Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pixar watch: Cars 2 Trailer/Brave

Pixar has seemed to be a little behind the cylinder when it came to promoting its next film, the sequel to Cars, due next summer. I was surprised not to see at least a teaser for it in front of Toy Story 3.

The studio has rectified that situation with the release of this ... well, doesn't even seem right to call it a teaser. More like a tease of  a teaser. Take a look-see:

Not what you expected, is it? But I can sorta see how it might fit, given that the sequel is supposed to be set on the overseas racing circuit. In any case, label me intrigued. Like many people, I believe that Cars is the least great of Pixar's movies, but it had great moments, and this teaser-teaser takes the Cars world for a fun little spin. I just now found out that Pixar guru John Lasseter, who directed the original picture, is now co-directing after so-called "creative problems."

That seems to be cropping up a lot at Pixar lately. First there was the cancellation of Newt, which was to be the first feature by sound maestro Gary Rydstrom, who made the short Lifted (about the alien taking the drivers' test). And now there comes news that the company has replaced the director of Brave (formerly titled The Bear and the Bow). That's notable because the director was Brenda Chapman, who was to be the first female to helm a Pixar movie. Her replacement is Mark Andrews, who made One Man Band, the short that preceded Cars.

The move has prompted some to call Pixar sexist. My gut tells me that accusation is more than a little churlish. It's a legitimate criticism that Pixar's stories have been male-centric, but it is also well known that Pixar doesn't make such drastic moves unless absolutely necessary. Same thing happened with Ratatouille, which Brad Bird retooled at the 11th hour, and it turned out pretty well. And it's worth noting that Disney's three great fairy tales of the late 1980s/early 90s were each directed by two men.

All us outsiders can do is sit and idle ...

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