Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Michael Moore Says Clint Eastwood Threatened To "Kill" Him 10 Years Ago, Calls 'American Sniper' A "Mess" Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’  Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Woody Allen’s Next Movie With Joaquin Phoenix & Emma Stone Titled ‘Irrational Man,’ Sony Pictures Classics Nab Rights Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel'  Paul Thomas Anderson Says 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is "F*cking Great," Also Loves 'Grand Budapest Hotel' 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See 10 Unaired TV Pilots By A-List Directors That We Want To See The 10 Best Films Of 2007 The 10 Best Films Of 2007 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans 'Kick-Ass' Creator Mark Millar Says A Hit-Girl Solo Movie Was Once In The Works With 'The Raid' Director Gareth Evans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners 30 Films You Forgot Were Oscar Winners Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Watch: Tom Hardy & Gary Oldman Face Off In The First Trailer For Thriller ‘Child 44’ Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Review: Documentary 'Night Will Fall' Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Horrors Of The Holocaust Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Will It Bring The Glory Days Back? Pixar Promises Less Sequels & One Original Movie Per Year Going Forward

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 28, 2013 at 1:48PM

Has Pixar hit a slump? Well, maybe not financially, as "Monsters University" was the second biggest opening in the studio's history, hauling in $82 million last weekend. But at least in the perception of people, well, like us -- Pixar has wavered from the path that made them who they are. The past four years have essentially seen the company, who once prided themselves on delivering original movies unlike what everyone else was doing, deliver two sequels ("Toy Story 3," "Cars 2"), one prequel ("Monsters University") and one original ("Brave"). More crucially, "Toy Story 3" aside, the films haven't been met with the same widespread critical acclaim as their earlier efforts (though box office has pretty much stayed consistent) and folks have been wondering if they're lost the secret sauce that made them one of the best in the game? Well, they aren't doing down without a fight.
12
Pixar Feature

Has Pixar hit a slump? Well, maybe not financially, as "Monsters University" was the second biggest opening in the studio's history, hauling in $82 million last weekend. But at least in the perception of people, well, like us -- Pixar has wavered from the path that made them who they are. The past four years have essentially seen the company, who once prided themselves on delivering original movies unlike what everyone else was doing, deliver two sequels ("Toy Story 3," "Cars 2"), one prequel ("Monsters University") and one original ("Brave"). More crucially, "Toy Story 3" aside, the films haven't been met with the same widespread critical acclaim as their earlier efforts (though box office has pretty much stayed consistent) and folks have been wondering if they're lost the secret sauce that made them one of the best in the game? Well, they aren't doing down without a fight.

“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year,” Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull told BuzzFeed. And indeed, it seems the animation studio is taking stock of their approach and are gearing up for a whole new game plan. “We’re going to have an original film every year, then every other year have a sequel to something,” he said. “That’s the rough idea.”

And they do have quite a number of original films planned already, with "The Good Dinosaur" and "The Inside Out" coming in 2014 and 2015, and with the "Untitled Pixar film about Día de los Muertos" arriving in 2016. And in keeping with the sequel every-so-often approach, "Finding Dory" -- the followup to "Finding Nemo" -- will also join the 2016 slate. But don't expect Pixar to drop sequels altogether as Catmull, in more diplomatic language, says that sometimes it's just going to happen because the demand (or licensing opportunity, we'd wager) is there.

“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,” he says. Which is all fine and good, but one wonders why perhaps the most screamed about and desired sequel -- one for "The Incredibles" -- remains nowhere to be seen, while "Cars" managed a follow-up. Oh right, it's because "Cars" prints Walter White-sized stacks of cash through merchandising...

But overall, it seems Catmull is determined to put great films first, and perhaps take some of the market share back that's been grabbed by DreamWorks Animation and their increasingly well received run of movies. But what do you think? Can Pixar go back to indie creativity they once reveled in or will being forever chained to the Disney machine continually compromise their vision? Weigh in below.

This article is related to: Pixar


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates