Perhaps I am dead inside but I can’t scrub free the feeling that Coco hits all the right notes but still feels like the same old song. Pixar, the studio responsible for such masterpieces of modern animation as Wall-E, Toy Story, Up and Monsters Inc., appears more than ever to have sold out, peddling mediocre stories lathered in an admittedly marvelous coat of digital paint. We all knew this day was coming at some point, Disney’s acquisition of the once smallish, creatively independent studio renowned for delivering one stunner after another a warning sign of impending doom. I remember an age where I used to anticipate a new Pixar film just as much as a new Batman film. My how the times have changed. Pixar has quite simply become formulaic and Coco, while charming, loaded with delightful music and animated with the immaculate medium-pressing precision that Pixar is known for, just feels rote.
My god does putting this thing together every year take a little bit of my soul. The product of countless hours of hunting, refining, ordering, researching, writing all so you can look at the pretty pictures as your zooming from one title to the next. A labor of love this must be. This year, more than those before, making this list was exhausting (and exhaustive) because it required so much cutting down. The initial rundown included 92 films and you better believe I wasn’t about to write up more than 50. Read More