Something Fishy at Pixar

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For years, Pixar has been known for their unbelievably excellent CG films, but there has to be something fishy going on if they’re really planning on making Finding Nemo 2 (which they are), along with other sequels. When I heard the news that Pixar had decided to make sequels to several of their famous, already-classic movies, I instantly became cynical. Is Pixar’s “golden age” over?
I was a generation too late to “grow up” with some of the new Disney classics like Aladdin or The Lion King. However, I was old enough to grow up with Pixar. I remember watching both of the original Toy Story movies on VHS, and my earliest memory in a movie theater was seeing Monsters Inc. with my family. Like many of you, I laughed and cried at Finding Nemo and Up, was enthralled by The Incredibles, and was simply mesmerized by Wall-E.
Lately, though, Pixar hasn’t been cutting it. I didn’t see Cars 2, and I don’t plan to. All I know is that it was a sequel to my least favorite Pixar movie, the first Pixar movie to get more bad reviews than good reviews, and probably the first Pixar movie that was made with the express intent to sell toys. I didn’t see Brave either, but what I hear is that while it’s nowhere near as bad as Cars 2, it doesn’t quite reach the lofty standards that Pixar usually has. And now, I hear that Pixar is not only making Finding Nemo 2, but also Toy Story 4.
Pixar was rare. Most other movie studios have a collection of good films and bad films, and most other movie studios have lately been putting most of their money into sequels and remakes. Pixar didn’t do any of that. They made excellent, original films, and only made sequels when they felt that the story was superior to the story of the last film, hence the immense critical and commercial success of Toy Story 3 (even if you didn’t think it was better than the originals, you know you liked it). Pixar didn’t make movies to sell merchandise; they made movies to tell stories. My theory is that Pixar could get away with this before because it was a small studio that made constant hits. But now, Pixar has grown from its humble beginnings, a new corporate Disney attitude seems to have taken over, and now they are making more sequels. This theory makes even more sense with the recent news that Disney has now purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas (and have already put Star Wars Episode VII in production). Hearing this news is really sad for me, because I thought that Pixar was somehow above these corporate antics; but, apparently, I was naive.
Pixar used to be this infallible company that you could always rely on to make something brilliant, but I can no longer make that comment. Monsters University is their next film, and it’s a prequel to Monsters Inc. If this film is good, I will set aside Cars 2 and Brave as mistakes and go on thinking that Pixar is amazing. However, if this movie isn’t good, I think I’ll lose more respect for the studio and really believe that the so-called “golden age” is over.

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