Ever since The Little Mermaid gave me permission to enjoy cartoon movies as an adult, I’ve been impressed by the sheer beauty of Disney animation. From the classics to (most) current films, they are simply gorgeous to watch. It was my husband who told me the history of the multiplane camera — invented by Walt Disney himself, and used to open nearly every Disney film since Snow White. It’s due to my exposure to so many Disney films that I study their opening scenes so carefully.
With the addition of Pixar to the Disney family, a new chapter in innovative storytelling is coming to life. And yet, even with modern technology, some of the old ways still carry just as much meaning and effect. Take the opening to the 2006 movie Cars: I went to this movie simply because I am the lone female in a pack of males. It was a given that everybody would want to see this movie. I am not a NASCAR fan in the slightest, but I knew I at least wouldn’t be bored. That said, the opening of Cars simply blew me away. We got to see another side of the racing scene, in visual perspectives that could never be achieved in reality. It captured the excitement of the racetrack and underlined the ever-present love affair we have with cars. It made my heart pound and gave me goosebumps. Yep, me. It was exciting and amazing to watch, set up the characters and the story effortlessly, and even dozens of DVD viewings later (like today), I simply have to stop and watch in amazement. And then I have to come over to my computer to share it with you.