Are There Overly High Standards For Pixar Movies?

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Are There Overly High Standards For Pixar Movies?

  • Yes. A lot of pople expect way too much.

    Votes: 7 77.8%
  • No. There are more people who are fair when it comes to Pixar movies.

    Votes: 2 22.2%

  • Total voters
    9

SweetShop209

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Jan 5, 2014
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I found this interesting article that came out the day Onward was released. The film is generally seen as good, but not as strong as other Pixar movies. However, that seems to come up in almost all reviews of the movie, thinking it's a step down in some way . The article then mentions how the more acclaimed Pixar movies seem to come from directors of what are considered the best Pixar movies (those directors being Lee Unkrich, Pete Docter, Brad Bird, and Andrew Stanton). It could be because the films they directed/co-directed are acclaimed because of their emotional and mature storytelling that with Pixar films that are more experimental and with different primary directors, or mainly just about being fun, they tend to get less praise or less positive recognition. It's quite noticeable when you consider how people were more excited for Soul than Onward due to the former advertising itself as a more emotional, mature story compared to latter, which emphasized a more comedic tone. Now we all have our opinions on what's considered the best, though does it seem we hold Pixar to an overly high standard? Tell me what you think.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
I actually think we hold Pixar to a bizarrely low standards. There are plenty of movies the studio has done that are beloved that I think are awful like The Incredibles and Cars. No other studio would ever have made the kind of bank Pixar did on a movie as crappy as Cars. Not even Dreamworks. But Pixar gets a free pass whenever it does a totally crappy movie.

The one good thing about the Lasseter scandal is that people stopped giving that studio the automatic benefit of the doubt. The Good Dinosaur was not just a bad Pixar movie, it was a bad movie period. And it's only very recently people have been correctly pointing out that Pixar has been coasting on past successes and not bothering to make great movies that often anymore. The last great one was Coco and it was so long before that there was another great one that I can barely remember. Wall-E? Up? That's how long it's been.

Here is my list of great Pixar films. I'm talking the bonafide hits that wowed me and / or moved me:

Finding Nemo
Wall-E
Up
Coco

That's it. I think every other movie is completely overrated.
 

ToonJay723

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I agree Pixar is held to a really high standard. I really don't understand the hate around Onward. "It doesn't look like a Pixar film". What does that mean? Not all Pixar films need to look like A Bug's Life or Monster's Inc. Back in 2004 The Incredibles didn't "look like a Pixar film" but people never dismissed it. I agree with Stefan Ellison that if most of Pixar's hated films were made by DreamWorks or Sony Pictures, people would call them good films.


I actually think we hold Pixar to a bizarrely low standards. There are plenty of movies the studio has done that are beloved that I think are awful like The Incredibles and Cars. No other studio would ever have made the kind of bank Pixar did on a movie as crappy as Cars. Not even Dreamworks. But Pixar gets a free pass whenever it does a totally crappy movie.

The one good thing about the Lasseter scandal is that people stopped giving that studio the automatic benefit of the doubt. The Good Dinosaur was not just a bad Pixar movie, it was a bad movie period. And it's only very recently people have been correctly pointing out that Pixar has been coasting on past successes and not bothering to make great movies that often anymore. The last great one was Coco and it was so long before that there was another great one that I can barely remember. Wall-E? Up? That's how long it's been.
Most people hate Cars and The Good Dinosaur.
 
Last edited:

Pooky

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I personally liked The Good Dinosaur, although I watched it in a Hotel Room, with no particular expectations. I thought it had a nice 40s Disney kind of vibe to it.
 
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Light Lucario

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I like The Good Dinosaur a lot. I don't think it would be one of my favorite Pixar movies, but it wasn't terrible by any means. I don't quite understand why it gets so much hate when at worst it just came off as predictable. It still had some really great moments, some emotional scenes and was an overall solid movie.

As for the topic at hand, I'd agree. I haven't seen Onward yet, so I can't really talk about how that movie has been received, but it seems like fans tend to put Pixar on such a high pedestal that if a movie doesn't meet their expectations of the studio, they say it doesn't feel like a Pixar movie, hate on it or say that the studio is going downhill. I'm not saying that every movie that they make is good. The first Cars movie is so standard and unlike The Good Dinosaur, it didn't have enough heartfelt moments to make that less of an issue. As much as people hate on Cars 2, it was at least more interesting or unique compared to the first one. Monsters University also felt a bit unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, but most of the new characters were likable enough to where I wondered what happened to them after the events of Monsters Inc. Not all of their movies stand out, but based on what I have seen of Pixar's library, most of their movies are at least pretty good.
 
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Mostezli

Not 4 Everyone & That's OK
May 28, 2014
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It could be because the films they directed/co-directed are acclaimed because of their emotional and mature storytelling that with Pixar films that are more experimental and with different primary directors, or mainly just about being fun, they tend to get less praise or less positive recognition. It's quite noticeable when you consider how people were more excited for Soul than Onward due to the former advertising itself as a more emotional, mature story compared to latter, which emphasized a more comedic tone. Now we all have our opinions on what's considered the best, though does it seem we hold Pixar to an overly high standard? Tell me what you think.
It looks like people can't agree on the standards the further into Pixar's catalog you go.
Not at all the case with other studios because people will tell you they started making better movies.
People were excited for Soul because the setting looked so realistic and Pixar might be making a movie about Jazz players. That excitement lagged once people saw it was yet another farcical comedy with some tiny blob characters.

What Pixar does best or consistently did best is take a theme built around some life lesson and do a movie on that.
A theme or message that goes beyond just a character breaking societal/status norms to be someone or something better.
  • The Toy Story series is about growing up.
  • A Bug's Life is about ingenuity amidst any adversity.
  • Monster's Inc. is about overcoming fear and ignorance.
  • Finding Nemo is about trust and faith in another.
  • The Incredibles is about not hiding what makes you special.
  • Cars is about having more to life than winning.
  • Ratatouille is about variety being the spice of life.
  • Wall-E is about humanity beneath the technology.
  • Up is about never being too late to fulfill dreams.
A third Toy Story later and it felt like the studio had some kind of closure
with the transition feeling like they ran out of ideas
or doing things out of obligation (disney princess, more installments besides TS)
Finding Dory was the movie that made me realize they still had some gas in the tank.
Others will say Inside Out.
The rest of them have somewhat of a core theme, but unlike that first wave of movies with certain exceptions
these movies themselves didn't have unusually complex character/story writing and subtext.
 
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Mostezli

Not 4 Everyone & That's OK
May 28, 2014
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Wall-E was about consumerism and the value of nature.

  • Inside Out: It's good to be sad sometimes. All emotions have their functions in healthy doses.
Yeah, they really beat you over the head with Wall-E after most of the movie was just an enthusiastic scrap bot finding treasure in trash and falling in love.

The latter point of Inside Out was what I was let down on because I expected more out of the other emotions.
Hopefully that gets the tv spinoff treatment some day.
 

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