Boundin’ (2003)

Genre: Animated, Short, Family

Director: Bud Luckey

Writer: Bud Luckey

Staring: Bud Luckey

Rating: ★★★★½

Another three years had passed for Pixar without a short being made but that was once again going to change but this time due to a new creator, Bud Luckey. With Pixar’s last two shorts winning Oscars expectation and pressure was both high but the inventive director and writer didn’t fall too short creating a funny, happy and heart-warming story that’s very lovable. The story follows a young sheep happy and dancing around he has not one care in the world however one day being plucked out and sheered naked he becomes depressed, shy and a laughing-stock and with this the dancing stops. One day a cheerful Jackolope appears spreading his wisdom as well as cheer, he teaches the sheep how to leap around proudly with no shame and with that the sheep cheers up and dances away but more prouder and happier than ever. The story is very lovable and cheery and is simply a work of brilliance from Pixar.

Boudin’ is very bold, it has a somewhat simple message that reads its only what’s on the inside that counts cause appearances can easily differ with that in mind it makes the brilliance of the animated short even more brilliant. Pixar hadn’t created a short with a message since Day & Night and I think it was good for them to do so. There’s also other reasons Boundin’ stands out from the rest, it has a narrator telling the story in a cheerful rhyme, it’s the first time Pixar included voices and for me it was very successful and a very nice addition. The animation as usual was amazing and so was the storyline and execution however surprisingly Boundin’ didn’t win the academy-award. The short standing at around five minutes is one of my favourites and that’s just due to its cheerful and all round happy feel and lovely message, not to forget about the brilliance on the creative side too. Pixar keep on providing and for me they get better almost each time.

Watch Boundin’ here and have your say?

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For the Birds (2000)

Genre: Family, Animation, Short, Comedy

Director: Ralph Eggleston

Writer: Ralph Eggleston

Rating:  ★★★★½

Pixar were developing quickly making huge big-selling popular feature films, with their shorts somewhat taking a back seat three years after their last (Knick Knack 1997) it was up to new Ralph Eggleston to buck the trend with “For the Birds”. To say Pixar were developing quickly is somewhat an understatement, the quality, graphics and all round animation is flawless. As always it’s witty, fun and sweet all with that magical Pixar feel making you feel like a child again, that’s if you’re not already one. Ralph Eggleston’s story follows a group of “stuck up” snooty birds sitting on a telephone wire, they mock a recently arrived “goofy” looking bird but get there just desserts in a shocking accident. You find yourself rooting for the goofy bird, feeling sympathetic and when he gets his revenge you laugh and cheer and then of course after realise it’s just a short film.

It was Eggleston’s first edition for Pixar and lasted a very entertaining enjoyable three minutes. Being released with Monsters, Inc. a very popular feature it stole some of the headlines winning an Oscar, for Pixar that was two successful wins in the last two attempts. What makes me love For the Birds so much was the way you could relate to the big goofy bird being shunned upon and when karma played its role you couldn’t help but laugh and smile. In a way from the story, quality and characters it is flawless however I do feel there’s an element missing nevertheless its brilliant and simply great.

Let me know you views, watch it here.

Tin Toy (1988)

Genre: Family, Animation, Short

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★

Pixar and more so John Lasseter by 1988 had started to get the hang of making animated short films and in their latest edition Tin Toy it well and truly showed. Just falling short of five minutes long it shows how a one man band tin toy has to choose between survival and doing its job. Fun, Inventive and simply brilliant Tin Toy shows the life from a toys perspective bringing objects to life once again. A one-man wind-up toy finds trouble with a big destructive baby, doing everything to flee and survive he hides under the sofa however when the baby falls to the floor and begins to cry he chooses to do what a toy does and risk his safety. Its hilarious and at the same time adorable due to the behaviour of both our characters and the expressions shown by the fantastic animation.

The animation for a 1988 production is unbelievable and the progress from their first “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B” is remarkable and this was deservedly noticed as it won an Oscar. The expressions and from the characters is amazing and so is the detail surrounding them, something that’s improved. The sound also plays an important role in the film. Tin Toy was released with Toy Story in 1995 one of Pixar’s biggest features and names. It will make you laugh and chuckle, and the whole thing together has that special feeling, simply brilliant.

Let me know what you think and watch it here.

Luxo Jr. (1986)

Genre: Animation, Short, Family

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★½

The second ever Pixar Short and now the iconic logo. Luxo Jr. is just another simple animation with no adventuress storyline or lots of characters but nevertheless it’s rather funny and quite magical. John Lasseter’s creation features a two minutes animation of a baby lamp trying to play with a ball all under the watch of his father, a bigger lamp. The way the movement is captured is brilliant and how obvious it is to see the emotions displayed by the lamps are remarkable considering they’re just everyday objects. Bearing in mind this is a 1986 production the animation  quality is outstanding.

In 1986  Luxo Jr. was the first film released by Pixar and this is now to the present day the hopping lamp that is in the logo and opening titles. No wonder it got so popular with its cute behaviour. The noises he squeaks and the body language portrayed really does make you get attached to this lamp and you find yourself smiling and laughing. This was at the beginning of Pixar but from this you could have easily predicted a mountain of success was on its way. John Lasseter writer and director deserves credit for such an inventive idea and brilliant execution, Luxo Jr. also went on to get nominated for an Oscar and eventually got released with feature film Toy Story 2 (2000). Simplistic but quite simply fantastic all once again with that magical “Pixar” feel.

Let me know what you think of Luxo Jr. and check it out here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmhZm5FRV4s

Day & Night (2010)

Day & Night (2010) Poster

 

Genre: Short, Animation, Comedy

Director: Teddy Newton

Writer: Teddy Newton

Rating: ★★★★½

Day & Night was attached to the feature film Toy Story 3, another one of Pixar’s short films its adorable and rather funny. Two characters, a sunny joyful “Day” and a rather dark moody “Night”, each with their own unique characteristics and qualities. When Day accidentally stumbles over Night sleeping he’s confused, he looks like Day but he doesn’t have the same qualities. Both are confused and angered but after getting off on the wrong foot the two become friends, realising with each other they can see their worlds from a whole new perspective.

They are just simple drawings and its simple cartooning but flawlessly achieved, the characters being outlines but it’s the inside that’s wonderful showing the different scenes. Day has daylight scenes whilst Night has night-time, showing the wonders of both and how butterflies turn into fireflies. The director and writer Teddy Newton deserves so much credit, not only to think of such a great concept but to execute it with perfection showing its loud and bold message. With only the expressions of two faces the message is clear, to embrace people’s differences and enjoy them. No wonder such a beautiful, amazing creation got nominated for the 2010 Oscars, once again simply magical.

View it for yourself and let me know what you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRuURW_UXfw

Paperman (2012)

Genre: Short, Animation, Comedy

Director: John Kahrs

Writers: Clio Chiang and Kendelle Hoyer

Staring: Kari Wahlgren, John Kahrs

Rating: ★★★★

Disney’s Oscar winning short animated film is brilliant. A collaboration of a series of black and white hand-sketched images merged together with animation shows a interesting story that has that magical “Disney” touch and feel. The short film of just over six minutes showing a boy meets girl story. After a meeting at the train station following an incident with some paperwork young urban office worker George (voiced by John Kahrs) falls for Meg (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) but just like his paper she flies away on the train. After seeing her across his office George attempts to attract the attention of Meg by letting fly a series of paper-planes but faces obstacles, will he meet her again?  

The way that director John Kahrs and writers Clio Chiang and Kendelle Hoyer captures such feel and emotion with limited dialogue, colour and characters is purely amazing. The feeling is something that you are used to and expect from Disney and so are the animation, absolutlely flawless. No surprise it won the 2012 Oscar, a six minutes of your life you can easily afford to waste watching a wonderfully crafted piece of short animation. Simply magical.

My Top 5 Actors Of All Time

#5 Bruce Willis: Born March 19, 1995 he’s currently 58 years old and has been in the film industry since 1980. He features in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts made. Most known for playing hot-headed, wisecracking and hard-edged characters he has his own franchise that is Die Hard where he plays officer “John Mclane”.

Die Hard (1988) is rated just outside the best 100 films of all time, and has brought along sequels of Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard: With a Vengeance and more recently Die Hard 4.0 (2007) and Die Hard: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). The franchise has made $502,440,899 in lifetime gross being one of the most successful set of films of all time.

Bruce Willis isn’t just an action-hero, he’s played roles in dramas, thrillers and sci-fi films. Most popular playing the lead role in The Sixth Sense (1999), written and directed by at the time brilliant M. Night Shyamalan it got nominated for a staggering 6 Oscars and is rated 143rd best film of all time. He has also worked alongside with possibly the best screenplay writer and director of all time Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction (1994) and finally he played lead role as a taxi driver in the brilliant The Fifth Element (1997) and starred alongside an all-star cast in Twelve Monkeys (1995).

 

Staring as lead role in an amazing amount of award-winning successful films he definitely deserves to be on this list. For me he is the best action actor and my favourite. His roles in the Die Hard films are amazing and they are one of my favourite sets of films. He is a truly talented guy too also writing, producing films and occasionally making soundtracks. He’s had a stunning career and is still going strong to date, well done Bruno.

#4 Morgan Freeman: Always playing “God” in films he has established a very godly prestigious role in the film industry and Hollywood. Known for his calm, and authoritative voice and demeanour he is possibly one of most well-known actors to date. Born June 1st, 1937 some would say he’s been around since the Stone Age but with those years he’s featured in some of the best films ever made, on the way winning an Oscar and a further 55 awards.

Playing one of the lead characters in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) voted the best film of all time, his role as Ellis the prison “getter” will be remembered for a very long time. He also played alongside Brad Pitt in the hugely successful Se7en (1995). Total gross of all of Morgan Freeman’s films stands to a staggering $4,003,514,144 with films such as Deep Impact (1998), Robin Hood (1991) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) providing a big lump of that sum also not forgetting the Batman films.

He finally won his much deserved Oscar in 2009 for Invictus where he had the honour of playing the character of Nelson Mandela in his first term as president of South Africa in a battle to win the Rugby World Cup. In his career he has also been on set with David Fincher, Clint Eastwood to create amazing films.

For me he’s an outstanding, talented actor and without him some of my favourite films wouldn’t be as good. His presence is unique and his ability to draw you into a film is unbelievable. I think he no doubt deserves the credit he gets and of course the spot on this list. Although old he’s still going but you have to admire his fantastic career in film whether it be acting, producing or writing.

#3 Brad Pitt: A name that everyone knows and an even more popular face. Brad Pitt born December 18th, 1963 started his quest to Hollywood fame in 1987 in “Hunk” as an un-credited character of a guy with a drink on a beach. A further 67 films later he has been nominated for 4 Oscars and has won 37 awards, featuring in possibly some of the best films made.

The film that everyone will remember is Fight Club (1999), he played alongside Edward Norton in a film rated 10th best film of all time, but shhh we’re not allowed to talk about it. He has further acted in films such as Se7en (1995), Twelve Monkeys (1995) where he got his first nomination for an Oscar, furthermore and more recently films such The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011).

Moneyball a film that is personally one of my favourites, Brad Pitt played lead role as well as producing. About an underdog baseball team with a low-budget huge success it’s an incredible film that got nominated for a huge 6 Oscars. The total Box Office for Brad Pitts films stand  worldwide at 3 and a half billion dollars showing he’s a top actor in top films.

He’s an actor that brings a certain style and “coolness” to his films that no one else does. His outstanding acting and a relationship with Angelina Jolie he is probably the most famous Hollywood actor and is one of the highest paid A-Listers. He’s certainly a talented guy and with only being half way through his career we’ll definitely see more of Pitt, definitely deserving his place as #3 on this list.

#2 Leonardo DiCaprio: Just missing out on top spot is the heart-throb born in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio. Born November 11th 1974, he started his acting career with minor TV series but after making the world flutter as his performance of Jack in Titanic he cemented his position as an all time great.

In my opinion Mr. DiCaprio hasn’t done a bad film, from the likes of Catch Me If You Can (2002) and more recently The Great Gatsby (2013), he is one of my favourite actors making and performing in some of my favourite films. The world of cinema must think so too as he’s been nominated for 3 Oscars and a further 31 award wins.

Titanic (1997) being his most famous film alongside Inception (2010). In Titanic he played the character of Jack in a romantic drama that swept the nations heart. Although not featuring as frequently in films as other actors every film he has done has been hugely successful. Django Unchained (2012), Shutter Island (2010) and The Departed (2006) all sweeping in awards. His total box office for films standing at an almighty impressive $5billion.

With his unique charm and class alongside be innocent child like look there’s no wonder he’s a popular man. With his extreme talent there’s also no surprise he’s #2 on my list. He has featured in some of my favourite films and played some of my favourite characters, in the words of Jay Gatsby well done old sport.

#1Tom Hanks: top of my list and I’m sure many others is the great Tom Hanks. Not only has he featured and played the lead role in a number of timeless classics unlike most actors he has played in every genre of film, from comedies, dramas, war to romance, each giving an amazing performance. Born July 9th, 1956 in Concord USA Hanks started his career of acting in the 1980’s with various TV series to then play in films such as Big (1988), The ‘Burbs (1989). He is now known for much bigger classic films, all time greats and he is known for his amazing acting and unique voice.

Tom Hanks has played lead roles in films such as Forrest Gump (1994) and PPhiladelphia (1993) that both won him Oscars. Two more of my favourite films of his and of all time, Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Cast Away (2000) also got nominations for Oscars. It’s safe to say his films have had huge success, and no surprise his performances in both Forrest Gump and Cast Away are my favourite and deserve huge credit.

Over the course of his prestigious career Hanks total box office for films is just over $6billion, more than every actor accept Samuel L. Jackson. Over the last decade  he has also shown his talents as he has started to produce and write films such as Polar Express (2004) and Larry Crowne (2011). He’s my favourite actor mainly due to his appearance in a number of amazing films from the Toy Story series to You’ve Got Mail. I guarantee if you ask people they’re top 10 films Tom Hanks is lurking in there somewhere.

 

Tom Hanks tops the list for his unbelievable amount of amazing films and his all round nice guy personality. A truly talented guy responsible for some of the best films and performances in the last 30 years truly deserve top spot.