Pixar vs. Disney

I haven’t seen Cars 2 yet, but based on the reviews, this one is definitely waiting for DVD.  Hard to believe that Pixar has finally let down all its fans and made an utterly ordinary movie.  This NYT article basically suggests that Pixar’s commitment to imaginative (and great) movies was finally over-ridden by Disney’s desire for merchandising profits above all.

 He [Pixar’s John Lasseter] added: “Most studios around the world, it’s like they want to do the safe thing, right? They want to kind of guarantee success out there where there’s a product, a movie, or something like that and they want to do what they know will be a success. And that’s why Hollywood makes how many movies a year, and how many are actually good? Right?”

But in February this year, Jay Rasulo, Disney’s chief financial officer, delivered a speech called “The Value of Franchises” that seemed to potentially put Disney and Pixar on a collision course. “ ‘Toy Story,’ ” Mr. Rasulo noted, “was clearly a franchise, and we started to exploit it across multiple geographies in multiple businesses.” He said he expected “Toy Story” to drive $10 billion in retail sales alone. As a result, Disney’s movie slate going forward “will be much more focused on franchises” — like the much-anticipated Pixar sequel “Cars 2.”

Looks like Disney’s business guys won this go around.  Hopefully Pixar learns from this.  Of course, it could also be that since they totally defied expectations in their two outstanding Toy Story sequels, they just thought they had this sequel thing figured out.  Pixar’s amazing run of creative genius couldn’t go on forever, but it sure seemed like it could.  Of course, I’m judging without having even seen the film yet, so I’ll report back if for some reason my mind changes at DVD time.

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