Since its first feature film in 1995, Pixar Animation Studios has often been treated, rightly, as a powerful, influential, and forward-thinking animation company. However, many of its films are incredibly besotted with a nostalgic longing for the past, one that may not have truly existed outside of the mind’s eye. From the Toy Story trilogy to the first Cars film, many of Pixar’s films (the good and the bad) are about chasing what used to be instead of embracing the future. What’s more, Pixar’s influence has spread far beyond its technological prowess, as other animation studios such as Disney have more wholeheartedly embraced nostalgia for the past in recent years. In this book, published on the 20th anniversary of the original Toy Story’s release, Josh Spiegel examines some of the films from Pixar and Disney over the past 20 years that have embodied one of the most important lines of dialogue in Disney history, courtesy of theme-park narration: “Here, tomorrow is today. And yesterday is forever.”
“Josh Spiegel shines a light as bright as a Luxo Jr. lamp on the way Pixar plays our heartstrings. Affectionate, vivid, and insightful, Yesterday is Forever uses the Toy Story films as a lens into John Lasseter and Co.’s unique storytelling process. Even if you’ve seen these movies a thousand times, you’ll discover something new about how yearning for the past defined the future of animation.”
– Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly
“An affectionate look at what Pixar does, but also a clear-eyed work of scholarship and investigation. It may make Pixar fans see their favorite films differently—by making them even better.”
– Tasha Robinson, The Verge
Josh Spiegel is the Managing Editor for Movie Mezzanine, and co-hosts the Disney movie podcast Mousterpiece Cinema, which he created in June 2011, with Gabe Bucsko. He has been a member of the Online Film Critics Society since 2013. He was previously the chief film critic and film editor of Sound on Sight. He’s also a columnist for The Pixar Times and The Disney Times. He lives in Arizona with his wife, son, and far too many cats.