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Pixar: Are the glory days over?

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

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I can see why would see some sort of vague resemblance, but the only things between HTTYD and Braver that share a common theme is a couple characters in HTTYD with Scottish accents (because Scandinavians) and Craig Fergeson. The films are completely different otherwise.
     
  2. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Ugh,I was so excited for Pixar's new movies after IO and TGD but almost all the movies for the next four years (besides Coco) are completely unnecessary sequels,that is with the exception of Incredibles 2 which I think is very necessary. Seriously,why Cars 3 ??? No one even liked the first two Cars movies beside little kids and engineers. Although maybe they'll use this as a chance to do something original with those and redeem the franchise's name.
    As for Finding Dory,I really liked the idea of each Pixar film sort of being in it's own self contained universe and all of them being standalone adventures. You end one story you go on to the next. Okay so the whole sequel thing worked out well with Toy Story but that's because there were still stories to tell with those characters,but movies like Finding Nemo really didn't need a sequel. The story was Marlon was too protective over Nemo,they both go through heck to find each other. Marlon overcomes his fear of the ocean and can finally let go a bit and be a better father for Nemo and can finally make friends like Dory. There you go story resolved,they all live happily ever after. Same with Brave,A Bug's Life,WALL-E,Ratatoullie, all were only meant to be one story each, and they are better movies because of that. Watching these movies you don't think about that terrible sequel that was unnecessary and ruined the franchise.
    I just really hope they don't make sequels to any more of the currently existing films,like Up or something. :sigh:
     
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I've never thought their sequels were that intrusive on their quality. Like I said, MU just had the pleasure of being the public's hate bone for not being an original film, even though when they had that original film in between Cars 2 and MU, they hated that one for other reasons.

    As I've always said (and I'll put this in bold to get attention) the sequels Pixar released after Cars were ones Disney was threatening to make with Circle 7. Only theirs would have been far worse. TS3 was about Buzz being recalled, MI2 was a predictably reversal of the first movie (monsters in human world), and I dunno what Cars 2 would have been about, but I get the feeling it was a mission pack sequel. Meanwhile you look at other CGI kid's film animation studios and they're all about sequels. We have 5 Ice Ages. Shrek was supposed to have 7 movies until they wisely cut it to 4 after the 3rd's not that great-ness. And that's counting the spinoff Puss in Boots as its own separate thing.

    Now, I do think that TS4 is kinda unnecessary, and they can easily do the whole plot about finding Bo Peep as a TV special. And these things aren't throwaways, either. The first special was a great character piece for Jesse, while Trixie the Dinosaur got a great day in the spotlight in the second. I'd love to see more Pixar films get a TV special treatment to expand their universe. Cars 3 was going to happen. I at least allow them their one movie franchise for the younger kids, it's clearly to sell merchandise. And at least it's not Planes. Kids genuinely like the Cars franchise.

    Meanwhile, you look at Dreamworks, the strong second in the CGI kid's movie world and they're not doing so hot either. Some of their last films failed to get an audience do to the strange subject matter. Bad^^^ Santa? Fast snails? An update of a cartoon series from the 60's? Home managed to do decently in the US, but meh overseas. The sad thing is, the Penguins of Madagascar movie flopped in the US due to bad timing. They pretty much punted off a couple finished movies far down the line as a result and fired a crapload of people, only relying on cheaper overseas studios. Even HTTYD2 managed to not get the huge pot they were expecting due to being released opposite a strong comedy sequel. Same thing happened with KFP, which is why it's getting a strange January release.
     
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You have to remind yourself of something we've been discussing in the sequelitis thread, and that's just it: sequelitis. That's what's become of sequels anymore: they've gone from being something you genuinely looked forward to because they were opportunities to continue the story into new and exciting directions, and perhaps invoke some further character development . . . now, they've become nothing more than glorified money-makers designed to milk franchises for more than they're worth. That, in and of itself, has become a problem too: this is why Hollywood is franchising movies now, because franchises make money, stand-alone features don't. I'll agree that THE INCREDIBLES did need a sequel (Conan actually had the woman who did Violet's voice on his show the other night), but at the same time, as I've said before, Pixar really needed another Brad Bird flick - he's got this almost Don Bluth-esque style of storytelling that make his movies particularly enjoyable, because they're slightly darker and a little more mature than other Pixar movies, yet they're still kid-friendly enough. FINDING DORY, I'm a little concerned about myself: FINDING NEMO was one of Pixar's greatest of their earlier movies, and Dory, admittedly, stole the show . . . but can she carry a whole movie herself? CARS 3 and TS4? Agreed: completely unnecessary; as we've said before regarding TS, they should really just stick to TV specials and such, because they wrapped up the whole arc beautifully in TS3, there's no reason to continue on beyond that.
     
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I think what we all need to appreciate here is Disney under Eisner was bound on making cheap DTV sequels to all their movies, even going so far as crushing a bunch of episodes of an unsold show together to make a "movie" out of them. Toy Story 2 was exactly that case, but Pixar wanted to do something bigger and bolder and it actually gave them a theatrical release. It was their third movie, in fact. It was made out of pressure by Disney, but they managed to make it into something more.

    Side note about the Disney cheapquels, the one that would have actually been great, a Hercules sequel based on one of the original treatments, was never made.

    As for franchise films, it isn't just so much about how they make more money than stand alones so much as they're planned incredibly in advance. Everyone's trying to start something similar to the MCU, but without the varied concepts and genres that make them actually good. As for Pixar, while I'm sure there's pressure internally to make follow up films for franchise and merchandising sake, I can't help get the feeling they've gotten burned on some of their stand-a-lone concepts lately.

    Remember Newt? They had this great concept about two newts having to develop a relationship they didn't want to get into, and then the overrated Rio and the completely unnecessary Alpha and Omega were fast tracked and they had to abandon the film completely. Then after announcing a Dia de los Muertos film, Book of Life came out. Though, to be fair, Book of Life was a film the creator was trying to get made for years, probably even before Pixar announced it. Not to mention Brave and Good Dinosaur hit multiple stumbling blocks in production (in the case of TGD, it actually bettered the movie). Plus, other than Toy Story and Cars, the sequels to Pixar films aren't exactly released a couple years later. Dory is 13 years after the first one? Incredibles 2 as well. A far cry from TS1 being followed by TS2 in a matter of 4 years. I mean, I can't blame them for going with established characters, but it seems these aren't exactly as quick and thrown together as most. Incredibles 2 was a possibility for years, but that was up to Brad Bird finding a strong enough concept.
     
  6. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    And aside from TS2, Pixar itself is the studio that calls the shots on sequels, rather than Disney forcing it upon them. I can at least respect that more.
     
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm very happy Pixar stopped Disney from the DTV sequels as well. Not to say that there weren't some actually fun and enjoyable ones. Some of them were essentially pilots for TV shows, anyway. Return of Jafar was one for Aladdin the series.

    It's one of those perspective/comparative things with Pixar. They sure sound like they have a lot of sequels, but compared to other studios, they have a much smaller ratio of sequels to originals. Dreamworks is all about sequels and TV and Netflix spinoff shows. Illumitoon has 4 Despicable Me (one upcoming) movies and two that aren't. Including DTV cheapquals, Sony has like one standalone that hasn't been given a sequel yet, the Surfing Penguins thing (they announced Hotel Transylvania 3 the second it opened to a successful September slot). Two if you count the in production Popeye. The only Blue Sky movies I can think of that don't have sequels are Horton Hears a Who, Robots (and I swear it's more deserving of one than Ice Age was), and Epic. Then again, they have so many Ice Ages and a sequel to the overrated Rio. Heck, that awful "Happily Ne'er After" had a follow up for some reason, and I'm not going to bother discussing Alpha and Omega's annual crappy DTV sequel. And frankly, their track record of sequels has been mostly good. Cars 2 is a straggler, but frankly better than some of the competition. Of course, the released number of sequels Pixar has is 5. 2 Toy Story sequels, Cars 2, and MU (technically a prequel, but...) There are 4 upcoming, TS4, Finding Dory, Cars 3 (again, all about toy sales and keeping the littlest kids happy) and Incredibles 2. Other than Cars 2 and Toy Story 2, these sequels came out years after, even decades after the original film.

    So the total is about 8 sequels (including soon to be made) to 13 original films.
     
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Regarding TS3, I've notice there's a serious divide regarding Lotso: some feel that he should have redeemed himself in the end, while others actually like that he didn't, with very little middle ground. Personally, I really don't mind so much that he doesn't redeem himself, if only because the ensuing scene in the incinerator was really powerful and something that you don't see a lot of in animated movies these days.

    One thing I've also noticed is that a lot of people (including HOW IT SHOULD HAVE ENDED) feel that Lotso is in the wrong for feeling hurt that he got replaced because replacing him meant that Daisy loved him so much. I suppose I can see it from that perspective, but doesn't it actually make sense that from Lotso's perspective, being replaced meant just that: he was replaced?
     
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I find the fact he didn't redeem himself refreshing. The film wouldn't have been as powerful if it ended on a happy, sunny ending on his part. It's a pretty well worn cliche (one that does make you feel good, but still), and it gives that extra emotional push of hopelessness and anger that makes the rescue by the LGM's all that more satisfying. Not to mention Lotso's fate. Sure it kinda parallels TS2's ending with the Prospector being the property of a little girl who draws all over, yet loves her toys. But with the added punch of the garbage worker saying how much he loved his own Lotso, and strapping him to the truck.

    Once saw a Fire truck with a Stimpy doll tied to it.

    If it was a happy ending where Lotso saw the light and reran the daycare, well... sure, it would be heart warming, but let us not forget he was essentially a white slaver and the toy equivalent of a human trafficker. One of the darkest villains in Pixar's history, right there with Syndrome, who killed super heroes so he could be one.
     
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Exactly my point. The filmmakers admitted on the DVD commentary that the LGM's rescue was also something of a cliche with the claw being a Deus Ex Machina; but as you say, which would be more satisfying? The moment of hopelessness and anger leading up to the rescue that we got, or Lotso seeing the light and the error of his ways and pushing that button to save them from plummeting into the incinerator?
    That's another complaint I've see too, is that TS3 was a rehash of TS2, but with Lotso instead of Stinky Pete, and a daycare setup like a prison instead of Al's apartment being the departure place for a Japanese museum.
    All I ever see on trucks are those fake ballsacks that hang from the back bumper.
     
  11. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    I saw a Elmo doll on a truck one time, but back to the discussion I feel that Pixar is able to have a flop here and there.
     
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd give the Claw bit the credit of coming around and being a tie in to the first movie. Sort of a Checkov's Gag. I don't think a happier, kinder, gentler Lotso would have made the movie as good and emotionally satisfying. It seems a little too..well...cutesy boo-boo. Even for Pixar. Some people can't be redeemed easily or at all. And frankly, that one moment where he almost saved the day and then walked away like a jerk really felt like a nice knee to the groin of a Care Bearsy ending it could have had.

    Plus, frankly, the character being easily redeemed would have been questionable as far as Lotso's character is concerned. What he did was pretty dark and disturbing for a kid's movie. I mean, even the Prospector had a point in the second film. He only went through a moral decay when Woody promised they'd all be rescued and leave together. Worst thing he would have done is torn up Woody to get them to Japan. Lotso...kinda was human trafficking (but with toys and with destructive kids instead of perverts). If he became a good guy at the end it would have been like, Oh sure. He's a changed man and all the sudden realizes the thing he knew was wrong was wrong but did anyway was wrong. That's too sunshiney and glib an ending for me. Lotso needed to walk away a jerk and get a crappy ending.

    The Good Dinosaur suffered from poor timing. It was too large a budget film to give a do or die Thanksgiving slot, but I can't think of where it would have fit nicely that wouldn't have derailed any other Pixar film. The Peanuts movie took the nice Pre-Thanksgiving release. Even though it opened modest, it had staying power for weeks after. Good Dinosaur opened opposite that movie, Hunger Games' last film (before they decided to squeeze more money out of it with nonsensical prequels that are in production), and barely a month before Star Wars. Now, Star Wars made such a crapload of money, it really shouldn't matter anyway. Even if you count in what Inside Out brought in, it evens out. But for sheer comparison, The Muppets made around as much as TGD did under similar circumstances in its three day weekend. It fell sharply with the other Box Office drops in the weekend after (where everyone's shopping and no one's really seeing movies anyway), but manages to hold out in a very crowded field over the holiday rush. I mean, 2011 had waaaaaaaay too many films released between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And TM was released opposite three other inferior kiddy movies and Twigh-grabage. TGD only had Peanuts in its fourth week, and there didn't need to be that crowded a field with Star Wars around.

    Plus, the critics having their collective heads up themselves with TGD didn't help much. Pixar doesn't always need to have a complex story to be emotional, and they made a smaller, more modest film rather than the original take with loads of too many characters. I loved Inside Out... slightly more than TGD. I'd say the only small complaint I had was there wasn't much screentime for the other emotions, and there were just so many bit characters in the film that seem like they'd need a little more time to be fleshed out a bit. The thing about the giant clown seems to barely have any perspective on it, but it's one of those character vs. pacing things. So it's forgivable. TGD's best asset was the lack of hundreds of little wacky characters running about, so the story focuses mostly on Arlo and Spot, and the few others they'd meet on the way. And I feel that made the film its own, instead of typical Pixar fare. Plus, I think the short before this film was better than the I/O film short about the volcano. Hopefully this thing blows up on home video.

    Also, ehhhh... I think it had a reduced amount of 3-D showings. I tried unsuccessfully to see it in 3-D, and had to go for 2-D instead. And like I always say, live action looks meh in 3-D, but animation always shines.
     
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    As I've said before, I still think there's two major factors at play regardin the "glory days being over":

    1. Back in the day, Pixar was always competing against DreamWorks - which was formed specifically to rival Pixar since Jeffrey Katzenberg didn't get his way with the first TOY STORY when he was at Disney. Since then, there's been other CGI animation studios that have opened, such as BlueSky, and all of these off-brand studios, so it's like there's no longer much competition among these studios, so they're not really forced to bring their A-game anymore - they're more relaxed now. Which leads us to. . . .

    2. Everything's CGI now. Let's face it: as much as we may want traditional animation to make a comeback, it's dead. Disney tried with THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, which flopped, then they made one mroe last ditch effort with WINNIE THE POOH, which also flopped, so traditional animation is pretty much obsolete now as far as motion pictures go. Back in the day, CGI movies were groundbreaking because they were new, and we saw how much they kept advancing with each new movie (the original TOY STORY and ICE AGE movies actually look primitive today), but over the years, it's become more practical, cost-cutting, and time-saving to animate in CGI rather than hand-drawn animation, so that's pretty much lead to a flood of CGI animation dominating the theaters now. The novelty of CGI movies has worn off, so it's like, y'know, Christmas everyday: it's no longer special.
     
  14. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    Plus Disney is now making their own CGI films.
     
  15. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Though I am liking how more and more CGI films have gone with the next best thing and employed 2D aesthetics and techniques to them, most obviously with The Peanuts Movie. A guy can still hope for a true comeback, can't he? :D

    Definitely if you're a studio like Video Brinquedo, but certainly not one of the big boys and the $100 mil. they shell out and the 4 years the films take to make on average (no different than the 2D stuff, really). Plus, all that detail takes a large number of computers and an eternity for them to render (I hear that one of the computers used for the 2nd Bayformers movie overheated trying to render one of the robots). You can argue that it takes more time than hundreds of animators drawing thousands of pictures by hand.

    Plus, weren't digital coloring techniques supposed to reduce costs by eliminating cels and even paper?

    Toy Story came out during a time of an oversaturation of mostly mediocre 2D movies from other studios hopping on the Disney renaissance bandwagon, so seeing something like that was indeed refreshing.

    There is indeed a ton of CGI movies out there, mostly from third-parties trying to ride Pixar and Dreamworks' coattails. Though nowadays, the novelty has indeed worn off of audiences, and the majority of the third-party stuff is allowed to stink up Redbox instead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Actually, I take it back: traditional animation isn't dead, persay, it's just that it's no longer hand-drawn, it's Flash now.

    Well, I suppose even Flash can be hand-drawn; John R. Dilworth is apparently working on a new animated short that's in Flash, but I think he's using a tablet-like device to draw it:
     
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The problem is the only 2-D films on their schedule were just that. A film that came out too close to Avatar and especially Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, with a not white lead. And it could have made more money had they not given the plum pre-Thanksgiving slot to Zemeckis's horrible Jim Carrey mo-Cap version of a story that's been done a trillion times plus two. It should have been a bigger success, but wasn't due to bad timing. As for Pooh? Well, Disney brought that on themselves for destroying the franchise and turning a beloved character into a toy mascot/idiotic preschool series that any characters could have been inserted into. It was supposed to be the grand relaunch of what Pooh should have been, but it became a Preschool franchise by then. Not even Sesame Street can get a win as a theatrical film.

    I totally agree there's too many third and fourth parties making too many flop CGI disasters out there. Blah blah blah Norm of the North, blah blah blah Legends of Oz blah blah. But it seems the audiences are somehow not buying it, and less of these offbrand companies are having success. And I'll say it the zillionth time, The Nut Job was really really lucky. Not so much Strange Magic (from the mind of George Lucas must've scared everyone away). Unfortunately, it negatively impacts the two main CGI studios, Pixar and Dreamorks. Though, Inside Out proved to be a massive hit, and the lowest hanging fruit on Pixar's tree was their sophisticated Ratatouille. I love that movie, I like that Pixar didn't make a kid's movie that time (and they rarely do unless Cars), but when the movie is marketed to kids, I doubt many that still eat their own boogers would care to hear witty conversations about French Cuisine. Which is, well..why Cars.

    Make no mistake, The Good Dinosaur was bad timing. Pixar films usually make a crapload of money no matter what. Dreamworks had a tough go when they had audience alienating premise movies about snails and 1960's cartoon shows (kids won't care and adults will feel their childhood was raped, yet it was the highest grossing Jay Ward movie so make of that what you will and Boris and Natasha sucks), and even when they had strong sequels to strong franchises, they had the unfortunate timing of being releases opposite comedy sequels. And ironically, sequels made with the backhanded compliment of saying "we didn't want to make a sequel to this, but the studio forced us, so we're going to say how pointless it is with this film." It is unknown at this time if KFP3 will be successful in their odd January opening.
     
  18. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Well, it's really ToonBoom Harmony that's become the industry standard for 2D animation of all kinds, and offers a lot more features that Flash doesn't for traditional animation.

    It's totally possible to do hand-drawn animation in Flash rather than motion tween everything. It's just that not a lot of studios do so because of TV deadlines. Meanwhile I've seen some impressive stuff on Newgrounds that looks as fluid as something put out by a major studio, and all done by one person.
     
  19. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I think I found something of aplot hole in TS3: during the big escape, part of the plan was having Potato Head sent to the box as a diversion, but the only way he could get out was to squeeze all of his parts through a hole in the box and attach them to a tortilla instead (and later, when the tortilla was shredded by the pigeon, he went with a cucumber from the vegetable garden). Everything about the plan had to be timed perfectly, so where, how, and when did the others find manage to find time to get Potao Head's potato body out of the box?
     
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Simple, he did an off-screen Warner Bros. tunnel burrowing job to meet up with the others.
    Honestly, IDK. :zany:
     

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