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Is Pixar in Decline? Cinemaholics Happy Hour w/ T.J. Wolsos

pixar

It’s finally happened. T.J. Wolsos of PixarPost and I have collaborated on a project. Above, you’ll hear our full conversation on all things Pixar, mostly centering around the feeling that the animation studio’s best days are in the past. T.J. and I have a hearty debate and discussion about whether or not this is really true, and if it is, what caused the change (or “evolution” as T.J. aptly points out).

Is Pixar making too many sequels? Did Disney cause all of this? Has Disney animation surpassed Pixar? And what movies are coming next from the Emeryville campus? We answer these questions and tons more, plus we read your tweets and comments to parse out how everyone else feels about the subject. This is one podcast episode you Pixar fans don’t want to miss.

Go on…Is Pixar in Decline? Cinemaholics Happy Hour w/ T.J. Wolsos

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Which Pixar Plot Twist is the Best? (And Worst)

pixar plot twist

Pixar movies aren’t really known for having great plot twists. But there are still a few good ones here and there that we can appreciate.

So which Pixar “plot twist” is the best? This isn’t an easy question to answer, and obviously Pixar fans will spar and disagree over the top 5, let alone the very best. That said, I’ve devised my own rating system for each of Pixar’s most relevant plot twists, and to answer this question for myself, I’m breaking down the Pixar filmography movie by movie to assign these ratings and form my own conclusion accordingly.

But first, let’s define what a plot twist really is as best we can. To keep things simple, I consider a plot twist to be a radical shift in the expected outcome of the plot. Normally, we would only consider these to be plot twists if they happen closer to the end of the story, but I think a great plot twist can be revealed as early as the second act.

(Warning, this post contains spoilers for every single Pixar movie!)

Let’s begin with Pixar’s first feature-length film: Toy Story.

Go on…Which Pixar Plot Twist is the Best? (And Worst)

Snarcasm: A Bug’s Life vs. Antz vs. the Rest of Us

bugs life

It’s been 20 years since 1998, and you know what that means! Blog posts about films from 20 years ago / 1998!

And there are some great stories to pick from. Eight-year-old Jon Negroni was too busy stuffing his face with Warheads (the candy, dummy) on multiple schoolyard dares, so he/me didn’t get a chance to litigate the Antz vs. A Bug’s Life debate, unless you count my Hopper alarm clock as a stake in what is obviously a very petty fight between DreamWorks and Pixar that has never officially ended.

That’s where Bill Bradley comes in, writing for Huffpost Culture, and aside from having a name that would make Lois Lane blush, BB has the serious press credentials necessary to remind you why it’s pointless arguing about two movies that are barely similar where it counts, but similar enough where it generates heated arguments based on grudges that don’t really affect you in real life. So, the internet, basically.

Go on…Snarcasm: A Bug’s Life vs. Antz vs. the Rest of Us

Snarcasm: This WALL-E Theory Makes So Much Sense That It Doesn’t

wall-e theory

Snarcasm is an editorial column I do when I read something so upsetting, I have to publish something snarky and sarcastic about it. Thanks for indulging, and definitely take everything you’re about to read incredibly seriously.

Hi. Fan theories are both the best and the worst. Kind of like people! But you can’t say the same about Pixar’s WALL-E, a triumph of animated cinema about the reckless, capitalist dangers of mankind passively wreaking havoc on the environ—

“Sinister WALL-E fan theory will change the way you watch the sweet Pixar film forever”

Oh, OK. I forgot we were watching this “sweet Pixar film” all wrong. How, exactly, was WALL-E some sort of overtly nice and go-lucky tale, considering all the dystopian apocalyptic subject matter?

Go on…Snarcasm: This WALL-E Theory Makes So Much Sense That It Doesn’t

All Three of Pixar’s Billion-Dollar Movies Are Sequels. Now What?

Pixar

From Animation World Network:

Incredibles 2 became just the seventh animated film to cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office. It is Disney’s fifth animated and 18th-ever billion-dollar release and joins Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War as Disney’s third release to reach the $1 billion milestone this year.

Egregious success for Disney in 2018 aside, Pixar is now the first animated studio to release three films with $1 billion worldwide box office. And all three of these films are sequels: Toy Story 3Finding Dory, and now Incredibles 2. And yet people wonder why Pixar continues to make sequels in the first place. Money speaks louder than critics, I suppose.

Go on…All Three of Pixar’s Billion-Dollar Movies Are Sequels. Now What?

The Real Reason Why Pixar Keeps Making Sequels

sequels

I’ve commented on this topic a lot, particularly this week with the release of Incredibles 2, but Victor Luckerson seriously nails the rise of Pixar sequels with this piece on The Ringer.

How Pixar Became a Sequel Factory:

This decade has been different. Pixar’s next 10 films included six sequels or prequels, among them the newly released Incredibles 2. Its next movie is Toy Story 4, an addendum to a conclusive trilogy that no one asked for. In addition to its two sequels, there has even been a Cars spinoff, Planes, which recalls the low-budget direct-to-video sequels Disney pumped out in the ’90s.

Go on…The Real Reason Why Pixar Keeps Making Sequels

Pixar’s New Short Film ‘Bao’ Is Weird, But Also Kind Of Essential

Bao

I recently wrote up an explainer for Bao on The Young Folks:

Bao was directed by Domee Shi, the first woman to ever direct a Pixar short…Over the course of about eight minutes, we see a dumpling become a baby boy, growing up under his mother’s love until eventually becoming too old to stay home with her. Essentially, Bao is a Chinese retelling of “The Gingerbread Man.”

I saw Incredibles 2 for the second time last night with a large audience, and I was almost more curious about how Bao would come across in front of other people. In case you haven’t seen it, Bao has a very “Pixar” plot with an absolutely shockingly weird twist that almost lampoons Pixar. It’s probably genius?

Go on…Pixar’s New Short Film ‘Bao’ Is Weird, But Also Kind Of Essential

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