What Sergei Eisenstein and other art-film pioneers said of the Walt Disney studio in the 1930s —that it was making the best movies on earth, by finding exciting new ways to perfect the art of visual story-telling —directors and reviewers say today of Pixar. John Lasseter and his team are bringing the same care and genius to computer-generated animation that Walt did with handmade drawings. Finding Nemo is, so far, the apotheosis of the Pixar style: the ultimate fish-out-of-water story, with a fretful dad (voiced by Albert Brooks) enlisting a forgetful friend (Ellen DeGeneres) to find his lost son. But all the Pixar features (Toy Story and its sequel, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles) have the means of enthrallment. Pixar doesn’t make cute movies for kids. It tells universal stories through a graphic language so persuasive that children and adults respond with the same pleasure and awe. It’s as if the Pixar people have the first clue to the next, higher form of popular movie art.
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