the brilliance of Pixar
I can’t believe it was fifteen years ago that Pixar first burst into my consciousness, but I can happily say my movie-going life has never been the same. Animation was forever changed, of course, but the joy of Pixar films has always gone far beyond the technology. The characters, the stories, the heart and morality of each and every film is greater than most any other film that has been made in the last 15 years. And though I have my favorites among them, I view each Pixar film as exceptional in its own way. Still, I never quite understood just how completely brilliant the filmmakers were until a recent visit to a new dentist.
You’ll remember that a portion of the story in Finding Nemo takes place in an aquarium located in a dentist’s office. My new dentist has taken cues from that segment and recreated the aquarium with the fish from the movie, as well as decorative elements around the waiting room that hearken back to Nemo himself. On my first visit to the office I was endlessly fascinated by the aquarium. In particular, the two clownfish were mesmerizing. Within a few moments I noticed the same behaviors that I’ve watched in the movie a thousand times. From the both of them staying very close to the anemone and rubbing against it for fun to the larger clownfish swimming between the smaller one and any other approaching creatures. I could just hear Marlin fussing over Nemo, worrying about him and trying to protect him from any harm. In that moment I understood that the filmmakers at Pixar truly nailed the characterization of this species of fish. And I was nothing less than astounded at the depth of their genius.
A few weeks later I went back to the office and filmed a video, mostly for the last boy but also just for posterity. Beyond the Marlin and Nemo fish, the tank also features a counterpart for Dory, and she is simply awesome to watch. You never see her leave her small little cove in the center of the aquarium, and she darts back and forth to the same exact spots over and over again. It’s so easy to imagine her fun little voice wondering what it was she was doing just moments before. Click the image below to see for yourself! My already die-hard love for Pixar has grown a thousand-fold with this one experience. And that comes before I’ve even had a chance to see Toy Story 3! I can now say with total conviction that Pixar is the greatest filmmaking team of all time.