Pixar’s winning, losing idea

I love Pixar movies. I think that they’re genuinely the best animation anyone has to offer. I would’ve given How to Train Your Dragon the Oscar last year instead of Toy Story 3 — which felt a bit like a Lifetime Achievement Award — but other than that they deserve the mountains of praise and award trophies they’ve earned.

However, I wasn’t a big fan of the original Cars. It just flat-out bored me, with its simplistic message and various car puns. I was confused by the announcement of Cars 2, until I found out that the original made some amazing cash for the company. For the first time in years, I plan on skipping this summer’s Pixar flick.

So far it has a 50% on Rottentomatoes, already the lowest-rated Pixar movie to date. Most of the time RT is artificially high before a movie comes out, so it might even drop more. Heck, even the reviews marked positive are damning with faint praise:

At least Cars 2 looks as expertly sleek and sturdy as audiences have come to expect from the standard-setting animation company, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Lisa Schwarzbaum

Cars 2 narrowly avoids becoming Pixar’s first truly bad movie, but it’s definitely the studio’s worst movie. Joshua Tyler
Yes, “Cars 2″ is better than “Cars.”
Roger Moore

Youch. That last one is harsh. At any rate, its negative reviews are a black spot on the company’s otherwise almost impeccable track record. But I doubt they care. Because with merchandising, this movie is going to make roughly a brazillion dollars.

(That’s a 1 followed by zeros equal to the current population of Brazil, for those who don’t read Jeremy Parish regularly.)

And hey, if that finances their next few brilliant projects, I’m all for it. Just don’t tap the well for Cars 3 anytime soon.

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