Dear Pixar, Stop Making Sequels
Pixar is the most successful animation studio of our generation.
It seems like virtually everything they touch turns to gold. They have created some of the greatest modern animated classics, many of which have defined the two generations that have come since they started releasing films in 1995. Pixar has been long hailed for its originality, but we’re beginning to see an unsettling shift in Pixar’s business model that is makes many worry that the studio known for its originality may not be as original anymore.
When looking at the slate of upcoming films, an astounding four of Pixar’s next five movies are sequels: Finding Dory, Cars 3, Toy Story 4, and The Incredibles 2. This is very concerning for many fans. Pixar doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to sequels. Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 are the lone exceptions. Cars 2 and Monsters University (which is actually a prequel) each received mixed-at-best receptions (the former is considered by many to Pixar’s worst movie).
There are some who are excited for Finding Dory, which sees Andrew Stanton returning to direct, so that’s a good sign, and some are also excited for The Incredibles 2, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone excited for Toy Story 4 or Cars 3. As previously stated, Cars 2 is considered by many to Pixar’s worst film, so to see the franchise get a third extension is less than exciting to many. And the general consensus with Toy Story 4 is that the third film ended on an absolutely perfect note, so it doesn’t make much sense to make a fourth film (an opinion I echo).
These upcoming films come during a period where Pixar’s recent string of films has been has mediocre (in Pixar terms, of course). Though Cars 2, Brave, Monsters University, Inside Out, and The Good Dinosaur were all good, they weren’t great (although some would say that Inside Out was great, and others would argue that Cars 2 wasn’t even good). Pixar is far from its days of releasing consistently great films. That combined with the fact that their past sequels weren’t great either does not bode well to say the least.
If Pixar wants to continue dominating the animated film genre, they need to go back to releasing original films.
If Pixar wants to continue dominating the animated film genre, they need to go back to releasing original films. Fans just aren’t excited for the slate of sequels coming up in the next three years. When most people think of Pixar, they think about the original films of the ‘90s and ‘00s that made the studio unlike any other film studio. If Pixar wants to continue growing its fan base, gaining younger fans, and prevent more inferior studios like Dreamworks Animation or Blue Sky from rising to more prominence, they need to add originality to its films, even if that means taking a year or two break.
Matt is a 23-year-old producer, director, and writer from DFW, Texas, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Film, TV, and Digital Media from Texas Christian University and is now an apprentice at the Center for Creative Media. His ultimate goal is to bring glory to God as a showrunner on TV. He is fueled by laughter, music, and donuts. Lots and lots of donuts.