The inhabitants of planet Pixar predict the bleak direction of Earth's movie industry and send a team led by Jon-La Seter to save Cinema.
"I thought it was a weak film, frankly," Ton-Kar Elss said, as he and his friend Ed-Kon Dak left the movie chamber. "The characters were tetradimensional at best, there were only twenty subplots under a single overarching plot that wasn't all that original to begin with, and the performances... meh."
"Yes," Dak nodded. "It's always a bad sign when a movie chooses the meaning of life and the interconnectivity of the universe as its main themes. Always results in mindless, escapist entertainment."
"Precisely," Elss said, but went abruptly silent upon reading some news in the screen of his comm device. "Wow!"
"They've discovered a planet like ours!"
"So? They discover planets similar to ours all the time, but we've yet to colonize one of --"
"No, no! A planet with inhabitants called 'humans'! And their own movie industry!"
Dak was stunned. "You can't be serious."
"I am! Look!"
Dak examined the screen, which had a picture of a mostly blue planet. "It's quite nice."
"And look," Elss said. "Our people managed to make one of their movies available for us to download."
"What's it called?"
"There's no translation to our language, but the experts say the title refers to a certain day that humans believe to be very unlucky."
Dak tried, but was unable to make any sense of the strange typography in the movie's poster, which consisted of a humanoid silhouette holding a sharp object with a red liquid dripping from it, and the graphic FRIDAY THE 13th, whatever that was.
"Shall we watch it?"
"Sure. We won't understand a thing they say, though."
"Should be fun anyway."
Ninety five minutes later, Elss and Dak were staring stunned at the end credits.
"Actually it was very easy to understand the plot," Elss said.
The Great Director surveyed the people sitting at the round table with him: the planet's best filmmakers. Well, mostly. Among them, was the infamous and worthless Jon-La Seter. "Among" is not too suitable a word, as his fellow filmmakers were doing what they could to stay as far away as possible from Seter as though his crappiness was contagious. Someone had argued that it was only responsible to have Seter in a meeting with the world's best, to offer a differing argument. One idiot among geniuses, to provide "balance". In the literal sense, this wasn't working very well, as the filmmakers were bumping each other off their chairs in their attempts to stay away from their polar opposite.
"Shall we begin?" the Great Director ordered while pretending to ask politely. "You were called here because of the discovery of the first exoplanet with a movie industry. The movie made publicly available today, the one with the sharp object guy, is a good example of their atrocious standards. Our experts are examining what humans consider their best films, and they are appalled. Apparently the humans' all-time favorite is a crime film about people getting killed every time an orange fruit shows up on screen."
There was a collective murmur of pity. Even Seter was negatively impressed.
"So," the Great Director continued, "we cannot allow this to continue. They are the only planet besides ours, so far, with a movie industry. And that's their best film. It isn't surprising, to be honest. They don't seem to have a lot of creativity. Their planet has a lot of earth, so they call it Earth. Also, we have spied on some of their young aspiring filmmakers, to see if there's someone in that generation who will spark a revolution. Our projections are dismal, especially in regard to the subject called 'Michael Bay'. So we must enlighten them. One of us must leave our home and travel to Earth in disguise, start a movie company and show them how it's done."
"I volunteer," Seter said immediately.
"One of us with talent and critical acclaim," the Great Director added.
"Well, that's subjective," Seter argued. "Art is subjective. It isn't fair to rule me out based on your opinion."
"Does anyone else want Seter to go?" the Great Director asked. To his surprise, everyone nodded. "You cowards. You just don't want to leave."
"Of course they don't," Seter said triumphantly. "They are successful and happy here. I'm not. So why don't I go?"
"He has a point," one of the filmmakers said. "We've seen what the humans consider a good film. Jon-La Seter is miles above their standard. And no-one here will miss him."
"Exactly," Seter said, either not noticing he had just been insulted or being so used to it he no longer gave a crap.
The Great Director sighed heavily. "I see. Well, Seter. Off you go, then. Take your crew with you, the poor bastards. What will your movie company be called?"
"Pixar. What else?"
"This is planet Pixar, so you call your movie company Pixar. You are supposed to enlighten the humans, Seter, not do exactly as they do."
Seter just winked.
After three long years of travel and a few months of learning the language and customs, Jon-La Seter and his crew successfully infiltrated Earth. In fact, he did more than that -- he became one of the most important people in a company called Graphics Group. And he scheduled a meeting with a big-shot human called Steve Jobs, head of some company called Apple.
Jobs entered the room with blood all over his mouth.
"Sorry, was eating a baby," he said smiling. "So, Mr. Lasseter, convince me to buy Graphics Group."
"Er... we're kinda cheap."
"Lasseter, Lasseter. I don't impulsively buy stuff based on price or novelty value, but on long-term usefulness. I'm not one of Apple's customers, for God's sake. You'll have to do better than that."
"I will turn Graphics Group into one of the greatest movie companies of all time."
"Really? Pitch me one of your movie ideas."
Seter didn't have one. He surveyed the room frantically while pretending to be thinking carefully, and his eyes stopped upon a statuette.
"What if that was alive?" Seter said.
"The little statue thing. What if it moved? What if it... loved its owner and wanted nothing more than to be touched by him?"
"You want to make statue porn?"
"Not that way! I mean, what if the statue was alive and wanted to be loved? Like, like... toys! Picture a child and his toys! And when the child isn't looking, the toys talk to one another and have conflicts among themselves."
Jobs raised his eyebrows. "That is certainly original. But can you make it work?"
"Only one way to find out."
"Very well. Let's eat a baby to seal the deal."
Months later, TOY STORY was released, and with the release of more masterpieces, Pixar became synonymous with quality.
Jon-La Seter, for the first time in his life, was being called a genius.