Wanting to force Cars was probably what made the studio stagnate. No matter how hard they tried, it didn't really take.
I'm cool with the Toy Story sequels. It seems like they've all pretty much been driven by creativity over market appeal (it being more of a side-bonus). but it gave them the wrong idea about them making sequels. Most of their films end on a note where there's probably not much more to tell.
Maybe i'm wrong here, but i think Toy Story sequels work because while the Toys themselves evolved in the first film and were essentially wrapped as characters, you know there'd be changes in the future as Andy grew up. I feel like Toy Story 2 and 3 addressed this beautifully, while also making sure our characters went through new experiences which further challenged and shaped their character. Hopefully Tory Story 4 keeps this up by dealing with them essentially being second-hand toys now and what that change means for them,
I feel like the same potential just isn't there in their other sequels. Because for most of them, the experiences and personal evolution the characters go through in the originals (monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Cars) end their arc in a position of contentedness from personal evolution within a static environment. Sully and Mike keep working at the plant, making people laugh. Nemo and his family live on safely and happily after surviving tragedy. Lightning McQueen quits being a douche and starts seeing the value in life's smaller pleasures and that status isn't everything.
Like. why did we need a monsters Inc prequel? Nothing surprising was gonna happen and there wasn't much to get invested in. Not because we know where the characters would go, but because we know that the characters really would have to go nowhere in the film, for their personalities at the start of the original to be what they were.
TL;DR: i'm happy they're dropping sequels. They absolutely misread and misunderstood the success of Toy Story sequels, why they worked and they absolutely took a bad turn as a result of not getting why their first sequel to an original actually worked.
I kind of feel the opposite here about the second half of your post. Monsters Inc prequel was to explore their world more and show how they got where they are. I thought it was really well done and explained a lot of things. Same with cars 3. Cars 2 was a dog-shit dumpster fire, but cars 3 was an almost direct follow-up to cars. McQueen's world was changed and he had to figure out how to keep up, and it also explored their world more.
I mainly like pixars sequels because they're normally there to explore the world a lot more. Pixar has amazing world-building skills.
Probably the biggest example of that is Incredibles, the first and second movies were both, well, incredible.
But of course there are movies that simply can't have a sequel- bugs life, up, Coco. They were all self-contained stories and didn't need anything else.
I can respect that and i do kind of see what you're saying. I guess what i really meant to get across is that each Toy Story sequel so far has had rock solid foundations because the status quo each previous movie concluded on is gone in the next one. not by cataclysm or misfortune. but because their place in the world changes by virtue of Andy's imagination undergoing changes as he grows up. I think this actually turns each Toy Story film into a self-contained story and universe. I get the clear impression from them that they aren't made to explore the world further or explain backstory or cash in on popular character appeal.
That's more of a bonus on top, though. that it's a well known setting and that it's familiar characters. Where Monsters Uni, Finding Dory (especially), Cars 2-3 and even Incredibles 2 all actually do end up leaning too hard on what came before. It's not that they don't have creative merit or integrity. but they're definitely not on par with Toy Story as i see it.
IMO Toy Story has sequels. but they could each just as well have been the first Toy Story film. That's what makes them fresh in my book. each is as close to full creative reset as you can get with a sequel without certain aspects suffering in quality.
I just read it. Here's my two cents (DON'T READ THE SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU DON'T WANT THE FILM SPOILED)
The ending to that book is very open ended/details/nuance missing, the plot is very watered down. Anyways, It's a nice/wholesome ending though for woody's story/arc, i can imagine it's probably gonna be more impactful in the film if it made tom hanks emotional but yeah, i think it's a good book end for the franchise. Woody get's to do the thing his always been doing since TS1, just on a larger scale and get's his walking into the sunset moment with his friends. And i'm perfectly ok with that, anything after will likely ruin the impact both these films will have and i'm happy they are putting it on the shelf after this one.
I beg to differ. While the first one had the advantage of having many "firsts": a fresh take on a (at the time) super hero mythos, with unique visuals and a wonderful cast of characters. it was an instant classic.
the second one however missed the mark just because it couldn't be any more fresh than the first one: super heroes are mainstream now, the cisuals are basically the same and the characters barely got any development. At times it felt like it was made purely to satisfy the demand of a sequel but without any genuine interest to make one.
hell, cars 3 felt more like a redemption arc for the studio's ability to tell a story rather than a redemption arc about McQueen itself.
Imagine a world were Pixar announces Wall-e 2.
While I'd always love some more Monsters Inc goodness, I'm glad that this will be their direction going forward. I miss when Pixar only had Toy Story 2 as a sequel and were known for making
really good, original movies.
In fairness to them, aside from Cars they really weren't milking franchises in doing so.
Finding Dory was the first sequel to Finding Nemo, and it came out over a decade after the first.
People having been wanting an Incredibles sequel for years, and it also came out over a decade after the first.
If you wanted to go further back, you could make the same case for Monsters University.
They've certainly been making more sequels recently, but they're not unjustifiable.
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