Wiz Quiz 7: Films, canals and famous cities

Toy Story 3: Reaching out to the child in all of us? Photo courtesy - Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures
Why did a 3D CGI comedy-adventure film on the abandoned toys of a upper teenager become the highest grossing feature film in the US, and also worldwide, during 2010? What does it say about our common psyche when Toy Story 3, a variation on an already twice-tested theme, earned more than a billion dollars — making it one of the top five money earners of all time?

Psycho-analysts can debate that for years to come. Toy Story series must tug on some deep emotions in many of us, for the third film was not only highly popular, but also received near universal critical acclaim.

Writing in The New York Times, movie critic A. O. Scott noted: “This film—this whole three-part, 15-year epic—about the adventures of a bunch of silly plastic junk turns out also to be a long, melancholy meditation on loss, impermanence and that noble, stubborn, foolish thing called love.”

At the 83rd Oscar Awards ceremony last weekend, Toy Story 3 won two awards — for best animated feature and best original song — out of five nominations.

Wiz Quiz this week, appearing just two days after the Oscar Awards ceremony, started off with a few questions based on some films that received nominations for the best film of 2010 (officially called the Best Picture Award). At the time we compiled the quiz, the winners were not yet announced. But we probed the 10-movie nominations list deeper to see connections not immediately apparent.

We then roam the world of ancient and modern cultures, hopping from Hindu mythology to modern day Japanese cartoons. In between, we take a look at the Suez Canal that was recently in the news, and salute Ronald Reagan.

Wiz Quiz 7: Films, canals and famous cities

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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