The Incredibles 2: My Review
There is a parallel here and so we must go back in time.
Walt Disney, when he died in 1966, left behind a huge machine of entertainment. The company has since taken his design and continued to run the huge machine and make a lot of money. Walt Disney took fairy tales and brought them to the screen and they were very popular because they are very old stories that have stood the test of time already.
When Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarves it was very interesting. It was an animated movie and everyone was a new viewer of animated movies. Walt Disney took risks like Fantasia or on kid’s books like Mary Poppins which made them interesting.
Since 1966, nothing really interesting has happened out of the Disney machine. More and more of the same. The quality is high and the intention is to make more and more money. They have done well. Over the past thirty years, Disney has always been in the top ten businesses in the United States if not the world.
We’ll see very safe ideas like a live-action Cinderella made very well. I’m not complaining because I love it, it was a very good movie. But there is nothing really interesting about it.
What Walt Disney had was a once in a generation talent and vision. His intention was entertainment and exploring the many facets of entertainment from movies to parks to television; that was his motivation. We can see its impact on the world around us today.
John Lasseter is a once in a generation talent and vision. When Pixar began making its movies, they were interesting. He did an amazing thing, he reminded us what it meant to be a kid. However you want to ding the starting point of his impact in Pixar, Toy Story came out in 1995, he has left Pixar or will be gone in a few months.
John Lasseter, according to Wikipedia, “On November 21, 2017, Lasseter announced that he was taking a six-month leave of absence after acknowledging “missteps” in his behavior with employees in a memo to staff. According to The Hollywood Reporter and The Washington Post, Lasseter had a history of alleged sexual misconduct towards employees, including “grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes.”
I would guess that John found out about this from the news. I would guess that he was terribly embarrassed and probably felt betrayed.
What he has left behind in Pixar is a big machine. This machine understands how to make movies and sell products and make lots of money. I wonder, though, if we’ll ever see again anything interesting. We might see another as original as Inside Out but chances are better that we’ll see an Inside Out 2.
Watching The Incredibles 2 this weekend, I mourned the loss of the talents of John Lasseter. There is no doubt that it is just and right and a product of the #MeToo movement. And, for many, it will be impossible to separate the two — kind of like Woody Allen’s movies can not stand alone but be tainted by his personal life’s choices.
The first Incredibles introduced us to the fun ideas. Self-aware schtick like “you caught me monologuing” or “Edna says no capes” all in this Fritz Freleng flavored-drawn world, setting the feeling firmly in nostalgia. The discovery of these fun ideas brought out the kid in us.
Incredibles 2 carried on like a good sequel, firm in it’s template and sure to be box office gold. As good as it was, though, the first was better because we got the original idea.
My sister reminds me that movies take a long time to come out and that we’ll see the influence of John Lasseter on many movies to come. I expect to enjoy future Pixar movies just like I enjoy Disney movies but gone, lost, will be something that is interesting.