by Graham Pierrepoint
Pixar have arguably set a high bar for animated movies, having brought us game-changing classics in the Toy Story series, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and Inside Out – and with Finding Dory, the sequel to the aforementioned ocean-based adventure, earning critical praise in the US, the studio has announced that it will now be focusing on creating and producing original material for the foreseeable future. Following critical dissonance over follow-ups and prequels such as Cars 2 and Monsters University, after the forthcoming batch of sequels due to hit theaters in the coming years, the studio will return to generating unique stories and characters, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Pixar’s president, Jim Morris, advised that the studio was unlike others in that their business model was that of a filmmaker, and that sequels are not greenlit unless the original movie’s director has ideas that they wish to develop further in additional movies. He also established that creating sequels can be more difficult in that it is a case of adhering to existing expectations of existing story worlds and characters – and, in his interview with EW, established that Pixar would not be pursuing additional sequels to existing franchises beyond their forthcoming Cars 3, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. For those expecting more from the worlds of Pixar movies yet to be produced – properties such as A Bug’s Life, Ratatouille and Up, which so far stand alone – this may come as something of a blow.
However, those wishing for Pixar to return to its creative roots will welcome the news, as it means that we will likely see more original movies in the vein of Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur as opposed to further adventures in existing worlds. Cars 2 and Monsters University arguably saw Pixar experience its first middling reviews, with many remaining critical that a further Cars installment will be forthcoming. However, the studio is arguably in a new stride following the aforementioned slump, with Finding Dory winning audience praise and Inside Out having been named one of Pixar’s very best – and even among the best of 2015.
It is very likely that Pixar’s current run will continue, as Disney alone have been experiencing a particularly lucrative year at the box office – and with an emphasis on creativity having been emphasized by the studio’s president, animation fans will likely have many movies to look forward to in years and years to come.