Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Future of Pixar


I recently published this article over at Disney Dose, be sure to check them out for the latest Disney-related news.

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After the release of last year’s Cars 2 (Pixar’s first feature film to not receive critical acclaim), many people began to question, “Could Pixar possibly be losing their touch?”
I’m here to try and silence those with a profound belief that the beloved animation studio truly is “dead”.

Well, first let’s do some brief analysis. Granted, Cars 2 wasn’t the finest film to ever come out of the studio, but I personally believe that it was a very fun and enjoyable film. I know many may disagree with me, but the truth is, Cars 2 could have been a lot worse, and I’d say it turned out alright considering all the production problems it went through. And this has been said countless times before by other Pixar fanboys, but despite that it was probably Pixar’s weakest effort so far, it was a heck of a lot better than a lot of the junk we get from Hollywood these days. Plus, this has been the studio’s only so-called “bad” film out of the thirteen they’ve produced; how, again, does that mean that they’re “losing their touch”? Would anyone mind clearing that up for me?
Then there was this year’s Brave. A mighty fine film if you ask me, but somehow it didn’t seem to please critics and some audience members as much as, say, Up or WALL-E. It scored a solid 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, but would it have gotten the same response had Cars 2 never happened? I loved Brave and thought it was worthy of standing up there with previous Pixar classics, but I suspect that critics and audiences alike are becoming more biased when it comes to Pixar because of the dreaded Cars sequel. Yes, it’s a messed-up notion, but it sure seems like that’s what is happening.

Now let’s take a look at Pixar’s list of upcoming projects:
Monsters University – June 21st, 2013
The Good Dinosaur – May 30th, 2014
“The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind” – June 19th, 2015
“The Untitled Pixar Movie About Día de los Muertos” – TBA

Now, in order to prove my point, I’ll briefly go over each of these upcoming films and explain how there is little chance that Pixar will be running out of good material anytime soon.
Monsters University – Well, the original Monsters, Inc. has always been one of my absolute favorite films from Pixar, since the very first time I saw it (and I was two back then). I can’t see why this shouldn’t be pure Pixar magic, seeing as the teaser trailer released in June was brilliant, so imagine just what there will be to marvel at in the actual film. Furthermore, this is a chance to revisit some of the most beloved animated characters in film history and discover just how they transformed their rivalry into friendship. Sure, it sounds a tiny bit like Toy Story, but I think the filmmakers would have realized if they were making a remake of their very first feature except this time with monsters.
The Good Dinosaur – Dozens of people have been going on about how ever since Disney bought them back in ’06, Pixar has been producing a significantly higher amount of sequels and is no longer cooking up more of the fabulous originals that we’ve grown to love so much. Well, in case you’re one of the people who hasn’t already heard about this project, get a load of this. Directed by none other than the hilarious Bob Peterson (co-director of Up), The Good Dinosaur tells the story of what our Earth would have turned out like if the life-changing asteroid that supposedly took out the dinosaurs had never struck the planet. Definitely not a sequel/prequel of any sort, and it sure sounds like a gosh darn interesting andoriginal story.
“The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind” – Peter Docter (Monsters, Inc.Up) is back in the director’s chair for this one, and if that isn’t enough to get you to go and watch it, this new tale will immerse you in the complex and mystifying world of the human mind. Docter and the Pixar crew could literally go anywhere with this, much like with the original Monsters, where possibilities were endless. One thing’s for sure though; you will be blown away by whatever they come up with, and it will be unlike anything you have ever witnessed – so get ready.
“The Untitled Pixar Movie About Día de los Muertos” Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich will helm this highly-ambitious project that “delves into the vibrant Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos”, which will be released presumably sometime around 2016. Lee proved to us two years ago that he can successfully lead a spectacular film across the finish line, so I have very high hopes for this one. An interview with John Lasseter revealed that one of the film’s central themes will be family, but at the same time it could turn out to be Pixar’s darkest, spookiest film to date, since one of it’s central themes is death. Unkrich cleared up recently, however, that Mexico has “a very different view of death than the American one…It’s not spooky. It’s celebratory.”, so I guess only time will tell what this movie will turn out like, but expect nothing less than a total masterpiece.

Well if you ask me, that’s one heck of a schedule. Monsters in college, dinosaurs, and exploring both the human mind and the holiday of Día de los Muertos? Count me in. We haven’t seen any of these movies yet, but I just really, strongly, immensely feel that assuming Pixar is out of gas when they have all this in production is a tad silly. Don’t you?

3 comments:

Kenneth Elliott said...

Good points; however, because I am no Pixar praiser, I see the story a bit differently.

First, Monsters Inc 2, with it's Revenge of the Nerds flavor, looks spoon-gaggingly awful to many, including myself.

The Good Dinosaur can be a masterpiece, a CG remake of We're Back: A Dinosaur's Tale, but will most likely function as a simple vehicle for filling the boy's section in Toys R Us. ("Cool! Boys love Dinosaurs! Double cool! Boys also like cars, trucks, and planes! Hey! let's make a movie that combines the two! Genius!" -ka-ching-)

The Untitled "Head" movie reeks strongly of Buddy-Flick-Starring -Two-Guys-Just-Trying-to-Get-A-Job, ala Monster Inc. And it doesn't help that their chaotic, loony, Inception-mimicking world takes place inside a GIRL'S brain. (Can you say sexism any louder? Actually, I can: "UP.")

Finally, you failed to mention Finding Nemo 2, (aka, the world's most unnecessary sequel,) as well as the very-real threat of a Cars 3.

Only Dia De Los Muertos offers a glimmer of hope.

Hannah said...

I very strongly disagree with the first comment. Pixar is headed in an amazing, aspiring direction. They have directors that have brought us the classics we love and I sure as heck know they will do it again. I also know that they are not in it for the things like making money off of selling toys. It brings joy to kids when they see their favorite character as an action figure or as a car. I was THRILLED to get a Jessie doll when I was younger, and so was every other little girl I knew. My baby cousin loves the Cars series and is completely ecstatic whenever he gets a car shaped like Lightning McQueen. My point is, Pixar is in this for the entertainment of the public, not for the money. They make so many people happy, and bring us characters that we love.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention Toys in the Attic