Film and TV

See Four Free Pixar Movies That Aren't Cars in the Pix on the Plaza Series

Coco is one of four Pixar movies that will be screened at the new Texas Lottery Plaza as part of the Alamo Drafthouse and Toyota Music Factory's Pix on the Plaza series.
Coco is one of four Pixar movies that will be screened at the new Texas Lottery Plaza as part of the Alamo Drafthouse and Toyota Music Factory's Pix on the Plaza series. courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
Your kids have been cooped up in the house all summer. Why would they go outside? They've got their Xboxes and Nintendo Switches and VR headsets that can simulate, down to the nearest pixel, what it's like to be outdoors. The only ironclad excuse they have to leave the house until school starts is if the house is on fire.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and the Toyota Music Factory have a solution. The Toyota Music Factory's outdoor Texas Lottery Plaza will host free screenings of four classic Pixar movies with its Pix on the Plaza series on the last two Sundays in July and the first two Sundays in August.

The Plaza will open at 6:30 p.m. before each screening, which will start just after sunset. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and folding chairs. Parking in the Toyota Music Factory garage is free, too.

The series starts July 22 with Coco, the most recent Pixar movie to be released in theaters, which won Academy Awards this year for best animated feature and best original song. Coco tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a guitar player although his family has banned music for generations. He seeks to understand why his ancestors enacted their eternal "turn down that racket" rule by traveling to the Land of the Dead with scenery and characters inspired by Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration. The film features the voices of Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt and Edward James Olmos.

Finding Nemo
On July 29, the Texas Lottery Plaza will screen Pixar's 2003 undersea adventure film Finding Nemo, starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres and Willem Dafoe. Brooks plays a clownfish named Marlin whose only son, Nemo, is captured by a diver in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The diver takes Nemo to his office aquarium, where he meets the Tank Gang led by a Moorish idol fish named Gill (Dafoe). Marlin sets off to find his son and runs into a blue tang with a short-term memory problem named Dory (DeGeneres), who becomes the key to locating his missing son. Finding Nemo received four nominations at the 2004 Academy Awards and won the Oscar for best animated feature.

Toy Story 3
The Pix at the Plaza series continues Aug. 5 with Toy Story 3, the 2010 adventure comedy that could make Navy SEALS cry. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their respective roles as Andy's beloved toys Woody and Buzz Lightyear. This time, Andy is about to head off to college, ,and the toys are preparing for retirement in the attic. When they believe that Andy intends to throw them in the garage, they leave Andy's house and move into a day care center to serve as toys for rambunctious toddlers thanks to a scheming teddy bear called Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty). Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing movie of 2010 and won Academy Awards for best animated feature and best original song ("We Belong Together," written and sung by Randy Newman).

The series will end Aug. 12 with the Pixar film with the saddest starting scenes, aka 2009's Up, starring the Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer. Asner plays retired balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally goes on the journey that he always dreamed of by tying thousands of balloons to the roof of his house and setting sail toward the cliffs of Paradise Falls. A precocious young scout named Russell becomes a stowaway when he steps on the porch just as Carl's house takes flight. Plummer plays ruthless explorer Charles F. Muntz, who will stop at nothing to catch the rare bird that Carl and Russell encounter just as their house touches down on the cliff. Up received five Academy Award nominations, including a nod for best picture, making it the second animated film in history to earn such an honor. It won Oscars for best animated feature and best original score.  
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.