If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Remember when 'Toy Story' was the only Pixar property to be franchised? Then came the disappointing 'Cars 2,' and this year will see the release of the 'Monsters, Inc' prequel 'Monsters University.' We also know that the studio is developing a followup to their 2003 hit 'Finding Nemo.' Andrew Stanton, as we learned last summer, will return to direct. It wasn't long after his signing on that Ellen DeGeneres, who voiced the lovably flaky Dory in the first film, would also be coming back for the sequel. Now it appears that Albert Brooks will also be returning. Brooks voiced Nemo's frantic father, the tragically unfunny clown fish Marlin. Brooks most recently appeared in Judd Apatow's 'This is 40' and prior to that earned a great deal of critical praise for his turn as the violent gangster Bernie Rose in Nicolas Winding-Refn's 'Drive.' 'Finding Nemo 2' isn't due in theaters until 2016.
This sort of falls into the "if they were going to do it anyway" category of good news. Sure, I'm excited that Brooks is coming back, especially given that the length of time it took to sign him suggested his return was not entirely certain. Even though Nemo was the titular character of the first film, it was Marlin's pursuit of his abducted son that gave the movie its narrative threadline and emotional core. Brooks' casting for the sequel was probably the most vital in that regard, though we obviously don't know how is character will work into the new script. All that being said, are we doomed to get sequels to all the Pixar films? I'm not saying Pixar is incapable of creating strong sequels, see both of the 'Toy Story' followups for reference, but so much of what we love about this company is their originality. They craft some of the most imaginative and innovative stories in animation and I'd hate to see them rest on their laurels too often.
What do you guys think? Are you happy that Brooks is returning? Are you optimistic about the sequel?