Finally, a Pixar Sequel That Actually Makes Sense

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Slate's Culture Blog
March 18 2014 4:29 PM

Finally, a Pixar Sequel That Actually Makes Sense

The Incredibles
They're coming back.

Photo courtesy of © 2004 Buena Vista Pictures Distribution/IMDb

Almost a decade after its release, the one film in Pixar’s catalog that seemed tailor-made for a sequel is finally being revisited: Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced that a new story is in development for The Incredibles. Since it was released in 2004—just prior to the birth of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and all the other superhero franchises that have followed—superhero films have only grown more popular, which should give the sequel plenty of new material to work with.

Yet while other Pixar properties have received the sequel treatment, The Incredibles has until now only been at the center of rumors and speculation. In the past, writer-director Brad Bird has been open about his desire to pursue a new installment only if the story was “as good or better” than the original. He hasn't previously done sequels to any of this other original films, which include Ratatouille and The Iron Giant.

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On a somewhat less exciting note, a third sequel to the merchandising juggernaut Cars is also in the works. The last Cars was a hit at the box office, but along with the more subdued receptions of Brave and Monsters University, it helped to ding Pixar's reputation for quality, critically acclaimed entertainment. And while the upcoming slate of original features seemed promising over a year ago, a collective groan was heard when they subsequently announced another sequel, this time to Finding Nemo.

Pixar is aware that some fans are concerned that they're focusing too much on sequels. Last year, Pixar president Ed Catmull responded to the sequel fatigue and reassured fans of the importance that the studio does “one original film a year,” while admitting that they would also plan to release a sequel every other year. With at least three sequels in the works, we'll see whether they can keep their promise.

This news may be bittersweet for Pixar purists, but at the very least we know that the studio hasn’t completely lost its interest in creating new, original work. Plus, with Bird writing the story, The Incredibles 2 could very well be a worthy successor to the original.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

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