Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cars 2 and Pixar's Perfect Record

Prior to every Pixar movie's release, all the critics speculate on if that movie will put an end to Pixar's perfect 11-11 record. What Pixar has done is unprecedented, creating 11 films that have mass approval from both critics and normal folk like you and me, many of them simultaneously winning awards and breaking box office records. It's unparalleled in the film industry, and it's not something that can last.

Cars 2: 12 for 12?
I mean, it could last, I don't doubt Pixar one bit, but the way things are going on the business side, with Disney pushing for franchises like "Cars," "Toy Story" and "Monsters Inc." (which, all coincidentally, have very appealing merchandise), I don't know how much longer Pixar will be able to do the things they want to do.

Look at the second "Cars" film for example. Pixar was on track to release summer of 2012. Then Disney decided that they wanted the film a year earlier, forcing everyone at Pixar to try and speed up an extremely slow, tedious process. Pixar didn't get to do what they wanted to. It's not fact, but I would dare to say that Disney wanted the film a year earlier to build up hype for California Adventure's new Cars Land, set to open sometime in 2012.

Now, I know that Lasseter and Co. over in Emeryville have a strict standard of "If the stories not there, we won't make the movie." I doubted him a little with "Toy Story 3," just because, coming off such great original stories like "Up" and WALL-E," releasing a sequel seemed like Pixar was taking a break. I was dead wrong. But "Toy Story" has always been Pixar's flagship franchise. "Cars," not so much.

Disney has officially released a full length trailer for the new "Cars" film, and I'm not going to be a naysayer and say I didn't like it for the sake of my argument. It looked pretty good. It's got the classic characters of Mater and Lighting McQueen back, and the news ones, one of them an english James Bond style car voiced by Michael Caine.

Yet, as Pixar gets bigger and bigger, and Disney relies on them more heavily to be the one consistently good part of their film department, they will try to exert more control. There's no doubt Pixar's people know what they're doing, and will go one spinning cinematic perfection. It's just a countdown to when Disney's greed usurps Pixar's control and maims their golden goose.

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