Friday, August 27, 2010


So, as I was talking to Mark and Adam the other day, I noticed my supercool Cars band aide. And then it dawned on me. Cars is scifi. So are Wall-E, Monster's Inc, and UP (well, Doug is, at least). I always think of children's movies as being full of fantastical make-believe, like The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast, and these Pixar movies are no different. For some reason, it really surprised me that these Pixar movies are science fiction. I think this is because they're fun, zany, and completely improbable. This goes against the stereotypical motif of struggle and hardship. When I picture science fiction, as a whole, it seems like something that would come in dark colors, greys and blacks and browns, not in the flamboyantly bright primary colors of Pixar animation.

My only question is: what about Toy Story? Science Fiction or Fantasy?
(BTW title is a link to the original trailer.)


Tristram said...

Love the Pixar post. I watched Wall-E about a week ago. Toy Story seems to be a fantasy because we aren't given much to work with as to why the toys are actually "alive". Other than Buzz being an astronaut, there's not much science fiction occurring during the films.

Bailey said...

Haha I love this post! I hadn't really thought about it either, but Wall-E is one of my favorite movies ever. I had never really considered it Sci Fi but it definitely is with the futuristic setting and an Earth that is no longer capable of producing life, not to mention "Auto" the overbearing autopilot that doesn't want the crew to return to earth as per orders from hundreds of years ago. It sort of reminds me of the Chimp in "The Island" and how he wouldn't let the crew do anything that wasn't included in his now-ancient orders. Strange how that worked out. And way to go Pixar.
I would also agree that Toy Story is more fantasy that science fiction. We are to assume all toys are alive, but we don't really know why and we have no scientific reason. It's sort of like in classics like Snow White where we are given no specific scientific reason for Snow White being awoken by a kiss, we just believe it's sort of magic. This is the same "magic" I would assume that Disney wants kids to believe makes their toys come to life.

lmjacobs1 said...

I also really liked Wall-e, and not only did "Auto" remind me of "Chimp" from the Island, like Bailey pointed out, but it was also a take-off on "Hal" from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Oh, and even though it has been pointed out that the toys coming to life in Toy Story is fantasy, I thought of a scifi example of toys come to life, Small Soldiers. The toys have a microchip implanted in them that the military developed to create artificially intelligent soldiers.

Ernest said...

I never would have thought about "Cars" being science fiction. It makes sense, though. After all, what separates a talking car from R2-D2 or Agent Smith?

Caleb Weeks said...

I would go with Toy Story being both science fiction and fantasy. The science fiction question here is "What if toys could talk?". Good post.

Katy said...

I think I'm the only one on the planet that did not like Wall-E. I only really remember the obese people living in space. On top of that, people being obese and living a life of laziness and gluttony in space isn't that far off from reality. I'm no genius but I know they want to make space stations for permanent residences. Think about it...the world we live in makes it far too easy to be fat and lead lives based on what technology tell us to do. So my question Wall-E that fantastical?