By now you've heard the news that Pixar is working on a Finding Nemo 2 with director Andrew Stanton (John Carter) returning to the fold. Someone really needs to give little Nemo a compass, poor thing.
More distressing is the persistent rumor (not fact as far as I can tell) that Toy Story 4 is being developed. If they make it, I honestly believe that they should revoke all of Toy Story 3's reviews and its Best Picture nomination; its massive success and emotional wallop hinged on it being the finale, the moment you, like Andy, had to say a tearful final goodbye. If they make Toy Story 4 it was a lie. (It already was a fib given that the characters lived on in short films immediately thereafter.)
The Hollywood Reporter doesn't mention Toy Story 4 in their roundup of what's going on with Pixar but they do say this very very odd thing:
The move is also a safe one by Pixar, the company that once was praised for cranking out original film after original film, but now seems to trying to balance commercial prospects with unique creations.
What is there to balance?
Pixar IS the safe commercial prospect. Sequels are redundant since people go because the movies are Pixar. They don't go because they love the characters/singular franchise. Most of the time they haven't met the characters yet. All Pixar movies are already "safe commercial prospects" by virtue of the studio's reputation and marketability. So why not make original movies and keep the reputation intact, keep the legacy and critical sheen as The Greatest Movie Studio Ever?
Frankly I don't get it. Yes, Finding Nemo 2 will make more than Brave but why sacrifice your reputation and legacy for an extra ½ billion when everything you release makes at least that much? Brave, an original that was seen as a risk given its female protagonist, has earned $244 million globally and is still going strong and Merida herself will surely generate 100s of millions more in merchandising by virtue of that billion dollar Disney Princess branding. Ratatouille, an original that was seen as a risk due to its subject matter (ewww!), earned $623 million globally. Up, an original that was seen as a risk given its old man protagonist, earned $731 million globally and a Best Picture nomination. WALL•E, which was seen as a risk given its nearly silent movieisms, earned $521 million globally along with an instant reputation as a masterpiece and did more than most Pixar pictures to cement their reputation as a commercially minded company that also indisputably produces great art.
Didn't Cars 2 do enough to sully their reputation, making them appear as Profits-First driven as every other studio?