It’s become very popular to bash Pixar for making sequels of late, but when these follow ups are as good as Monsters University, I’m not too much fussed. They can make films out of original ideas, adapt them from books, sequelise their back catalogue or base them on the back of a cornflakes box for all I care, just as long as the end result is worthwhile.
In a new interview with Buzzfeed, Pixar’s president Ed Catmull has set out the studio’s expectations for how many sequels they’ll be making as a ratio to original pictures:
We’re going to have an original film every year, then every other year have a sequel to something. That’s the rough idea.
This means of conceiving films, driven not by by their inherent qualities as narratives or aesthetic experiences but instead by their brand value, isn’t really on-message with the Pixar mantra “It’s all about stories.” I consider it a far more disappointing notion that they’ll set out to make a third of their films into sequels on purpose than I would if they never made another original picture organically, never managing another Part One because all of their best ideas were follow-ups.
I don’t expect any more or any less of any of the upcoming Pixar pictures in particular. From all I know about them, The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory and Inside Out all have the sam chance of blowing my socks into the next room.