Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sad to report the decline of Pixar

I think it's probably time to call it:  Pixar is past its prime and lately producing only passable entertainment that carries little in the way of its early quality.

This is prompted by seeing Inside Out yesterday, inspired as I was by high praise from critics, and despite a trailer which I thought indicated a not very funny or visually exciting film.

Guess what - it was the trailer that was right, not the critics.

I really don't understand their excitement.  The movie was more like an academic exercise to build a story around a psychology book.  So there were ideas there, just not very interesting ones; characters on screen who were hard to identify with (most the characters are the "inside your head" emotions, anyway - they aren't meant to be nuanced) and a visual style that was unexciting and uninnovative.

It was not a bad film per se, just a very forgettable and not very engaging one.  (I actually think Brave was positively bad, so its certainly possible for Pixar to have a complete dud, in my books.) 

As for the big picture at Pixar, the last one I quite liked was Toy Story 3, and that was in 2010.  I have never bothered with Cars2, given that I thought the first was dull and childish; and Monsters University was underwhelming.

Now, part of the problem is how often they are re-visiting the old stories, and it's a bit distressing to see there are probably 4 sequels in their current production line up.  But Brave and Inside Out show they are fizzing on "stand alone" stories too.

Their highlight films for me remain the original Toy Story, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille, with A Bug's Life deserving an entry too.  Brad Bird is the pick of their directors, but he hasn't made enough yet to really see how consistent he can be.

1 comment:

John said...

In these days Steve I tend to rely on some anime, Asian, and European productions for entertainment. Yeah the subtitles can be annoying and obviously where children are concerned impractical. I'm so bored with what comes out of Britain, Aus, and the USA. Did pick up a rare gem though the other day: Pushing Daises. Whimsical, novel, beautiful sets, nice word play. From the USA and only ran for 2 seasons in spite of winning Emmys and having a huge fan base. So there you have it: something new dies in spite of critical acclaim and unusually creative design.