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‘Finding Dory’ Review; What is Next for Pixar After ‘Cars 3’, ‘Coco’, ‘Toy Story 4’ and ‘Incredibles 2’? Release Dates And Spoilers

( [email protected] ) Jul 04, 2016 09:21 AM EDT
Pixar is magic, pure and simple, and they are one of the reasons why Disney still remains relevant in a world crowded with computer animation.  It is pretty clear that the studio was going to have a hit on their hands as the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, when it was released to theaters, and it did not disappoint.  Here is a review of Finding Dory, along with the plan for Pixar which includes Cars 3, Coco, Toy Story 4, and Incredibles 2.
Pixar has big plans for sequels in the next few years, and originals! Disney/Pixar

Pixar is magic, pure and simple, and they are one of the reasons why Disney still remains relevant in a world crowded with computer animation.  It is pretty clear that the studio was going to have a hit on their hands as the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, when it was released to theaters, and it did not disappoint.  Here is a review of Finding Dory, along with the plan for Pixar which includes Cars 3, Coco, Toy Story 4, and Incredibles 2 with release dates and spoilers

Finding Dory Review

Okay, pure and simple, Finding Dory is a movie that everyone needs to see, period.  Normally, when I do movie reviews, I pick it apart and say what is wrong with it.  I'm having a hard time really doing anything but praising this film. 

The issue is that this film shouldn't work.  The idea of taking a side character, even one as good as Dory, and making her the star is something that Disney/Pixar has done before, and the results were...mixed.  I am talking about Cars 2, where Mater was made the main character in his own story.  Of course, Mater as played by Larry the Cable Guy and Dory is played by Ellen the Talk-show Host.  Yeah, there is a distinct advantage here. 

The reason why Finding Dory works is because the film puts the viewer in the mind of Dory.  In Finding Nemo, Dory's short-term memory loss was played mostly for last.  Granted, there are dramatic scenes when Marlin says good-bye, and she wants to remember but just can't.  Finding Dory shows that Dory is always plagued by this problem, and she constantly goes from one place to the other, only remembering certain things for unknown reasons. 

In fact, Dory has been living with Marlin and Nemo one year after their life-changing journey.  I'm pretty certain that a clownfish would look like an adult clownfish after one year, but honestly, I don't feel like doing the research.  Anyway, Dory suddenly has a trigger when she hears the word "undertow", and she realizes that her parents are in California.  This begins another journey, and I didn't want to do the research to see if a fish could swim from the coast of Australia to California before a clownfish could grow up. 

From there, Dory believes that her family is in an aquarium, so she has to break into it.  She then meets an octopus missing an arm (so a septapus) named Hank, who has the power of quick camouflage.  At this point, I don't feel a need to spoil this film like a normally do. 

The film is at, its heart, about how difficult it is living with disabilities.  Every character introduced has some kind of disability that they need to overcome, and these computer animated fish taught me how to empathize with the disabled better than any P.S.A.. 

Not only that, this film has a serious case of "the feels".  Inside Out had its scenes where you realized it was okay to cry, but Finding Dory really emphasizes that.  The saddest part is that I know that the Motion Picture Academy will only bestow Finding Dory a "Best Animated Picture" Oscar and not even nominate it for "Best Picture" category.  I suppose that it will take a minor miracle before an animated film would ever win the highest honor, even if though Finding Dory deserves it. 

So, what can be next for Pixar?  Sadly, before Finding Dory, I saw three trailers for what looked like very mediocre computer-generated features, including Sing, Storks, and The Wild Life.  Personally, I think Pixar has them beat with four new movies by 2019:

Cars 3

I know that a lot of fans of Pixar did not like hearing that Pixar was doing another film taking place in the Cars universe.  There were already two films that are considered some of Pixar's worst offerings, and that is not even bringing up the subject of the Planes films. 

I'll go ahead and say that I did not like Cars 2...at first.  I mentioned earlier that Pixar may have gone the wrong direction and focused the plot on Mater rather than Lightning McQeen, but it looks like Cars 3 is a return back to form.  Personally, I liked the spy-movie caper of Cars 2, but the imdb page looks like the plot will be about racing again. 

All right, I am going to have to trust Disney/Pixar here, because this doesn't sound like it should work.  Then again, I've got my own prejudices about the first Cars movie, which is just the plot of Doc Hollywood with cars.  It feels like the whole franchise exists to sell toys, and some people can't understand this world populated by living vehicles.  It certainly is Pixar's most kid-friendly property. 

Well, we'll find out on June 16, 2017. 

Coco

This is an original film and not a sequel, and the only new one to be released in this decade.  The film is about Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), and very little is known about the plotline of this. 

In fact, one of the issues with this film is that Disney tried to trademark the phrase "Dia de los Muertos", and this got a lot of backlash.  A Mexican-American cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz created a film poster title "Muerto Mouse", and Disney canceled its trademark attempt, hiring Alcaraz to consult on the film. 

I can't help but compare it to The Book of Life, but I'm certain it will be its own tale.  It will premiere in theaters on November 22, 2017. 

Toy Story 4

The last time I reported on this, we reported that Rashida Jones and Will McCormack were working on a script that would be essentially a romantic comedy.  Now we know what the love story is about. 

Remember Bo Peep, the porcelain doll who appeared in the first two films, but only as a small role?  She was the only "girl's toy" that the boy Andy had, and she was mysteriously absent in Toy Story 3.  Apparently, Woody is going to go on an adventure to find "the one toy who was given away", according to imdb

Honestly, that is actually a pretty good idea.  Granted, the fourth movie is usually a sign that a film series has worn out, but Toy Story is an interesting enough world which has had several holiday specials and short films.  We'll have to wait for two years to see if it works, as the release date is June 15, 2018. 

The Incredibles 2

So we reported on this film before, and how the film will focus on the youngest of the family Jack-Jack, and how it takes place years after the first film.  At this point, Jack-Jack is six or seven years old, with Violet and Dash in college.  There are also rumors that Syndrome will be back, but that seems highly unlikely.  This one has a release date of June 21, 2019. 

Pixar's Future

The issue with Disney/Pixar is that they don't have any plans for sequels after 2019, according to iO9.  Personally, I like when the company produces original material, such as the recent Inside Out.  The company truly rules with its creative storytelling, and right now, the competition isn't looking so good, unless you count the computer animated films that Disney themselves are making. 

You might note that with the exception of next year, Pixar is putting out one film per year.  It would be good if they could increase their amount of content, but honestly, perhaps it is better that the company take their time.