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Pixar's Future Plans: 'It’s Really Important That We Do an Original Film a Year' and Fewer Sequels

For the majority of its history, Pixar has been about original projects. Sure, the studio produced two Toy Story sequels, but those were both two of the greatest animated films ever made. It wasn't until Pixar released Cars 2 that fans started thinking that the studio had lost its way and was just cashing in on previous ideas. With Monsters University hitting theaters last weekend and Finding Dory scheduled for November 2015, Pixar has been relying on its past film a lot more than trying to find new stories to tell.

For studios like DreamWorks Animation, this is just how things are done — sequels to existing ideas can be produced quickly and have a better chance of being box office successes. DreamWorks just wants you to buy tickets to their movies. They don't care if they're making timeless movies.

Here's some good news: Pixar President Ed Catmull realizes that his studio has a sequel problem, and he intends to do something to fix it. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Catmull revealed that Pixar is planning on scaling back the number of sequels it releases while focusing attention on telling original stories.

“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year,” says Catmull, who also serves as president of Walt Disney Animation. “Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films.”

Based on the studio's upcoming slate of films, it looks like Pixar has been planning this evolution for awhile now. Finding Dory is the only sequel left in production, with movies like The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out and an untitled movie about Dia de los Muertos all in the works. Pixar also has three mystery projects for 2017 and 2018.

Catmull also reflected on the future of Pixar, noting that "When [Walt Disney] died, he didn’t pass the baton to anybody else, and so they went downhill after that. So [John Lassetter] and I take very seriously the fact that we need to get people up to the level where they can tell original films."

This is all very good news for Pixar. The best way the studio can rekindle the magic they once had was by focusing on original movies and leaving the sequel busy to the lower-class animation studios. Unless they have plans for Toy Story 4, that is ...
Pixar's Future Plans: 'It’s Really Important That We Do an Original Film a Year' and Fewer Sequels Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 6/27/2013 Rating: 5

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