The whiz kids over at Pixar Studios will have their mettle seriously tested in coming years as the esteemed production company, which for almost a decade and a half has maintained a golden reputation as the top-cred numero unos of populist western animation, tread further down a path of franchise building and sequel flogging. Since John Lasseter’s brilliant Toy Story in 1995 Pixar have had a dream run from audiences and critics, and while some movies are naturally better than others all the Pixar features theatrically released so far in Australia (Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. [pictured left], Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E) have been worthwhile: intelligently written, immensely popular, slickly animated films generally well deserving of their kudos.
Though the studio currently has only one sequel to its name – the surprisingly excellent Toy Story 2 – three high profile sequels are currently on the cards: Toy Story 3 will be released mid 2010 (head over to apple.com for a teaser trailer), Cars 2 in 2011 and now, according to new, long-anticipated reports, Monsters Inc. will spawn a belated offspring rumoured to arrive in 2013, a gap of 12 years since the original movie’s release. Given the billions of dollars potentially involved, sequel la la land is hardly a surprising direction for the studio to head but it does increase the likelihood of Pixar arriving at a significant though inauspicious milestone: their first crappy movie. Let’s hope the dream run continues even if – on a long enough time line – a dud is more or less inevitable. Pixar’s latest film Up (pictured above, right) isn’t bucking the trend: it opened last month to a warm reception at Cannes, is currently riding a smashing 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and is romping it in at the U.S. box office. The film will be released in Australia in September.