Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Finding Nemo 2" promising to be 20% Nemo-ier

Breaking news from Pixar:  the studio has announced plans to make Finding Nemo 2.  The film will be directed by Andrew Stanton, the director of hits Finding Nemo and Wall-E, as well as the already legendary flop John Carter.

Damn it, Pixar.  Is this what is has come to?  Cranking out sequels to already great stand-alone movies?  Finding Nemo, while not my favorite Pixar flick, was a perfect self-contained story.  Nemo gets lost, Nemo gets found, roll credits.  It was a sweet and entertaining story about love, freedom versus security, and the bond between parent and child.  What is supposed to happen next: Nemo gets lost again?  Marlin gets lost this time around and Nemo has to find HIM?  Nemo has an existential crisis and has to find himself?  If any of these scenarios turn out to be the actual story, I will personally write a letter to John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton pledging to be their in-office manservant.

I am really hoping that this is not the new direction for Pixar as a studio.  They've made some of the best original stories in Hollywood recently.  I'll grant them that the Toy Story sequels were pretty good, but that doesn't mean each film needs a sequel.  We just had Cars 2 and Monsters University is due out next year (although I'll admit the teaser trailer makes me chuckle).  Do we really need to keep this trend going?  They're even playing around with the possibility of Toy Story 4 again even though the third one ends on a perfect note of closure.  Pixar is now consistently ignoring its own stance of producing quality films with genuine, original story telling.  Brad Bird seems to be the last holdout since there isn't anything in the works yet about a sequel for The Incredibles.

It kind of feels like Pixar and Disney Animation are switching roles.  Tangled was the best animated picture to come out of there in years, and Wreck-It Ralph is showing promise as well.  All of these sequels and the lukewarm reception to Brave make me wonder where the creative energy is going these days.

Perhaps I'm being to cynical towards the house that toys built.  Maybe the Nemo sequel is recompense to Disney for John Carter.  They took a shot, lost (on a hilariously epic scale), and now they want a safe money-maker to try and recoup their losses.  With Finding Nemo 3-D out this fall and the film serving as a section of the new Art of Animation Resort in Florida, the fishy franchise is still a popular property for families.  

The endless sequels, coupled with the shameless amount of switching directors mid-production, really make me fear for the future of Pixar.  Maybe its just a phase that comes with the rapid growth they've enjoyed, or maybe they just need some new blood in the story department, but whatever the reason, they need to get it together if they don't want to become just another movie studio.

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