Lee Unkrich

Unkrich co-directed his first three movies with Pixar but he had full reins over Toy Story 3. I don’t know how to gauge the strengths of a director of animated movies, especially when there’s multiple directors. But Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece, so my official opinion is that this guy knows his stuff.

Monsters, Inc.: We learn that monsters scare children to supply the power to their city. We follow a couple of those monsters who struggle with the fact that kids these days just don’t scare as easily as they used to. Home run premise sputters at times with obvious plot points and obvious jokes but it’s charming all the way.

Grade: C+

Finding Nemo: A clownfish becomes separated from his father and they spend a good deal of time trying to find each other. Visually stunning and thoroughly endearing. Seems more geared towards children than other Pixar movies, but it’s definitely still geared for adults.

Grade: B

Toy Story 2: A significantly more engaging story than the first movie, this one focuses even more on the toys. Woody gets kidnapped by a toy collector who learns he’s worth quite a bit. Barbie’s introduction is way better than I would have thought it would be. Rex is absolutely hilarious.

Grade: A-

Toy Story 3: Easily my favorite final movie of a trilogy. An epic story focusing on Andy’s toys being dropped off for retirement at a daycare center and the horrors they find there. I think I had a smile plastered across my face the entire movie and I cried at least once. Funny, beautiful, touching. A perfect end to the series.

Grade: A



5 thoughts on “Lee Unkrich”

  1. Barbie’s introduction is way better than I would have thought it would be.

    Why? Pixar isn’t known for botching story elements.

    I’d switch Nemo and Monsters pretty quickly. I won’t argue that Monsters is perfect, though I love the Sulley/Boo relationship. Nemo, however, has a couple of hopelessly bad scenes, like the one with Crush. I wanted him to go away so damned fast. Still, Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres are awesome throughout, and a story of a father’s love is going to grab me whether I want it to or not.

    1. I just didn’t see how Barbie would make for an interesting character in general, no matter who was writing for her. This was also before I had seen most of PIxar’s movies, and I was underwhelmed by the first movie.

    2. I like Finding Nemo and all, but yeah, it gets put on repeat in the car for my daughter so I’ve seen Crush way more times than a man could possibly stand.

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