Director Who (Brad Bird)

Director Who
Brad Bird
He is a golden boy of primarily Disney/Pixar animation and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Everything the man has touched as a director has been excellent. I won’t say that he is a trendsetter among Hollywood directors, but he is certainly a master of the craft in this modern era.

He directed two episodes of The Simpsons in 1990-1991 season. Krusty Gets Busted, and Like Father, Like Clown. I grew up loving “The Simpsons”. He was there during the shows finest hours. (Even if the show has lost some of its shine, still better than most out there.)

1999- The Iron Giant
Genre: Animated, Action, Adventure
Starring voices of: Vin Diesel, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, and John Mahoney (Martin Crane from Frasier)
IMDB rating 8.0 of 112.500+ ratings and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes

Underappreciated animated movie from the later 1990’s. When Disney ruled the decade, this film tried to shine. Bird gets good voice work from his actors. The characters are interesting, movie has some good humor, but doesn’t lean too much upon it. A truly awesome film that more people should watch or re-watch.
2004- The Incredibles
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Voice Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee
IMDB 8.0 of 406.500+ ratings and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes

This movie is so incredible; it stands among my favorite animated films ever made. A big step above the majority of American made animation. Yes, it is a superhero movie, but it came out years before the movie industry went crazy with hero movies. The characters have many layers that make them lifelike. The animation is next level quality for its time. The development of these characters and how they interact with one another is interesting and complex. Great humor, great action, a wonderful cast of voice actors.

2007- Ratatouille
Genre: Animated, Comedy, Family
Starring the Voices of: Brad Garrett, Patton Oswalt, Peter O’Toole, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett,
IMDB 8.0 of 402,600+ ratings 96% on Rotten Tomatoes
It took me a while to warm to this film. Perhaps it is because it was rats in a Paris kitchen. It’s an unsettling if not realistic idea come to life. Now allow this vermin to cook for one of the premiere restaurants in the land. I don’t find these rats cute or all that engaging. However, upon the second viewing of this film, my thoughts changed. I laugh a bit more, the characters are enjoyable. Still can’t quite connect with them. I like the film, but I don’t love it. One thing I can’t deny that it is among the better animated films I’ve seen in my lifetime. Interesting characters mixed with good dramatic moments and light hearted humor. A quality film in what is becoming commonplace for Brad Bird.

2011- Mission Impossible 2: Ghost Protocol
Genre:Action,Adventure, Mystery
Starring:Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner
IMDB:7.4 of 300,000+ ratings 93% on Rotten Tomatoes
Again, I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan and I’ve grown weary of the Mission Impossible movie franchise. All that said, I do consider this film among the best Mission Impossible movies ever made. The mix of action and humor in this one is probably the best in the entire series of films. I give credit to the writers and actor Simon Pegg for that one.

2015- Tomorrowland
Starring: George Clooney, Judy Greer,
IMDB 93% Rotten Tomatoes
I am still highly suspect of movies based on Disney rides. However, Pirates of the Caribbean proved 2.5 of 4 times that the idea can work. This film is getting mixed reviews, but I give Disney credit for trying to make an orginal film. Not a reboot, remake, sequel, prequel, spin-off, or anything else. Early complaints seem to focus on the last half hour of the film falling apart into chaos and becoming preachy.

IMDB 7.3 of 1,739
Rotten Tomatoes 55% and 5.9/10
Future Projects

1906 About a young man discovering secrets connected to the aftermath of the great San Francisco fire of 1906.

The Incredibles 2 (201?)
I generally frown upon sequels, but I also acknowledge that they can be excellent continuations. However, it’s been over a decade since the original came out. Toy Story 3 used that to its advantage? Will Brad Bird and company be able to do the same thing? I hope so.

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