A colleague was recently bemoaning Pixar’s descent into the world of, as he put it, “Roman numerals, Roman numerals, Roman numerals.”
Indeed, after turning “Toy Story” into an amazing franchise that got better with each installment, the company has added onto the “Cars” series with a sequel, has “Monsters University” (a follow-up to 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.”) on the way next year and, as broken today by Deadline, is priming “Finding Nemo” for another trip to the well.
This makes me really sad. Some are saying there’s a whiff of director Andrew Stanton retreating to safe territory after the disaster of “John Carter,” but he has always said he wouldn’t be averse to a sequel if he found the right concept. Well, it appears he has, and what I consider to be Pixar’s best film and one of the decade’s best, too, will no longer go unsullied by franchising.
To me, though, “Finding Nemo” doesn’t make a lot of since for a sequel. “The Incredibles?” Sure. “Finding Nemo?” It’s such a complete story. Yeah, you could have said the same thing about “Toy Story,” but this one’s a little gem to me and I guess I feel like I wanted it to stay contained. Maybe there’s a big world to open up. My fingers will be crossed, I guess.
Albert Brooks, the star of the first film, said he expected the studio would never make a sequel when I spoke to him about his work in “Drive” last year. But he said he had a great idea for a sequel if anyone was interested:
“I had a wonderful idea for them. I swear to God I think there could be a great sequel to ‘Nemo’ where the fish never will leave home. He just won’t leave. ‘Getting Rid of Nemo.’ Right, ‘You’re 30 years old! Get out of here!'”
The studio’s latest, “Brave,” wasn’t as rousing a success — critically speaking — as other original titles, but I was a big defender. And it certainly beats sticking with branding (“Finding Nemo” is one of the company’s biggest-selling brands with children). I hope that well isn’t running out of original ideas. I really do.
Meanwhile, the original film is set for a 3D release later this year, with a Blu-ray release to follow. To date, it’s the only Pixar title that hasn’t been made available in HD.
For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.
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