There are many imitators, but there’s only one Pixar. It may seem difficult to believe, but it’s been more than 30 years since the little-company-that-could banished pen and ink in favour of keyboards and computers, and ushered in the new age of digital animation. The studio was founded as part of Lucasfilm in the late ’70s by a group of ambitious young techies and artists, who believed what was thought impossible at the time – that you could use computers not just for special effects, but to animate whole movies. Pixar struggled for years to have its vision taken seriously by Hollywood, but in 1986, Apple guru Steve Jobs – a man used to betting on the impossible – rescued the company, convinced that this rag-tag bunch of keyboard jockeys were the future. Jobs’ gamble paid off. A decade later, Toy Story was released and any naysayers were immediately silenced.
Pixar’s debut feature was an instant smash hit, making $350 million at the global box office. However, the big surprise was that Pixar’s secret weapon wasn’t its amazing technology, but its stories and the unforgettable characters that they introduced. Pixar movies turned out to be warm, funny, exciting, moving and, above all, full of heart.
Three decades of wonderful, witty, lump-in-the-throat-inducing films have followed and we’ve lined up six of Pixar’s finest, giving you the unmissable opportunity to revisit some of the greatest, and most enjoyable, modern landmarks in digital animation.
We’re kicking things off on 19 August with the film that made Pixar a household name: Toy Story. Rejoin Buzz, Woody and Mr. Potato Head as they battle Sid, the ruthless toy-wrecker, for the attention of Andy, their increasingly distracted young owner.
With Incredibles 2 making its mark as one of Pixar’s biggest hits to date (this summer it scored the biggest debut of all time for an animated film), on 9 September we’re screening the first in the franchise. Join the everyday, undercover-suburban-superhero family forced back into action to do battle against their killer fan and save the world.
Pixar’s sole venture into “pure” science fiction, Wall-E, (screening on 16 September)
is an utter joy. Thrilling, spectacular, and more than just a little bit heartbreaking, its tale of a lonely robot’s interplanetary love channels everything from Kubrick to Chaplin.
And with Monsters Inc., Up, and Finding Nemo also featuring in our Vintage Sundays Pixar celebration, it’s the perfect opportunity to treat yourself (or, even better, introduce someone new) to a classic Pixar flick in the way its creators intended: at the pictures. Book now!
Tickets for all Vintage Sundays shows are just £5 for Picturehouse Members and £8 for general admission.*
*Excluding Stratford East, where tickets are £5 and £7.