With Pixar dominating the American box office yet again with Finding Dory, the supercut specialists at Burger Fiction have decided to pay tribute to the pioneering computer animation studio with a video called “The Evolution Of Pixar.” This 14-minute omnibus includes clips from all of Pixar’s short films and features to date, going all the way back to 1984’s The Adventures Of André And Wally B. As its title indicates, this supercut is an excellent opportunity to ponder how Pixar and computer animation in general have grown and improved over the course of 32 years. It’s not just a matter of technical wizardry either. It’s true that Pixar has gotten a lot better at replicating both the natural world and man-made environments and objects since 1984. But the studio’s output also marks a quantum leap forward in creative ambition. At the outset, Pixar was determined to prove that computer animation was no novelty or gimmick. The animators wanted to tell compelling stories about interesting characters. So that’s what they’ve been trying to do for the last three decades, hitting the mark more often than not. The result has been a series of modern classics: The Incredibles, Up, Inside Out, the Toy Story trilogy, and more.
Director John Waters, who thus far has never been asked to lend his voice to a Pixar movie (for shame, Hollywood!), once opined that “there’s no such thing as a bad movie.” What he meant by that broad generalization is that even forgettable or disregarded films can provide moments of intense visual interest, perhaps only for a few fleeting seconds. “The Evolution Of Pixar” shows how correct that theory is. This is an all-inclusive supercut, so the usual suspects that people remember from their childhoods are duly represented here. Viewers who just want to see Woody and Buzz (or Mike and Sully) won’t be disappointed. But the democratic nature of this video also means that such less-loved Pixar offerings as Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur get their day in court, too, along with a whole host of short films that even Pixar fans may not know about. They all look spectacular. In an age when movies are becoming more and more dreary and monochromatic in their visuals, Pixar has been defiantly going in the opposite direction. They use the whole box of crayons.