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Pixar: Are the glory days over?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SuperGzilla12, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. SuperGzilla12

    SuperGzilla12 Active Member

    A thread about MuppetVision 3D didn't seem like quite the right place for this discussion...

    Pixar has been recieving some flack since the releases of Cars 2 and Brave. With the great deal of upcoming sequels from them (Monsters University, Finding Dory) many fear that their glory days are over.
     
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    CARS 2, I can understand, the original wasn't one of their better movies anyway, and I didn't really see the need for a sequel, but I liked BRAVE myself... it may have been a little clichéd and predictable, but it was still enjoyable... but as far as nothing but sequels, prequels, sidequels, whateverquels in their future so far, I guess I can see the worry over their glory days about to be left behind them.
     
  3. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Let's be honest here, a sequel doesn't necessarily mean a bad movie. There are lots of sequels that are just as good if not better than the original.

    And they've been making virtually flawless films for well over a decade. They're allowed a flop or two.
     
    Duke Remington likes this.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I said that the fact that there seems to be little other than sequels and such in their future is why some may be worried that their so-called "glory days" are over, because let's face it, sequels have grown to a point that they're pretty much an overused gimmick anymore, like 3D was there for a while. There was a time where sequels weren't so common, and therefore, for a movie to get one, it was of genuine excitement... nowadays, a sequel is really no big deal anymore, it's bound to happen, therefore, no excitement.

    Yes, there are some sequels that are just as good as the original (TOY STORY's 2 and 3), there are some sequels that are better than the original (SHREK 2), and there are some sequels that tarnish the original (pretty much each of the ICE AGE sequels)... but again, when a studio seems to be concentrating on so many sequels, doesn't that make you just a LITTLE curious that maybe, just maybe, perhaps, they MIGHT be just a LITTLE short on ideas for new, fresh material?
     
  5. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    Oh joy! Time for a very long essay-style post.

    Let me start by saying that I still feel Pixar is one of the most consistent studios in the film industry. Of the 13 films they've released, I've never missed seeing a single one on the big screen and, until they really disappoint me, I don't intent on missing any of their future releases. But when you keep building on hit after hit after hit after hit, the fall would inevitably come. I just don't think anyone expected the fall as harshly as it came.

    I was really looking forward to Cars 2, 2010 was a landmark year for Pixar. Toy Story 3 was and still is one of Pixar's best films period and the response to it was incredibly box office and Oscar-wise. Surely the follow-up would have a tough act to follow but it could at least live up to expectations. Then the reviews came out and it was astoundingly bad. Granted, Cars 2 isn't among the worst animated movies I've ever seen of the past five years or so (movies like Shrek the Third and The Lorax were a lot worse) but what could have been a clever sequel ended up being a sequel that hardly felt connected to the first film. And that's where it failed. Had they stuck closer in tone to the first film, well, Lightning McQueen's story wrapped up nicely enough a Cars 2 wouldn't have been needed! It felt nothing like Pixar had ever made and it showed, that's why that was such a failure that it was. For now, it remains the one Pixar film that will have no place on my DVD shelf.

    Brave was a different animal. It seemed interesting when the first trailers came out. Funny little story, when I saw Cars 2 with a friend of mine in theaters and they ran the first teaser for Brave, he was the one who was saying "Wow, this movie looks so generic." and I was the one who's saying "Are you kidding? This thing looks epic." As more trailers came out, my enthusiasm for it dipped for some reason but it wasn't enough for me to flat-out have ill will from Cars 2. I was convinced it was a one-time fluke and Brave would be able to overcome it's behind-the-scenes drama and be another Pixar winner... it wasn't. The behind-the-scenes drama hurt the movie and Brenda Chapman's vision was lost. I can appreciate it for what it was doing but the smaller elements worked better than the main elements. Merida's a brat and doesn't exactly do anything Brave, the plot was all over the place ranging from being really complicated to suddenly being too predictable (I saw Brave with the same friend I saw Cars 2 with and we both came to the agreement that the one element of the climax was really confusing). On the other hand, King Fergus and the witch were hilarious and make the film worth watching and the animation was up to Pixar's usual standard. Also, Patrick Doyle's score and the songs were very well-written. But it's just like an average amusement park ride, you ride it, think it's fun when you're watching it, once you get off you forget about it when you move on to another ride. It just didn't impress me. But I may go so far to say that even though it's a better film, it might be a bigger letdown than Cars 2 was, because that one at least had the chance of being bad leading up to release. However, it was the Academy Award win that infuriated me. By giving the Oscar to Pixar essentially just for making a movie, the Academy has made it blatantly obvious how little they care about animation. Every other film nominated received much stronger critical reviews than Brave and it had no reason to win the award. I've heard plenty of people watching Brave for the the first time post-Oscars and being severely let down. Granted, that fault lies more on the Academy than Pixar but they still trapped themselves in a corner by making a lesser film.

    I'm not even excited about Monsters University, in fact, the only guaranteed Pixar film I'm looking forward to is Pete Docter's "Inside the Mind" movie though the other original films do sound interesting. Finding Dory could work but it still screams "I-made-John-Carter-and-now-this-is-the-only-movie-I-can-get-greenlit". I'm getting the feeling Pixar is on their way to having a more spotty DreamWorks-like track record for the 2010s instead of their brilliance they brought to the 2000s.

    I know this is a lllloooonnnngggg post, but this is something I really care about. If you need me I'll just be waiting for replies. :D
     
  6. SuperGzilla12

    SuperGzilla12 Active Member

    Hey, Toy Story 3 is my favourite Pixar film, period. I'm still excited for Monsters University.

    Lately, big-budget animated movies haven't been doing as well in the box-office. This flood of sequels is probably a marketing decision. The Cars brand is the top thing that Disney has right now, so Disney asking them to make Cars 2 seems very logical. (That's also the explaination I give for Planes getting a cinematic release)
     
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'll say this. Saying the Academy has lost it by giving the film to Brave (which was frankly a pity Oscar for Brenda Chapman) is quite a bit much. Sure, it was the least deserving of the bunch, but it's far from the least deserving nomination of all time period. Pitchforks and torches should be raised, not by Pixar winning yet another award, but for the fact Happy Feet (the terrible almost plotless annoying penguin vanity picture) won an award, and Satoshi Kon didn't even get a freaking nomination. Well... unless you count Black Swan, being completely lifted from Perfect Blue to the point that Black Swan's director purchased the rights to Perfect Blue so no one in the US knows the movie is a ripoff. Kon is a freaking artist. To give you an idea... that's like The Last Supper being painted over for a poorly drawn happy face. The fact he received no recognition from the Bakademy and a crappy, emotionally manipulative jukebox musical with Robin Williams voiced penguins got the highest honor in the land is far worse than a slightly disappointing troubled film getting the gold.

    Though, yeah... I wanted it to go to any film that wasn't Brave. Paranorman specifically.

    I'm really looking forward to Monsters University. MI is one of my top favorite Pixar films. Finding Dory has potential. I really wish Newt wasn't abandoned because of some crappy wolf movie only furries like. Seems that would have been a better film.

    Still... my disappointment rides on Dreamworks. I really did like the Croods, but it was hardly as good as Rise of the Guardians. Turbo is so derivative and terrible that it makes Shark Tale looks original and appealing. Cars I can respect, Turbo? No amount of Samuel L Jackson can make me ever want to plop any amount of money to see that piece of pandering garbage. Kinda disappointed Peabody and Sherman has to wait for March. I don't really have the highest of expectations, as much as I'm looking forward to it. It has to be better than Dudley Do-Right. And it's all CGI. MUCh better than pasted on CGI/Live action stuff.
     
  8. fuzzygobo

    fuzzygobo Well-Known Member

    As much as I enjoy many of their features, I love the little niche they carved for themselves with their shorts. Animated short subjects were such an incredible art form from the 30's through the 60's, it's too bad their studios' bottom lines had them phased out.
    You can tell quite an amazing story in a medium of seven minutes of screen time.
    Give characters a one-shot deal, and if successful, they can turn up again in a new setting with a new plot, without running the risk of "How will this sequel compare to the original?"
    Some of these Pixar shorts are absolute gems. Same goes for Nick Park's "Creature Comforts", but that's a post for another thread.
     
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Sequels are hard, but let's face it... more often than not they really aren't bad. What's the best Star Wars movie? Empire Strikes Back. Does anyone really care about Batman Begins, or do they just want to cut to the more exciting Dark Knight? Shrek 2 was better than the first (of course the second two were meh at best, and the fourth was good only because they dropped the immature stuff that everyone got sick of in the third film)... and who actually prefers the first Toy Story to the second or third? The bad sequels just tend to stick out more.

    Pixar has only released 3 sequels already. The two great Toy Story sequels and that Toy commercial/Saturday Morning cartoon-esque Cars 2 (which was at least more impressive visually). Monsters University isn't out for another 2 months, and Finding Dory is 3 years away at least (something tells me they'll change it to a Summer release date... MU's date changed because they didn't want it going up against Twilight and made Wreck-it-Ralph a sacrificial lamb). Hard to judge, but they've got a pretty solid 2 out of three so far.

    And as I said before, back when Disney was about to lose Pixar and they were going to make sequels of (get ready for this...) the exact same movies Pixar did sequels to. And DTV cheapquel style in house. Remember, Disney forced Toy Story 2 on Pixar as a cheap DTV project, and they made it much better than it ever could have been. Disney's in house Toy Story 3 had a terrible premise and worse characters. And speaking of Disney in House, while it does have input from Lassiter, Disney's making a terrible Cars spinoff about Planes, and they already have 3 movies lined up.
     
  10. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    If I may offer my 2 cents, people treat sequels like this new trend from the last two decades, but it's waaaayyy older than people think. Even in the 19th to early 20th century, books had sequels all the time. The iconic Man in the Iron Mask is actually the third in the Three Musketeers Trilogy. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle grew so tired of writing Sherlock Holmes books and short stories that he tried to kill him off, only for the fans to demand he be brought back from the dead. And most iconic comic book characters (Spider-man, Batman, Superman) have been around for more than 50 years. I don't see how movie sequels are any different; I believe that if the characters are good, they deserve to have more stories about them.
     
    Drtooth likes this.
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Generally, everyobody has a love hate idea with sequels. They naturally become involved with the characters (at least when they're good or engaging) and they want to see more of them in different situations. Problem is, half the time, they don't measure up to what the viewers have in their heads. Then there are the times when no more story can physically exist without going through the motions. But what really puts people off sequels? Sequels to movies they hated in the first place. I'm guilty of that myself. They don't see why something has a fan base that would want to see more of a movie they're surprised someone actually enjoyed the first movie.

    Then there are the times where a studio forces something on the public, as if to say "You better the heck like it." I still can't imagine there was any call for more Open Season movies.
     
    Scooterforever likes this.
  12. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    Most sequels to quality movies have the potential to be good, but sometimes the studio gets in the way and takes the reigns from the creators, making what they think the audience wants based on a bunch of lame demographics. Other times the creators just lose their touch (Stars Wars I, II, and III). Sometimes simplicity is the best way to go; Toy Story 2 had a fairly straightforward plot (the other toys have to save Woody from a greedy toy seller), but at the same time it delved more into the backgrounds of the characters (we actually get to see Buzz's nemesis Zurg, and find out Woody belongs to a line of Western-themed dolls).
     
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    There are different factors at play when it comes to sequels in general, but SOMETIMES, there ARE some movies out there that may benefit from a sequel or too.

    SHREK was an okay movie at first, not necessarily the greatest animated movie there was, but it was still something worth watching... but then SHREK 2 came out, and it was so much better than the first, honestly one of my personal favorite movies of all time. SHREK THE THIRD was almost as good as 2, but it really didn't have much to offer as far as a plot goes, it's really one of those movies you watch really only when you're in need of a few easy and quick laughs... then it got to the point where SHREK FOREVER AFTER was a sigh of relief, because on the one hand, DreamWorks was in talks of doing upwards of like five, six, or even eight Shrek movies, so for them to go ahead and end it at four was like when Jim decided to end TMS after five seasons while it was still on top, and on the other hand, the fourth DID seem kind of tired of played.

    Then you've got cases of movies where just one sequel seems necessary, and everything after that is more head-desk worthy... I didn't like THE SANTA CLAUSE, the movie seemed like an interesting concept, but it just really didn't seem to be executed or written well or something, definitely not something to watch again; but then years later, THE SANTA CLAUSE 2 came out and it was GREAT! A little more childish, yes, but the overall story and production was a lot easier to sit through and watch than the original... but then they did THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE, and EVERYBODY was thinkin', really? Is this really necessary? It's kind of a train wreck to watch, so many of the characters from the plot are basically put on a bus so Martin Short could drive the movie, and I like Martin Short, but really, it wasn't just his movie. The same could be said for ICE AGE, as I've said MANY times before, it didn't need a sequel at all, but it got one any way and it sucked... then we got a third one, which was only slightly better, and now we've got a fourth one of which is pretty much evidence that Blue Sky wanted their own Shrek.

    Then you've got cases like HOME ALONE 3. The first two HOME ALONE's were wonderful and great movies, both of them were just as good as the other for their own reasons... I know most people hate the third one because there's no Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Danny Stern, etc., but I actually think that's exactly why HOME ALONE 3 did, indeed work: at that point in time, Mac Culkin would have been a little too old for a movie about a kid who finds himself all alone up against a pair of bumbling burglars, and really, if they tried that plot device again, it would have been tired and fall flat. But 3 took a different route, and we got a more fresh plot of a different kid who ends up getting tangled in a foursome of criminals who are actually working for a terrorist organization. That works. THEN, years later again, there was the made-for-TV HOME ALONE 4, and it did EXACTLY what John Hughes DIDN'T do with number 3, it brought the original characters back, but they were all completely recast, which was not a smart movie to make, and on top of that, the plot idea of having Kevin's parents divorce, the dad moving in with a new rich girlfriend in a swanky mansion that's now the target of Harry (even though the writers screwed up and called him Marv) and his new girlfriend as well... then just last year, we got HOME ALONE 5, and I never changed the channel on a new movie so fast before in my life, the acting was AWFUL, and it really was another case of, "Really?! ANOTHER one?!"

    But as I said previously, Hollywood has just got a bad case of sequelitis right now; we've gotten to a point where sequels in general have become an overused gimmick like 3D had become there for a while. It's not like the old days where you used to actually wonder if a certain movie would ever get a sequel, and if it did, you were usually genuinely excited about it, now, it's pretty much come to the point where not just one sequel, but multiple sequels are inevitable, and you actually dread them, because with each passing sequel, that just kills the franchise more and more. I STILL haven't ever seen CHIPWRECKED (but then again, I never saw SQUEAKQUEL either), but David Cross has been noted several times for saying it was the absolute worst experience of his entire career.
     
  14. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    As I said, there's nothing wrong with sequels when they're done right (The Great Muppet Caper, Empire Strikes Back, or Spider-man 2, to name some of my faves), but then you have franchises like Resident Evil or the Saw films, where at one point they were cranking one out each year, each one somehow worse than the last:grouchy:. How do awful movies like Saw and Resident Evil get 1 sequel a year when studios turn down sequels to great films like the critically acclaimed (for a popcorn flick, at least) Dredd 3D?
     
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I never considered THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER a sequel, then again, I never considered any of the Muppet movies a sequel to one another (with the exception of THE MUPPETS... AGAIN, which has, indeed, been confirmed to be a sequel to THE MUPPETS (2011)).
     
    Dominicboo1 likes this.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Shrek 3 was sloppy. It had some good concepts... the high school for royalty, the Princess resistance force, the villains taking over to try and get their own happy endings... even Shrek being a father worked pretty well. It plays better on television. Othet than that, it was just a bunch of recycled bits from the second film... the Donkey and Puss body swap thing went on far too long to be funny. That's where the film really failed. It would have been a funny 30 second gag, but they push it through the entire rest of the film.

    That said, the second Kung Fu Panda was more fleshed out than the first, actually much darker, and I swear they got a small take that at Mao in the opening (You need to know Chinese History to get it). Madagascar 3 was easily the most entertaining of the bunch (especially since the second one was the weakest of the trilogy)... They really aren't planning any sequels or spinoffs for a while, and even then, Kung Fu Panda 3, HTTYD 2, and a Penguins spinoff, which they swear won't be like the cartoon series, but it better the heck be if they know what's good for them. Jeff Bennet does a better job as Kowalski than the animator they used.
     
  17. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    I
    I liked them!But Merida is the 2nd least likable protagnist next to Lightning McQueen. (sigh)Yes I like Mater more....he's a least a good person er....truck. Oh Pixar....if anyone's reading this....Monster University and Finding Dory better be good, or I'll stop trusting you!
     
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    What those who hate Brave fail to realize is that the film does speak to some people. Mostly, teen- twenty something year old women that realize how hypocritical the other Disney Princesses they grew up with are. The difference is, at the end of the film (very subtly) Merida pretty much realizes she's been selfish and she doesn't quite get what she wants. There's more of a compromise, if anything. Too bad they made it too subtle and didn't expand on it.

    Really... rewatch Beauty and the Beast. Everyone in that movie is a jerk. Belle is a snob, and the towns people give her good reason to be one. Gaston, as much of a "bad guy" he is, he's just as selfish as anyone else in the movie. Heck, the freaking singing talking kitchen appliances only want to ship Belle and the Beast so they can become human again. They could care less about the master's happiness (though, in all fairness, it's his fault they're all like that). The Beast and Gaston are the only ones punished for being jerks. The only nice people in the film are the absent minded father (and only because they changed the story where he throws Belle as a sacrificial lamb at the Beast), and that library guy that gives Belle that book.

    Above all... the *&^% Princess brand. We're all independent women that hate being treated as objects and being forced into arranged marriages, but we apparently love wearing big dresses we never wore in the film and tea parties and telling girls their place. Pixar wanted to subvert that, Disney saw dollar signs and did the same thing with Merida. I can't blame Pixar for wanting to make their own princess film, though every single princess since and including Ariel was meant to be independant and strong. Only real differences between those and Pixar's? She doesn't end up with anyone in the end (one draft she was supposed to), and she actually looks like a young teenager and not a 25 year old sex goddess. ALL the princesses are in their early to mid-teens. :eek:

    I agree with Mater. He's actually likable. And he's voiced by a comedian I don't much care for, at that.
     
  19. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I like him! He might not always be funny, but he's a nice truck! Lightning in both movies makes Piggy look humble!
     
  20. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, the characters make the movie. I believe that if you have set up a strong personality for a paticular character, and that personality is memorable and lovable, whatever movie you are producing will have a better outcome! Characters such as Mater, Shrek, Dory, and others are examples of predictable, lovable, characters that are easy for the viewers to get attacthed to!
     


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