Last week the first full trailer was released for the upcoming Pixar film Inside Out, and something really surprised me. Nobody seemed to care. Another trailer that was released the same day was for Mad Max: Fury Road, a film I thought would’ve had much less buzz, but at the time of writing this it has had a lot more views and a lot more attention. This was the opposite reaction to Disney’s other recent announcement, that Pixar would be making a fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise. This news was met by a very loud, nearly universal ‘no thanks’. My question is, why are people NOT excited about Inside Out, and why would anybody NOT want Toy Story 4? It seems as if everybody has lost faith in a company which has brought us more classic films in recent years than anybody else.
The teaser trailer for Inside Out does a lot to try and restore the faith that so many have lost. The first minute of the trailer, more than half it’s run time, is a montage of classic Pixar characters and moments, clearly designed to try and make you remember why you used to love the company. It did work for me, but I didn’t really need the help getting excited. This company clearly knows that they’ve lost some of their fan base, but with two films coming out next year, and it being the twentieth anniversary of the first Toy Story, their first feature film release, I’m going to tell you why everybody should be excited about Inside Out, Toy Story 4, and everything else Pixar.
Firstly, their track record is sublime. Pixar had the highest rated film by critics five times between 2003 and 2010. Five times in eight years. Finding Nemo in 2003, The Incredibles in 2004, Ratatouille in 2007, Up in 2009 and Toy Story 3 in 2010, and I should probably mention Wall.e was ranked fourth in 2008, which is not a bad result either. Other films that are almost universally adored are Monsters inc., A Bug’s Life and the other two Toy Story films. And let’s not forget about Cars, Brave and Monster’s University, which may not be as well loved as the other Pixar films, but are all still generally well like and well made films.
The only film they’ve produced which I haven’t mentioned is Cars 2, which, well… There are a couple of reasons I let them off for that one. Firstly, everybody who’s worked in the film industry for long enough has their version of Cars 2. As an example, I’ll take this years Oscar winners. Matthew McConaughey had Failure to Launch (among many, MANY others), Cate Blanchett’s follow up to Blue Jasmine was The Monuments Men, Lupita Nyong’o has only been in two films so give her time (although she was truly terrible in Non-Stop), Jared Leto was in Alexander and Alfonso Cuarón made a pretty awful version of Great Expectations. I guarantee you can do that every year. The other reason I let them get away with Cars 2 is that children love it, and children also love toys, and Disney also love money. Toys for children = money for Disney. Money for Disney = money that can be put into the original projects we all want to see Disney, and by extension Pixar making. I’ll watch Cars 2 once every other year if it means I get to watch Up or Ratatouille the next.
It is unfortunate that Pixar’s three least liked films, Cars 2, Brave and Monster’s University, have all come back to back, but when you look at the bigger picture, Pixar still have a track record to rival anybody, and they still deserve the benefit of the doubt.
So why else are people so unhappy about the Toy Story announcement? One of the things I’ve heard the most is that Toy Story is perfect as a trilogy, and I can’t really argue against that. It’s up there with Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight as one of my favorite trilogies of all time, but it wasn’t planned as a trilogy. It wasn’t ever meant to be anything other than a one off. When it was first announced, nobody wanted a Toy Story 2, not even Pixar, that is until Disney told them that a sequel was happening with or without their cooperation. Then, when Toy Story 3 was announced, while the feeling wasn’t as strong, the general thought was ‘it can’t live up to the other two’. BUT IT DID. I’d go so far as to say it’s my favorite of the three, and I know I’m not alone there.
Finally, try to think of one other widely popular franchise, not originally planned as a trilogy, that people are so against another sequel for. I can’t. Fast and Furious 7, 8 and 9? Bring it on. Indiana Jones 5? I’ll give it a go. Rambo 5? I’m there. Bond 24? It’s happening. So what’s the issue? Why are people to against Pixar making Toy Story 4? I have no doubt that it’s going to be a worthy installment in the franchise, especially with the directors of Toy Story, Toy Story 3, Up and Finding Nemo all involved in its production. If there’s anybody that loves these characters more than us, it’s them, and more than anything, that’s why we should trust Pixar, and be excited about Toy Story 4, and before that, an original film that’s going to be one of the best of next year, Inside Out.
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