1) If this is the worst, it really isn’t so bad
Rather than waste my time putting into words why I believe Brave is on par with Finding Nemo, or why I think Cars 2 is (at worst) on par with the original, I’ll let others do the talking for me. Ignoring the Tomatometer, Cars 2 did pretty well for itself, all things considered. A box-office take of over $500 million worldwide, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Film, and a not ghastly rating of 6.3 over on IMDb. While it did miss out on the Academy Awards, being the first Pixar film not nominated in the history of Best Animated Feature (2001-present), it brought in money, which is what everyone thought its release was about in the first place, and it still has its supporters, myself included.
Likewise, Brave managed a similar box-office take, plus an Oscar nomination (and victory) to go along with a considerably more positive response (78% on Rotten Tomatoes; 7.2 on IMDb). Whether or not Brave deserved all that, namely the awards it took home, is another matter altogether. The point I’m trying to make is that though Pixar has had its missteps, even they are not without worth. Some might argue the contrary, but Cars 2 is not the Pixar equivalent of the direct-to-video sequels Disney used to produce. And while few, besides myself, think it acquitted itself as well as Ratatouille, Brave wasn’t as much a mess as one would expect, given its troubled production history.
Both are the sort of “bombs” that a fledgling animation studio, such as Blue Sky, would be more than pleased to have on their record. Could Pixar drop even further than them? There will always exist that possibility, but it’s not fair to judge them based upon what might happen in the future. As we stand right now, Pixar doesn’t look to be at risk of turning into Disney as they were during what I’ll call the “dark years.”
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