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Toy Story 3 (#110 of 14)

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.
 

15 Famous Movie Teddy Bears

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15 Famous Movie Teddy Bears
15 Famous Movie Teddy Bears

Seth MacFarlene releases his first feature on the world this weekend in the form of Ted, a transgressive raunchfest in which the writer/director voices the fuzzy, f-bomb-dropping title character. Longtime pal and enabler of Mark Wahlberg’s man-boy, Ted may be the screen’s most naughty plush companion, but he owes a certain debt to his cuddly, uh, forebears. Some of these characters (don’t call them props!) make only brief appearances, while others prove central to the story being told. Either way, they’ve leapt from the uncertainty of the toy-store shelf to the immortality of film, assuming the roles of confidant, booby trap, and even surveillance vessel. Next time you snuggle up with your childhood friend, remember these teddy bear stars, who strive to prove there’s more to them than mere fluff.

Oscar 2011 Composite Winner Predictions

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Oscar 2011 Composite Winner Predictions
Oscar 2011 Composite Winner Predictions

Below is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Picture: The King’s Speech
Directing: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Original Screenplay: The King’s Speech
Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Foreign Language Film: Incendies
Documentary Feature: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3
Documentary Short: Poster Girl
Animated Short: The Gruffalo
Live Action Short: Wish 143
Film Editing: The Social Network
Art Direction: The King’s Speech
Cinematography: True Grit
Costume Design: The King’s Speech
Makeup: The Wolfman
Score: The King’s Speech
Song: “I See the Light,” Tangled
Sound Editing: Inception
Sound Mixing: Inception
Visual Effects: Inception

Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Picture

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Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Picture
Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Picture

The ascendance of the stuttering king and Oscar’s perceived instantaneous regression into the mottled pastures of White Elephant Cinema (how quickly we forget The Reader) has rendered some of our most reliable barometers speechless. Suddenly, the movie no one wanted to pay attention to became the movie all your friends and relatives who see two movies a year have seen and just know is the best picture of the year. What can one say in the face of that? Even dependable crank Armond White, who had been working himself up a pretty good head of anti-Social Network steam leading up to an Ingracious Basterd-worthy final snit as MC of the New York Film Critics Circle awards, has been more or less reticent in the wake of The King’s Speech’s dozen proofs in support of the theory that dusty linens, not bloody tourniquets and certainly not hackers’ grease-stained pizza boxes, are the fabric that holds Oscar together. And why shouldn’t he remain mum? There’s no one this year to disabuse of the notion that Oscars actually matter.

Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

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Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing
Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

In the five years since this category, which was previous known as Best Sound Effects, was bumped up from three to five nominations, it has matched up with the Best Sound Mixing slate for four out of those five slots every year. Except this year. Only Inception and, somewhat more puzzlingly, True Grit managed nominations in both fields this year. Which either goes to show the ever-widening quality gulf between the sort of effects-laden blockbusters that get cited here and the more nuanced work that earns nominations in the other category. Yeah, yeah, Salt, which got nominated for Sound Mixing, is a dozen times worse—and noisier—than any movie nominated here this year. No one said the patterns were infallible. Especially not this year, in our confusing, post-The Hurt Locker era.

Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature Film

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Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature Film
Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature Film

How to explain How to Train Your Dragon winning 10 Annie awards? Maybe Pixar was right that the group’s voting procedures are stacked in favor of DreamWorks Animation movies, or maybe they’re not and the voting body decided to punish Pixar for not making an effusive awards push for Toy Story 3. Since the highest-grossing film of 2010 doesn’t exactly need to remind anyone of its existence, or excellence for that matter, and since Kung Fu Panda inexplicably laid waste to Wall-E at the Annies two years ago, we think Pixar might have Annie’s number. Whatever you think, though, it seems unlikely that How to Train Your Dragon will best Toy Story 3 at the Oscars given the larger AMPAS voting body that will dutifully null any DreamWorks-versus-Pixar drama that may carry over into the Oscar race. There’s also Toy Story 3’s five nominations to How to Train Your Dragon’s two. In short: We don’t see Oscar pulling a Grammy here. With a nomination for Best Picture, Toy Story 3 losing this award would be as much of an upset as, well, Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year.

Will Win: Toy Story 3

Could Win: How to Train Your Dragon

Should Win: Toy Story 3

Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

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Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

I see no reason why this entry need be any longer than Ed’s post yesterday, the one about how his post predicting Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor needn’t be any longer than his curt prediction for Heath Ledger in the same category for 2008. Though it doesn’t hurt that this is the only category the once (and probably not future) Best Picture frontrunner doesn’t face off against The King’s Speech, Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for The Social Network would’ve been a pretty sure bet even if it was the movie’s only nomination, because his dialogue consistently makes everyone in the cast hyperventilate.

Will Win: The Social Network

Could Win: Your mom

Should Win: The Social Network

Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Music (Original Song)

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Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Music (Original Song)
Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Music (Original Song)

It’s like a perfect battle. New guard vs. old school. The power of youth vs. the experience of the established. Trash vs. class. The faceoff between “Bound to You,” Christina Aguilera’s “Maybe This Time” moment toward the dramatic climax of Burlesque, and “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” Cher’s torch song belted as if from the depths of a movie career gone all too predictably sour with age, is one of those Oscar matches that elevates a category that in many other years seems as rote and irrelevant to the artistry of movies as Best Visual Effects. Here, at last, is a pair of nominees that, despite the general shittiness of the movie vehicle carrying them, legitimately pays tribute to the integration of form, content, and intent. These two songs say more about the stars singing them than Burlesque, a frivolous stab at camp, ever attempts. That the category pits diva against divette is just the cherry on top.

Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Short Film (Animated)

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Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Short Film (Animated)
Oscar 2011 Winner Predictions: Short Film (Animated)

Even though some were pegging Logorama as a possible upset over A Matter of Loaf and Death in this category prior to last year’s Oscar ceremony, I didn’t think the former’s crude hipster snark would resonate with voters as significantly as the humanist warmth of Nick Park’s most recent Wallace and Gromit adventure. That it did in the end may bode well for Let’s Pollute, a six-minute snarkfest about pollution so oversaturated with sarcasm it made me want to mix my cardboards and plastics out of sheer frustration, but will the young’ns who helped push Logorama to a win last year find real innovation to the ingratiating film’s surface-deep regurgitation of the style of ’50s educational films? Hopefully voters will embrace a film that doesn’t feel as if was made in order to be excerpted by Michael Moore.

Oscar 2011 Nomination Predictions: Picture

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Oscar 2011 Nomination Predictions: Picture
Oscar 2011 Nomination Predictions: Picture

Even though AMPAS’s decision last year to widen the Best Picture field to 10 nominees was an obvious publicity stunt, a means of boosting the Oscar telecast’s ratings share by ensuring that more than one box office cash cow would compete for Oscar’s top prize, we were optimistic that a few legitimately off-the-beaten-path treasures would somehow manage to enter the race. But we know how that turned out, and though we doubt things will pan out differently in this more middlebrow-embracing year, at least we’re going to be spared the endless chatter about how so-and-so film can’t win the Oscar because of its poor box office. And to give you just one example of how much money means to the corrupt Oscar race: By Tuesday morning, the bulk of the dozen or so films with a legitimate shot at a Best Picture nomination will have made in excess of $75 million each. To give you another: The only ones among those dozen or so films that anyone is even talking about possibly not making the cut (127 Hours, The Kids Are All Right, and Winter’s Bone) are the ones that will never make that much money even after you’ve added together their domestic and foreign box office and video receipts.