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Pixar: Are the glory days over?

MuppetSpot

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I saw a Elmo doll on a truck one time, but back to the discussion I feel that Pixar is able to have a flop here and there.
 

Drtooth

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Exactly my point. The filmmakers admitted on the DVD commentary that the LGM's rescue was also something of a cliche with the claw being a Deus Ex Machina; but as you say, which would be more satisfying? The moment of hopelessness and anger leading up to the rescue that we got, or Lotso seeing the light and the error of his ways and pushing that button to save them from plummeting into the incinerator?
I'd give the Claw bit the credit of coming around and being a tie in to the first movie. Sort of a Checkov's Gag. I don't think a happier, kinder, gentler Lotso would have made the movie as good and emotionally satisfying. It seems a little too..well...cutesy boo-boo. Even for Pixar. Some people can't be redeemed easily or at all. And frankly, that one moment where he almost saved the day and then walked away like a jerk really felt like a nice knee to the groin of a Care Bearsy ending it could have had.

Plus, frankly, the character being easily redeemed would have been questionable as far as Lotso's character is concerned. What he did was pretty dark and disturbing for a kid's movie. I mean, even the Prospector had a point in the second film. He only went through a moral decay when Woody promised they'd all be rescued and leave together. Worst thing he would have done is torn up Woody to get them to Japan. Lotso...kinda was human trafficking (but with toys and with destructive kids instead of perverts). If he became a good guy at the end it would have been like, Oh sure. He's a changed man and all the sudden realizes the thing he knew was wrong was wrong but did anyway was wrong. That's too sunshiney and glib an ending for me. Lotso needed to walk away a jerk and get a crappy ending.

but back to the discussion I feel that Pixar is able to have a flop here and there.
The Good Dinosaur suffered from poor timing. It was too large a budget film to give a do or die Thanksgiving slot, but I can't think of where it would have fit nicely that wouldn't have derailed any other Pixar film. The Peanuts movie took the nice Pre-Thanksgiving release. Even though it opened modest, it had staying power for weeks after. Good Dinosaur opened opposite that movie, Hunger Games' last film (before they decided to squeeze more money out of it with nonsensical prequels that are in production), and barely a month before Star Wars. Now, Star Wars made such a crapload of money, it really shouldn't matter anyway. Even if you count in what Inside Out brought in, it evens out. But for sheer comparison, The Muppets made around as much as TGD did under similar circumstances in its three day weekend. It fell sharply with the other Box Office drops in the weekend after (where everyone's shopping and no one's really seeing movies anyway), but manages to hold out in a very crowded field over the holiday rush. I mean, 2011 had waaaaaaaay too many films released between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And TM was released opposite three other inferior kiddy movies and Twigh-grabage. TGD only had Peanuts in its fourth week, and there didn't need to be that crowded a field with Star Wars around.

Plus, the critics having their collective heads up themselves with TGD didn't help much. Pixar doesn't always need to have a complex story to be emotional, and they made a smaller, more modest film rather than the original take with loads of too many characters. I loved Inside Out... slightly more than TGD. I'd say the only small complaint I had was there wasn't much screentime for the other emotions, and there were just so many bit characters in the film that seem like they'd need a little more time to be fleshed out a bit. The thing about the giant clown seems to barely have any perspective on it, but it's one of those character vs. pacing things. So it's forgivable. TGD's best asset was the lack of hundreds of little wacky characters running about, so the story focuses mostly on Arlo and Spot, and the few others they'd meet on the way. And I feel that made the film its own, instead of typical Pixar fare. Plus, I think the short before this film was better than the I/O film short about the volcano. Hopefully this thing blows up on home video.

Also, ehhhh... I think it had a reduced amount of 3-D showings. I tried unsuccessfully to see it in 3-D, and had to go for 2-D instead. And like I always say, live action looks meh in 3-D, but animation always shines.
 

D'Snowth

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As I've said before, I still think there's two major factors at play regardin the "glory days being over":

1. Back in the day, Pixar was always competing against DreamWorks - which was formed specifically to rival Pixar since Jeffrey Katzenberg didn't get his way with the first TOY STORY when he was at Disney. Since then, there's been other CGI animation studios that have opened, such as BlueSky, and all of these off-brand studios, so it's like there's no longer much competition among these studios, so they're not really forced to bring their A-game anymore - they're more relaxed now. Which leads us to. . . .

2. Everything's CGI now. Let's face it: as much as we may want traditional animation to make a comeback, it's dead. Disney tried with THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, which flopped, then they made one mroe last ditch effort with WINNIE THE POOH, which also flopped, so traditional animation is pretty much obsolete now as far as motion pictures go. Back in the day, CGI movies were groundbreaking because they were new, and we saw how much they kept advancing with each new movie (the original TOY STORY and ICE AGE movies actually look primitive today), but over the years, it's become more practical, cost-cutting, and time-saving to animate in CGI rather than hand-drawn animation, so that's pretty much lead to a flood of CGI animation dominating the theaters now. The novelty of CGI movies has worn off, so it's like, y'know, Christmas everyday: it's no longer special.
 

mr3urious

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Let's face it: as much as we may want traditional animation to make a comeback, it's dead.
Though I am liking how more and more CGI films have gone with the next best thing and employed 2D aesthetics and techniques to them, most obviously with The Peanuts Movie. A guy can still hope for a true comeback, can't he? :big_grin:

but over the years, it's become more practical, cost-cutting, and time-saving to animate in CGI rather than hand-drawn animation,
Definitely if you're a studio like Video Brinquedo, but certainly not one of the big boys and the $100 mil. they shell out and the 4 years the films take to make on average (no different than the 2D stuff, really). Plus, all that detail takes a large number of computers and an eternity for them to render (I hear that one of the computers used for the 2nd Bayformers movie overheated trying to render one of the robots). You can argue that it takes more time than hundreds of animators drawing thousands of pictures by hand.

Plus, weren't digital coloring techniques supposed to reduce costs by eliminating cels and even paper?

Back in the day, CGI movies were groundbreaking because they were new, and we saw how much they kept advancing with each new movie (the original TOY STORY and ICE AGE movies actually look primitive today),
Toy Story came out during a time of an oversaturation of mostly mediocre 2D movies from other studios hopping on the Disney renaissance bandwagon, so seeing something like that was indeed refreshing.

so that's pretty much lead to a flood of CGI animation dominating the theaters now. The novelty of CGI movies has worn off, so it's like, y'know, Christmas everyday: it's no longer special.
There is indeed a ton of CGI movies out there, mostly from third-parties trying to ride Pixar and Dreamworks' coattails. Though nowadays, the novelty has indeed worn off of audiences, and the majority of the third-party stuff is allowed to stink up Redbox instead.
 
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D'Snowth

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Actually, I take it back: traditional animation isn't dead, persay, it's just that it's no longer hand-drawn, it's Flash now.

Well, I suppose even Flash can be hand-drawn; John R. Dilworth is apparently working on a new animated short that's in Flash, but I think he's using a tablet-like device to draw it:
 

Drtooth

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Everything's CGI now. Let's face it: as much as we may want traditional animation to make a comeback, it's dead. Disney tried with THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, which flopped, then they made one mroe last ditch effort with WINNIE THE POOH, which also flopped, so traditional animation is pretty much obsolete now as far as motion pictures go.
The problem is the only 2-D films on their schedule were just that. A film that came out too close to Avatar and especially Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, with a not white lead. And it could have made more money had they not given the plum pre-Thanksgiving slot to Zemeckis's horrible Jim Carrey mo-Cap version of a story that's been done a trillion times plus two. It should have been a bigger success, but wasn't due to bad timing. As for Pooh? Well, Disney brought that on themselves for destroying the franchise and turning a beloved character into a toy mascot/idiotic preschool series that any characters could have been inserted into. It was supposed to be the grand relaunch of what Pooh should have been, but it became a Preschool franchise by then. Not even Sesame Street can get a win as a theatrical film.

I totally agree there's too many third and fourth parties making too many flop CGI disasters out there. Blah blah blah Norm of the North, blah blah blah Legends of Oz blah blah. But it seems the audiences are somehow not buying it, and less of these offbrand companies are having success. And I'll say it the zillionth time, The Nut Job was really really lucky. Not so much Strange Magic (from the mind of George Lucas must've scared everyone away). Unfortunately, it negatively impacts the two main CGI studios, Pixar and Dreamorks. Though, Inside Out proved to be a massive hit, and the lowest hanging fruit on Pixar's tree was their sophisticated Ratatouille. I love that movie, I like that Pixar didn't make a kid's movie that time (and they rarely do unless Cars), but when the movie is marketed to kids, I doubt many that still eat their own boogers would care to hear witty conversations about French Cuisine. Which is, well..why Cars.

Make no mistake, The Good Dinosaur was bad timing. Pixar films usually make a crapload of money no matter what. Dreamworks had a tough go when they had audience alienating premise movies about snails and 1960's cartoon shows (kids won't care and adults will feel their childhood was raped, yet it was the highest grossing Jay Ward movie so make of that what you will and Boris and Natasha sucks), and even when they had strong sequels to strong franchises, they had the unfortunate timing of being releases opposite comedy sequels. And ironically, sequels made with the backhanded compliment of saying "we didn't want to make a sequel to this, but the studio forced us, so we're going to say how pointless it is with this film." It is unknown at this time if KFP3 will be successful in their odd January opening.
 

mr3urious

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Actually, I take it back: traditional animation isn't dead, persay, it's just that it's no longer hand-drawn, it's Flash now.
Well, it's really ToonBoom Harmony that's become the industry standard for 2D animation of all kinds, and offers a lot more features that Flash doesn't for traditional animation.

Well, I suppose even Flash can be hand-drawn; John R. Dilworth is apparently working on a new animated short that's in Flash, but I think he's using a tablet-like device to draw it:
It's totally possible to do hand-drawn animation in Flash rather than motion tween everything. It's just that not a lot of studios do so because of TV deadlines. Meanwhile I've seen some impressive stuff on Newgrounds that looks as fluid as something put out by a major studio, and all done by one person.
 

D'Snowth

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I think I found something of aplot hole in TS3: during the big escape, part of the plan was having Potato Head sent to the box as a diversion, but the only way he could get out was to squeeze all of his parts through a hole in the box and attach them to a tortilla instead (and later, when the tortilla was shredded by the pigeon, he went with a cucumber from the vegetable garden). Everything about the plan had to be timed perfectly, so where, how, and when did the others find manage to find time to get Potao Head's potato body out of the box?
 

The Count

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Simple, he did an off-screen Warner Bros. tunnel burrowing job to meet up with the others.
Honestly, IDK. :zany:
 
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