SHAFFER: Pixar movies to watch over Winter break

Pixar+offers+many+classic%2C+fun+movies+to+watch+with+family+and+friends.+Photo+via+Flickr

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Pixar offers many classic, fun movies to watch with family and friends. Photo via Flickr

Everyone likes Pixar movies. It’s that simple. In fact, not liking any Pixar movies might very well be a war crime. I am foaming at the mouth just pondering all of the options right now. While many Pixar films have become mainstream, I am going to try to cover some that I think should be talked about more in terms of how they stack up next to some of the all-time family staples such as “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo,” even though most films in the movie juggernaut’s arsenal are very well known. Here are some of my favorite Pixar films that students should hunker down and watch with their loved ones during the long break.

Coco (2017)

“The Godfather,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Coco.” Which one doesn’t belong? Either of the first two; take your pick! I am going to be completely honest right now and possibly controversial, but “Coco” might just be my favorite Pixar movie of all time. How could you not like Miguel, the protagonist, in this story? He’s a fan favorite! In all seriousness, I learned about Day of the Dead, a Hispanic holiday which the plot of “Coco” is centered around, every year growing up because I took Spanish in school, but I never really appreciated the significance of the holiday until I saw this movie, which could be best described as a holiday dedicated to celebrating the lives of deceased loved ones and carrying on their memories.

It gave me such a good idea of how important and cool it is. This movie also had fantastic music with hits like “Un Poco Loco” and “Remember Me,” which was an absolute tear jerker in the film. I rose from my bed somewhere north of 15 times during the film just to dance along with some of the electric tunes. The music just took over! Mind you, the first time I watched this I was alone in my bed and it had to be the late hours of the night. I don’t regret it one bit, though. The colors, the culture and the cowardice of Ernesto de la Cruz, the antagonist, are what I remember most about the film. It is a 10/10 movie and I urge you to watch it if you haven’t seen it: The long winter break is a perfect time to watch this masterpiece. Buckle up for a pool of tears at the end!

Up (2009)

The beginning of this movie is both the happiest and saddest experience of my movie watching career. It might also be the most emotionally destroyed I’ve ever been. The main character, Carl Fredricksen, starts off as a young boy and finds his true love, Ellie. Within the following four minutes we see them live their entire lives together filled with dancing, picnics and joy, and also ties in a devastating sad element. It was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions. I love this movie for many reasons. I love the joy on Carl’s face when he and Russell, the Boy Scout who got stuck on his flying house, finally make it to Paradise Falls, a waterfall in South America that Carl and Ellie had dreamed about going to their entire lives. I love Dug, the talking dog. Among many other things, I love Kevin, the unorthodox bird they find in South America, and his chocolate-loving tendencies. When it comes to movies, this one is necessary to settle down and watch with your family during the break.

Inside Out (2015)

I actually just watched this one for the first time the other night, so I would be remiss if I didn’t include it. It’s fresh in the memory! Anyway, Inside Out is a real tear jerker if I am being frank. When Riley, the main character, moved away from the life she loved in Minnesota and cried on her first day of school in San Francisco. I was hiding my tears from my roommate as I watched this scene in bed. Seriously, though, I think the movie gave an interesting perspective on the emotions that people go through on a daily basis, and it also painted a great picture of the severity of mental health issues, as well as the importance of maintaining a good mental state. Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear are the emotions in the film and they are inside of Riley’s head, working together to react to daily events and processing them as memories.

The different emotions portrayed inside Riley’s head gave me an interesting view on how they work together in weird ways, one being the importance of showing sadness so it can lead to happiness. Hot take: Joy is a coward. Worst emotion in the movie. Overall, great film and great meaning.

Honorable Mentions: every Pixar movie other than “Coco,” “Up” and “Inside Out.”

There are so many Pixar films to pick from but these are the essentials to watch over the long break.

This story was written by Tommy Shaffer. He can be reached at d.shaffer@marquette.edu.