Song of the Day #4,470: ‘Touch the Sky’ – Julie Fowlis

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#20. Brave (2012)
(down one spot from previous ranking)

As a follow-up to the disappointing Cars 2, Brave wasn’t exactly a sign that Pixar had righted the ship.

It took 13 films for the studio to finally feature a female protagonist, but the result feels more in line with Disney’s traditional princess lineup than Pixar’s work.

A thin plot and an overreliance on slapstick humor take away from an otherwise touching story about a mother-daughter relationship.

#19. WALL-E (2008)
(down two spots from previous ranking)

Here’s a case where my opinion differs widely from the critical consensus, though I suspect it might be more in line with that of “regular” fans.

WALL-E has a brilliant opening act, no doubt. The dialogue-free sequence of a lonely robot organizing a post-apocalyptic Earth into skyscrapers of trash, while finding beauty in discarded human artifacts both meaningful and mundane, is some of Pixar’s best work.

But once WALL-E leaves Earth for the floating spaceship, where blobby humans waste away plugged into TV screens, the movie loses me. The messaging is too obvious, the plot devolves into a series of manic chase scenes, and the human characters barely register.

This would have been better as a short film.

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

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,470: ‘Touch the Sky’ – Julie Fowlis

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Can’t really quibble too much with your ranking of either of these movies. They are both lower tier Pixar films IMO.

  2. Maddie says:

    I love this song. Also, as you already know, I think both of these movies are solidly mid tier Pixar. So I guess I’ll be at odds with you and my father here! Brave pulls at my mother/daughter heart strings though, so maybe that gives it an extra edge. I agree with you on the WALL-E reasoning. I think Up suffers from a similar drop off.

  3. Amy says:

    I need to see Brave again, for sure, as I don’t recall it nearly as well as the many Pixar films I’ve seen dozens of time. Still, as Maddie said, I, too, found the mother/daughter relationship extremely touching so might have this one a bit higher (certainly than my memory of A Bug’s Life, for instance). Absolutely agree that Wall-E would have been a great short.

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    Need to see Brave again, there were definitely many moments I loved though. It was one that I revisited in my youth. Until rewatching I can’t take any real issue with anything you’ve said or your ranking.

    As far as Wall-E, I agree 100%.

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