By Matt Neglia
We all know that Pixar is capable of putting out at least one masterpiece every couple of years such as “Toy Story” (1,2 and 3!), “Wall-E,” “Up” and recently “Inside Out.” When they’re not being heaped with awards and acclaim they still manage to produce very strong films such as “A Bugs Life” and “Monsters Inc.” As discussed in Episode 42 of the podcast, with the release of “Cars 3” this weekend, the team over here at Next Best Picture has decided to not focus on the best of what Pixar has had to offer, but the worst.
Click below to see which Pixar films we consider to be our least favorite.
3. “Finding Dory“
This unnecessary sequel does not follow a concise formal like the first film. It is not as emotional nor as story driven as the first one was either. The interactions don’t feel as genuine or meaningful leading to a very disappointing film.
The story has quite a few bumps despite being inspiring as far as giving Pixar its first female leading character The performances aren’t as nuanced or channeled as they could be and it certainly goes on for a tad too long.
1. “Cars 2”
This terrible film mistreats everything the first one set in place. The comedy is never as funny and the voice over performances don’t feel as truthful. Putting the story’s focus on Mater was a clear mistake and ultimately it becomes the first Pixar film to not fully deliver on its message.
3. “Monsters University”
I saw the first back in theaters when I was first getting into film, and as a kid, it really spoke to me. It was a beautiful, touching story of friendship. Then Pixar inexplicably opted to rehash this as a cynical cash grab. The humor is blunt and the college experiences resembles a seven year old’s perception of college (I guess that was the point?). It loses the magic of the first film and resembles an animated film that…well any other non Pixar studio might have made.
The film is lushly animated and Doyle’s score is lovely, but the screenplay is a mess. It’s a prime example of too many cooks in the kitchen. Merida’s archery subplot is emphasized extensively and then essentially abandoned. Then, the best plot device they can come up with is…turning into a bear? Not bad by any means but not up to Pixar’s lofty standards,
1. “Finding Dory“
An unnecessary sequel that often seems to retread similar emotional beats to the first with minimal success. It has its amusing bits such as the humorous cameo of “Hello…I am Sigourney Weaver,” but this remains Pixar’s most forgettable installment to date.
3. “Cars 2”
While I don’t believe there to be anything such as a “bad” Pixar movie, “Cars 2” certainly ranks towards the lower tier of the cannon. That said, there is still a lot to like from the film’s dazzling visuals to zippy energy. It also happens to be a better spy film than most of the 20th century Bond entries. It’s still fun if not perfect.
2. “Monsters University”
Like “Cars 2”, the follow up to 2001’s superb “Monsters Inc.” is enjoyable if not memorable. While thin on plot, the film has a nice message about how our initial aspirations may lead us to a more suitable career path. If college is truly about finding oneself, Mike and Sully certainly accomplish so in this entry. Great voice work once again from Crystal and Goodman. It’s certainly a good go-to pick for your baby’s first college movie.
1. “The Good Dinosaur”
The production was plagued with issues from the start, and it unfortunately shows in the final product. While visually remarkable, there’s not much there. The film has a good heart and unique characters but the Pixar magic is missing.
It was between this, “Finding Dory,” “Monsters University” and “Brave” for this spot. However, the number one pick on this list left such a sour feeling my mouth afterwards towards the “Cars” franchise that the first film, although still decent, suffers from the backlash heaped upon the second film. Uninspired animation and a less than spectacular story is what led Pixar to having one of its first lackluster films.
2. “The Good Dinosaur”
This film notoriously went through a lot of production issues and it clearly shows in the final product. The story is never fully able to click despite the animation being some of the best that the Disney studio has ever put out. If you asked me to tell you anything about the plot right now, I’m sure I would struggle to do so. let’s just say this film did not “make its mark.”
1. “Cars 2”
And here we come to the worst of the worst. The film that proved that even the almighty Pixar, was not perfect. Not only does it lack the charm and storytelling of the first film, it is also devoid of any humor. It also broke the illusion that the team over at Pixar was not wholly focused on just producing high quality stories but like every other studio, they also have a greedy desire to make a movie for nothing more than financial profit.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with our picks? What are your least favorite Pixar movies? Be sure to read our review of “Cars 3” here and let us know in the comments below.
You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture