Archive for the ‘Newt’ Category

What’s Next For Pixar?

June 8, 2009

Have you seen Up yet?

If the answer to that very simple question is ‘no,’ follow these instructions:
1. Put pan on stove.
2. Pour water in pan.
3. Heat water until boiling.
4. Pour water on head.
5. Go see Up.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s incredible. And it’s doing well at the Box Office as well. It pulled in 68 million its first weekend, and beat out the newcomers (Land of the Lost, The Hangover) this weekend to stay on top. But I’m already looking forward. What’s next for the geniuses at Pixar?

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3-D (October ’09, February ’10)
I didn’t have the fortune of seeing Up in 3D, but I hope to because I’ve only heard great things. Pixar’s animation is superb to begin with, but I can imagine when it’s put right in your face it’s like being enveloped with beauty (that’s an elegant way of saying it totally kicks ass). The guys at Pixar have been reworking the first two Toy Stories to put them in three dimensions, and they will be in theaters soon. These are two of their top movies, so I can’t wait. I just hope they’re showing in a theater near me. I assume the major idea here is to build up to their next release, which is:

Toy Story 3 (June 18th, 2010)
The third movie in the only trilogy featuring talking toys that don’t kill people arrives next summer. Neither Toy Story nor Toy Story 2 has received a single negative review on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s right, 100% for both. Pixar movies already have a lot of pressure on them to be up to caliber, when everybody is just waiting for you to mess up, but I can guarantee that the third installment in the Toy Story universe will be watched even more carefully than the others. When you have the predecessors this movie does, there’s a lot of expectation. But something tells me Pixar is up to the challenge.

Not much is known about the plot, and the recent teaser only showed the characters building a sign for the movie, and no actual footage. The basic idea involves the Toys being dumped in a daycare center as Andy goes off to college. That’s kind of a bummer premise, since Woody’s love for Andy is was such a crux for the first two movies, so it will be interesting to see how it will play out. It’s realistic, though, and I’d love to see how the toys cope with the loss. Like Woody, we’d like their time together to be stagnant and unchanging. But as Prospector Pete told us in Toy Story 2, that just won’t be the case. I always hoped Woody would be passed to Andy’s son (a thought I also hope holds true for Calvin’s tiger, Hobbes), so I hope after a brief stint in what is guaranteed to be a hellish day care, the toys are reunited with their former owner.

It’s directed by Lee Unkrich, who directed the top two movies on my Pixar list (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo), and like most upcoming Pixar releases, it will be in 3D. I think it’s becoming something of a trend.

Cars 2 (Summer 2011)
In only the second time that Pixar has decided to reuse characters, director Brad Lewis (producer of Ratatouille) takes us back to the world where Cars speak and drive themselves. I’m very interesting in their choice to make this movie. Most people, including myself, would rank Cars at the bottom of their Pixar rankings. Why not do a sequel to The Incredibles? There’s a lot of potential there. While I think Cars is a good movie, I find it a step down from every other film they’ve produced. It received strikingly more negative reviews than it’s affiliates (it has an RT rating of 75%; the next is A Bug’s Life at 91). It’s not quite the retarded stepchild of the group, but perhaps it’s the B-student surrounded by straight A’s. But, that student also happens to be cash cow, because Cars made a lot of money, and it’s merchandising pushes that even further. I pray that they aren’t making the movie for purely monetary reasons, so they can add a few more action figures (action cars?) to the line up. Hopefully it’s a shot at redemption. Not much is known about Cars 2, except that Lightning Mcqueen and his friend Mater (and perhaps the rest of the gang) are heading off to Europe to race in the European tours.

The premise actually intrigues me. There’s a lot of potential in the story, as was there was in the first. I watched it again recently, and the first 30 minutes are as good as any others. After that, it loses the fresh feeling it had, and drags on for too long. I don’t think the idea itself grew stale, I just think they didn’t keep pumping the creativity into it. The Volkswagen hippie and his organic fuel? The humvee that raises the flag at sunrise? It did a lot of really funny things in that first third of the movie. So hopefully, this will be a redemption film, and will make up for the flawed rest of the first movie.


The Bear and the Bow (Christmas 2011)
2011 marks a momentous occasion. It will be the first time that not one, but two Pixar films are released in the same year. Directed by Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt, and my all time favorite animated film, The Lion King), The Bear and the Bow takes Pixar to the land of the more traditional cartoons, where there are princesses, royalty, magic, and curses. Though I am sure they will put their own creative spin on it. Princess Merida of Scotland has a dream that her parents do not share; she wants to become a champion archer. Through a clash of wills with her mother, Merida makes a reckless choice that endangers herself, her family, and her kingdom. And yes, it’s in 3D.

newt (Summer 2012)
After a return to the character that brought them acclaim, Pixar will begin another highly original and imaginative tale, one that I’m excited for based on the premise itself. The population of blue-footed newts on the planet has diminished to a total of two, a male named, appropriately, Newt, and a female named Brooke. In desperation to save the species, humans have captured and forced the two to live together, so that they might, well, divide and multiply. Emphasis on the latter.

Problem: Newt and Brooke can’t stand each other. But they begin together a perilous and unpredictable journey where they learn that, “Love is not a science.” Sure it’s likely that this will be a romantic comedy, where the couple that at first don’t get along fall in love with each other. It would be formulaic, especially for Pixar, if they weren’t the last two newts alive, and really each other’s only choice for a mate.

newt (uncapitalized on purpose) is directed by Gary Rydstorm, who directed the short film Lifted. It will be yet another 3D film.

Rumored: Monster’s Inc. 2
Slashfilm reported a rumor today that is talk of doing a sequel to Monster’s Inc. While I’d still like to see The Incredibles 2, I’m very excited about this sequel, so long as they don’t stop coming up with fresh movies and characters.

Viva la Pixar! Here’s to the next 2 years.