Pixar Ignites


The ‘Pixar: 20 Years of Animation’ exhibit in Taipei is wrapping up this week. Personally, I can’t believe Pixar has already been around so long–it’s already 15 years since the company entered the mainstream cinematic consciousness with Toy Story. This year I also got the chance to enjoy the studio’s Up at an unlikely venue ahead of its full Japan release–a small theatre on the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan. 
So I was interested to find out that one of The Diplomat’s contacts in Taiwan, Global Voices Lingua Director Leonard Chien, recently attended the Pixar exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum
When I asked Leonard about it, it was clear that not only had he enjoyed the show overall, but that it had also gotten him thinking about the cultural impact the company has had on Taiwanese society. 
He described Pixar as ‘such an important company to my generation here in Taiwan,’ and felt this was reflected in the large crowds he observed, even on the Wednesday he attended. He noted that Taiwanese in their 20s and 30s have experienced a range of animated films, including from Disney to Pixar, and he recalled that as a child, he and his peers were all-too-familiar with the music from Disney hits such as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.even without understanding their English lyrics. 
Leonard told me this didn’t matter as much as the engaging imagery and strong melodies they saw, and he summed it up nicely, saying: ‘Animations embody and define many people’s imaginations.’ He added that Toy Story and Pixar ‘overturned’ the animation scene by bringing in an entirely new concept to Taiwan. Thus, for Leonard– and I’m sure many others–the Pixar exhibition was like a flashback of the past ten years. 
And he also told me that while Japanese animation is also just as popular in Taiwan, he can’t recall these films nearly as vividly as their Disney and Pixar counterparts.

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