Almost all of my favorite movies are rated “G.” And at the top of my faves list are Pixar films. Quality story lines, beautiful artwork, strong characters – they’re the whole package.
Since our kids were born right around the time Pixar came on the scene, their childhoods were surrounded by the Toy Story movies, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up. We owned all of them (as well as several of the soundtrack CDs) and watched them frequently. Our conversations are still punctuated by references – this morning as I sat down to a cup of Darjeeling, I couldn’t help but shout out, “I’m Mrs. Nesbitt!” The Husband was still asleep, but happily there’s still one kid in the house to appreciate my humor.
I think what I find most endearing about Pixar movies is that they so often punch me in the gut with their exactly-on-target emotions. Our kids were still tiny when Nemo was released, but from my very first viewing, there was one scene that knocked the wind clean out of me. As the whale swallows Dory and Marlin, Dory says, “It’s time to let go! It’ll be okay!” Wow, still makes me cry just thinking about. I knew then and I know now that it’s true – that there is a time to let go and that it will be okay – but every ounce of Marlin’s sorrow over letting go of Nemo has been in my heart, too.
And then there’s the end of Toy Story 3. I have to admit to uncontrolled sobbing here, the first time we saw it in the theater. It’s a brilliantly written scene in which Andy says goodbye to his toys, to his childhood. He’s ready to move on, but knows he’ll miss the old times. Exactly where my kids are now.
Thanks, Pixar – for the memories, and for portraying so eloquently many of life’s most important moments.