Illumination and Pixar talk

Hello everyone. This post is literally going to be a minor rant on my part, so it might not be the most insightful post I have ever done.

Last night, we got some news from Illumination Studios about their future releases up until 2020.  The news is that the have greenlit two films for 2020, which is…………. Minions 2, and Sing 2. Minions 2 will be released in July 3rd 2020, and Sing 2 will be released on Christmas 2020. Additional news came out that The Secret Life of Pets will be pushed back to 2019, which is good, because it was crazy for them to attempt to go after 2018, with the first film just being released last year.

Honestly, this only confirms what I thought about Illumination Entertainment for the last few years; they are going to milk literally every franchise they can, and shamelessly do it. At least the other studios left alone SOME of their original content. With Despicable 3 being the 8th film to come from the studio this year, HALF of their films will be from a franchise (Minions, Despicable Me 1 and 2). If you add up all of the upcoming films with release dates into the films they already released (7+6= 13), 9 out of 13 films are a part of a franchise. This is A LOT, especially for a studio that is so young.

Many people have called them out for their mediocre-at-best storytelling, and it causes concern that they are thinking about quantity over quality than anything. We already knew about the sequel to Secret Life of Pets, as it was the first non-Despicable Me film that was a success. What really blew for me is Minions 2. The original film only exists because of them creating a plothole (and the film added little to nothing anyways), and now they are creating a sequel to it? And I thought they could not milk the Despicable Me franchise more than what they have. This may sound cruel, but it’s clear that they’re doing this only for the money. It would be one thing if their storytelling is very strong (and we have seen it in their sequels), but we really haven’t yet. This is another leeway for…….

I have to come a realization with Pixar. What the online community has been saying about them since 2011-2013 has caught up to them by the mainstream audience. People do not like sequel-itis, and because Pixar is put on a higher standard than others, they will be crucified and criticized harsher than other studios (even WDAS, who NO ONE is calling out for their sudden sequel-itis). We noticed it with Cars 2 (but that film really wasn’t good) and Monsters University that the Awards were starting to ignore them, but Finding Dory has pretty much been ignored by them as well (Sing was nominated over it in the Golden Globes). What I find interesting is that most people see this as better than most of their post-Cars 2 releases, but the fact that it was ANOTHER Pixar sequel really took them out of it.

My overall point is that the mainstream is getting a bit tired of Pixar sequels, and the lack of awards are showing for it. This means that things might be troublesome for Cars 3 (which will be overshadowed by Coco regardless), and The Incredibles 2 (which has a strong chance of being overshadowed by the two WDAS films) regarding awards. I have mentioned before that there is a heavy bias towards Toy Story with the awards (Woody and Buzz presented the Academy Award for animation last year), so I am sure Toy Story 4 will be nominated.

It is ridiculous seeing how much sequel-itis has grown regarding animation in this last decade, and it seems like it will get worse, before it gets better.


5 thoughts on “Illumination and Pixar talk

  1. I guess I’m the only person who’s not upset w/Illumination Entertainment. None of their films have really frustrated me (maybe The Lorax, and even then I can’t remember the movie enough to say). I think I’m one of the few people who liked Minions. And we knew before that Minions and Pets were getting sequels. Now Sing sequel has been announced. And no, I don’t think any of these films deserve sequels and I thought both Pets and Sing were average at best, hence their sequels will be even less average. I guess this doesn’t upset me as it’s not something that I find to be surprising from Illumination; it’s what they do.

    1. I don’t know if being consistently mediocre or consistently horrible (though there’s a lot to talk about) is more preferable to me. I didn’t remember the Minions sequel being announced (but maybe because there was no release date given, unlike the Pets sequel).

  2. Illumination is the fast food of animation. I havent been a fan of any of their movies but felt Pets and Sing were a step in right direction. So it’s a little discouraging to see that improvement not continuing on but stymied in sequels

  3. As far as Pixar goes they made 2 films in 2015 I loved. Yes I loved Good Dinosaur and I liked Finding Dory so they haven’t lost clout in my eyes

    1. You created the perfect analogy. It’s a shame too, because I felt like those films were small improvements. I feel like they out-DreamWorks’d DreamWorks.

      It’s just a bit weird, because it seems like people are hating those movies more than the truly horrible ones. Maybe if Cars 2 did not exist than people wouldn’t be so upset. Some say that Pixar set the standard for them being perfect, so others will crucify them for not being that, and I don’t think it’s fair.

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