One of the main things that seems to have been bringing most recent Pixar films down is the simple fact that they’re sequels. Cars 2 had a very mechanical feeling to it, but the original film wasn’t that great in the first place, making the need for a sequel practically nonexistent. Then, of course, there was their most recent release, Monsters University, which, while not a bad film, lacked the heart of the original, making it feel like a sub-standard Pixar effort.
There have, of course, been exceptions to their sequel dilemma. Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 have stood out as their only good sequels to date, with the third film going so far as to grab a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
Recently, Ed Catmull, president of Pixar, spoke on the matter:
“For artistic reasons …it’s really important that we do an original film a year. Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films. We’re going to have an original film every year, then every other year have a sequel to something. That’s the rough idea.”
I couldn’t agree with him more on the need for originality, and I think most would follow suit, but a sequel every other year still seems like too much. Revisiting old characters is fine if there’s a good reason to do so (i.e. there’s another great story to be told), but if it’s going to be somewhat lackluster like most of their recent sequels, then what’s the point?
Currently, the only sequel on Pixar’s slate is the upcoming Finding Dory, sequel to the outstanding Finding Nemo, which is personally one of my favorite films of theirs. It’s scheduled to come out in 2015, but the studio also has an original film coming out the same year entitled Inside Out, a film that is said to take place in the mind of a young girl. Sounds pretty cool, eh?
While revisiting the characters of Finding Nemo might be nice for a nostalgic trip, I’m always going to be in favor of them trying out more original ideas. Admittedly, this doesn’t always work out for the best either. Brave was based on an original idea, and while it wasn’t a bad movie, the story was rather silly and the heart of it got lost along the way. However, given all of the amazing original films they’ve delivered over the years (Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Up, etc.), they’ve shown that their greatest success comes from originality.
Pixar’s next project is also based on an original idea. The project is called The Good Dinosaur and will be helmed by Up co-director Bob Peterson, giving me hope that Pixar will once again return to their seat of greatness where they’ve been missed for the past few years. You can check it out when it hits theaters on May 30th, 2014.
What do you think of Pixar’s plan? Do you want to see more sequels or more original ideas from the studio? Let us know in the comments!
(Source: The Film Stage)