|Scene from Finding Dory|
It's hard to remember the impact that Pixar's fifth film Finding Nemo had upon release. Its aquatic journey brought to life one of the studio's most successful films to date with memorable performances by Ellen Degeneres And Albert Brooks. The film even became the first for the studio to win Best Animated Film at The Oscars. It will be 13 years later when they launch their latest sequel Finding Dory, which focuses on crowd favorite Dory as she goes about finding her mother. From the look of the first trailer, it's probably going to be more of the same madcap silliness that was present in the first film, just more Dory-centric somehow.
There's no denying that Pixar is going to come back strong in the next few years. After taking 2014 off and 2013's Monsters University failing to capture a lot of attention, they have a whole slew of films planned over the next few years. With a highlight already for 2015 with the impressive Inside Out, it'll be interesting to see how The Good Dinosaur fares when it's released later this month. However, it's going to be more interesting to see if Finding Dory can break the pattern of lackluster sequels. We already know it's likely to make a ton of money. But, is going with a familiar template going to work for them?
There are a few eras in Pixar's animation history. There's the first 15 years, which ran from Toy Story through Toy Story 3. During this time, the studio released some of the greatest animated movies in history. It almost seemed impossible to top. Then, there's everything since. Since Toy Story garnered two highly praised sequels, it made sense to try and expand other beloved films. Among the first was Cars 2, shortly followed by Monsters Inc. sequel Monsters University. It would be one thing if the additional output was high caliber, but many have refuted that Pixar has grown a little slack in the past five years. My personal belief is that they're just as experimental as ever. They just are more abstract and challenging to pull off.
I don't have a lot of great memories about Finding Nemo, so I didn't exactly have big anticipation for what's to come. I also have personal conflicts with Degeneres after her less than pleasant Oscar hosting gig two years ago. As a whole, I don't have an offense to Pixar's need to make sequels. I think it makes sense from a business standpoint, especially for the bigger hits throughout history. I just don't have high hopes for this one appealing to a wider audience than the children who fell in love with Dory initially.
Check out the trailer below:
The one thing that I have to admire about Pixar is that they make good teaser trailers. Where there have been really bad ones (I'm looking at you, Snowden), I think that Pixar knows how to tease without revealing too much. The Inside Out teaser is a great example of this, especially with the tacky but appropriately used Aerosmith song "Sweet Emotions." Likewise, The Good Dinosaur has been doing excellent work. Even here, Finding Dory goes right for the necessities. It raises questions, and gets me excited despite not actually caring about the movie itself.
It's too early to even begin talking about 2016's Oscar season (and it's not even the next Pixar movie), so I will just leave this as something to look forward to. I wouldn't have mentioned it if the trailer wasn't good. Guess what, it's very charming and has enough to get you hooked. I'm sure fans of the original will enjoy the various nods and the somber score that opens the trailer. I personally like that the animation looks stronger and more inventive. I can only hope that the rest of the film is as ambitious as this is.