Monday, June 09, 2003

Note to Slate.

It may well be that Pixar's great moment in the sun actually isn't now. The film they will release next year, The Incredibles, will be the first Pixar film from Brad Bird, possibly the most brilliant animator working in America today. In 2005, they will release the next film from John Lasseter, who made Toy Story and who has been the driving creative force behind the studio from the start. (Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo have been directed by Pixar's lesser lights, amazing as it may seem) It may be that despite the fact that "Finding Nemo is Pixar's 500th home run, its 3,000th hit, its third consecutive championship: a triumph that's more important for its relationship to an entire body of work than for its solitary pleasures", Pixar have not peaked yet, and that we will hear the same thing we are hearing now, only louder, for the next two years.

Of course, it is also possible that Pixar will make a mess of their next two films, or that Brad Bird's individual style will overwhelm the fact that The Incredibles is a Pixar film, and that now will be seen as the key cultural moment. However, it is impossible to pick these moments at the time they happen, because ultimately we dont't realise how large cultural forces will be before they are over. The fact is, though, most animation fans thought that this year would simply be a year in which Pixar released a nice little film before the really serious stuff came out in 2004 and 2005.

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