BK. I’m sitting here with his ass passed out on my lap typing. But on the PIXAR tip, WTF is with grown ass people saying how much they love this shit? I gotta watch CARS and TOY STORY and all that over and over with my kid, it’s decent entertainment for him, but mind numbing for me. It’s way better then a ton of other shit like DORA or whatever other AWEFUL crap Disney puts out. But me, I would never ever as an adult wanna any watch any of these movies!! I didn’t before I became a dad. I remember the sick golden age of cartoons: JOHNNY fucking QUEST, LONE RANGER, SPIDER-MAN AND FRIENDS, ROBOTECH!! That shit was entrepid god!! But alas times change. New stuff that’s worth peeping is that TIN TIN movie Peter Jackson made and that AVATAR show that’s on NETFLIX, pretty great stuff. I’m glad you spoke out on this! Maybe I’m just a jaded dude raising my kid trying to stay sane, but the rantingsand ravings of PHAT FRIEND helps keep me sane.

  2. My friend (who is older than me and reads this blog) will swear up and down that half of Pixar’s movies were her favorite movies ever. I just don’t see it at all. When Toy Story 3 came out, I could not have gotten less excited. I wouldn’t even watch the first one again and I was probably 9 when it came out. There are better things out there.

  3. yeah but did you ever watch Pixar movies….onn weeed?!

    seriously though, trippin on shrooms watching pixar movies on mute while listening to your favorite Blockhead songs is pretty much the shit.

    and MacGruber sucks absolute balls.

  4. Here is the difference between Pixar cartoons and the ones we(people over 30 grew up with)….VIOLENCE. Seriously, G.I. Joe and Transformers are still on certain channels. Turn one of those on for 1 minute and you know what you will see? TONS OF SHIT BLOWING UP. Guns blazing, people yelling, bad guys that are actually kind of scary when you think about it. Even old WB cartoons were pretty much all sarcastic humor and people(animals) getting smashed in the face, hit over the head with extremely heavy objects. Because the newest generation is basically a bunch of pussies, instead of having Seasame Street with a homeless puppet that lives in a garbage can(I know Seasame Street is still on with many of the same characters, maybe even this one) you get fucking Elmo(who voiced by a cho-mo) dominating everything. Fuck Thomas the Train, that shit is not cool for anyone of any age. Pixar movies are the same way, except they are written “very well” I guess. I gave a couple of them a shot after, as you said, being on top 10 list everywhere, but fuck that shit. My kid will have to beg and plead before I show him that shit. Also, there is a “new” Transformers show that I flipped on recently and it was the GAYEST SHIT EVER. Not only where the characters robbed of any badass quality the animation is so cutesy and “safe” it made me want to claw my eyes out. People have been lead to believe that after being beat over the head with media misinformation that these shows like G.I. Joe and Transformers will cause you to be violent. They are pussies!!! You fear your son coming up to you one day and being like “Dad, I’m gay”(not that there is really anything wrong with gay people, they are cool, don’t get me wrong), but look no further than the watered down weak ass shit you sheltered your child with being part of the problem(Born this way? Maybe, but all Dad’s should hedge their bets). No wonder wearing dresses and putting on makeup didn’t seem like a stretch for them, they were groomed that way. I was watching horror with my mom at a very young age. She would let my sister and I pick out any one we wanted to watch. We could watch all the blood and guts, we just had to turn away when there were some titties on screen. She was awesome. Parents today…man the fuck up!

      • I think I speak for all of humanity when I say; please don’t let this ignorant asshat ever raise any children.

      • Of course they don’t, but would you(or your kid) rather watch this…

        or this…

        Targeted at the same age range, but one is definitely more badass…the other, you would get made fun of for watching back in the day. Today, perfectly neutered and acceptable.

      • I’m with you on the pussification in general but the gay angle doesn’t really play for me. That’s not how people “become” gay.

      • I know, I was exaggerating. I would try and explain myself further, but I would just be digging a deeper hole. I know several gay people that I talk to on a daily basis and they are awesome people. That being said, I do think environment is potentially as much of an influence as genetic disposition to sexual preference. That’s what I was trying to get at in a very poorly thought out way. I’ll stop now, I’m almost to China….

      • The first clip you posted isn’t an actual Transformers show, it’s a spin off made specifically for toddlers who aren’t old enough for the actual TF cartoon. I agree that the new shit doesn’t begin to compare to the 80’s stuff, but the current one isn’t anywhere near as bad as Rescuebots. As for your “people can turn gay from not watching violence” or whatever theory, it’s fucking retarded. You could grow up playing exclusively with Barbie dolls, and while it might lead to some weird fetishes, it isn’t going to make anyone more predisposed to cock sucking. Same thing if you took a gay kid and made him watch GI Joe and violent shit for the first 5 years of his life, it’s not going to make him suddenly want to crush pussy. We’re born who we are, regardless of your backwoods moron logic.

  5. You got me block,

    I’m not a rider on the Pixar love pony, and I agree most their stuff are good kids movies (toy story, cars, brave) but some movies (Wall-E, Up) are more aimed at the Parents more than the kids.

    Something Pixar gets the system that kids will laugh at anything and parents buy kids shitload of toys. But Pixar nails it as they can add enough subtly and adult content (not fart and dick jokes) that make the parents look forward to the movies as much as the kids do.

    I mean the opening scene in UP has anyone over the age of 25 in tears, no shit… Kids laugh at the funny stuff on the screen and shit and the parents are crying at the subtly beauty of of the content (only a cold loveless sociopathic bastard doesn’t) which most serious films can’t do.

    Shit I’m defending disney but I guess I’m saying you have a point, in the way a republican have a point about a gun control and abortion…

    P.S Wreck It Raph was a 90’s games nerd film and Avatar is some Kevin Costner Dances with Smurfs type shit!

    • I’ve seen up , Wall-e and wreck it ralph. They were fine (though Wall e bored the shit out of me). They were cute. But it pretty much ends there for me. Like I said, I don’t hate these movies at all. They’re not movies “for” me. I just wish people would stop holding them up to the standard of actual movies that don’t cater to children. Sure, Up might have things that appeal to adults but, in it’s essence, it was a kids movie.

  6. I think you don’t hate pixar but the thing you hate is too much low quality animation out there. Otherwise, who can hate Toy Story Series or Up? Especially, Toy Story 3 is very special. I remember the day I watched that movie. I was planining to watch and my lil cousin wanted to watch something and I can’t stand watching idiotic cartoons then I offered Toy Story 3. I’m a grown ass man and I ashamed to cry at the end of the movie. I was keep sayin these “No man. WHat’s going on? Are you fool? What’s all about? It’s just a toy story.” but It didn’t work. But not every product has the same quality and I’m tired of seeing dancing animals, running animals or animal animals.

  7. I never watched Pixar movies as a single dude. Now I’m dating a girl w/ a cool ass 2 year old so I end up watching a shitload of Pixar stuff. The only one i’ve watched on my own was Wall-E. Everything else was only because of the little one. Pixar movies are great for people who wanna spend time with their kid but don’t want to be bored to death with repetitive kid show stuff. But I’m sick of hearing child-less couples ranting about how awesome Toy Story 3 was and how Brave was SUCH a let down.

    Adults who watch Pixar movies and take them seriously are like those dudes in their late 20s – late 30s who still go to high school parties to meet girls. If all you want is a quick thrill, by all means go for it. But don’t try to convince me that you found your soul mate in some 18 year old girl who could barely talk when you were graduating high school.

  8. Not die hard about Pixar, but as an art school grad with a fair share of animator friends, I really appreciate the work going into them.

    I watched Wreck it Ralph and Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (not Pixar, but same shit) and enjoyed them because they were fun. I’ll probably catch Cloudy 2 at some point when its on ppv.

  9. Eh. I get where you’re coming from, and you’re right for most of them. But there was a run of 4 Pixar films (Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3) where the key moment in all of them required an adult perspective to have any impact. It was pretty short lived though, and now Pixar is back to making trite shit about talking vehicles and other asinine sequels, so it’s safe to ignore them again.

  10. I feel the same about a lot of animated movies. I was in my teens and my friend wanted to watch Happy Feet, and I could just not understand that. I love film, and I think I’m becoming kind of a pretentious movie lover. So when I say that there are some animated films that are genuinely good (Wall-E and The Illusionist are great), know that I mean that not as a nostalgic childhood thing, but as a bullshit artsy opinion. That said, it still takes a lot to get me to see one.

  11. I didn’t realize that many adults are into Pixar movies. Do you really think it’s the majority? Anyway Wall-E wasn’t horrible. If you haven’t seen it, it’s set in a future where the Earth is no longer inhabitable because of pollution and what not. All humans now live in a space station where they will stay until the Earth basically regenerates itself. What I liked about the movie is that people have become so lazy that they spend their lives in these hovering rascal type things. They’re so fat and lazy that they can’t stand up because they have no muscles. It’s just a really possible view of what the future might look like and I wouldn’t have expected it in a kids movie. I don’t know why they designed the robot to look exactly like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit though. Other than that, the movie is pretty boring but when you have a toddler running around all day, you don’t really care what you’re watching. Just that your child has finally shut his fucking mouth for a change. The only one I could never sit through is Thomas the Train. What a horribly mind numbing show.

  12. I don’t really watch these movies, I don’t really watch that many movies in general really, I see certain movies occasionally, I know some people like see a new movie every day or something, or at least every weekend, Anyway, yeah if I watch these films…I agree with the plot lines and jokes and stuff, I mainly get interested in the special effects or the way they animated the stuff…

  13. Some people aren’t self-admitted robots, Block. A lot of those movies touch on some pretty heavy human emotions (shame, guilt, loss, etc.) that would mostly go over today’s ADD child’s head. Usually there’s some sort of redemptive arc, unlike in real life. Pure escapism. And a huge part of Wreck-It Ralph’s appeal is to 30+ year-old’s nostalgia for some old-ass video games that children would not even be aware of. So, technically, they are for you, old person, otherwise those themes wouldn’t be present.

    • I saw wreck it ralph. It was perfectly fine. A nice movie. Still, a movie created and marketed for children. This isn’t debatable. Just cause it has nods to things I might relate to doesn’t mean that I automatically feel some connections to it. If that were the case, VH1’s “Remember the 90’s?!!” would be the pinnacle of entertainment.
      I do agree that many of those movies are full of heavy human emotions but, still, it plays in a pretty shallow pool for me. Cause, after all, these movies are made to have those feelings but still get across basic ideas to kids.
      For instance, no animated feature will ever have a moment like the dad breaking down weeping in the car with his kids in “ice Storm”. Just one example but , you get what I mean? Part of the humanity of the deep emotion is seeing it portrayed by humans.

      • Of course I get what you mean. I think a lot of young-ish (20-40 year-olds) like Pixar because they’re not completely mindless and actually attempt to capture something real. Most animated movies do not. Ever watch the Transformer’s movie within the last 15 years? Don’t, unless you want to be shaken to your core about how terrible it actually was. So, at least parents don’t have to watch something completely asinine with their kids.

        As to your point, just a theory, but I think the animated nature of it makes it more palatable for a lot of people than seeing actual humans go through horrific shit. That one degree of separation is nice. For those days you just don’t wanna watch the “ass-to-ass” scene in Requiem for a Dream and then want to kill yourself.

        So, having already established your emotionless-cred on this blog many times, I got a real “no shit” vibe from this post. It reads like some fat Wal-Mart homunculus explaining why she doesn’t get Zumba.

      • I’d say it’s same reason never got into fantasy movies and video games based in other dimensions/worlds. I like brutal reality. At elast watching it. Not so much when it happens to me though..haha.
        But I will say, the difference between me and that awl-mart persons relation to zumba is that I actually have spent time watching lots of these movies. and I’ve never left one thinking more than “well, that was cute…”. Pretty sure the walmart fatty simply wishes “Zumba” was a type of candy bar.

  14. Sometime after the long work night of spinning techno music in Germany, I like to come home, kick off sandals, put on blue Snuggie, poor large glass of milk and watch How To Train Your Dragon until I fall asleep.

  15. I was honestly hoping for more backlash. Perhaps I was expecting a post about kicking cats and how much cats suck. I suppose, building on what has been built here, a Pixar movie about cats would be the epitome of what is wrong with today’s cartoons.

  16. Pixar films have more depth than a lot of movies out there. This doesn’t make them the best films ever, and their main audience is kids for sure. If you like character design, animation, visual fx, or just general storytelling I think that Pixar flicks are more entertaining than most of the bullshit coming out of hollywood. Also certain Pixar flicks are better than others by far. Cars was annoying. I thought Incredibles was great though. Granted I also liked BIONIC SIX (reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwHJw4CGZJA ). So I dunno, maybe I just connect with the younger version of myself when I watch those joints and don’t take em too seriously. For the genre they are in, they are groundbreaking. From a technical perspective they do amazing shit as well, like writing their own custom software to achieve ever better effects (like water physics in Nemo). All in all though, that doesn’t contest your point though. I think it’s better put that they are made for kids, with a few quips in there for the adults watching with kids.

  17. This is a similar annoyance to the one I have with college aged women being obsessed with Disney films circa 1990-2000. Sure, some are kinda classic but getting Little Mermaid tattoos and jamming to “A Whole new World” driving to work doesn’t make sense to me. Even worse when they get together to watch these movies in their dorm rooms with Ben and Jerry’s and shit. You’re not five anymore and I’m not going to be your Prince Charming! So, while not exactly the same thing, I don’t understand anyone over the age of 12 really getting something out of a children’s movie.

  18. While I generally agree with your argument, there are some animated kid movies that I genuinely love to watch with no kid around. Tangled blew me away. i have watched it many times and it doesn’t get old. Some others are Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and to a lessor extent Alladin. Most suck for adults though. Like you say, most are aimed at kids and therefore must have stupid slapstick moments or a “whiz-bang” quality. Dumb jokes, simple dialog, burp or fart humor (which if done RIGHT I am for), stupid animal sidekicks, the bad ones are all guilty as charged. Brave WAS horrible. Madagascar was horrible. Despicable Me was hard to sit through. And yes, Pixar films are too kid based to be totally engrossing, but Toy Story 2, Cars, and The Incredibles had nice moments mixed with all the cuteness.

    Some good live action kid movies I have liked include Ella Enchanted, Zathura, Little Giants, among others.

  19. Totally disagree with this post. There’s a reason Pixar movies get nominated for Best Picture and it’s not because there weren’t enough good movies that particular year. Not to champion the Oscars because they get a ton of shit wrong, but they respect Pixar movies because they are consistently good enough to stand side-by-side with the best of the year. I agree that these movies are targeted at children, sure, they are not the same as the other animated bullshit released every year for kids. If you asked people what makes a great movie, I’d wager that most would say the story. And that’s what elevates Pixar movies to the level of Black Swan and The Fighter and Inception (Films that Toy Story 3 was up against in 2011). I don’t give a fuck if the entire movie is done by sock puppets, if the story and execution is as tight as Wall-E or Up or Ratatouille, it’s gonna make for a good movie, period.

  20. Well I definitely didn’t know people had the same feelings about it, I agree 100% with you block.

    I know it’s not a movie, but if you haven’t seen Hey Arnold that shit is my favorite. It caters to children and adults alike, definitely my favorite series growing up and even in adulthood.

  21. Agreed. Also all these fucking super-hero movies can go into this category. The utter bullshit surrounding the release of Batman 2 : Batman vs. the Joker (or whatever it was called). These are retarded one-dimensional comic characters engaged is lamely written battles.

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