Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…
#10. Finding Nemo (2003)
(down two spots from previous ranking)
We’ve now reached the top ten, and every one of the films to come is excellent — a 4 1/2- or 5-star entry on Letterboxd.
Finding Nemo marked a huge advance in Pixar’s animation, with the undersea world rendered so beautifully it’s almost distracting.
Brad Paisley’s second contribution to the Cars soundtrack was ‘Find Yourself,’ a ballad that played over the film’s end credits.
This is another song I really loved from that album despite having no idea who performed it. It’s such an achingly pretty song, and it works as both a specific comment on the movie’s plot and as a philosophy that applies to all of our lives.
Country music lyrics are often bashed as too corny or too on-the-nose, but I think the best of them are profound in their simple wisdom. And the puns and double meanings that typify the art form are often worthy of a clever wordsmith like Elvis Costello.
It turns out that before I “discovered” Brad Paisley in 2009, I had already heard and loved two of his songs.
The soundtrack to Pixar’s 2006 film Cars was their first to include songs from a multitude of artists. Randy Newman wrote the score and contributed his standard tear-jerking show-stopper but the film also featured tunes by Sheryl Crow, Chuck Berry, Rascal Flatts and John Mayer.
And two songs by some country singer whose name I never bothered to look up.
Cars 2 is currently in theaters and receiving the first ever negative reviews for a Pixar film. It sits in the low 30s on Rotten Tomatoes, bucking the trend of Pixar films that flirt with 100% positive reviews.
I’ll get around to seeing it and finding out for myself if the bad reviews are warranted (I’m guessing they are, based on the uninspiring trailers).
But one thing that bothers me about the reviews I’ve read is the frequent dismissal of the first Cars as Pixar’s worst film prior to this one.