In 2006, Disney and Pixar merged. This is a big deal for a number of reasons, but the main point of contention is the fact that the two animated monuments have joined forces into a Voltron-like form. How can a forest have two lords? What influence do they have on each other? Will Disney princesses or Pixar's eccentricities win in the end? People were worried about the Mouse House encroachment in Pixar's heyday, and the internet was abuzz with conjecture and theory, most firmly in favor of a "leave Pixar alone!" .
And then, now in 2012, something strange happened, an outcome that no one could have predicted occurred. Disney and Pixar are interchangeable.
Drum emerges - what is this writer talking about? Oh, just like this, Brave - the story of an ancient princess, directed by a team that previously made The Prince of Egypt - is released by Pixar. Meanwhile, Andrew Stanton bears the fame of Pixar, having directed a Disney blockbuster, John Carter.
More recently, notably is Wreck-It-Ralph, whose executive producer John Lasseter's name in the lines of the team's introduction, the same man who founded Pixar Animation. Sure, Disney made a movie about the world of video games in which the characters has life (Toy Story!) while Pixar released a movie about a princess fighting against inhibitions ( Cinderella!). And not just about the theme and the production team! Let's see the details…
In Brave, Princess Merida doesn't want to follow the paths set by traditional social norms. To be fair, Pixar has come under a lot of criticism for rarely casting female leads, so it's understandable that they've taken the "strong female lead" route, but there's nothing less "Pixar" about the princess story, which they had previously avoided any change. Pixar's previous films were about a robot, an old man, a toy with life, a monster, and a lost baby fish (Nemo). The former Pixar is clearly the ultra-realistic animated opposite of Disney's fairy tales.
Disney, for their part, was one of the last studios to do hand-drawn animation. And they tend to make the stories steamy with obvious “good” “bad” roles (think of Simba versus Jafar). Then it came to Wreck-It-Ralph, itself a surreal story about the difficulties of boundary good and evil.
The transformation is now complete, the identity exchange is completely clear, the eccentricity and computer graphics of Pixar are combined with Disney's huge source of material. It's all happening right in front of our eyes, but more like a pagan than a general trend, because moving objects tends to keep moving.
So what does the future hold for these new unified giants? Did Pixar rewrite the princess genre leaving behind a mockery of the disorderly countercultural narrative? Is Disney planning to take Nemo for another walk, but this time with the witch Ursula is the background?
In short, no, nothing is ever going to happen, as Pixar has Monsters University preparing to launch, Disney will certainly continue to re-release the old series in 3D, stamping them in the land of Disney. But for long term? It seems clear that both logos will continue to dive into each other's strengths, swap identities, until only great films that feature both animated houses (hopefully so).
What about the heydays of Disney and Pixar? Sure, the two companies' own heyday is over, but there's no reason not to hope for a dramatic, energetic fusion return from both cultures. You guessed it, maybe robot princesses
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