What Makes a Pixar Sequel Good? | NowThis Nerd

Hey guys, I’m Dev and I’m pretty sure ‘The Incredibles 2’ will be worth the 14-year wait But ever since the Disney purchase in 2006, fans have been worried about Pixar sliding into mediocrity with a string of soulless sequels, and I can see where they’re coming from

If you include the ‘Incredibles 2’ and the upcoming ‘Toy Story 4,’ Pixar has produced eight follow-ups to their classic films Now, some of these movies are straight-up masterpieces that outshine the originals, and some are ‘Cars 2’ Still, Pixar’s track record is better than most, so today, we’re taking a look at What Makes a Pixar Sequel Good? One common complaint about sequels in general, is that there’s no good reason for them to exist, that they’re just cash-ins retreading the same ol’ ground as the original, while somehow forgetting what made the first film work Therefore what I'm saying, if I'm saying anything, is welcome back! Pixar can be guilty of this, but when their sequels succeed, it’s because they Stand Their Ground After the shocking success of ‘Toy Story’ in 1995, Pixar went full steam ahead on the production of ‘A Bug’s Life’ Just as they were ramping up, 'Toy Story' creator and alleged creep John Lasseter approached Disney to pitch a sequel starring Woody, Buzz and the gang

Disney loved the idea, but there was a catch: They wanted to release it straight-to-video, and produce it with their much cheaper TV animation department But before ‘Toy Story 2’ could join the hallowed ranks of ‘Belle’s Enchanted Christmas’ and ‘Return of Jafar,’ production wrapped on ‘A Bug’s Life,’ freeing up the focus of Pixar’s legendary Braintrust They held a screening of the work-in-progress ‘Toy Story 2,’ and were so horrified by what they saw they scrapped the whole thing and started from scratch The average turnaround time of a Pixar movie is 4 years, but they only had nine months to remake ‘Toy Story 2’ It took a huge toll on the crew, a lot of them worked 36-hour days to meet the deadline, and at one point the entire movie was almost deleted by accident, but luckily one employee on maternity leave had a backup at home

Thank goodness you're allright! Still, the end result was absolutely worth it Pixar’s commitment to quality resulted in a stunning sequel that arguably outshines the original It’s the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the Toy Story trilogy, no thanks to Disney I'll never give in! You killed my father! No, Buzz I AM your father! Nooo!!! ‘Toy Story 2’ kicked off years of frustrations between the two companies

Pixar was mad that Disney owned all the rights to their characters, and Disney wanted Pixar to produce merch-friendly follow-ups, instead of weird movies about foodie rats and mute robots Actual, what do they call it?ART! yes

So, how long is this gonna take? You can't rush art! To that end, Disney formed Circle 7 Animation, a studio devoted solely to pumping out Pixar sequels Obviously, Pixar wasn’t happy with the idea Internally they referred to Circle 7 as ‘Pix-Aren’t’ Pix-aren't Pix-aren't Like

y'know Pix-Aren't But, insults aside, Disney had all the power, so they greenlit three movies: ‘Toy Story 3,’ ‘Monsters Inc 2: Trouble In Scaradise,’ and ‘Finding Nemo 2’ None of them would ever come to light though, at least, not in their original form That’s because Disney straight-up bought Pixar in 2006

and made John Lasseter the creative director in charge of all their animation His first order of business was to close Circle 7, can I get a round of applause for that? Ooh, so sad I missed that one! Y'know, there is still one way we can work at a scare company They're always hiring in the mailroom! I knew I shouldn'ta done carry-on! Thanks, old boy! Who are you? Mah name's 'Mater! I must be dreaming

And let Pixar tell the Stories They Want to Tell Pixar has extremely high storytelling standards, and their best sequels come from a genuine desire to move their characters forward The original direct-to-video ‘Toy Story 2’ had a similar plot to the final film, but there was no suspense, no emotional core When Woody was offered the choice to sit in mint condition on a museum shelf, or escape back to Andy’s room, the answer was obvious

Woody had no reason to doubt himself, no internal conflict, he could’ve just gone 'forget this, I'm out' So Pixar came up with Wheezy, Jessie, and her heartbreaking song They created an emotional arc for Woody He had to choose between his love for Andy and his fear of abandonment, and that theme would play out in the third movie’s tearjerking conclusion Back to the shallow ideas from Circle 7, the original ‘Toy Story 3’ was going to be a globetrotting adventure, where Woody and the gang rescue a defective Buzz after he gets recalled to Taiwan

The scope and scale was increased, but it wasn’t about anything Just like the original ‘Monsters Inc 2’ It was going to be a whacky adventure where Mike and Sully get trapped in the human world, but Pixar scrapped it in favor of a prequel that taught kids it’s okay get expelled from college ‘Monsters U’ is about how sometimes your plans don’t work out the way you want them to, and it gave us a ton of insight into Mike and Sully’s relationship in ‘Monsters, Inc

’ It’s one of the weaker Pixar movies, but at the very least it’s still good, unlike ‘Cars 2’ The ‘Cars’ series was John Lasseter’s passion, just below, ya know, allegedly forcing unwanted hugs on his employees But after the awesome opening scene, the movie spends the next two hours on a shitty spy adventure starring ‘Mater They reined things back a little for ‘Cars 3,’ but by then the damage was done Turns out you can’t build a whole sequel around an annoying comic relief character, at least, until ‘Finding Dory’ proved otherwise

Granted, a Dory-centric film is a lot more appealing on paper than a ‘Larry the Cable Guy as a Truck as James Bond’film But they did so much more with her story

They turned her amnesia from a funny character trait into a lifelong struggle, and set Dory on a journey to overcome her childhood trauma, piece together her past, and reunite with her parents in a scene that’s up there with anything from, well, ‘Up’ Hello I'm –DORY! I'm never letting you go again! ‘Finding Dory’ might not live up to the huge bar set by ‘Nemo,’ but it’s a solid movie, and probably a lot better than the quick cash-in Disney had planned

Because that’s the final thing that sets Pixar sequels apart: They Take Their Time ‘The Incredibles’ came out 14 years ago, it predates the iPhone and the Xbox 360, not to mention the MCU, A lot has changed since 2004, and as moviegoers, we’ve changed too We’ve grown up with Pixar movies, and they’ve grown up with us When we first saw ‘Toy Story,’ a lot of us were kids around the same age as Andy, we were simply enchanted by the idea of our favorite playthings having a life of their own 15 years later, we were heading out for college, about to face the real world, and feeling conflicted about leaving our childhoods behind, just like Andy After all these years, Pixar films are as big a part of pop culture as ‘Star Wars,’ I'm sure you are! and if they wanted, they could just hit pause for a decade, churn out a sequel, and make a billion dollars on nostalgia alone

But Pixar isn’t interested in that Their sequels take a while, but that’s because they’re waiting for the right story and the right cultural moment 15 years after ‘Toy Story,’ the original audience was ready for a tale about growing up, and how leaving the past behind doesn’t mean you love it any less Thanks, guys 13 years after ‘Finding Nemo,’ mental illness is no longer as stigmatized, and it’s certainly not a joke, which allowed Pixar to turn a one-note character like Dory into a compelling, almost tragic protagonist

And now, 14 years after the first ‘Incredibles,’ Pixar and Brad Bird can comment on everything that’s happened in the real world since 2004, even if the sequel begins the minute the first film ends From the rise of superheroes and cinematic universes, to changing family dynamics and the hurdles women face in the workplace, 2018 is the perfect cultural moment to dive back into the world they created 14 years ago But as excited as I am for ‘The Incredibles 2,’ it’s the future I’m really looking forward to After ‘Toy Story 4,’ the company’s next five movies will be all new IP, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next Pixar’s sequels are second to none, but they’re only possible because of their original, and incredible, ideas

CTA Hey guys, thanks for watching! What’s your favorite Pixar sequel? Do you like Finding Dory? Are you a Monsters U fan? Or have you hit a WALL-E and now you’re FINDING yourself BRAVE enough to say Cars 2 is UP there with the INCREDIBLE Toy Story sequels? Leave a comment, let me know, And please subscribe to NTN!

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