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Pixar’s First Flop is Being Quietly Swept Under the Rug

Pixar's First Flop is Being Quietly Swept Under the Rug

The words ‘Pixar’ and ‘flop’ are two words that have rarely
been seen in the same sentence, unless of course it was discussing how the
studio managed to go decades without creating one. That’s all changed however,
as The Good Dinosaur limps towards the end of its release without recouping its
estimated $350 million cost. Such an unprecedented failure usually gives a
studio a black eye, but Pixar seems to be happy to dodge the punch by letting
the film quietly fade out of the public’s view.

 

The Good Dinosaur never seemed to get off on the right foot.
Despite an experienced team behind it, and a talented director in Bob Peterson,
the film struggled on its way through production. So much so that Peterson was
eventually removed from the project and replaced by another talented director,
Pete Sohn. After a year’s delay, the film was finally released to
overwhelmingly middling reviews from both critics and audiences alike despite
high praise for the hyper-realistic scenery.

 

The other Pixar film from last year, Inside Out, blew
everyone away with its sheer originality and emotional themes and quickly
became a favorite. It is currently sweeping all awards before it and is well
on it’s way to the status of a classic film.

 

After that film’s initial release, attention turned to The
Good Dinosaur
. Despite similar levels of anticipation, the film was released at
Thanksgiving and failed to secure the number 1 slot at the box office that
weekend despite The Hunger Games being in its second week. That proved to be an
ominous sign of things to come as its second week saw the take drop over 60%; a
new low for the studio. Critic’s reviews didn’t help matters either;
alternating between faint praise and benign apathy with many lamenting how
derivative the film is, even in a general sense. Audiences seemed to take the
hint both at home and abroad.

 

The arrival of the film that would become Pixar’s first flop
in a critical and commercial sense has been anticipated in some quarters for
years. Numerous films have been presumed to be the one which would be donned
with the dubious accolade, but every single one proved the pessimists wrong.
That is, until Cars demonstrated that Pixar could put out a film that had a
less than perfect sheen. Even then, audiences lapped it up, and that film went
on to launch a multi-billion dollar line of merchandise. More sequels were to
follow, and even Cars 2 with its dismal reviews by critics failed to convince
audiences that their money was better spent elsewhere.

The Good Dinosaur is Pixar’s first bone fide flop
with both critics and audiences alike and one would think that after years of
anticipation, the knives would be out in force with all the naysayers crowing
about how they knew it was bound to happen. That hasn’t been the case at all
though. There have been a few rumblings in the press and on the internet, but
nothing approaching the torrent of commentary that always seems to accompany,
say, a DreamWorks film.

 

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, The Good Dinosaur
isn’t the more sensational kind of box office ‘bomb’; where a film doesn’t come
even close to making its money back. The Good Dinosaur will lose money, but the
amount will be measured in percentage terms, not career-ending hyperbole. That
doesn’t make for great attention-grabbing headlines.

 

Secondly, Inside Out is overshadowing it completely in just
about every way. It’s the one Pixar film that people recall from 2015, and the
one that clearly made the biggest impact. The Good Dinosaur simply doesn’t
factor in people’s recollection and now that awards season is underway, that’s
undoubtedly true.

 

Naturally, all of this suits Disney and Pixar down to a T.
Talk of their first flop would certainly create plenty of probing questions
that they would rather not answer, and would also seriously weaken the
perception that Pixar’s creative regime is incapable of producing a flop. Yet
for every film they so publicly send back for retooling, they seem to let one
slip through the net.

 

The Good Dinsosaur also disproves many theories and opinions
that people have about Pixar. Its continued existence doesn’t bode well for the
studio, but what better way to minimize its effects than to simply sweep it
under the rug? Disney/Pixar can confidently continue to give the film the usual
home media release and upbeat spin, but they don’t have to trumpet them like
they usually do.

 

In an age where fame is infinitely fleeting, attention spans
are just as short, and where there are new animated films being released
year-round, The Good Dinosaur can (and will) be left to fade into the
background as if it never existed. Oh it will still exist of course, it won’t
be locked away like Song of the South, but don’t expect a sequel, or even an
entry in any official history that’s as long as the other films. Such a fate
has practically befallen A Bug’s Life, which seems to remain in the public
consciousness only because it was the film that immediately followed Toy Story.

 

All in all, it’s a shame, because studios shouldn’t be
afraid to own up to their mistakes. Pixar will do some internal soul-searching
to find out what went wrong, but by doing so behind the scenes, they won’t
repair the cracks in their previously faultless facade.

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Comments

Indra

I don’t trust critics these days, if a film pushes a MArxist, leftist agenda it gets high ratings and if not well…Inside out pushes the female protagonist angle and the emotional compartmentalisation and motivation of propaganda brainwashing, bordering on Trauma-based conditioning. Focus on emotion rather than critical thinking is one of their goals for the population to make them more easily manipulated.
Frozen was a feminism-fest also as was MAd Max, a boring chase movie.
The good dinosaur promotes a male protagonist and he lives with dinosaurs which rankles the anti-christian leftists, all in all a centre/right theme.
A Bug’s life celebrated the people’s ability to untie against the evil bullies in power, something the NWO and their leftist, statist sycophsntic reviewers do NOT want.

Pedro

Really? So what the movie do wasn’t the big box office hit everyone expect from Pixar, the movie is such a pleasure and marvel to watch that most live action or any movies at all should be compared to. So stop looking at things so strictly and just enjoy the movie for what’s it is: a great movie about lost and overcoming obstacles. It’s not Pixars best movie? No. Is it bad? NO! So let it go… Jesus.

dustin

I love the Good Dinosaur. I thought it was beautiful from the first moment it started till the moment it was over. Truly a master piece in my book.

Tony Ginorio

The Good Dinosaur wasn’t bad by any means. It just didn’t reach the heights of excellence that we’re used to from Pixar. The story was solidly told, but there wasn’t much that was new. Pixar’s best films take a familiar concept – living toys, monsters in the closet, superheroes – and reveals new facets that make it seem fresh. With Dinosaur, I felt that the main concept of dinosaurs living long enough to become civilized was not explored as much as it should have been.

Randy Keith

Being the second Pixar movie of the year hurt its performance. If The Good Dinasour and Inside Out swapped their release dates, Good Dinasour would have been done much better. Inside Out still would have been a great success, but would be weakened by being the second Pixar film of the year and being in a more crowded film market. The Good Dinosaur was a very good film, but it failed to capture a large audience.

Micheal

Inside Out is a Disney film sans Pixar. It’s a Disney Animation Studios movie.

    Mac

    Well,Michael,no.Inside Out was Pixar,released through Walt Disney Pictures.If you’re trying to say that it seemed like it came from DAS,Pete Docter,the major force behind Inside Out,was,according to Wiki, the 10th employee hired at Pixar and the third animator.

Nate

"All in all, it’s a shame, because studios shouldn’t be afraid to own up to their mistakes. Pixar will do some internal soul-searching to find out what went wrong, but by doing so behind the scenes, they won’t repair the cracks in their previously faultless facade."

As if owning up to them publically would make any difference. For one thing, there are people who love this film and think it’s underrated, and you wouldn’t want to alienate actual fans of the movie by saying you thought it sucked yourselves.

Really, it was nowhere near the abomination that Cars 2 was, and anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong. It definitely didn’t deserve to bomb.

Tom Smith

What a pointless article.

Dude

My biggest problem with the movie was the title, "The Good Dinosaur". It just isn’t a name that helps market a movie, and makes it seem less than it really is.

Nic Kramer

Not funny, Phil. Also do we have to rub this in ? I’m sort of glad we didn’t have critics like this back when "Sleeping Beauty" was released (which was similarly criticized).

Ross Baxter

The "bambi like" death shocked the kids an was needles.

Phil Coulson

Here’s an idea. Re-release the movie and tell fans they won’t get the next Toy Story until this movie at least breaks even.

David Artman

It was good, but "the sheer originality" of Inside Out? I’m guessing you’re 20-something and have never heard of, for instance, the TV series Herman’s Head, among others.

Chris Stulz

What went wrong is that "The Good Dinosaur" just seemed like a dull remake of other road movies only now with Dinosaurs. The only original twist was going against type and making the T-Rex’s friendly cattle ranchers.

Chris Cookson

The one legacy I feel a Bug’s Life has right now is the reskinned Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playgrounds for Disney’s California Adventure and Animal Kingdom theme parks. That and the "It’s Tough to be a Bug" ride that they have whenever there isn’t a clip from a new movie to showcase in that theater instead.

a Bug’s Life isn’t entirely forgotten, it’s in the cable TV rotation fairly often. I wouldn’t call it entirely ignored if Disney devoted some theme park space to it, even if it’s by means of replacing something entirely irrelevant with something kids maybe might have caught one time on Disney channel.

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