Thursday, September 1, 2011

About Pixar

I love movies. I love books. I love good movies that take you to another world where you are completely enveloped in the universe they create, much like a good book. Pixar has done this pretty well in the past but lately…my faith in them has faltered.

I really like the simplicity of their movie themes. It’s no secret that they go after popular children’s topics like toys, monsters and cars. They seem to do wonders with the simplest concepts.

A few years ago I read a quote by the director of a few of those Pixar movies, Brad Bird. On press day for the movie Ratatouille he said that they didn’t make movies just for money and that sequels don’t come about unless it was a story they were excited to tell. The interviewer inferred that this meant Pixar was not in the business of making sequels. Taking a look at the past and future movies on Pixar’s plate…I think they have changed their minds.
  • 1995 Toy Story
  • 1998 A Bug’s Life
  • 1999 Toy Story 2 (Sequel)
  • 2001 Monsters, Inc.
  • 2003 Finding Nemo
  • 2004 The Incredibles
  • 2006 Cars
  • 2007 Ratatouille
  • 2008 Wall-E
  • 2009 Up
  • 2010 Toy Story 3 (Sequel)
  • 2011 Cars 2 (Sequel)
  • 2012 Brave
  • 2013 Monsters University (Sequel)
  • Upcoming (Untitled Dinosaur Movie)
  • Upcoming (Untitled Movie Inside the Mind)
  • Upcoming Toy Story Short "Small Fry" (Sequel/Short)
  • Upcoming The Incredibles 2 (Sequel)

A third of the movies we know about are sequels and two are sequels to sequels. In all fairness Toy Story 2 and 3 were very good. I would even argue that in some ways better than the original. Cars 2 though didn’t interest me in the least bit. I didn’t feel there was “more story” to be told there.

I don’t doubt that Pixar could successfully pull off a good sequel; I just think they are capable of greatness when they are challenged with an original story. The Incredibles and Wall-E were my absolute favorites of the bunch and they were both original tales. (For them anyway.) Then again so was Ratatouille and I found that story horribly boring.

I feel there are plenty more basic children’s topics to cover before they give in to the guaranteed cash of a sequel. I like what little I’ve seen of Brave. I think it will do well if they keep the same theme shown in the teaser. Dinosaurs can be interesting even though their bedfellow Disney already did an arguably uninspiring CG Dinosaur movie.

A Monsters, Inc. buddy origin story? Dumb & Dumberer did such a great job why not right?

The Incredibles told a great story. It was a complete tale that closed that arc. A lot of people want a sequel but I don't know why. The original story was about the comeback of heroes and that story is told. If they made a sequel it would just be another superhero movie in an overpopulated sea of superhero movies.

What topics I would like to see Pixar take on?

Aliens - They've done space but not aliens. Sony did it unsuccessfully with Planet 51 so the trophy is still available.
Astronauts - (Maybe combining them with Aliens for First Contact...?)
Time Travel
Magic / Wizards
Dragons / Camelot
Cops & Robbers - (Think a comical Al Capone)

I can see them doing a movie about a special needs child with a different/refreshing view of the world teaching us all a valuable, humorous and emotional lesson.

Do you all have any likes/dislikes/hopes for Pixar Flix?