Every week on My Favorite Slice, a Movie Trivia Schmoedown competitor shares their favorite category on the wheel! This week’s guest is Chance “The Cobra” Ellison, Singles competitor and half of team KOrruption, alongside Mike Kalinowski.
There are a lot of slices that I favor in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, but rather than talk about a more “sophisticated” slice I’m gonna show my age a bit and talk about some cartoons. So yeah it’s no secret to anyone who knows me or anyone who saw my singles debut against the now Champ Ethan Erwin (Damn You Johnny Suede) that Pixar is my go-to category. Now most people will most likely associate my affinity for Pixar with my age, and in many respects they’d be right because the story of Pixar and me goes all the way back to when I was a teeny tiny little Cobra.
Now let me just say no matter how odd this sounds everything I’m about to tell you is 100% true. I developed faster than most kids my age. I started getting teeth at 3 months. At 6 months I could adequately talk and I was able to tell you what movie I wanted to watch. At 8 months I was walking and guess where I was always going? The shelf that had all the movies. And after only a few weeks of watching my mother I was able to work our VCR (which is why I often joke and say that I have been training to be a Schmoedown competitor all my life). Why am I telling you this? Because guess what two movies I was always asking for, grabbing from the shelf, and putting on the TV: the very first Pixar films ever released, Toy Story and A Bug’s Life.
Those two movies I would watch constantly on repeat, often one after another. There’s a story my mother likes to tell about how one night she woke up to find my TV on, got up to find me watching Toy Story, and after it ended saw me climb out of my crib take out the VHS, put it in the rewinder, put in A Bug’s Life and climb back into my crib. Yeah I wasn’t kidding when I said on repeat CONSTANTLY. It got to the point where my mom ended up having to buy several copies of each film because I kept wearing out the tapes.
Being as young as I am does undeniably strengthen my connection to the revolutionary animation studio, because I essentially got to grow up with Pixar. With the exception of Toy Story I have been around for the release of every single Pixar film, and I have seen every single one in theaters (many multiple times).
My appreciation for the films has also evolved as I have gotten older. When I was younger I think the reason I gravitated so much towards Pixar movies was because of the animation. I was a huge fan of Puppetry, I loved Sesame Street and all the Jim Henson produced shows and movies, and to me the computer animation style looked like puppets. But as I have gotten older I see why Pixar was a complete game changer. Yes the three-dimensional style of animation was completely revolutionary but more than that the scripts were always very strong. In the early days when Pixar was just making hit after hit, what made them stand out was that they were able to walk the fine line of telling a good story, with memorable characters, good humor, and great emotion that resonated with both adults and kids. This was something that at the time a lot of animation studios (Including parent company Disney) struggled with. There’s a reason the Best Animated Feature Oscar practically came with Pixar’s name already chiseled in, because no one could compete with them.
Yes they did have their “fall from grace” following the release of Cars 2 which proved the once laughable theory that yes Pixar could indeed fail. Which was subsequently followed by a string of less than stellar films, however even in this “dark period” of Pixar we’re apparently living in they’re still delivering films that harken back to the days where people were constantly singing their praises.
So yeah Pixar is something that has been ever present in my life. They’ve made me laugh. They’ve made me cry. They’ve made me think. They have taken me through the emotional gamut several times and I look forward to them taking me through it again in the future. I love Pixar and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Pixar question that I cannot answer.
Chance Ellison’s Top 10 Pixar Movies:
1. Toy Story (1995)
2. Toy Story 3 (2010)
3. Toy Story 2 (1999)
4. WALL-E (2008)
5. Finding Nemo (2003)
6. The Incredibles (2004)
7. Up (2009)
8. Inside Out (2015)
9. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
10. Ratatouille (2007)