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What Pixar Needs to Regain Animated Stardom Again


Pixar Films on a Destination to Devastation

Pixar is a company that works alongside Disney to produce some of the most creative and visually charming movies that Disney has ever released. They have also broken some milestones in animation, such as Toy Story being the first feature-length film created entirely by CGI. But recently, they could have done better in quality, and other movies are starting to top the box office, such as The Super Mario Bros. Movie being #2 in the worldwide box office (#1 being Frozen 2.) And Pixar’s most recent movie Elemental is considered the company’s worst opening release, only making $121 million at the box office (to put that in perspective, The Good Dinosaur earned about $332 million.) So what does Pixar need to do to regain its stardom? Here are a few suggestions:

Deliver Better Messages

As far as morals or messages go, Pixar’s movies have not been too great with their approach or execution of the messages they are trying to communicate to their audiences. Their worst offender by far has to be their film Turning Red, which touches on parental expectations, family dynamics, and cultural acceptance. These topics are fine to introduce to a family-friendly audience, but it’s nearly tainted and overshadowed by the movie’s numerous symbolisms and references to puberty or growing pains. Nobody wants to see metaphors on menopause; they want to see a story about family, magic, and creativity. Turning Red seemed like an okay movie on paper, but how Pixar presented the idea could make it better. If Pixar wants to make a film with a good message using symbolism, they should do what they did in Finding Dory, which was an excellent sequel to Finding Nemo. The film revolves around short-term memory loss, an actual condition that one can be diagnosed with, and it takes this premise and turns it into the overall message that “despite your differences or challenges, you can achieve anything as long as you don’t give up.” Delivering a message like this is a lot better than just taking a metaphor for puberty and wrapping it up in a story with conflicting topics like Turning Red did. This is because the message of “don’t give up” appeals to everyone, not just teenage girls.


Bring Back the Big, Bad Guys

One problem with Pixar’s films is the exclusion of the big, scary bad guy. In most Pixar films, the movie’s conflict always seems to be a specific event or problem caused mainly by the protagonist. There is also this trend of “I want to do this thing, but my family says no” in many of their movies. Only a handful of films have the big scary villain in them, such as Up or Cars 2 (which is not a good movie by any means.) Now take a look at other companies and their movies. Dreamworks’ film Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is praised by many for developing a good story and including sinister bad guys, with Death and Jack Horner playing a significant role. Or Illumination’s popular film Despicable Me, which plays entirely off the premise of “I need to be the baddest bad guy.” Considering that Disney is responsible for some of the most notorious villains in their movies (such as Scar or Ursula), it’s a surprise that Pixar hasn’t incorporated this trend into many of their more recent films. 

Leave Toy Story Alone

Some older IPs got more recent sequels or prequels, like Monster’s Inc. or The Incredibles. These movies make sense because they explain some events or lore in their respective franchise or continue from the first film, which may or may not have ended on a cliffhanger. Not Toy Story, though. See, the franchise was supposed to end on Toy Story 3, with the trilogy ending and Andy giving away his toys to someone else before he goes off to college. It was a satisfying and emotional ending to the trilogy, and it seemed to have ended on a good note. But then Pixar looked at this and said, “You know what? This is giving us a bunch of money. Let’s make more,” and they ended up creating Toy Story 4. Some fans of the franchise don’t even consider Toy Story 4 canon due to the fact that Toy Story 3 had such a conclusive ending and how unnecessary Toy Story 4 was to the overall story. And now there has been confirmation that they are making Toy Story 5. Why? 

They have also recently released a spinoff movie for the franchise called Lightyear, which is a movie about the character Buzz Lightyear embarking on an adventure. It seems like a good movie with great visuals and a cool twist on the Toy Story formula. Still, they didn’t quite execute the premise as they could have, and it ended up getting mixed reviews, which also makes the film seem unnecessarily shoehorned into the franchise. In short: Put away your toys and work on something else. 

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Elemental (2023) Official Pixar Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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