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.

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich

Writers: Pete Docter, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, Ralph Eggleston, Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird, Rhet Reese, Johnathan Roberts

Staring: John Goodman, Mary Gibbs, Billy Crystal

Rating: ★★★★

Due to the recently released sequel “Monsters University” I decided to revisit one of my childhood favourites. “We scare, cause we care” is the slogan of the monsters in Monsters, Inc. Pixars animated creation states the legend that monsters do exist in the closet is obviously true. With another inventive storyline and some adorable lovable characters here’s a film that is for everyone in the family. I loved this film when watching it twelve years ago as a kid and I love it now as a seventeen year old.

The story follows the two lovable monsters James P. Sullivan (Sulley) and Mike Wazowski voiced by John Goodman and Billy Crystal. The two work for Monsters, Inc. the utility company who powers the city with the screams and goosebumps of children. Sulley big, blue and the companies best scream-generator accidentally finds trouble with cute, little two-year old girl Boo as he accidentally lets her into the city, Monstropolis . Mike, short, green and one-eyed has to help Sulley get Boo back home before the city gets a big shock. The twist in the plot of Monsters, Inc. is that it’s the monsters who are scared of the children and not the other way round.

The story feeds of the relationship between our adorable monsters and Boo, how the three together become close leading to a watery-eyed moment when it times to say goodbye. The other characters in the film purely represent those In the work place making the film more relatable for the adults. Monsters, Inc. released after the two Toy Story’s shows once again the brilliant, inventive imaginations of Pixar as well as their technical skills with their animation.

Just like other Pixar films it provides plenty for the family, as a child the characters alone were enough to entertain me but the silly gags and behaviour of our monsters create many chuckles. Like most children films there are also many adult humour moments creating those sneaky laughs that you miss if you’re a kid. Before viewing kids were kept awake at the thought of scary monsters hiding in the closet, after watching they will be jumping in looking for the door to meet Sulley and Mike.

Monsters, Inc. is a film that has just like most Pixar Films set a template for future family films, I personally love it and its one of my favourite animated films of all time. It has it all, lovable characters, a great storyline, laughs and an ending that leaves you with a lump in your throat no matter how old you are. I hope Monsters University is half as good as this film and does the franchise some justice, if you haven’t already seen this film then you’re missing out.