Every time Pixar releases another sequel like Monsters University or Cars 3, a hefty portion of fans wring their hands and declare that the studio is past its prime or lost its edge. And there’s probably a certain amount of truth to the idea that Pixar is more about extending franchises than creating new one (although they’ve still pumped out a fair amount of new movies lately, like The Good Dinosaur, Brave, and Inside Out, which might be the best Pixar production ever).
Everyone knows Pixar as one of the premiere animation studios on the planet. But did you know Pixar was originally part of Lucasfilm? It’s true; before Pixar became a separate company it was a division of George Lucas’ company, where it worked on creating computer technology that could be used in special effects. Its early work included some of the first computer-generated special effects in movies, including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Young Sherlock Holmes. That’s one of the facts featured in this all-Pixar edition of You Think You Know Movies!
Who knew automated vehicles were also subject to the scrutiny that comes with aging? They may not have to worry about wrinkles, greying hair, or sagging skin, but when cars reach a certain age, it’s straight to the junkyard. (This incites a whole other philosophical discussion around the Cars characters and whether or not they are sentient beings – is their consciousness the engine or the frame, the ghost or the shell?) In Cars 3, racing champ Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is forced to retirement as a brand new racer enters the game.
As the previous teasers already implied, Cars 3 is going to be a little…darker than previous Cars movies. In Pixar’s third installment of the hit franchise, Owen Wilson’s legendary race car Lightning McQueen is forced into retirement following a traumatic crash, and with all the shiny, young new cars — like Jackson Storm — dominating the track, Lightning has a tough road ahead if he wants to remain relevant. That’s a pretty heavy-sounding plot, but as the full trailer for Cars 3 proves, it’s not all doom and gloom in Cars World.
We usually have to wait until the newest Pixar film hits theaters to enjoy the latest Pixar short, but fans of the beloved animated studio won’t have to wait until this fall to see Dante’s Lunch… A Short Tail. Pixar has released their new short online a full eight months ahead of its theatrical debut, giving fans another sneak peek at the colorful world of Coco via the life of his endearing dog, Dante.
Pixar’s 2016 was something of a mixed bag, having landed a true-blue blockbuster with Finding Dory but then missing out on the coveted Oscar nomination. They’ll get back in the saddle in 2017 with Coco, a vibrant fantasy about the power of music, family, and remembrance of those lost to us. In the film, a lonely young boy finds a link to the past through an enchanted stringed instrument and sets off on an incredible journey with an animal companion, encountering all manner of dreamlike wonders (along with a monster or two) on the way. It bears mentioning at this point that this film is, in fact, not Kubo and the Two Strings.
Cars 3 is a thing I keep forgetting is happening. It isn’t exactly a Pixar sequel people are dying to see – does anyone who’s not an eight-year-old actually love the Cars movies? Either way, the new film is still on the way and today Disney has announced three new voice actors joining the cast with new character photos.