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Friday, March 28, 2014

4 Reasons The Incredibles 2 is a Bad Idea

The Incredibles 2 has been announced, but is it really necessary?  Shane gives four reasons why the sequel shouldn't happen.

The recent news from Disney that Pixar is currently developing a sequel to their 2004 hit The Incredibles was met with a lot of approval from the Internet at large.  Despite Pixar releasing 8 films since Incredibles, two of them being sequels, the fans at large were desperate for Pixar's superhero family to have another go on the big screen.  The demands of the Finding Nemo fans were answered and now we are getting Finding Dory, due in 2016.  Now that the fans are once again getting what they wanted, is The Incredibles 2 really necessary?  Here are four reasons why the movie SHOULDN'T happen...

1. Pixar is at its best when it is original

This is a pretty easy point to follow.  When one looks at the list of Pixar's films, it is hard to believe that the studio has released such a large volume of high quality, original films.  Pixar has been known since the beginning for its original storytelling with great characters.  Films such as WALL-E, Up, and Ratatouille are examples of how Pixar has taken an original idea and expanded it to a film that satisfied not only the target child audience, but also adult movie goers and critics.  Simply speaking, Pixar's original films speak not only volumes for what the studio has accomplished, but also stand as prime examples of great filmmaking in general. While there are many that will argue this point, it should be noted that the two Toy Story sequels appear to be exceptions to this rule.  Toy Story 3 was a fantastic movie with a lot of emotional depth, while Cars 2 was an unmitigated disaster.  We have no idea how Finding Dory will align itself between these two poles, so what reason is there to believe The Incredibles 2 will be any different?

2. The first movie was not original by any means

A lot of people love the original Incredibles film.  It is easy to see why.  The film has action, adventure, interesting characters, and hits on all the right emotional notes which Pixar knows how to play,  That being said, out of Pixar's first 10 films, The Incredibles is by far the least original.  The comic book aficionados of the world (many of whom are huge Incredibles fans) can tell you that the first film takes quite a few ideas from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen.  In fact, the entire plot of the movie is an amalgam of Watchmen and some of the high points of the Silver Age of comics.  While both sources of inspiration are not bad places to go to by any means, it means that the film at hand is not really playing with anything new.  Even the family dynamic, which seems to be how the film tries to differ itself from other superhero stories isn't new.  Fantastic Four has been telling stories of the hardships of being a family with super powers for the past 52 years.  It is hard to imagine that The Incredibles 2 wouldn't try to bring in more than a few ideas from other superhero stories, which leads us to the next point...

3. What can be said?

As the time comes to make a sequel to any film, the first question which must be asked by those involved is: can something new be said?  When a sequel to a film actually works, it is because the answer to that question is yes.  More than a few superhero movies have been able to answer that question with a resounding yes, mostly due to the large amount of source material available.  Want to know why Toy Story 2 and 3 worked?  There was more to be said.  Director Brad Bird claims that he has a few ideas of what the story for Incredibles 2 could be.  While Bird is a more than capable storyteller, with The Incredibles being just one example of that, unfortunately the answer to the first question is no, nothing new can be said with a sequel to this movie.  Sure, there are other eras of comics and other graphic novels which can be adapted to suit the needs of the characters, but would that really amount to anything more than some costume changes and a few nods for the nerds in the theater?  What story can really be told with these characters that is worth telling?  The family dynamic of the first film is actually explored pretty well and it does not seem too far of a stretch to expect the sequel to return to that device.  Unfortunately, the family dynamic well seems pretty dry, even if they advance the ages of children Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack (which, frankly, should be expected).  Violet was already a teenager in the first film, so would forcing Dash through puberty really give us something worth examining?  Not really.

4. Pixar doesn't need to cave to fans

A mix of the Internet and the growth of San Diego Comic Con has created a monster: the fan.  Over the past decade we have seen fans of movies, comic books, television, and other media be placed on a pedestal time and again by studios.  This has caused the fan community at large to believe that they are the defining reason a movie, comic, or TV show is a success or a failure, a false belief which continues to this day.  Fans may give creators and producers the peace of mind that they are pleasing SOMEBODY, but fans have not proved at all that they are the reason movies like The Avengers make billions.  Sorry, fellow nerds, that's the general public at work.  Fan demand is the reason we are getting Finding Dory and there is no way it is not the reason we are getting Incredibles 2.  If either of them stemmed from a true desire to tell a new story from Pixar, we would have gotten those films years ago.  But no, the screams of fans on the comments and message boards could not be stopped, so now we find ourselves with a Pixar that feels it has to cave to fan demand in order to be successful.  With original movies like Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and an untitled project about Dia de Los Muertos in the pipeline for release over the next few years, it seems completely unnecessary for us to return to past franchises.  Pixar began its proud history with coming up with new and original ideas, constantly challenging themselves to push the envelope of storytelling and animation further.  The Incredibles 2 feels like a step backward from that driving idea.

Are you excited for a sequel to The Incredibles?  Agree or disagree with the points above?  Let us know in the comments below!
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