Most discussions of the Pixar filmmaking process involve words like cutting edge and modern computer technology. But at the heart of their films, the experts say, are old-fashioned storytelling values.
"They remind me so much of the Disney productions of the '30s and '40s," says Don Peri, author of "Working With Walt: Interviews With Disney Artists." "There's a lot of emphasis on warmth and personality. And you see good triumphing over evil in a more traditional way. There's a little more sincerity to their characters and films, than say a 'Shrek.'"
But the Pixar artists have also rebelled against some of the familiar Disney tendencies that once set the tone for animated features. Thus far, they've avoided fairy tales and musicals. And their lead characters tend to possess adult personas rather than the childlike ones who head up many Disney classics.
"It's almost like the kids are subsidiary characters," Beck says. "And that's different from a lot of Disney films where you have characters like the Little Mermaid, Dumbo, Bambi, the kids in Peter Pan and Simba in 'The Lion King' — classic innocents discovering the harsh realities of the world."
I think that this is the very reason that both the traditional Disney animation and Pixar almost compliment each other, because they approach their movies from different perspective but still have the storyline as the main driver. Getting Pixar to be a part of Disney while still maintaining Pixar's identity was a stroke of brilliance by Bob Iger.