The brilliant minds at Pixar — some of the industry’s finest animators, writers, and directors — are clearly cinema royalty in their own right. The intricate planning, structure, and storylines of their films and their sequels are far superior to many live-action films nowadays, not to mention the numerous Academy Awards they’ve picked up (and, in our opinion, might receive more of).
In his new video essay, Jorge Luengo Ruiz compiles a master edit of Pixar films, and the odes within the films to other classic movies. What’s clear is that the folks at the studio are all clearly “Star Wars” fans, with homages in “Toy Story” (to “A New Hope”), “Toy Story 2” (“The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”), “Toy Story 3” (“Return of the Jedi”), “Wall-E” (“A New Hope”), and, of course, “Up” (“A New Hope”).
Pixar makes reference to myriad other classics, from Woody imitating Jimmy Stewart’s John Ferguson in “Vertigo,” to “Up” having a simulated dream sequence paralleling Judy Garland’s in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Before you watch the video, see if you can recall any Pixar scenes echoing other films. Here’s a hint, there aren’t any in “A Bug’s Life,” but the entire film itself is descendant of the ideas from Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai.” Talk about going to the best places for inspiration.