Walk into the adult-friendly playground that is the Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, and the first thing that strikes you is the lavish decorations – a life-size replica of Ken’s decadent dollhouse from Toy Story 3, complete with a working elevator, rising from the lobby’s handsome, light-blond hardwood floor as if in tribute to the movie and its detail-obsessed creators.
The final days of December are not just an excuse to eat, drink and be merry, but also to organize our most beloved cultural offerings into a series of lists. Who am I to buck the trend? With 2009 winding to a close, the time is right to reflect on the past decade and the movies that made it great. Among those honored: Michel Gondry, the French-born auteur whose Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep proved two of the most poignant romances in recent memory, and Jake Gyllenhaal, the quietly effective star of Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain and Zodiac.
Pete Docter is no stranger to success.
A 19-year veteran of Pixar’s Emeryville-based animation studio, Docter, 40, is, like so many of his similarly tenured peers, a creative force whose contributions to the company’s cinematic canon have been as indispensable as they have been varied. As an animator, he helped craft the innovative look of the studio’s first two films, Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. He co-authored Toy Story and its critically adored sequel and, more recently, helped develop the scripts for Monsters, Inc. (which he also directed) and last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature, WALL*E.
What do you hope audience members will take from Wall-E?
Andrew Stanton: I hope they are just as entertained as with other Pixar movie experiences but in a fresh, new way.