Opinions, Pixar

[OPINION] Pixar’s Future Disappoints Me

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(c) WDW Live

(c) WDW Live

“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year,” –Ed Catmull, 2013

Monsters, Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up. Starting in 2001 and going all the way to 2009, Pixar Animation Studios gave us 7 of the most beloved animated movies in recent times. They were all original ideas. This decade puts Pixar through the stratosphere. As Hollywood leaned more and more towards sequels, prequels, threequels, fourquels and requels (and some movies that were all of the above at the same time like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Pixar was a shining light of originality. That’s no longer the case.

If you see Pixar’s output starting with Toy Story in 1995 up until 2010’s Toy Story 3 you will find 9 originals films and 2 sequels. You will find movies no other studio would even touch simply because they were too risky. How do you market a film about a rat who wants to cook? Or a film about an old man who doesn’t want to live because his wife died? But Pixar made them and they were great. Beloved, even. And the freshness and highly original concepts of these movies were huge factors in Pixar’s rise.

Up-Ellie-Funeral

“The marketing team is gonna love this!”

And now? If you take into account the official slate of upcoming Pixar films announced in the D23 Expo, by the time we get The Incredibles 2, Pixar will have released 6 sequels and 3 original movies since 2010. This is not okay, especially because in the same interview I pulled the Catmull quote from the top of the article, he promised an original movie every year and a sequel every other year. Sure, it’s Pixar we’re talking about so these movies could be amazing. But for the last couple of years, the public has rumbled about Pixar’s decline. Why’s that? Because after that wonderful streak of fantastic original films, they started giving us movies like Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University. 

It’s no secret I think Cars 2 is terrible. The other two are good. But they weren’t masterpieces. Brave was an original story, but I felt I had seen the story a thousand times. Especially because of Brother Bear. This is proof not all original movies are great. But then came Monsters University which is a perfectly functional movie. It’s funny and touching. But we’ve seen those characters and that world before. Compare how you felt watching MU to how you felt seeing Inside Out in theaters. Don’t tell me the latter wasn’t a thousand times more exciting: meeting new characters in a new world and learning the rules. There’s nothing like an original movie. And we have 2 of those left in the upcoming slate of movies: November’s The Good Dinosaur and 2017’s Coco, from Toy Story 3′s director Lee Unkrich.

Pixar-Upcoming-Films-D23

As I said: original doesn’t equal masterpiece (Brave, Cars) and sequel doesn’t mean disaster (Toy Story 2 & 3). But Pixar is at its best when giving us new worlds full of vibrant new characters. It’s what got them to where they are; it’s what made people fall in love with them. But look at the above image. Sure, we all love Dory. Sure, more Incredibles sounds like fun. I’m not so sure about Toy Story 4 after they ended the trilogy so perfectly. And don’t get me started on Cars 3. But Coco and The Good Dinosaur are the only ones that get me truly excited. We’re going to worlds we haven’t visited before and we’re learning new things about new characters. As I said, some of these movies may be great. But they won’t feel fresh. They won’t be as exciting as seeing Joy for the first time and learning how Riley’s mind works.

That’s why I own two Pixar shirts and countless books about them—the excitement of learning about the unknown, about the secret world of toys, about the monsters in our closets. Seeing how fish live, following a rat’s dream in a Parisian kitchen, learning how our emotions work. That’s what makes Pixar great. And I hope that, eventually, Pixar will go back to its roots and make us feel this way again.

Edited by: Kelly Conley

Wall-E-Stars-Flying

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About Pablo Ruiz

Pablo Ruiz is a Colombian filmmaker. Movies like Toy Story, The Lion King and Aladdin made him fall in love with the art form and now he hopes to dedicate his life to telling stories, hopefully for Pixar (if they go back to doing original films). Some of his ambitions are making a movie as emotionally impacting as Toy Story 3, meeting JK Rowling, and petting a million dogs. Follow him on Twitter (@PabloRV7).
  • I guess they just gotta try different things and they’ll react to the feedback they get from their future movies, both the critical feedback as well as box office feedback.

  • Harith Sami

    This is not pixar’s fault if the fanbase want it SO BAD, and movies are made for fans (money), I mean everyone wants the Indescribable 2 and finding Dory.
    And fans will probably want Inside out sequel, and Cars 3 might fix the franchise !

    • Max den Hartog

      Well, but unlike for example DreamWorks, Pixar doesn’t need sequels to make money. Original films will make just as much money because most people will see a Pixar movie no matter if it’s a sequel or not. That’s what’s disappointing some of the fans.

      • Harith Sami

        the point is that no one want the characters to disappear

        • Max den Hartog

          Well, the great thing is, they aren’t disappearing! They’re still in shorts, merchandise, theme parks etc.

    • Matt

      I think you need help with some spelling. Here, she can help you.

  • Matt

    Out of all the sequels I’m most excited for Incredibles. Finding Dora I’m sure will be great with Andrew Stanton directing. As for Cars 3 well I’ll see it regardless. Toy Story SHOULD NOT have a sequel. Especially considering the story they have for the 4th film. I’d rather them make those shorts instead. They really should just stick with that instead of another film.

    • Harith Sami

      According to your spelling this is your version of the movie !

      • Matt

        Well that was uncalled for. Forgive me for not spell checking my comment. I type fast and I know I misspell words, but I don’t have time to review what I’m posting. no need for a smart ass comment or picture for that matter.

  • Rachel Wagner

    Seems like a lot of whining going on. They just got the scheduled a bit messed up so we ended up with 2 originals this year. People have been begging for Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory. And personally I think people are way over the top on Cars 2. I thought it was pretty clever. No masterpiece but I like that each sequel they do is in a different genre. That’s the philosophy for the Toy Story movies and everything Pixar does, so it all feels original even if it is characters we know.

    • Anthony Raphael

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, i think that people are whining a lot lately just because pixar are doing sequels, just because a studio does a sequel, it doesnt mean that the story is going to be unoriginal, or bad, yes Cars 2 didn’t make the audience feel emotion, so what, Im actually happy they went to a different route, because they do need to stop focusing of grabbing the audiences emotions, nearly every movie has a deep emotional value or ending to a pixar movie and it needs to be different.

      • Rachel Wagner

        I agree. I recently rewatched the Cars movies and in some ways I find 2 better than original. It has a much faster pace and is brighter and has more energy. Not here on this site but I think a lot of people who complain about Cars 2 haven’t actually seen it.
        Most spy movies aren’t appropriate for kids so Pixar made one they could enjoy.
        I personally would take any of the announced sequels over most of the Dreamworks entries like Home.

        • Briar Rose

          I agree that Cars 2 gets too much hate. While I do like both Cars movies Cars 2 is my favorite because it has a much faster pace than the original and I like the whole spy movie theme. Sure it’s mostly about Mater, (Mater is my favorite character anyway), but even my friends and family who don’t particularly care for Mater thought this movie was a fun, exciting adventure. I have to say I would watch Cars 2 over Finding Nemo and the Incredibles any day (just my own opinion).

        • Manuel Orozco

          Me too Rachel which is why the only DreamWorks sequels I’m looking forward to are HTTYD 3 and Croods 2.

      • Rachel Wagner

        I also get annoyed when people say Cars 2 was made just to sell toys. If you listen to the audio-commentary it is crystal clear John Lasseter had always wanted to make a spy movie and that he loves the film. In many ways it seems like a passion project for him, which is a bit of a shame since many hate on it.
        I would bet for Cars 3 it will be much smaller in scale and probably some kind of cross country race or something like that.

        • Manuel Orozco

          And I can respect Lasseter’s passion

  • aquapyro

    Well I agree. I wasn’t excited for Pixar’s slate (though i am interested) but I was most irritated by the fact that Coco is another story on Day of the Dead. There are a lot of stories in Mexico and not everyone there celebrates the holiday.

    • I don’t think their reasoning for doing Coco is because it’s a holiday that everyone in Mexico celebrates, I think it stems from an idea that Lee wanted to tell. Yes, others have told stories about the holiday, but that’s not to stop someone else from telling another story about that too.

      • Rachel Wagner

        Agreed and it’s got such a visual style to the holiday which makes it easy to pick.

    • Mau

      I am so excited for this movie, specially bc I am mexican. I think all people in Mexico will receive this movie with joy and proud. Sure some people dont celebrate it, specially in the city bc Halloween has overtaken the celebration but I dont think mexican people wont watch it

      • aquapyro

        I think people will watch it too. I know i will. But as a Mexican myself, I’d like to see stories that are not the Day of the Dead. That and I have always had a gripe with the setting always being in a desert city

    • Manuel Orozco

      I’m not really excited for Coco since I don’t celebrate Day of the Dead despite me personally being half Hispanic.

  • Satria Rahmadi Djajasudarma

    I have to disagree about Brave though. Sure its a slight misfire in the PIXAR canon despite story, setting, and the attempt to create their first fairy tale/princess film is very daring. As for the remaining upcoming films within the decade, I don’t feel worry as how DW does sequels/prequels/spin-offs like an assembly line for mass production. Having said that, PIXAR sequels/prequels have a similar feel to their predecessors and there is a long gap between them which gives the audience something to look forward too.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I agree that Brave being Pixar’s first fairy tale movie was truly daring. It had a beautiful story, gripping pacing and stunning animation. I’m not worried too much about Pixar’s future either.

  • Max den Hartog

    I really love Toy Story 2 & 3 and Monsters U, so Pixar has proven themselves that they can make some good sequels, but what is bothering me is that Lasseter promised only to make sequels if the story is right and not just to make some easy money, yeah right. TS4 is completely unnecessarily and while the newly announced story details sounds fun, they definitely don’t sound like a worthy follow up of TS3. Cars 3? I don’t know, I don’t like cars at all (!) but I’m more interested in it than I am in TS4, they could do some interesting things to expand the world, but to be honest this franchise should’ve ended after the first film. I’m really excited for Finding Dory, the story sounds right and while it might not be completely necessarily, I can live with it. Incredibles 2 is a movie most people, except for me, have been begging Pixar for to make for years now, and while I was never one of those people begging for a sequel, I’m for sure excited to see what Brad Bird comes up with, but we do have to admit that this movie is only being made to serve the fans. While some of these sequels sound very exciting and promising, none of them sound as promising as TGD and Coco or any other original Pixar for that matter. I’m okay with Pixar making sequels if they only do it if the story is right (TS2/3) and not just to serve the fans and make some easy money, which is unfortunately the case with these upcoming sequels. I wouldn’t care if Pixar’s entire slate of upcoming films were sequels (which is pretty much happening right now) as long as there’s a purpose for these sequels, which is simply not the case right now.

    • Steven LOVES animation

      I agree on Cars 2. I don’t hate it like everyone else. In fact, I wasn’t impressed with it when I saw it in theaters. BUT, after letting it marinate in my head and giving it a re watch here and there, it grows on you. I think it’s great! I wish whenever Lasseter would say in the likes of “We at Pixar make memorable movies”, you always get that one person that would say “except the Cars movies”. Jeezes it’s getting to a point where it’s really annoying to me.

      • Alan Wilcox

        well cars never needed a sequel to begin with and even though I like talking vehicles a movie with a bunch of talking vehicles but no human in it that is not natural

  • I’m not really upset about this direction Pixar is going. Yes, of course, Pixar has set the bar for original, unique, amazing films. But I think Pixar is just moving onto a different phase of its life.

    Phase 1 skyrocketed them into becoming the powerhouse that they are today; however, since they were a new studio, they had no choice but to do original films. Sequels weren’t an option because they had no previous work from which to make a sequel. In the middle years (Phase 2), we saw a few sequels here and there, but now in Phase 3, they have so many popular properties and franchises that I’m not surprised that they want to keep going back to that well.

    I’m positive about Pixar’s future.

    • Anthony Raphael

      That is a very good point, and Pixar can still make unique sequels as well.

  • I know this is an opinion piece and I know that I’m not supposed to say anything unless I say anything nice…but, Pablo…I just can’t. I truly consider you one of the more focused Pixar fans out there and I do follow what you write very closely (and it’s really, really good). But…I have to ask, why write this piece? Hasn’t the topic of Pixar and their sequels been written time and time again? It’s been talked about so much and the one thing we’ve learned is that Pixar is a business and they’re going to do what they want.

    If there’s one thing that I wish Catmull never said it would be his reference to doing an original every year or every other year (depending on the quote). You mentioned that Ed “promised” an original every year – sadly, he didn’t, he only said that it’s “important”. That’s a lot different than a promise. More importantly, just saying something once doesn’t mean that you have to live by it forever. As an example, in 2013 you wrote “Why Pixar’s Future Looks Bright & Exciting” (http://www.rotoscopers.com/2013/07/12/why-pixars-future-looks-bright-and-exciting/). In 2014, you wrote “Is Pixar Sick?” (http://www.rotoscopers.com/2014/01/22/is-pixar-sick/) and now you’re noting that the future looks bleak in your view. It’s OK to change paths and just because you said something at one time, doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be the case.

    Again, I do want to stress the respect that we have for you, so please don’t take this the wrong way. In this instance, I just feel like I need to stick up for Pixar a bit since it’s their call (whether we like it or not). -T.J.

    • PabloRuiz7

      Oh, I write opinion pieces to start a conversation! So I’m happy everyone is responding and disagreeing! I’m glad my point of view isn’t the most popular one! And reading everyone’s comments just help me deal with my disappointment and see things differently.

      I wrote this because that image with the upcoming slate really disappointed me. Before now I had always defended Pixar. But this was a bummer, especially after Inside Out reminded me how amazing original Pixar films make me feel!

      • rbrtck

        I mostly agree with your original points, and don’t think that you should stick up for the dubious practices of any studio or other entity just because of their name. If they need to be called out, then call them out. What they’re doing now is clearly far from ideal, and Ed Catmull would agree, albeit in silence now.

      • Thanks, Pablo! You’re the best!

  • Yuri Gnu

    I agree that Pixar doesn’t seem to be creating new content as they used to, but I don’t think they are failing to provide good movies like they used to. There are a lot of Shrek movies, Madagascar too, but if that had stopped DW from doing sequels, we wouldn’t have How to Train Your Dragon 2, that for me, was better than the first one.

    Right, I do think we don’t need most of these sequences, we only need the Incredibles one, because it’s been so long that you can tell a completely different story than the one in the first movie, but sometimes we may not want something, because we don’t know what they can offer us, although I agree that Monster University wasn’t as great as a original movie like Inside Out, (SPOILER OF MONSTER UNIVERSITY AHEAD, IF ANYONE HAVEN’T SAW) I loved to know that Sully wasn’t always the big guy at the Monster inc, he had to work his way up, that’s a little something more of the character that we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the second movie, and is something that we would never know we could have.

    I trust Pixar to make great sequels and actually think that now is the best time to do that, because we have more studios doing animation, we may get new great stories of our already beloved characters AND original animation from other hands, like Blue Sky, Sony or Laika.

  • Chinoiserie

    We have known that this probbaly is Pixar’s slate pretty much forever and have heard about these kind of complaints before. I do realise that many are dissapointed but after a while we should just wait to see the films and judge Pixar’s slate then. And generally Dory and the Incredidbles 2 are very much anticipated and while many are wary of Toy Story 4 there are excited people too. So it is only Cars 3 that is universally hated as an idea. I would like more originals too in general but I am excited to see all of this except Cars 3. And there might be 5 originals immeadetelly after these, the pre-Inside Out films probably are not getting new sequels (unless they decide to make an Incredidbles 3 after 10 years or something).

    • rbrtck

      Making twice as many sequels as originals has been a done deal of late and you’re right that we were aware that the near future looked to be more of the same, but I think some of us were hoping that there would be some originals that we hadn’t heard about inserted into their upcoming slate (pushing back some of the known sequels). There have been people on forums speculating on this in response to the complaints, but unfortunately what we already knew is now confirmed to be all there is for the next several years. Oh well, let the lamentation really commence now.

  • Nicely stated – I appreciate the thoughtful approach you’re taking here, and mostly agree. I’m very excited about Incredibles II as long as Brad Bird is in full control – it’s clear that with co-writers, he simply doesn’t produce as high quality material.

    • rbrtck

      Nah, Brad Bird is fallible like any other human, and is responsible for what he makes. For that matter, in my opinion The Incredibles is not one of the finer examples of his work, so I’m hoping that he does better with the sequel (although I’d greatly prefer a different and new movie instead).

      • Totally agree that Brad Bird is fallible, but I have few reservations on The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille, and many, many reservations on Mission Impossible 4 and Tomorrowland. The biggest difference I see (other than live action) is that the latter two weren’t really Bird’s story.

        And…completely disagree that The Incredibles isn’t one of Bird’s finer works – in my judgment, it’s the finest work he’s produced, holds up amazingly well today (just watched it on bluray projection in an auditorium, and it’s really fantastic), is the best constructed and most intelligent superhero film made to date, and is, quite punnily, Incredible. 🙂

        • rbrtck

          Although it’s an entertaining, stylish movie, I don’t take anything The Incredibles says too seriously. Here is my take on it (I’m “Melvin Frohike” in this other forum):
          http://forums.boxofficetheory.com/topic/4266-big-hero-6-november-7-2014-now-available-on-home-video/page-124#entry1753706

          In short, it’s more of an exercise in elitism than being about what really makes people great. Bird puts his philosophy in some of his other movies, too, but this is perhaps the most egregious example in some ways. Ironically this should theoretically appeal to me, being a fellow libertarian (I can recognize my own kind), but his views are too extreme and in this case poorly supported by the movie.

          • I appreciate your review – very thoughtful – but I don’t buy that The Incredibles is necessarily elitist – or perhaps I just share enough of the elitist (or at least the non-egalitarian) philosophy underpining it. I do agree that there are problems with superpowers – but I don’t think Syndrome is right. Even apart from his sociopathy and near-solipsism, his argument is that no one should be special – I agree that everyone should have the same opportunities, but they shouldn’t have specialness forced upon them if they aren’t willing to accept responsibility. This is not at all to say that the supers deserve their powers – Bob, for example, definitely has to learn to be worthy of them – or that people without powers can’t be worthwhile – such as Edna or the FBI agent – but it does mean that not everyone can be as good at things as other people.

          • rbrtck

            Well, I’m not an elitist, either–I’m an egalitarian who nevertheless recognizes that people have different abilities and should be allowed to have different outcomes in their lives based on this. That said, nobody is inherently in a different class just because they’re better at something–we’re all peers in fundamental ways. That’s not the vibe I get from The Incredibles, however, in which the “supers” are considered something more than ordinary humans–a higher class of being–and we’re supposed to want them to remain special even if it means withholding enabling technologies from others, which smacks of elitism.

            As for Syndrome, I didn’t say he was right about everything. His expressed idea that nobody should be special is extremely wrongheaded in a general sense, but he was right about his intellect making him special, and his threatened action, though ill-intentioned, to enable others with amazing technology is not in itself a bad thing (technology is a double-edged sword, which would have to be addressed, but this movie presents even the simplistic view in the wrong way, so we don’t even need to go there). The bottom line is that the elitism is as plain as day to me, while the main point is riddled with holes.

          • Sorry to be unclear – I meant to indicate that I am more of an elitist.

            Eh, holes. I can see some of them, but I think the main point is that the characters are incredibly engaging even past some of the things that plain don’t make sense.

          • rbrtck

            I agree about the characters, and the action is fantastic. I guess we each have certain things, often different between us, that bother us more than others–a borderline platitude these days, but true nonetheless. 😉

  • Wait? What!

    A lot of ppl I know have been highly anticipating Finding Dory for a while now. I thought Brave was pretty good. I remember when it beat Wreck it Ralph at the Oscars(I was so sad). But I think *some* sequls like Finding Dory is a fun way to continue the story especially when their is still more left in the story to be discovered. And there will be some new characters. I do agree the main characters won’t be fresh but it’ll still be fun to see them on the big screen again☺️(Even after so many years). I honestly don’t know how I feel for Toy Story four because I never saw the first two movies in theaters. I’ve just never had a special movie watcher connection to the Toy Story franchise. And to be honest I will NOT waste time going to see Cars 3. I thought they ended their franchise when Planes was released ( I know it’s not Pixar but I was really hoping). I never liked the incredibles either. I just never have. But that’s my opinion. I thought the incredibles was always too much fighting for an animated movie and their was a lot of jazzy vibes in the credits. I know it’s a superhero movie but yeah. ? I’m so excited for TGD, FD, TS4 and C ( it seemed faster to abbreviate the movies).

  • Schmoseph Schmeindl

    I’m too lazy to research the details, but I believe their contract with Disney stipulates that they need to have a certain amount of sequels per every original film. So, blame Disney, not Pixar.

    • aquapyro

      No they don’t. There’s no Disney telling their subsidiaries what they can and can’t do. Disney doesn’t tell Marvel, Muppets or Lucasfilm what to do either. They are still their own companies run by the leaders that Disney gives full respect to. I’m guessing you found this info on Buzzfeed

      • Schmoseph Schmeindl

        Thanks for talking down to me. No, I didn’t read it in buzzfeed. I don’t want to waste my night with this, but I spent a few minutes searching for the original article that clued me into this, and I admittedly couldn’t find a thing. Nevertheless, I don’t think the issue is as cut and dried as you’d like to believe.

        How was Disney able to make a spin-off to Cars, without any involvement of Pixar?

        http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/but-why-sequels.html

        Yes, I know that Pixar is creatively autonomous from Disney. But they do have an ownership/distribution contract in place, and I’ve read stuff that leads me to believe that said contract is as simple as you’d like to believe.

      • Schmoseph Schmeindl

        *isn’t as simple

        • aquapyro

          Except its clear that Disney doesn’t tell Pixar what to do because Lasseter and Catmull run both divisions (which Iger put them in to save Disney Animation) And Disneytoons is pretty much dead.

  • rbrtck

    Actually, personally, I’d take Monsters University over Inside Out. While MU is largely a mediocre take on the college movie trope that some other movies have done much better, it does tell a thoughtful story about the different paths we can take to reach our goals and make it in this world, while essentially reinventing characters we already knew (within believable limits) and introducing some likable new ones that suit the story. By the end I felt quite invested despite what I perceive as the movie’s shortcomings, and some of Sully and Mike’s revelations hit pretty hard (manipulative, to be sure, but pretty well done regardless).

    For me, at least, IO had a mildly irritating and not very interesting protagonist in Joy, several mostly one-note supporting characters, and an overly straightforward and predictable story and theme. It’s a well told story otherwise, and a pretty good movie, don’t get me wrong, but I could tell how it was going to end very early on, and nothing it did afterward could distract me from that. Everything was wrapped up nicely at the end, but I didn’t feel all that invested in the characters and outcome, while MU somehow managed to redeem itself by the end. In my opinion, neither are among Pixar’s strongest efforts overall, but between the two I think that MU is both more fun and more compelling than IO overall.

    By the way, you may think that this is an unusual opinion, and you may be right statistically, but note that it is unusual for me, too, in the sense that I’m not a big fan of sequels (or prequels), to put it mildly. But I call things like I see them, so there you go.

  • Fadi Antwan

    I know for a fact that Pixar’s future is bright, but I’m also a little disappointed with the upcoming slate. While I can most definitely understand Incredibles II and maybe also Finding Dory to some degree, Toy Story 4 and Cars 3 are simply franchises being milked dry. I can’t blame them for wanting big bucks, which they WILL get for making these sequels, but I guess I always hoped they wouldn’t get to this point, no matter how tempting it is.

  • Pricklepants

    I’d like to think that they’re making sequels because it’s a sure(r)-fire way to rake in the millions they need to support original artistry. Maybe the inner workings among the Disney overlords has decided that the only way Pixar can sustain their original (and obviously more risky) pipeline is to make all these sequels. Maybe this specific point in time maybe unfortunate if we look at their pipeline because it just so happen to include so many sequels that they need to get out of their system. Fast forward 2-3 years, maybe the mix between originals and sequels will be completely different because they’ve paid their dues and can move on to the next exciting originals. So let’s not panic just yet.

    • rbrtck

      I tend to share this viewpoint, although I think that Pixar’s management was probably beginning to get more conservative anyway, which was one reason, in addition to Disney’s generous bid, they agreed to be acquired instead of remaining fiercely independent. Early on they had nothing to lose, but later on they did, and they know all too well how close Disney, as a smaller independent studio itself decades ago, came to “snuffing it” on several occasions. So I don’t think that it’s all about what Disney management want–fortunes can turn on a dime, and Pixar are simply playing it safer by becoming a division of Disney, now a giant media conglomerate, as well as more completely capitalizing on their existing franchises. I don’t particularly like that they’re doing this, but I can understand some of the potential reasons for it.

  • Iftekhar Ahmed

    We live in a society that’s hungry for nostalgia. Anything that reminds an adult of their childhood past whether it’d be a direct sequel to an age old franchise or a complete “re-imagining” will gain a higher guarantee of viewers watching that property and Pixar knows that better than most as evident by the slate of sequels that are presented here.

    But I’m not fazed, Disney Animation triumphed over Pixar this D23. Not has Disney entered a better renaissance than the 90’s, but, their world building is far better than Pixar’s and that’s still the case. Tangled’s Kingdom of Coronia, Sugar Rush from Wreck-It Ralph, Arendale from Frozen, San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 and Zootopia from the movie of the same name. Even Gigantic’s world of Giants living in a cloud civilization is a better world than any Pixar has established. Pixar’s still great, however, I think it’s about time they started paying attention to their adopted sibling: Disney Animation!

    • Manuel Orozco

      I agree Iftekhar and I’m hungry for nostalgia for things that were part of my childhood and things that were not.

  • Steven LOVES animation

    It’s understandable you’re hesitant about movies like Toy Story 4. As was I. But I was at D23 and I’m honestly not anymore. The Pixar veterans, Lasseter, Stanton, Doctor, and Unkrich brainstormed the idea together and from the presentation Lasseter stated “This story is very personal to me and that this story is inspired by my own story of me finding my own wife.” I mean goddamn I don’t know about you but that got me and the audience all excited. I think when an artist creates a story so personal from their own experiences, it’s bound to be at least decent. Cause it’s so real you know?

    • Iftekhar Ahmed

      Insert “The holy grail of the Toy Story trilogy is perfect: don’t touch it” argument.

      Seriously though, I agree with you 100%: I love romance and it’s damn time that Pixar takes a shot at it… at least one that lasts longer than a 20 minute montage.

      • Wasn’t WALL-E a romance?

        • Iftekhar Ahmed

          Come to think about it, I suppose you’re right! It’s a shame that the second half of the movie had humans in the movie. I would have loved an entirely mechanical civilisation.

        • Steven LOVES animation

          Wall-E was a romance. But Lasseter stated this is something the Toy Story franchise has never done.

          • Yeah but this comment was a response to the above one, not to Lasseter’s statement

          • Steven LOVES animation

            Oops. I feel like an idiot. Haha.

          • It’s okay it was an easy mistake 🙂

    • Rachel Wagner

      That’s so cool. Thank you for sharing that. I am now even more excited!

    • PabloRuiz7

      That’s truly amazing! Thanks for sharing, that’s really a game changer!

    • Manuel Orozco

      Toy Story 4 may not turn out to be as magical as the previous movie but it will be awesome and romantic at the same time to have Bo Peep back.

  • Angelo

    Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like Rotoscopers is becoming much more negative as a community. The majority of news pieces and opinion pieces read as pessimistic or snarky/sarcastic. More love and enthusiasm please!

    • PabloRuiz7

      I hope it’s just you but all the comments on this article have made me think of things in a different way and I’ll try to be much more enthusiastic! Cross my heart =)

    • King Broey

      The studios pay plenty of money for cheerleaders, we don’t need to do it for free. Fans/critics/journalists ought to be critical at times and call out the studios when they go astray. It’s easy for the execs/creators believe their own hype, and in the end it helps them if we let them know they’re losing the audience’s trust. Nothing wrong with being positive when they earn it, of course!

      • Manuel Orozco

        Pixar does not need cheerleaders

  • Monkey

    4 Orginal movies in 2010 until Incredibles 2, Brave, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Coco, also they have never done 3 sequels in a row, also they created such great and memorable characters that people love seeing them return.

  • surfercharlie25

    I don’t really have an issue with Pixar’s sequels. In fact, if it weren’t for the sequels, we probably wouldn’t have Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, or Coco.

    Pixar uses sequels better than most movie studios. In an ideal world, the sequels pay the bills and keep the studios secure. When the studio’s secure, the execs are more likely to give the green-light to original projects. Unfortunately, execs at most studios are really reticent to back up original stories. Pixar’s not that way, though. I look at the sequels as necessary, in a way; they pull in the money that’s needed to get projects like The Good Dinosaur and Coco going.

    And sequels aren’t necessarily bad, either! Yes, sequels are usually (not always, but usually) cash grabs. However, doing something for the money isn’t inherently bad, as long as the quality doesn’t slip. As long as Pixar keeps the quality up for the sequels (as they strive to do), I’m totally fine with sequels! After all, sometimes, sequels are better than the originals! (Take The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2, and Toy Story 3, for instance!)

    • Alan Wilcox

      I agree sequels are only good if the actors come back, if the director and writers come back and if the characters come back if a sequel has different actors than it is not worth being made

    • Jeremiah

      We wouldn’t have The Good Dinosaur? Woe is us. 🙂 Absolutely applaud your post.

      • Manuel Orozco

        True since they would not have enough money to develop original projects

  • I mean I totally see where your coming from with these sequels and yeah it is upsetting to see not a lot of fresh ideas but come on, ITS PIXAR!!! and if its anything that Toy Story 2/3 taught us is that some Pixar sequels can be a great thing
    So I’m still excited for the future of Pixar and what they have up their sleve

  • JustinJun

    Well Pablo, you’re definitely brave for posting this. As the comment count shows, it’s caused quite the stir. However, I’m glad you did it because, just as most opinion pieces do here on the website, especially with such “negative” article titles (ex. Mayra’s 5 Reasons Why I’m NOT Excited for ‘Frozen‘), it starts fans of every opinion to form discussions. We all need to remember these opinion pieces are just that- OPINIONS!

    With that being said, I’m actually very excited about the upcoming slate of movies to be released by Pixar. Yes, it lacks in original movies; but the excitement to go back to the world of “Nemo” and “The Incredibles” has me giddy. If anything, I get nervous watching a completely new concept just for the fact that I don’t want a possible “flop” to be had. I have to agree with your opinion on being weary about “Toy Story 4” because the trilogy ended so perfectly, but if there is one thing that Pixar has shown us is that they are able to make a really good Toy Story sequel!

    We’ve got to love opinions because EVERYONE has one :]

  • Baymax

    Sorry for commenting late, my iPad went a little crazy, but let’s get back on track. Pixar is one of the big three. Their films are considered classics, well, most, and the films made a lot of money. Let’s say you take a successful studio, called blue sky. Their movies make a lot of money and get kids buying the happy meal toys. Their movies don’t have as much heart. (I view Horton as a wonderful move, and the rio films as a guilty pleasure.) what I think Pablo is trying to say is that Pixar might become the next blue sky. But my final verdict is that I hate to disagree, but Pablo might be wrong. Sequels don’t mean terrible movies a 100% of the time. Pablo’s favorite movie is toy story three. As I say, give the kings a chance.

  • Teejay Thomson

    Who knows, maybe they’ll announce new original films in the next few years.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I have no doubt since Pixar is planning on focusing on mostly original material into the next decade.

  • Peter Dare

    For me, when I think of all the work that goes int an animated feature, it is difficult to call any of them “horrible.” I think a lot of directors have to do a film no one wants to see, in order to be better prepared for future projects. Movies like Cars 2 and Brave were not perfect, not by a long shot, but they were still efforts that had a good idea behind them. Pixar just had a bad day. (Or…a bad few years.)
    Andrew Stanton is the best filmmaker of our time, and so I cannot hate Finding Dory. I can hope that they do not disgrace the legacy that Finding Nemo has, but, and the end of it all, nothing could disturb that film’s seat as one of the best movies ever made.
    The Incredibles 2? Yes, as a kid my whole family, (parents included,) wanted this movie to be made. But as I’ve studied the first film, I’ve become nervous. If Brad Bird wasn’t behind it, I would be mailing Pixar more than a few angry letters. I just hope Brad is still as competent as he was when he made The Incredibles.
    As for the rest, of course I’m excited. I’ll never dread the release of a Pixar movie, even if it was WALL-E 2: Rise of the Axiom Zombies.

    Actually, I would dread that.

  • I think you’re being too dismissive of the sequels. The only less than awesome Pixar films are one’s that had behind the scene’s conflict after new directors couldn’t meet the Pixar standard for excellence. Whereas now we have all these new films being worked on by Pixar’s A-team. Sequels or not we going to get to watch these incredible story makers tell personal stories. As much as this is a different phase for Pixar they’re doing it with the original roster of directors and that’s awesome.

    In Pixar I trust.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Long Live Pixar. And what you said about behind the scenes conflict, that is exactly why if things went steady in production, I would have liked Brave and Good Dinosaur even more than I actually did.

  • Míriam

    I don’t think sequels are a bad thing, as long as they’re good. Some sequels can actually exceed their original base. I think some of the worlds that are created in movies (Pixar and non-Pixar) are so amazing that it would be a waste not to revisit them.

    Besides, there are original movies that aren’t that good either, so I don’t think being a sequel is really what’s at stake, but how good the story is. That’s my opinion, I love your articles, Pablo! o/

    • Manuel Orozco

      Agreed. Maybe in the 2020’s, we will get a sequel to Inside Out and I won’t mind since they are some possibilities of new adventures Joy and the other emotions can embark on.

  • Chinoiserie

    I commented here before but I thought about it and I feel the reason I am not upset about the Pixar sequels is because while I like Pixar and love many of their films I do not love the same way I do WDAS. If they announced that after Gingantic their films would be Frozen 2, Wreck-It Ralph 2 and Big Hero 6… II probably, I would be a bit dissapointed too. I was against Frozen 2 bacause of the bad experienced with teh direct to video sequels but I have now made my peace with it and it is kind of interesting to see WDAS do a sequels for once. But if all the succesfull films would suddenly get a sequel it would be upsetting

    • rbrtck

      I feel the same way, for basically the same reasons. And although I consider myself a huge lifelong fan of WDAS and Disney in general, I do not worship them like I see so many people worship Pixar–it’s cult-like and frankly kind of creepy. I realize that this might sound insulting, but that is not my intention at all–I’m just being honest about how it appears from out here. WDAS do not always make great movies because they aren’t perfect, and the same goes for Pixar. It’s the philosophy, legacy, and body of work that I’m interested in, not some notion that everything they do is fantastic by definition. I’ll be the judge of that (not that my opinion is worth more than anyone else’s). 🙂

      Now, as for the direct-to-video cheapquels to WDAS’ movies, as you have indicated generally they were not made by WDAS, so Frozen 2 and any subsequent sequels are going to be a different matter–not necessarily great because WDAS are fallible like everything else that involves humans, but the sequels should have more potential, at least, as well as being true to the creators’ intention. Although I strongly suspect that Frozen 2 is motivated primarily by corporate greed as opposed to creative reasons, at least it won’t be a direct-to-video cheapquel.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I consider myself a lifelong fan of Disney as well but I don’t worship them either. Which is partially why I’m looking forward to Wreck It Ralph 2 more than Frozen 2.

  • Fluffydips

    They could never make sequels before Disney bought them due to a contract. Now that they can make sequels, they are making some sequels. Nuff said. I’ll enjoy where they take my favorite characters next, including Cars 3.

  • I’m fine with them, because at least (for the most part), the sequels are coming from established properties that allow for a sequel, even if I don’t care for Finding Nemo or Cars or Toy Story 3. I never held Pixar in the highest of esteems like everyone else – they were just as varied as everyone else.

  • Manuel Orozco

    I didn’t see Finding Dory yet but I feel certain the future at Pixar seems pretty bright. They maybe getting old but they still can turn in a great movie that will be remembered for years to come! Toy Story 4’s creative direction should be interesting and we waited long enough for Incredibles 2.

  • Jeremiah

    I got ready to get my blade Pixar Sequel Defender out. But then I realized the comments are a meadow of Pixar love. Well well.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Thank you