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Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best

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Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best

Heavy on training montages and intergenerational torch passing, Cars 3 is an old-fashioned sports film at heart. Swap out the talking cars for boxers or baseball pitchers and Pixar’s latest would sit comfortably next to such films as Rocky Balboa and Trouble with the Curve, twilit dramas about a fading athlete struggling with age-old conundrums: how to know when to retire and how to do it with dignity. It’s the sort of counterintuitively mature theme that’s marked Pixar’s best output, but while Cars 3 may be the least objectionable entry in this series to date, it never hits the bittersweet emotional highs of films like Up and Toy Story 3. On the occasion of the film’s release, join us in revisiting the Pixar canon, ranked from worst to best.
 

Oscar 2013 Winner Predictions: Animated Short

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Oscar 2013 Winner Predictions: Animated Short
Oscar 2013 Winner Predictions: Animated Short

[Editor’s Note: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013, presented by ShortsHD, will open in theaters nationwide on February 1st. For locations, click here.]

If there’s any consensus among the Slant staffers who’ve spent way too much time trying to peg the winner in this category, it’s that only two nominees can be safely ruled out. PES’s Fresh Guacamole, which has amassed almost seven million views on YouTube since May of last year, is a conceptual dazzler that, not unlike one of our favorite music videos of last year, Benga’s “I Will Never Change,” feels entirely too circumscribed by its very conceptuality to register as anything beyond a cleverly executed (and all-too-brief) stunt. A nay as well to Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”, a charming and ultimately touching tale about the youngest Simpson, upon being denied entrance into a daycare’s gifted section, using all her chutzpah to save a butterfly from her famous unibrowed archnemesis. That the effectiveness of the short almost hinges on the audience’s familiarity with The Simpsons (Maggie Simpson has a unibrowed archnemesis?) may be as much of a detriment as its guilt-by-association corporate-ness, having played in theaters prior to Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Oscar 2012 Nomination Predictions: Original Screenplay

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Oscar 2012 Nomination Predictions: Original Screenplay
Oscar 2012 Nomination Predictions: Original Screenplay

Historically a haven for the quirk, verve, and humor that can’t quite crack the tougher races, the Original Screenplay category will openly welcome a movie like Bridesmaids, which may have a fiery fanbase and a sure shot at Supporting Actress, but isn’t about to compete in Best Picture, no matter how hard the mainstream dreamers squint their eyes and pray. The script nom might strike some as a snub-amending bone-throw to a buzz-building comedy, but Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo actually deserve to be in contention for their dialogue-driven hit (unlike The Hangover, another R-rated giggler with Best Pic whispers, to which Bridesmaids is belittlingly compared). Still, pink-clad comediennes with volatile bowels are bound to be outclassed by Midnight in Paris, the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice victor that’s all set to squeeze another gold man onto Woody Allen’s crowded mantle.

2010 Academy Award Winners

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2010 Academy Award Winners
2010 Academy Award Winners

Below are the winners at the 82nd Academy Awards:

Picture: The Hurt Locker
Directing: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Foreign Language Film: The Secret in Their Eyes
Documentary Feature: The Cove
Animated Feature Film: Up
Documentary Short: Music by Prudence
Animated Short: Logorama
Live Action Short: The New Tenants
Film Editing: The Hurt Locker
Art Direction: Avatar
Cinematography: Avatar
Costume Design: The Young Victoria
Makeup: Star Trek
Score: Up
Song: “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart
Sound Editing: The Hurt Locker
Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
Visual Effects: Avatar

Oscar 2010 Composite Winner Predictions

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Oscar 2010 Composite Winner Predictions
Oscar 2010 Composite Winner Predictions

Below is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Picture: The Hurt Locker
Directing: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Original Screenplay: Inglourious Basterds
Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air
Foreign Language Film: The Secret in Their Eyes
Documentary Feature: The Cove
Animated Feature Film: Up
Documentary Short: China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
Animated Short: A Matter of Loaf and Death
Live Action Short: Instead of Abracadabra
Film Editing: The Hurt Locker
Art Direction: Sherlock Holmes
Cinematography: The Hurt Locker
Costume Design: The Young Victoria
Makeup: Star Trek
Score: Up
Song: “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart
Sound Editing: Avatar
Sound Mixing: Avatar
Visual Effects: Avatar

Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Picture

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Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Picture
Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Picture

The academy may have doubled the number of nominations, made room for more critics’ faves and box-office juggernauts, and completely overhauled how ballots are going to be tabulated for the Best Picture contest this year, but to hear everyone tell it, it’s all still going to boil down to a grudge match between Contender #1 and Contender #2, the same as it usually is. And likely the same as it always shall be until the academy’s board of directors can jerry-rig a system that will automatically favor the movie that is not only seen by the fewest number of voters, but also represents that perfect middle ground between fiercely loved and fiercely loathed.

Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

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Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing
Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

We could come up with a lot of complicated reasons that this, that, or the other film might have a shot at winning against the technological blue elephant in the room, but let’s not pretend. Of the two sound categories, this is the one that favors artificially invented environments and sonic fabrications. Though the movie’s headlines belong to its heady 3-D splendor, the fully engulfed aural environment of Avatar is every bit the triumph. It couldn’t have been easy to invent a sound earth-shattering enough to suggest the destruction of a million-year-old tree. We’ll wrestle a little bit more with the alternate nominees when we get to the more finicky sound mixing category, but until then, everything should be coming up Na’vi.

Will Win: Avatar

Should Win: Avatar

Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

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Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

Don’t let the results of the WGA sway you too much. Quentin Tarantino, as a non-Guild member, was no more eligible for one of their awards than he is likely to be invited to spit punany poetry on a split bill with Maya Angelou. Which isn’t to say he wouldn’t jump at the chance, and which isn’t to say that he wouldn’t have won the WGA were it not for the technicality. It’s as obviously difficult to call him an outright frontrunner for the Oscar as it is to bet on Johnny Weir taking first place in any given ice skating competition. No matter how flamboyantly good he may be, no matter how much higher his profile is than just about anyone else’s in the medium, there’s simply no getting around the fact that there are some judges out there who are just never going to be in his corner. And there are always going to be Academy members who just don’t see great screenwriting in a draft that spent approximately six or seven pages on a tavern parlor celebrity guessing game, to say nothing of the moral quandary Inglourious Basterds’s irreverent alternate WWII history poses to a group whose voting record almost seems to need Adolf Hitler perpetually alive and well.

Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature

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Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature
Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature

By the grace of five extra Best Picture nominations, Pixar finally managed to land itself a slot in the main drag. By a horrible stroke of irony, we are now forced to treat this category like we would any niche Grammy category, predicting an almost ignobly easy win for the nominee contending in the Oscar equivalent of the “general fields,” even though this is maybe the broadest, most impressive set of nominations in the category’s nine-year, Treasure Planet/Shark Tale/Bolt littered history. (The 2005 slate may still win on overall balance, but it had to limit the scope down to only three nominations to do so.) Granted, we are as fine with an Up triumph as anyone. The movie’s sanguine warmth and eye-popping visual clarity would make it an easy win even if it had still suffered an embarrassing snub in the training wheels-festooned Best Picture lineup.

Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Score

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Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Score
Oscar 2010 Winner Predictions: Score

We can—and will—begrudge AMPAS for their selections in several many categories this year, but we have to cut the 200-some-odd members of the Academy’s music branch a break here for coming up with an unusually solid batch of nominees; even the weakest of the bunch, James Horner’s predictable but atmospheric score for Avatar, doesn’t stir our bile beyond a simmer. It’s difficult to say what was more surprising, the welcomed acknowledgement of Hans Zimmer’s seductive gypsy jamboree for Sherlock Holmes or the inclusion of Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’s menacingly evocative score for The Hurt Locker (proof that support for the film is more widespread than any of us could have hoped), but it’s safe to say that these works, given that few expected either one to make the cut (which is to say nothing of their avant-garde flourishes), are long shots for sure. Ditto the score for Fantastic Mr. Fox, which further demonstrates the great Alexandre Desplat’s range, effervescence, and humor as a composer, as in the fine “Just Another Dead Rat in a Garbage Pail (Behind a Chinese Restaurant),” which suggests that he and Beltrami and Sanders share more than a few influences. Horner, who won an Oscar long ago for Titanic, will no doubt get an overwhelming number of knee-jerk votes, but it seems unwise to bet against Michael Giacchino’s score for Up. Already a winner of a Golden Globe and a Grammy, this singularly lovely score boasts the most instantly recognizable music in the category, which is almost always enough to tip the scales in any film’s favor.

Will Win: Up

Should Win: Sherlock Holmes