I don’t think I have to tell you about the many delights to be had from seeing a Pixar movie in the theater. I have seen all of them to this point and I like them all, even that one about the NASCAR cars with Larry the Cable Guy, which makes me hate myself more and more each day. But it’s well chronicled just what makes the flicks so good – strong character development, superb writing, fantastic animation, genuine emotion, intelligent casting, terrific plots, etc., etc. But the one thing that I enjoy most about seeing the latest Pixar movie in theaters that doesn’t get mentioned all that often is the trailers shown before the movie. What makes the trailers shown before a Pixar movie particularly sweet is that they’re almost all for animated films, being that studios rightfully conclude that if you’re at the theater with your pack of booger eaters waiting to watch a Disney cartoon, chances are good you might be interested to see what other animated flicks will be coming down the pike in the near future. And without exception, without fail, each and every year they all ably demonstrate why Pixar seems to be the only animated film studio that has any idea what they’re doing working today.
That being said, here’s the best of the worst of the trailers shown before Wall-E, and why they made Wall-E that much better by being that much worse in comparison.
Whatever you do, don’t be fooled. Yes, you may have chuckled a couple times at the trailer for Bolt, and you may have even thought to yourself that it might be worth checking out. Don’t fall for it. Show up on opening night and the next thing you know, it’s Chicken Little all over again. Do you want to watch Chicken Little again? Seriously, do you? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
4. BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA
First of all, don’t give me any crap about this movie not being animated. Those dogs are talking. Dogs can’t do that in real life, so this counts as animation. Anyway, here’s how I conceptualize the initial pitch meeting for Beverly Hills Chihuahua:
WRITER: Hey, I had a funny idea for a movie.
HOLLYWOOD TYCOON: Let’s hear it.
WRITER: You know those kinds of little dogs that Paris Hilton carried around in her purse three years ago? Aren’t those dogs just, like, hilarious and stuff? I want to make an entire movie about those dogs, and get this: They aren’t just regular little barking dogs. No, these dogs can talk!
HOLLYWOOD TYCOON: Hmm, I like it. Do you think you could have the little dogs say a bunch of labored chihuahua puns and spout out a few dated cultural references, and maybe have them do a little rap number that we can put in the trailer?
WRITER: Sure thing! I’ll even get someone Mexican to do the dog’s voice, like Carlos Mencia or George Lopez or someone else with no scruples.
HOLLYWOOD TYCOON: Great! Here’s ten million dollars. Get to work.
The rest of the conversation is then drowned out by the sounds of gunfire. Lots and lots of gunfire. I love when my dreams have happy endings.
3. SPACE CHIMPS
It makes no logical sense that a movie entirely about monkeys being strapped into rockets and shot towards the moon should suck as hard as this movie appears to. But yet, video proof.
On a side note, is there any animated project that Puddy from Seinfeld will say no to? I’m just wondering, because I’ve been working on a little something in my basement on Mario Paint for the last eight years, and I’m thinking he probably works for cheap. Seems like he has to.
2. MADAGASCAR 2
You know that one part of Madagascar which is the only part you can even vaguely remember about that movie, where all them fuzzy little lemur things were singing that one dance song from the late 90s and it was kind of cute and almost bordering on funny? Well, guess what? That’s all the trailer for the sequel is about, which is Dreamworks’ promise to you that if you show up to see Madagascar 2, you will hear that song for 90 minutes straight. Nothing but fuzzy little animals screaming “I like to move it, move it!” at you over and over and over again for a straight hour and a half. And then you will leave the theater and walk directly into traffic.
For a blog about children’s cartoons, this is an awfully violent post.
1. FLY ME TO THE MOON
This movie might just be the perfect storm of suckyness; a movie that looks so genuinely awful that you’d almost think that it’d be good. Instead, I suggest that this movie looks so awful that watching it will, in fact, be on a level of pain previously thought unimaginable. Let’s just count down everything that’s wrong about this film. The animation looks like it was done by a graphic arts major for a class project. The main characters appear to have had their characters plagiarized verbatim from Alvin and the Chipmunks. The title is a pun. A bad pun. The only selling point is that it’s the first animated movie made in 3D, as if that’s some sort of guarantee of quality. They tried to make maggots appear to be cute. And most damning of all, IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT FLIES GOING TO THE MOON. FLIES. TO THE MOON. IN 3D. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO WATCH THAT?
So that’s it. After watching all those trailers which make you question your very existence, you then get to sit throught Wall-E and feel good about yourself again, up until you walk out of the theater and come to the realization that those are the films you’ll be left with watching until Up comes out next year. When that thought enters your head, please, don’t do anything rash. Keep in mind that the world probably needs you for something.