Steve Jobs Meets Sophocles

In a previous post (JoePa Meets Nero), I considered the tendency of people to damn the entirety of man’s life’s work because of the evil he committed or allowed. I began wondering, though, if this river ever flows the other way.  Are there people who have made such vast positive contributions that their negative actions are disregarded or ignored?  I found 2 such examples separated by almost 2500 years with surprisingly similar stories: Steve Jobs and Sophocles.  Both were universally acknowledged as geniuses in their own day.  Both were evidently quite lousy people and cruel to those closest to them.  In both cases, people overlooked the latter because of the former. Continue reading

Pixar’s Subtle Bravery

I recently took my daughters to see Brave, the new movie from Pixar and Disney, and I found it thought provoking. Brave introduces Merida, a feisty Scottish princess with a bad habit of laying her weapons on the dinner table. Like most Disney princesses, Merida feels stifled by her current situation and attempts to makes some changes. Things don’t go according to plan, but it all works out in the end. The movie is beautifully animated, and the voice acting, especially Emma Thompson’s, is excellent. On the whole, Brave is Pixar at its best, but it might have one flaw. It might be too subtle.

As usual Pixar breaks new ground with this film. However, audiences and critics are not noticing its freshness because this genre is so familiar and the film is so subtle. Brave asks its audience to think about values and society, just as Pixar’s Wall-E and The Incredibles did. However, Brave whispers when other Pixar films have been more outspoken. Continue reading