The grievous error made in Pixar’s “Turning Red”

(The following is tongue-in-cheek.)

So, I saw Turning Red a few days ago. A good film. Probably not the top tier of Pixar, but it’s up there.

However, there is a horrible and grievous error made by the filmmakers. One that is inexcusable to someone who writes a baseball blog:

A major plot point is that there is a gigantic boy band concert scheduled at the Skydome for the night of May 25, 2002. We’re talking an all-out production with giant posters of the band members, special spotlights flashing the band logo in the sky, and the appropriate level of pyrotechnics and stage set-up for a big concert.

However, there is a major issue: The Blue Jays had a game there that day. So, Pixar is asking us to believe that the Blue Jays lost to Cleveland 3-0 in just over two-and-a-half hours, and then they put up all of the boy band stuff, from the giant posters to the elaborate stagecraft and presumably countless other logistical things?

Yeah, right. I can believe a teenage Chinese-Canadian girl can turn into a red panda as a metaphor for entering puberty, but this? This goes too far. This breaks the suspension of disbelief.

And it can’t be considered just some oversight. This is Pixar. They go insanely into detail in their research for their movies. The Incredibles referenced the quantum mechanical concept of zero-point energy to explain one of the villain’s devices. They consult psychologists for films regularly. One of the filmmakers of Finding Nemo outright admits in the audio commentary that they briefly included a lobster that isn’t native to Australia in the film simply so that someone could use a Boston accent, but that they made sure every other species featured was authentic.

They’ve done all of that in the past, but nobody working on Domee Shi’s (literal) period piece couldn’t check to see what the Blue Jays schedule that year was? I mean, they get so much

For shame, Pixar. For shame.

(I actually believe the real reason for this is that in the movie another important plot point requires there to be a red moon, which only occurs naturally during times of lunar eclipse. The only lunar eclipses in the Northern Hemisphere in 2002 were in late May and late November, and the weather in Toronto in November would likely have required the Skydome roof to be closed for the climax of the film, which would have ruined some of the visuals of the film’s final act. Setting the film in a different year would have likely required other changes that may have ruined Domee Shi’s use of the film as a metaphor for her own childhood in Toronto, so they went with what they went with. It should also be noted that the May eclipse wasn’t visible in Toronto, so they similarly fudged that a bit for dramatic purposes as well. I’d love to hear if I’m right about this so on the long-shot chance that you work for Pixar, let me know.)


Because Nobody Asked For It: Baseball Stuff From My Disney Vacation

When most people are at Walt Disney World, they take pictures of castles, characters, rides and palm trees. And I did do that. But, as a person with a new camera and a burning urge to use it and a baseball blog in the dead of winter, I also took pictures of basically every single thing baseball-related I saw while at Disney World in the week before Christmas.

Under the jump, you can see those things:

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Bizarre Baseball Culture: Goofy shows us “How To Play Baseball”

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

Last time on Bizarre Baseball Culture, we took a look at Pinky and the Brain‘s baseball episode. This time, we are looking at the classic Disney short, How To Play Baseball, starring Goofy. It’s available on Disney’s website.

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 4.31.36 PMYes, How to Play Baseball, first released in 1942 to time with the release of Pride of the Yankees, it is one of the classics of the Disney canon, the first of a series of Goofy cartoons in which he tried to play or learn a sport, skill or occupation. While most of the information given in it is more-or-less true, the visuals are exaggerated and done for comedic effect. And, rest assured, this cartoon is hilarious, standing alongside Baseball Bugs as an example of anthropomorphic cartoon animals playing our national game.


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(Off-Topic) Some suggestions for Disney about LucasFilm

Amazingly, the Walt Disney Company has bought LucasFilm, George Lucas’ long privately-held company. In short, this means that Disney now owns Star Wars (they’ve already said we can expect Episode VII in 2015) and Indiana Jones. As we are in a down time of baseball, here’s some suggestions I have for Disney on how they can use their new toy:

A) Respect the Fans

Star Wars fans are infamously creative and rabid. They make fan-films, write fan fiction and make costumes and props based on the series. And George Lucas and LucasFilm has generally always been supportive of this, in fact, they’ve held contests over them!

Disney, however, has been notoriously protective of it’s intellectual property, which now includes Star Wars. In fact, they’ve in the past been the driving force for increasing the length of copyright– usually lobbying for the longer copyright limits whenever Mickey Mouse is about to enter the public domain. And they, in the past, have been willing to go to court to protect their characters, even if it’s something innocent like cartoon characters decorating a daycare mural.

This, needless to say, would not be a good way to handle LucasFilm and it’s properties. In fact, if they were to try and mess with the status quo that Star Wars fans have been operating with for decades, they would be shooting themselves in the foot.

B) Make sure these new movies are in good hands

Episode VII, VIII and IX will probably be the most scrutinized movies ever made. The prequels were, of course, also scrutinized extremely heavily, and as a result all three of them, with the possible exception of Revenge of the Sith, were at best considered somewhat entertaining and at worst (in the case of Episode I) just plain bad. And these were movies that George Lucas was heavily involved with, fleshing out the little jottings of backstory he had had for decades.

So now, presumably, Episode VII will be done without Lucas involved in anything beyond an advisory role (perhaps in helping them flesh out whatever little jottings he had about the future of Star Wars in the same way that the prequels were the fleshing out of the little jottings he had about the history of the Star Wars universe). They need somebody good and focused to do it, somebody who has experience dealing with big universes and devoted fan bases. The first name that comes to mind is J.J. Abrams, however, he’s probably taken. The same probably goes for Joss Whedon (although maybe he could be involved in some sort of other capacity, or coordinate a TV series, or something). So perhaps it could be either Brad Bird or Jon Favreau, both of whom are already getting some talk on Twitter about possibilities.

C) Have Indiana Jones and Captain America team up to fight Nazis

Disney owns Marvel, famed home of noted Nazi-fighter Captain America. Disney now owns LucasFilm, home of noted Nazi-fighter Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.

If they do not have a comic book or video game or something made that features them teaming up to stop a fiendish Nazi plot, I am going to be disappointed.

D) Make a whole Star Wars amusement park

Disney already has a Star Wars ride in some of their park, as well as Indiana Jones rides. Go bigger. Make a whole amusement park down in Florida that is focused entirely upon George Lucas’ grand creation. Let us dogfight in X-Wing simulators, let us eat lunch at the Mos Eisley Cantina, race landspeeders and have lightsaber fights with family members we are annoyed at.

Do it.

E) Give Yoda a part in the next Muppets movie

Because, c’mon.

Tomorrow: I return to baseball as I give out the Baseball Continuum awards, which are like real awards, only they are decided only by me and have no prestige whatsoever.