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Mr. Movie: More from Pixar, including my favorite

As promised, here are five more solid gold Pixar movies, personally guaranteed by Mr. Movie. 


The Incredibles (2004) takes superheroes to a whole new level. Each member of their, OK, incredible family has a fantastic talent. Father Bob has superhuman strength and endurance. Mother Helen can shapeshift her body. Daughter Violet can make herself invisible and also can generate force fields. Son Dash has superhuman speed. Baby Jack-Jack can do most anything. Forced into early retirement, they rebound and demonstrate the need for superheroes. 


Cars (2006) is about, of course, talking cars. Laugh out loud funny most of the time. The somewhat complicated plot involves a championship race, deliberate forcings of crashes and other outrageous behavior. But the real hero of his film is the wrecker Mater, hilariously voiced by Owen Wilson. The film premiered at Charlotte Motor Speedway and went on to gross millions. It has spawned several sequels which are not nearly as good. 

Ratatouille (2007) proves that Pixar can make anything charming, in this case, rats! Remy is a wannabe chef who secretly bails out a young trainee’s mistakes. When he is discovered, at first the plan is to kill him. But that all changes when he demonstrates that (1) he can talk and (2) he can really cook up a storm. Strangely, the colony of rats in hiding in their attic home over the restaurant are not creepy. Patton Oswalt voices Remy. Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Janean Garofolo and Brad Garrett are among the many voices chiming in. 

Can a robot be funny? Lovable? The hero of a movie? Why yes and Wall-E (2008) is all of the above. Left nearly alone in a post apocalyptic world, the hero is a robot designed to clean up the mess left by lazy, destructive humanity. He survives by pirating parts off other robots. He finds love (?) or something when he is discovered by Eve (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) and they both find a single living plant that may save the world. 

I have saved for last what for me is the very best of this bunch: Up (2009). Widower Carl, voiced by Ed Asner, refuses to leave his cliffside home and go to an assisted living facility. Instead, he uses all the helium balloons he has stored from his business and floats his house into the sky. Unknown to him, he has a reluctant stowaway: Russell, a dorky kid in a Scout uniform. They are floated to South America where they encounter a strange large flightless bird Russell names Kevin. They also meet a golden retriever (Dug) who wears a magic collar that translates his thoughts into English. And like your dog, he is completely sidetracked by squirrels. Many adventures follow. The high point is Carl’s recollection of his marriage and early time with his late wife Ellie. If you can watch this part of the film without tearing up, you are made of iron! 

All of these movies are available on DVD and are fine for everybody.