Friday, August 5, 2011

Cars 2: Somebody Keep Me from Driving Off This Cliff!

The latest film from Pixar Animation Studios, Cars 2, is in some regards exactly what we have come to expect from the company: it is visually stunning and entertaining. However, it does make this fan of the studio a little nervous about the future. Not that it has to be as bad as it looks. After all, we have had a Cars 2-like film from Pixar before, um… called “Cars,” and things turned out alright.

This is worse though, for several reasons. Cars 2 is a sequel. Sure, not the first sequel from Pixar, but Toys 2 was forced upon them by Disney and they really worked to make it a worthwhile story. Cars 2 looks to be a move to cash in on the studios most easily endorsable effort thus far and it is not the exception but the trend setter. Monsters Inc has a prequel coming next year and there are other plans to tap into the previous films. Of all the films to start the sequel trend, Cars was Pixar’s worst film (on a Pixar scale, to be sure) so far.

The pre-film short was also a cause for worry. Up until now, Pixar has used the short to push the boundaries of animation and experiment. This time around, we get the tie-in short that we would usually see on the DVD release of the previous film.

All this adds up to Pixar becoming the big corporate property of Disney and no longer the young, independent force in storytelling that we have come to expect. Pixar has had a film in the NonModern top ten, often in the top 3, for all of the past years they released a film save one—in 2006 when the first Cars came out.

Hopefully, Brave will put my fears to rest, and Monsters University will be more of a Toy Story 2 than a Cars 2.

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