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Has Pixar Lost Its Touch?

Discussion in 'Animation, Movies, TV' started by lebeau, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. lebeau

    lebeau Well-Known Member

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    Pixar has had the Midas touch for over a decade. Every movie was a critical and commercial success up until Cars 2. Cars 2 was still a hit at the box office, but for the first time the reviews were less than stellar. And audiences expressed disappointment.

    Brave seems to be following in the footsteps of Cars 2. I'm sure it will be a hit. But the reviews are mixed and people don't seem to love it. I know my kids didn't. Personally, I was impressed with the high quality Pixar look, but the pacing of the story is way off. It's good, but not great. Definitely one of the weaker Pixar films.

    Based on their stellar track record, the Pixar name means something. Families will go to a Pixar movie without knowing anything about it because they trust the brand. This used to be true of Disney as well, but eventually Disney cheapened their brand name to the point where parents decided that it was okay to wait for Disney films to come out on video.

    For now, Pixar movies are still events. But I have to wonder for how much longer that will be the case. Brave strikes me as Pixar's Pocohantas or Hunchback. While not a bad film, it's chipping away at the brand's promise of excellence.

    Thoughts?
  2. real mad hatter

    real mad hatter Well-Known Member

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    Well I'll read you out today's Edinburg festival report of "Brave" " Quite simply,the best Pixar offering yet,the attention to detail is staggering,there is a sequence at a salmon river where Iam convinced you can see the midges hovering just above the water.In another scene where the rain drips down the castle wall is the finest animation yet" :)
    bethymouse likes this.
  3. hakunamatata

    hakunamatata churro vigilante Premium Member

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    Sometimes I think the whole movie review industry has become so politicized (and I don't mean that in a political way, but a "what are you going to do for me so I give you a good review" way). We saw Brave and outside of one scene that I thought was totally uncalled for given the target market for the movie, I thought it was one of the better Pixar movies. Better than Wall-e for sure. I can only say that the vast majority of the people in the theater we were in were applauding at the end of the movie.
  4. AswaySuller

    AswaySuller Active Member

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    So it's a movie based in scotland about scottish people and you're telling me the Edingburg festical report liked it.....!!!!!! :eek::eek::eek::eek:
  5. ellie-badge

    ellie-badge Well-Known Member

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    Brave has a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Wanna know what other Pixar movie has a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes? Cars.
  6. lebeau

    lebeau Well-Known Member

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    Here are quotes from some of the positive reviews for Brave:




    And these quotes are from the 74% that gave Brave a passing grade.
  7. lebeau

    lebeau Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to know the basis for your opinion on the state of film criticsim. There's always been an element of that. But I would argue it is less so now than ever before. In the past, critics had a lot more influence and were more heavily courted by the studios. Today, everyone has a blog. Social media has more of an impact on most films than reviews.

    Wall-e > Brave by a wide margin.
  8. hakunamatata

    hakunamatata churro vigilante Premium Member

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    The basis for my opinion, is what I think.

    As far as Wall-e, Brave beats it by a mile just for the fact that there wasn't an anti capitalism, people are mindless consumers, we hate the planet message in Brave.
  9. Nick_A

    Nick_A On the edge of glory.

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    Brave is much better than the abominable Cars 2, but still qualifies as "Pixar Lite." I've come to expect more from this studio. It was a good film, but not a brilliant one in the way that Up, Wall-E, and Toy Story 3 are, each of which managed to transcend its genre. The formula for Brave was more Disney than Pixar, and that was somewhat troubling.
  10. ellie-badge

    ellie-badge Well-Known Member

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    Brave is a step up from Cars 2, was it not?

    Film companies, no matter how legendary they are, have their ups and downs. A lot of Disney's films past Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs actually did poorly at the box office and others weren't too well received. Yes, they're considered classics now, but at the time of their release, not quite so.

    I'm sure you're familiar with Disney's weakest point and downfall, The Black Cauldron? Arguably their worst film, it was stuck between the mediocre The Fox and the Hound and The Great Mouse Detective. The Rescuers, which came before all three, was considered Disney's most successful film to date. Oliver & Company, which came after the three, wound up becoming their most successful film to date. It was a small downfall, only to have brand new classics (The Disney Renaissance) to be released for another ten years and to smash so many records that it was almost ridiculous.

    Then they had another downfall again between 2000 and about 2008 (with the exclusion of Lilo & Stitch). But what has been released since? The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, and Tangled, all of which have been well-received and successful at the box office. Sure, they probably don't compare to what the kids in the 90s got, but things have gotten much better in the long run.

    Yes, it is a little sad to hear that Brave wasn't as great as everybody thought it would be (I've yet to see it, so please don't spoil!), especially after the abomination that was Cars 2, but at the same time, a downfall had to happen with Pixar eventually. As much as I wish it were so, especially in the case of Pixar, no company is immune to releasing a few mediocre films or flops. Does it mean that Pixar's become a rotten apple and isn't good anymore? No, of course not. It's only a matter of time that they start releasing groundbreaking films again. We just have to let things run their course and wade it out until then, that's all. ;)
  11. lebeau

    lebeau Well-Known Member

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    But what is the basis of your opinion? You must have some facts to back up this theory. Otherwise, you're just pulling it out of thin air. I have presented a very reasonable argument against your conspiracy theory. Do you have anything to back up your opinion. Anything at all?

    As far as Wall-e, oh. I see. You're one of THOSE people. Makes sense now. Never mind.
    Animaniac93-98 likes this.
  12. lebeau

    lebeau Well-Known Member

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    Some drop-off had to happen. And I think most people excused Cars 2 with the understanding that they can't all be winners. But Pixar had the benefit of trust built up over a decade. With Cars 2, that trust took a hit. Brave, while not bad, shows that Pixar hasn't fully recovered yet. If families feel disappointed twice, they will be that much less likely to blindly trust the Pixar brand.

    The same thing happened to Disney in the 90's. After Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Lion King, Disney movies were a family event. But then came a strong of films that didn't live up to those standards. Some were quite good. Just not excellent. Many got decent reviews and were successful at the box office. But to this day, Disney still hasnn't regained the same level of trust. Disney movies aren't must see events the way Pixar movies are.

    I have no doubt Pixar will make great movies again. But the trust is broken. And that's really hard to repair.
  13. ellie-badge

    ellie-badge Well-Known Member

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    See, I think it just depends on who you know, where you live, or what the movie is. I have a plethora of friends who have rushed to the cinemas to see Disney's most recent films. Many people ran to the cinemas as quickly as they could to see The Princess and the Frog, and even more when they went to see Tangled. My best friend, her brother, and I have even made an event out of going to see Winnie the Pooh... the same way my family and I made an event to go see Toy Story 3, and the same way my friend and I are going to make an event out of Brave later this week.

    If it's a good movie and they know it, people will make their trip to the cinema an event.
  14. lebeau

    lebeau Well-Known Member

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    What I am talking about is not local. When Pocohontas came out, it was an event on a level that no non-Pixar Disney movie has been in decades. Even if the idea of an animated Pocohontas didn't sound appealing, families still went to the theaters because Disney had built up that level of trust. When families came away from Pocahontas disappointed, the trust was broken. They started being selective. They waited for reviews or to hear what their friends said about it.

    Oh sure, there are still families that run out and see Disney movies opening weekend no matter what. But then, there are families that ran out to see Madagascar too. There's an appetite for family films. But in the early 90s Disney movies were special. Up until recently, that was the case for Pixar too. But I don't think the next Pixar release will have the same level of trust that the company has enjoyed in the past.

    Lucky for them the next film is Monster University. The familiarity will probably buy them some trust back. But if it disappoints, I think the damage will be done to Pixar's brand.
  15. AswaySuller

    AswaySuller Active Member

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    IMO Pixar do drop the ball more than people actually seem to notice...

    in fact they did pretty early on with Bugs Life...

    Pixar films that IMO don't meet the grade:

    Bugs Life
    Wall-E
    Cars 2
    Ratatouille
    Up
  16. ellie-badge

    ellie-badge Well-Known Member

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    Ah, well in that case, you do have a point. Although, to be honest, I think people were always selective of Disney's films since even before the Disney Renaissance (especially with the release of The Black Cauldron, people had to have been searching for a reason to go to see Disney films and not Don Bluth's after that was released). But you are right, people weren't nearly as selective during the peak of their renaissance.

    I think Pixar is a little different than what Disney went through, though... I mean, up until Cars 2, Pixar hadn't released a single "bad" movie in almost fifteen years. Fifteen years is a lot and I think more of a winning streak than Disney has ever been able to pull off, much less other film companies.

    With that being said, Pixar has only fooled me once with the release of Cars 2. I'll be waiting to see if Pixar's Brave will have fooled me twice, and if Monsters University manages to fool me a third time... then, well, yeah. I'll be quite a bit more selective of their films.
  17. real mad hatter

    real mad hatter Well-Known Member

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    Sorry,you've got it wrong. Edingburg is a small village in Austria,not Scotland,and festical is a blood disorder in the brain.:oops:
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  18. Enchantâmes

    Enchantâmes Active Member

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    Dear lord I saw Brave and I thought it was amazing, the only people I have seen complain about it have been male Pixar fans. It may be because I was never that crazy about most of Pixar's films that I love Brave so much, being a gay male it can sometimes be hard to find a film you relate to nowadays and I found Brave to be really touching and it charmed me from beginning to end. To call it a Pocahontas is a HUGE insult and going way too far, I think its just not what the average Pixar fan expected/wanted and they are whining for more predictable films about toys and bugs (or even some new ones about clothes and the lint in your belly button). My point is this film is a great step forward for Pixar in that it shows that they can produce darker and more emotional movies. I loved the movie, I'm going to see it again today and other than the devout Pixar fans I haven't heard any real negatives about the film in general.
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  19. real mad hatter

    real mad hatter Well-Known Member

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    You mean Cars 2 ?
  20. Kirk88

    Kirk88 Active Member

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    I guess I'm in the minority, I really like Cars 2. I have heard nothing but great things about Brave from actual people, not critics. I could really care less about what critics say anymore. Y'all remember a little movie with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson called Batman? The critics destroyed that movie before it even came out and swore it would be a bomb. It's also funny how the critics bad mouthed John Carter (and lack of advertising was it's demise in the box office), yet my wife said that everywhere she looked for it on Blu-Ray, was sold out! I say the heck with the critics and form your own opinions.....this is just mine.
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