Whether it be six or fourteen years after their predecessor, animated movie sequels are more often than not more miss than hit. I first realized this during the summer of 2018, when Incredibles 2 was released.
The visuals were astounding– like the hyper-realistic and beautifully rendered textures–and they were enough to distract me from the rather shallow, boring plot. I thought I had enjoyed the film, liked it more than the original, found my newest little fandom to slide into.
But then I thought about the movie again a few months later and thought to myself, “That was garbage compared to the original.”
By time the Frozen sequel came out, I hadn’t really given the Pixar superhero film anymore thought. Then I saw Frozen.
It had the exact same problem.
Visually stunning, gorgeous to look at, but not enough to fool me twice. I knew about twenty minutes into the film that they had pulled an Incredibles 2.
Now, why did I not enjoy these films? While I know taste and interests are subjectives, I feel as though most of us are on the same page when I say that the original films of these movies hit much harder than their sequels. The almost annoying sense of nostalgia from the ice queen “Let It Go” animation, the timeless appeal of Syndrome and his meme-ish qualities: these pieces had ways of sticking with us throughout the years.
The villain’s execution of her plan in Incredibles 2 did not have this quality. (Do you remember what she did? Her name? I just remember it was a pun that revealed her evil intentions.) The magical elements of Frozen 2, with their incohesive, sloppily constructed “fantasy” nonsense, also failed to deliver anything of importance. (Who’s the bridge? How are Elsa’s powers a gift when they ruined her childhood? Why am I supposed to care about this grandpa? What is Elsa doing in that forest??)
Disney and its subsidiarie’s insistence on awful live-action remakes and bland sequels present an overarching problem in the decline in the quality of their films. Is this an exaggeration? Yes, because the Mulan remake actually looks rather promising. But that is because they are actually changing and adapting the original work and turning it into something new. Not just slapping a 2 across the title and hoping for the best.
It is obvious that making these sequels and spinoffs and remakes and failing to make anything new is a trend apparent all across the board, but it’s almost heinous that a company with this much power and control over the entertainment industry is producing movies with this low of quality. It is honestly repulsive to capitalize off former works that actually had heart and a purpose.
A good-looking product doesn’t make a product good.