Is Disney on the rise, while Pixar on the decline?

Discussion in 'Disney/Pixar Forum' started by wonderfly, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D!

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    So there's a new Pixar moving coming out that, once again, is set in the "Cars/Planes" universe. So that would be four movies set so far in a universe where vehicles have faces and talk (Cars, Cars 2, Planes, and Planes: Fire and Rescue). Besides that, Pixar's last movie was "Monsters University" (which was great, but c'mon, it was still a sequel/prequel aka something milking off of a former success).

    Meanwhile, starting with "Tangled" (or maybe with "The Princess and the Frog", or heck, maybe with "Bolt"), Disney has been on a hot streak. Every year, they're cranking out something that's new and creative (Wreck it Ralph), a twist on an old concept (Frozen), or just fun, and now they have a new awesome movie coming up called "Big Hero 6".

    So is Disney on the rise, while Pixar is on the decline?
     
  2. Toon4Thought

    Toon4Thought Giving a slightly closer look.

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    Actually, both "Planes" movies are from a Disney studio that mainly works on TV-based projects, so that isn't Pixar.

    As for Pixar themselves, I can see where you're coming from between "Monsters University" and "Cars 2", and even their last original project wasn't as universally loved as many of the other ones (I personally liked it, but the complaints I've heard about it don't come from left field) and I'm under the impression that's part of why they're taking this year off entirely. Many announcements exist for several more original projects to come, so we know there's still plenty of juice left in the company. But with how divisive their last few films have been by comparison to their others, all we can do now is see where "Inside Out" takes them.

    Disney definitely has had a rather admirable streak in recent years. They're definitely on the rise from 10 years ago, to the point where even if "Inside Out" proves to be as huge a success as many of Pixar's greats, it's still possible for Disney to exceed them with the track record they've had. You can definitely see a ton of passion being put into their high-priority projects, and it shows big-time in every single regard, which probably helps, as this didn't seem to be all there during that period where they switched executives.

    Basically, Disney is definitely on the rise. Pixar, maybe it's in a decline, but not by all that much and we just have to see where they go from here.
     
  3. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Active Member

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    For starters Planes is not from Pixar. It is animated at Disney Toons studio which typically in charge of their DTV features. Now I do believe that Disney is going through another golden era, I think it is a bit premature to say that Pixar is on a decline. They have two original movies coming out next year.
     
  4. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi

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    Yes. The second Disney Renaissance has already begun.
     
  5. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D!

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    "Planes" isn't Pixar? But everywhere I go, I see Planes called "a spinoff of Cars". So Lightning McQueen and Dusty Crophopper could conceivably encounter each other, right?

    Hmm. From Wikipedia: "Despite not being produced by Pixar, the film was co-written and executive produced by Pixar and Disney Animation's chief creative officer John Lasseter, who directed the Cars films."

    Okay, so yeah, different animation studio, but still - IT'S A BYPRODUCT OF THE SUCCESS OF "CARS". IT'S UNORIGINAL.


    You're talking about "Brave", right? Yeah, kind of a mixed reception on that one...Oh yeah, Pixar also had "Toy Story 3" within the last 4 years (which I liked, but yeah)...and what's this about "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles" having sequels in the works? (one was from 2003, the other from 2004. If it takes more than 10 years to generate a sequel...maybe it's time has passed?)
     
  6. Toon4Thought

    Toon4Thought Giving a slightly closer look.

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    I think we can all agree that Planes is unoriginal and little more than a mere byproduct. I'm just saying it's not like you can directly blame Pixar for it. I know Lasseter has involvement and all that, but keep in mind he works for both Pixar and Disney.

    And yes, I was referring to "Brave" there.
     
  7. GWOtaku

    GWOtaku Moderator

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    In relative terms things have balanced out but that is mostly about Disney's creative resurgence, not so much Pixar's decline. Pixar's track record is still incredible, they have never made a movie that could be described as a disappointment both critically and commercially. For my money what Disney endured for much of the 00s was second only to the the doldrums of the 70s and 80s that The Great Mouse Detective finally brought to an end in 1986, while from 2003 - 2009 Pixar is putting out hit after hit: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up. Then in 2010 there is the super successful Toy Story 3. From then on what you see is Pixar continuing to find success (though no longer the pure praise it had always enjoyed) while Disney recalled and reinvented the old magic from 2009 forward starting with The Princess and the Frog.

    The future not at all clear cut to me. I have nothing against Big Hero 6 or Zootopia, but I'm as ambivalent to them as I am open to what they have to offer. It remains to be seen whether they live up to Disney's recent triumphs or not. There are several unannounced films we know nothing about (I'd think and really strongly hope at least one of those is another movie in the vein of Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Frozen). Pixar? Okay fine, nobody really needs a Cars 3. Finding Dory is derivative at a glance. But a sequel to The Incredibles, one of of the most loved animated films of the last 15 years? Uh, YEAH, yes please. Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur are products of people who were involved with the wonderful Up.

    Of course, Pixar has unannounced projects itself, who knows what's coming. But yeah. The story here is Disney getting back to normal and getting its groove back.

    Also, I am pretty tired of stigmas against sequels. Yes, some are derivative and / or not good. Others are excellent. If you have a good idea and can do it well, then by God DO IT. Tell me an excellent story and I am there.
     
  8. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi

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    I'd say Cars 2 fits the bill as a critical and commercial disappointment.
     
  9. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator

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    Yeah, both Finding Nemo and The Incredibles have sequels in the works. While announcing sequels for movies made over ten years ago is kind of strange, especially when both movies didn't really need a continuation, I don't think that's a bad thing per say. As long as the storyline is good and engaging, I don't think that it matters when the sequel is made.

    I haven't seen all of the latest Disney and Pixar movies, as I still need to see Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen, Brave and Monster University, but I've heard a lot more praise for the last few Disney movies than for Pixar. Brave's reception was pretty mix and unless the sequel is from Toy Story, most people aren't thrilled with the sequel/prequel craze for Pixar movies. Although, I actually kind of liked Cars 2. It wasn't one of my favorite Pixar movies, but I thought it was surprisingly engaging and more interesting than the first movie. I'm not sure if Pixar is in a decline exactly, but I think that Disney is on the rise at least based on the praises for their last few movies.
     
  10. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu Grumpy Gorilla

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    Planes is a spinoff of Cars, and Mater already visited Propwash Junction and got flying lessons from the Skipper and Sparky in a Mater's Tall Tales short film, so yes they do live in the same universe and in theory, Lightning McQueen could meet Dusty Crophopper. Even so, Planes still has little-to-no connection with Pixar -- it's a Disney product, through and through. If I remember right, it's only Disney that appears in the opening/closing credits -- no Luxo Jr. crushing the Pixar "i" to be seen. John Lasseter's connection to the film is when he's wearing his Mouse Ears, not the Woody cowboy hat. It's the same as when he's involved with the Tinker Bell movies. I definitely don't think you can hold Planes against Pixar's track record (though I'm also one of the few people on the planet who liked it).

    I agree with this in principle, but in practice I'd also say that it's much, much harder for a sequel to be anywhere near as original or satisfying as the original movie. There's extraordinarily few sequels that get held up in those "greatest movies" lists, and I don't think that's just a stigma about sequels. That said, one of the few sequels that's at least equal to and arguably better than the original movie is Toy Story 2. As with many things, Pixar is the exception to the rule that a sequel is something to be eyed warily.

    I also say this as one of the very few people who liked Cars 2, though it's definitely not anywhere near the level of the top 5 movies out of Pixar. Combined with my affection for Planes, I wonder sometimes if cool vehicles turn my critical faculties into those of a 5-to-9-year old boy running around with his arms out going, "Zoom!" a lot.

    Despite everything I just said, though, I'd agree with the original basic premise that Disney is on a creative upswing while Pixar has been on a downswing, but I'd put the starting point of Pixar's decline much, much earlier than most do, and peg it specifically to the sudden and untimely passing of their longtime story guy Joe Ranft in 2005. The last film he worked on was Cars, and while I still like most of the studio's output after that, I've also found many of the movies more problematic than the ones before it. Ratatouille was the first movie where they had to replace the director very late in production, and while there are some wonderful moments in the movie, it's also still got lumps in it (mostly around Linguine). Both WALL-E and Up are startlingly, bracingly original, until they hit their third acts and become extremely conventional movies (and I was always amused by Pete Docter's bonus feature on the Up Blu-ray where he runs through about 4 or 5 different endings they tried with Up, which suggests to me that they know the end of the movie has problems). I'm one of the few that really didn't like Toy Story 3 all that much because I feel like it starts from an interesting premise, stalls for an hour so it can do a prison break movie, and then resolves the premise by totally kicking the can down the road (and because I believe the real question isn't about toys but about change when you grow up, and the real answer to that question is to break up the toys so some stay with Bonnie and some go to day care...but the movie dodges both of these questions entirely). Cars 2 is derivative (and Ranft's influence on the original doesn't elevate it above the pre-Incredibles Pixar films), and as much as I liked Brave and Monsters U, both of them are falling back on tried-and-true rather than pushing the boundaries the way earlier Pixar films did.

    I'm not willing to pin all of the studio's successes on Joe Ranft, and I'm not saying that the movies after Cars are bad -- I still maintain that an average Pixar film is better than the best output of many other studios. I just think it's a hell of a coincidence that there's such a difference in Pixar's films in the post-Joe period. Same as the kind of coincidence that the Star Wars movies took a major nosedive in quality after Gary Kurtz stopped being the producer of the movies. In the end, I'd say Pixar has been "in decline" for nearly 10 years now, well before most people started saying they were.

    And, with all THAT said, the stuff I'm hearing about Inside Out is extraordinarily exciting. I'd also say that Disney's films lately have been very good, but I still wouldn't say the movies ranging from Bolt (which is where the second Renaissance started, IMO) to Frozen felt as innovative and original as stuff like Toy Story or The Incredibles. I don't want to belittle their successes, because they've all been very good movies that I enjoyed quite a lot, and they're also very much better than the dreck Disney was pushing in the late 90's and 00's. And if you can grandfather in the DTV efforts, the Tinker Bell movies have been terrific across the board, which is another sign of their creative upswing.
     
  11. The ShopSoldier

    The ShopSoldier Wandering about in both ANGER & DISGRACE

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    Wreck - It Ralph, Tangled, Bolt, and Frozen (regardless of order of creation) were all great movies... But I'm so not holding my breath on this being the beginning of something big. Especially if toyetic trash like Planes is allowed to exist. Sorry.
     
  12. wonderfly

    wonderfly 30 Years since Vampire Hunter D!

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    I'm not a "Planes" hater. It's just that after finishing it, I was like "Okay, that was decent, but it's time to move away from vehicles with eyes and mouths". And here we are, only one year later, and they're already cranking out a "Planes" sequel? You can't tell me that screams out "Quality production". And it's "search and rescue" type crap? (or maybe I'm just thinking of Transformers "Rescue Bots", but really, isn't there a super-villain to fight anywhere?!?). Since when does Pixar OR Disney switch from quality to quantity? Only "Direct To DVD" productions should be allowed to come out yearly...
     
  13. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator

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    I think that they had planned for a sequel either before or shortly after the first Planes movie was in theaters, so this was planned out, most likely because they thought they could get some money off of the merchandise. If I recall correctly, Cars toys have been selling really well, which is why they got a sequel and another one in the worlds, so they probably thought that would be the same case here with Planes. Although, why they didn't put give it direct to DVD treatment is kind of odd.
     
  14. CoolEric158

    CoolEric158 God Bless America!

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    Story time: Planes was in fact intended to be Direct to DVD, and they made a sequel to go along with it, so both were in production at the same time. Why a sequel was made at the same time I assume was most likely Disney thinking it was going to be very successful on home video due to being from a franchise with over $8B sales in the ancillary market. Then Disney was impressed enough with what they saw so the movies pulled a Toy Story 2 and were given theatrical releases. And while everyone and their Mom hates the idea of Planes existing, at least it isn't eating up Pixar's time, and we're getting sequels to two highly praised movies, and original movies made by the directors of Up. I can handle a Planes movie here and there.
     
  15. Fix-it Felix Jr.

    Fix-it Felix Jr. New Member

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    You are 100% right on that statement. All of their films that came out since 2008 (the year that they changed their name from Walt Disney Feature Animation to Walt Disney Animation Studios) has been getting universally acclaim on Rotten Tomatoes (more than 80% percent, all Certified Fresh) and highly positive reviews from critics and audience.
    Bolt (November 21, 2008: 88%)
    The Princess and the Frog (December 11, 2009: 84%)
    Tangled (November 24, 2010: 89%)
    Winnie the Pooh (July 15, 2011: 90%)
    Wreck-it-Ralph (November 2, 2012: 86%)
    Frozen (November 27, 2013: 89%)
    Disney is definitely on the rise again, and in its second renaissance.
     
  16. aegisrawks

    aegisrawks Active Member

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    No. DEFINITELY with The Princess and the Frog.
     
  17. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Active Member

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    I am okay with Planes existing because it is done by Disney Toons studios. It is not animated by the same people who made movies like Frozen and Wreck It Ralph.
     
  18. Lavenderpaw

    Lavenderpaw Essense Of Love

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    I am VERY excited about where Big Hero 6 could go. I'm a little turned off by some of the other character designs and Baymax's voice, but maybe it will all turn out for the better. I fell in love with the trailer and Disney's other line-ups don't look bad. Pixar has always been something that's shoved down my throat, honestly, it's not anything that's spectacular to me. DreamWorks is more my flavor, but I'm a hardcore Disneyphile. Nothin' wrong with that, I never jumped on the Pixar, though I am pretty fond of Monster's Inc. (the first one!) and Ratatouille. The beginning of Up is a golden standard of animation marvel and the 1st Toy Story is unique for it's own atmosphere. There really isn't any movie with such it's own universe that defines itself, that being said it's not always likeable but it IS consistent. All pre-Toy Story 3 are well built machines, oiled and lubricated to perfection. They are "perfect". But that's all they are, machines. No soul in them. Disney is a lot more loose and colorful, even if it's formula there's a PULSE in it. I feel Lion King, Brother Bear and such. With Pixar, it's like I'm being forced to like it. Frozen, for example, took me a little time to warm up to but I definitely feel the bond between Elsa and Anna. I'd take Disney Princess magic over talking clownfish any day. Uck!
     
  19. the_joker

    the_joker Member

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    Even if Pixar is on a decline (most say starting with Cars 2), they'll get back up again at some point. I haven't seen Cars 2 yet so no comment, but I enjoyed Brave and Monster's University.

    If Disney had 2 slow periods and came back big, then Pixar can as well especially with their track record.
     
  20. The ShopSoldier

    The ShopSoldier Wandering about in both ANGER & DISGRACE

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    Monster's University is Pixar's best film of recent memory for me... That is all for now, provided they can get their act together.
     

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