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Pixar: Are the glory days over?

SuperGzilla12

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A thread about MuppetVision 3D didn't seem like quite the right place for this discussion...

Pixar has been recieving some flack since the releases of Cars 2 and Brave. With the great deal of upcoming sequels from them (Monsters University, Finding Dory) many fear that their glory days are over.
 

D'Snowth

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CARS 2, I can understand, the original wasn't one of their better movies anyway, and I didn't really see the need for a sequel, but I liked BRAVE myself... it may have been a little clichéd and predictable, but it was still enjoyable... but as far as nothing but sequels, prequels, sidequels, whateverquels in their future so far, I guess I can see the worry over their glory days about to be left behind them.
 

Oscarfan

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Let's be honest here, a sequel doesn't necessarily mean a bad movie. There are lots of sequels that are just as good if not better than the original.

And they've been making virtually flawless films for well over a decade. They're allowed a flop or two.
 

D'Snowth

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I said that the fact that there seems to be little other than sequels and such in their future is why some may be worried that their so-called "glory days" are over, because let's face it, sequels have grown to a point that they're pretty much an overused gimmick anymore, like 3D was there for a while. There was a time where sequels weren't so common, and therefore, for a movie to get one, it was of genuine excitement... nowadays, a sequel is really no big deal anymore, it's bound to happen, therefore, no excitement.

Yes, there are some sequels that are just as good as the original (TOY STORY's 2 and 3), there are some sequels that are better than the original (SHREK 2), and there are some sequels that tarnish the original (pretty much each of the ICE AGE sequels)... but again, when a studio seems to be concentrating on so many sequels, doesn't that make you just a LITTLE curious that maybe, just maybe, perhaps, they MIGHT be just a LITTLE short on ideas for new, fresh material?
 

BobThePizzaBoy

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Oh joy! Time for a very long essay-style post.

Let me start by saying that I still feel Pixar is one of the most consistent studios in the film industry. Of the 13 films they've released, I've never missed seeing a single one on the big screen and, until they really disappoint me, I don't intent on missing any of their future releases. But when you keep building on hit after hit after hit after hit, the fall would inevitably come. I just don't think anyone expected the fall as harshly as it came.

I was really looking forward to Cars 2, 2010 was a landmark year for Pixar. Toy Story 3 was and still is one of Pixar's best films period and the response to it was incredibly box office and Oscar-wise. Surely the follow-up would have a tough act to follow but it could at least live up to expectations. Then the reviews came out and it was astoundingly bad. Granted, Cars 2 isn't among the worst animated movies I've ever seen of the past five years or so (movies like Shrek the Third and The Lorax were a lot worse) but what could have been a clever sequel ended up being a sequel that hardly felt connected to the first film. And that's where it failed. Had they stuck closer in tone to the first film, well, Lightning McQueen's story wrapped up nicely enough a Cars 2 wouldn't have been needed! It felt nothing like Pixar had ever made and it showed, that's why that was such a failure that it was. For now, it remains the one Pixar film that will have no place on my DVD shelf.

Brave was a different animal. It seemed interesting when the first trailers came out. Funny little story, when I saw Cars 2 with a friend of mine in theaters and they ran the first teaser for Brave, he was the one who was saying "Wow, this movie looks so generic." and I was the one who's saying "Are you kidding? This thing looks epic." As more trailers came out, my enthusiasm for it dipped for some reason but it wasn't enough for me to flat-out have ill will from Cars 2. I was convinced it was a one-time fluke and Brave would be able to overcome it's behind-the-scenes drama and be another Pixar winner... it wasn't. The behind-the-scenes drama hurt the movie and Brenda Chapman's vision was lost. I can appreciate it for what it was doing but the smaller elements worked better than the main elements. Merida's a brat and doesn't exactly do anything Brave, the plot was all over the place ranging from being really complicated to suddenly being too predictable (I saw Brave with the same friend I saw Cars 2 with and we both came to the agreement that the one element of the climax was really confusing). On the other hand, King Fergus and the witch were hilarious and make the film worth watching and the animation was up to Pixar's usual standard. Also, Patrick Doyle's score and the songs were very well-written. But it's just like an average amusement park ride, you ride it, think it's fun when you're watching it, once you get off you forget about it when you move on to another ride. It just didn't impress me. But I may go so far to say that even though it's a better film, it might be a bigger letdown than Cars 2 was, because that one at least had the chance of being bad leading up to release. However, it was the Academy Award win that infuriated me. By giving the Oscar to Pixar essentially just for making a movie, the Academy has made it blatantly obvious how little they care about animation. Every other film nominated received much stronger critical reviews than Brave and it had no reason to win the award. I've heard plenty of people watching Brave for the the first time post-Oscars and being severely let down. Granted, that fault lies more on the Academy than Pixar but they still trapped themselves in a corner by making a lesser film.

I'm not even excited about Monsters University, in fact, the only guaranteed Pixar film I'm looking forward to is Pete Docter's "Inside the Mind" movie though the other original films do sound interesting. Finding Dory could work but it still screams "I-made-John-Carter-and-now-this-is-the-only-movie-I-can-get-greenlit". I'm getting the feeling Pixar is on their way to having a more spotty DreamWorks-like track record for the 2010s instead of their brilliance they brought to the 2000s.

I know this is a lllloooonnnngggg post, but this is something I really care about. If you need me I'll just be waiting for replies. :big_grin:
 

SuperGzilla12

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Let's be honest here, a sequel doesn't necessarily mean a bad movie. There are lots of sequels that are just as good if not better than the original.
Hey, Toy Story 3 is my favourite Pixar film, period. I'm still excited for Monsters University.

...they MIGHT be just a LITTLE short on ideas for new, fresh material?
Lately, big-budget animated movies haven't been doing as well in the box-office. This flood of sequels is probably a marketing decision. The Cars brand is the top thing that Disney has right now, so Disney asking them to make Cars 2 seems very logical. (That's also the explaination I give for Planes getting a cinematic release)
 

Drtooth

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However, it was the Academy Award win that infuriated me. By giving the Oscar to Pixar essentially just for making a movie, the Academy has made it blatantly obvious how little they care about animation. Every other film nominated received much stronger critical reviews than Brave and it had no reason to win the award. I've heard plenty of people watching Brave for the the first time post-Oscars and being severely let down. Granted, that fault lies more on the Academy than Pixar but they still trapped themselves in a corner by making a lesser film.
I'll say this. Saying the Academy has lost it by giving the film to Brave (which was frankly a pity Oscar for Brenda Chapman) is quite a bit much. Sure, it was the least deserving of the bunch, but it's far from the least deserving nomination of all time period. Pitchforks and torches should be raised, not by Pixar winning yet another award, but for the fact Happy Feet (the terrible almost plotless annoying penguin vanity picture) won an award, and Satoshi Kon didn't even get a freaking nomination. Well... unless you count Black Swan, being completely lifted from Perfect Blue to the point that Black Swan's director purchased the rights to Perfect Blue so no one in the US knows the movie is a ripoff. Kon is a freaking artist. To give you an idea... that's like The Last Supper being painted over for a poorly drawn happy face. The fact he received no recognition from the Bakademy and a crappy, emotionally manipulative jukebox musical with Robin Williams voiced penguins got the highest honor in the land is far worse than a slightly disappointing troubled film getting the gold.

Though, yeah... I wanted it to go to any film that wasn't Brave. Paranorman specifically.

I'm really looking forward to Monsters University. MI is one of my top favorite Pixar films. Finding Dory has potential. I really wish Newt wasn't abandoned because of some crappy wolf movie only furries like. Seems that would have been a better film.

Still... my disappointment rides on Dreamworks. I really did like the Croods, but it was hardly as good as Rise of the Guardians. Turbo is so derivative and terrible that it makes Shark Tale looks original and appealing. Cars I can respect, Turbo? No amount of Samuel L Jackson can make me ever want to plop any amount of money to see that piece of pandering garbage. Kinda disappointed Peabody and Sherman has to wait for March. I don't really have the highest of expectations, as much as I'm looking forward to it. It has to be better than Dudley Do-Right. And it's all CGI. MUCh better than pasted on CGI/Live action stuff.
 

fuzzygobo

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As much as I enjoy many of their features, I love the little niche they carved for themselves with their shorts. Animated short subjects were such an incredible art form from the 30's through the 60's, it's too bad their studios' bottom lines had them phased out.
You can tell quite an amazing story in a medium of seven minutes of screen time.
Give characters a one-shot deal, and if successful, they can turn up again in a new setting with a new plot, without running the risk of "How will this sequel compare to the original?"
Some of these Pixar shorts are absolute gems. Same goes for Nick Park's "Creature Comforts", but that's a post for another thread.
 

Drtooth

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Sequels are hard, but let's face it... more often than not they really aren't bad. What's the best Star Wars movie? Empire Strikes Back. Does anyone really care about Batman Begins, or do they just want to cut to the more exciting Dark Knight? Shrek 2 was better than the first (of course the second two were meh at best, and the fourth was good only because they dropped the immature stuff that everyone got sick of in the third film)... and who actually prefers the first Toy Story to the second or third? The bad sequels just tend to stick out more.

Pixar has only released 3 sequels already. The two great Toy Story sequels and that Toy commercial/Saturday Morning cartoon-esque Cars 2 (which was at least more impressive visually). Monsters University isn't out for another 2 months, and Finding Dory is 3 years away at least (something tells me they'll change it to a Summer release date... MU's date changed because they didn't want it going up against Twilight and made Wreck-it-Ralph a sacrificial lamb). Hard to judge, but they've got a pretty solid 2 out of three so far.

And as I said before, back when Disney was about to lose Pixar and they were going to make sequels of (get ready for this...) the exact same movies Pixar did sequels to. And DTV cheapquel style in house. Remember, Disney forced Toy Story 2 on Pixar as a cheap DTV project, and they made it much better than it ever could have been. Disney's in house Toy Story 3 had a terrible premise and worse characters. And speaking of Disney in House, while it does have input from Lassiter, Disney's making a terrible Cars spinoff about Planes, and they already have 3 movies lined up.
 

Scooterforever

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If I may offer my 2 cents, people treat sequels like this new trend from the last two decades, but it's waaaayyy older than people think. Even in the 19th to early 20th century, books had sequels all the time. The iconic Man in the Iron Mask is actually the third in the Three Musketeers Trilogy. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle grew so tired of writing Sherlock Holmes books and short stories that he tried to kill him off, only for the fans to demand he be brought back from the dead. And most iconic comic book characters (Spider-man, Batman, Superman) have been around for more than 50 years. I don't see how movie sequels are any different; I believe that if the characters are good, they deserve to have more stories about them.
 
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