Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back to the Sea


It seems as if the sequel to Andrew Stanton's Pixar classic has been confirmed, just in time for the film's 3D theatrical re-release. Though I'm not really putting much credence in that article (where is that "interview" where Stanton confirmed a Finding Nemo sequel?), I'll still offer my thoughts on the subject.

Since Toy Story 3, Pixar has done quite a couple of sequels all within five years. This was certainly unusual for the company, as many people from the studio have said that they only go through with sequels if they have a great story. Prior to Toy Story 3, Pixar only made one sequel and that was it. Toy Story 3 was fantastic, and definitely lived up to the first two films and some minds, even surpassed them. There was no reason to be skeptical either, since Pixar was behind it after the Disney-Pixar merger and unlike the Hollywood business model, it wasn't coming right off of the success of Toy Story 2. The people at Pixar had a genuinely good idea, while also having to overwrite the potential bomb that Disney's Circle 7 studio has in the making.

As I've said before, Pixar making more and more sequels isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as they are great films. Again, I am not supportive of more sequels, but we don't know until we see them. Look at their upcoming slate. We're still getting three originals, originals which sound like game-changers for the animation medium and the whole idea of family films. People have become skeptical because of the sequel to their anthropomorphic automobiles film, but I still reject that mindset because Monsters University could turn out to be a masterpiece for all I care. Even if I give the film a B or something, I still won't be shattered. Brave didn't get the A+ I usually I give to Pixar films, but so what? They can't just make A+ films for the rest of eternity, or A-grade films, that's just ridiculous to expect.

So... Finding Nemo 2...

Personally, I don't want it. If it turns out to be an excellent film, I will gladly eat crow. I'm not saying it's going to be a surefire disaster, it's just that I don't believe there needs to be a sequel. It all just screams unnecessary. On the other hand, I think Monsters University was necessary, since it will tell us more about Mike, Sulley and the monster world itself. It's nice to see their past, instead of having them go on a new adventure. Monsters, Inc. was a film you could NOT do a sequel to in my eyes. I have the same feelings towards Finding Nemo.

Unless it isn't "Finding" Nemo this time around. Maybe it's going to be about something else. If they announce that the plot will be about Marlin losing him again, I won't be happy. However, if it's something different, I'll have some hope. Though Toy Story's sequels had the "get back to Andy's house" structure, the three films were all unique. Cars 2 wasn't anything like its predecessor. Monsters University is obviously going to have a much different plot than Monsters, Inc., so they may just come up with a new idea for this film. From all the rumblings we've heard, the Brain Trust at Pixar loves the idea. We didn't hear any of that when Cars 2 was in production, and we've heard that the Brain Trust is all for the Monsters University story.

Still, I just think one doesn't need to be made. To me, a lot of great films are unique on their own, especially animated classics. Personally I don't want to hear that sequels to any of the post-Cars films are being considered, either. The big question is: Why sequels?

Think of the Disney studio, after World War II had such a terrible affect on them. Did Walt do sequels to his beloved films to stay afloat? No, he didn't. Sure, characters from earlier films appeared in the package anthology features (i.e. Jiminy Cricket in Fun & Fancy Free), but he didn't do Bambi 2 or Snow White 2 to keep his studio alive in the 1950s. He kept tackling new stories, and Walt Disney Animation Studios has a history of staying far away from sequels despite how lucrative their classics are. It's telling that the only sequels Disney ever did were to Fantasia and The Rescuers.

Which is was I don't believe Pixar is doing sequels to just keep the business going. It'd be easy to say they've sold out, they're now just all about the money, etc. I don't think so. Toy Story 3 was fantastic, Cars 2 was gap filler (I still believe Bob Iger coaxed John Lasseter into doing it, rather than Lasseter actually having a brand new idea) that none of the Brain Trust seemed to care about. Monsters University has potential... But this does mean that it's okay for Pixar to just do more sequels?

It's a tough issue for me at the moment, because a great Finding Nemo sequel would be a real miracle. At the same time however, I just don't really want one.

What is your take on this? Do you believe that a sequel to Finding Nemo is necessary? Or do you think it's not a good idea? Do you believe that Andrew Stanton and co.'s new idea will work? Or do you think it's just a way to get people excited? Sound off!

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