It took me a while to watch Finding Nemo, Pixar's animation about a fish who could really use one of those speakerphones from supermarkets for when kids get lost or when you unwittingly park your car on top of a gas main that is about to explode. I only did it after TIME magazine named it one of the best films since 1923, so I had to watch it through that filter, and it didn't make sense to me. Toy Story is obviously superior. Toy Story 2 is obviously superior. I just can't get it through my head that they picked that one.
That's not to say Nemo was bad, obviously. Far from it. It's a cute movie, but it ain't no Toy Story.
Then Pixar proceeded to baffle me by doing a sequel to Cars instead of, say, The Incredibles or even Up!. I mean, Cars? Are you yanking my chain? It's Doc Hollywood on wheels, for Chrissakes! It had Larry The Freaking Annoying Cable Guy in it! It's by far the worst Pixar movie, and Cars 2 straightened that out by immediately bumping Cars down to second worst – by far. Maybe that was the objective all along: to make the first one look good by comparison.
And now they're doing a sequel to Nemo called Finding Dory?, or, as I like to call it, Still Not Incredibles 2. I don't get it. Are they afraid of money? Are they trying to pull a Springtime for Hitler-type scheme where they profit from a flop?
Sure, Nemo made more money than The Incredibles — 300 million more money, to be precise — But it's far less sequelly than the latter. Lion King also made 900 million dollars, but how much did the sequel make?
I don't think people are going to show much interest in Finding Dory. And, after the mediocre Brave, that doesn't bode well for the future of the studio. Is Pixar finally reaching the final leg of its good run?
With increasingly good Dreamworks movies like How to Train Your Dragon or Kung Fu Panda coming out, that may mean they are bound to be dethroned.
Here's hoping someone keeps making good family-friendly animated features in the years to come. And that you can move your car away from that gas main in time.