Song of the Day #4,469: ‘Collision of Worlds’ – Brad Paisley & Robbie Williams

My first quarantine movie challenge was to watch all of the films on the American Film Institute’s list of 25 essential musicals. I ranked those movies in a series of posts a month or so back.

For my next COVID-era cinematic trick, I have rewatched (or watched for the first time in a few cases) every Pixar movie in chronological order, ranking them as I went. I already had a Pixar ranking, so part of the fun of this exercise was seeing how these films moved up and down the list.

The movies don’t change, but we do, and sometimes we experience something differently years later based on any number of factors. As I offer up my list over the next three weeks, I will note how much each title shifted from my previous ranking.

In order to sap the fun out of what should be a delightful process of enjoying 22 animated movies, I applied some clinical criteria to my assessment. For each of these movies, I took into account these qualities: Ingenuity, Emotional Impact, Humor, Thematic Resonance, Animation/Visuals.

All of these elements are present, to varying degrees, in Pixar’s films, and it helped me to keep them in mind when weighing the movies against each other.

So from 22 to 1, here begins my personal ranking of the films of Pixar.

#22. The Good Dinosaur (2015)
(previously unseen)

The least Pixar film on this list is predictably the worst. This movie resembles any number of generic animated releases aimed squarely at children, lacking the sophistication that makes Pixar’s films appeal just as much to adults.

The Good Dinosaur went through a lot of turmoil during production, with producers switching directors, overhauling the cast and completely rewriting the story. It shows.

Apart from some gorgeous landscape animation, the film is completely forgettable. It has a rote story lacking any of Pixar’s wit and imagination — and worst of all, zero laughs.

#21. Cars 2 (2011)
(previously unseen)

Cars 2 is a weak movie, but it gets knocked down even further because of what it represents. After a run of nine films that had critics and audiences believing Pixar was incapable of failing, the studio face-planted with this one. It felt like a cash grab aimed at selling more Lightning McQueen and Mater merch, and it pushed Pixar firmly into sequel territory — five of the studio’s next 10 films would be follow-ups to previous releases.

The biggest failure of Cars 2 is its utter lack of awareness or respect for the charming first film. Doc Hudson’s death is given a 5-second passing mention, and Radiator Springs gets barely any screen time. Mater, a funny side character, proves unworthy of the starring role, and the over-the-top spy hijinks are completely out of character for the world the first film created.

Some clever action set pieces put this one slightly above The Good Dinosaur but clearly I didn’t miss much by skipping these two the first time around.

When the cold wind is a’calling
And the sky is clear and bright
Misty mountains sing and beckon
Lead me out into the light

I will ride, I will fly
Chase the wind and touch the sky I will fly
Chase the wind and touch the sky

(Na na na na
Na na na na
La na na na
Na na na)

(La na na na
La na na na
La na na na
Na na na)

Where dark roots hide secrets
And mountains are fierce and bold
Deep waters hold reflections
Of times lost long ago

I will hear their every story
Take hold of my own dream
Be as strong as the seas are stormy
And proud as an eagle’s scream

I will ride, I will fly
Chase the wind and touch the sky I will fly
Chase the wind and touch the sky

(Na na na na
Na na na na
La na na na
Na na na)

And touch the sky
Chase the wind
Chase the wind
Touch the sky

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,469: ‘Collision of Worlds’ – Brad Paisley & Robbie Williams

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Well, I’m sure this journey down the Pixar filmography will be of interest to my family, and may well create some passionate debate.

    I never saw The Good Dinosaur, and clearly that was a good one to miss, no such luck, though, with Cars 2. At the time we saw it, I was definitely the most critical amongst our family, though I think it has fallen in their opinion and ranking over time as well.

  2. Peg says:

    I will probably not have many comments as we haven’t seen most of these films. However I will certainly enjoy reading those comments of others 😊

  3. Maddie says:

    My Letterboxd addiction has spoiled me for your ultimate ranking a bit, but I’m still very much looking forward to hearing your rationale. You have no argument from me on these bottom two, though. Cars 2 is so especially disappointing to me for all the reasons you mentioned above AND because I believe it put a bad taste in people’s mouths for the first Cars movie… one of my favorites that Pixar has made.

  4. Amy says:

    First, I’m sorry I’m coming late to the party, but oh what a party it is. 😀

    Your description of your criteria sucking the joy out of this exercise made me laugh, but I can appreciate the desire to include some objective criteria.

    Is this the Cars film with the amazing ocean sequences? If so, that is really the only thing I recall about it, though I do recall being blown away by that animation. Otherwise, it’s hard to argue with your bottom 2.

  5. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Haven’t seen Good Dinosaur, I’m sure I’d enjoy it greatly but given what everybody’s said I would likely agree with your placement!

    As far as Cars 2, everyone knows it’s a universal disappointment.

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