Comment // Film Sequels // Are they Always a Complete Flop?

Finding DoryThe question that is on the end of everyone’s lips: Will ‘Finding Dory’ – Pixar’s sequel to Finding Nemo – be a roaring success or floundering failure? Will it succeed in hooking viewers with its rod of enticement, or will it flop like a fish out of water? It is not due to be released until 2015, so we will have to wait a few years for the verdict.

However, it has got me thinking about all the other film sequels that have been utterly tragic. Following the theme of animated films, my mind goes immediately to Shrek, a film whose comedy was the highlight of a decade. Utterly original, taking icons from throughout the world of storytelling and creating a brand new magical dimension full of irony and satire. Then came Shrek 2, which was okay and Shrek 3 just killed it. I don’t want to ruin my childhood by acknowledging the existence of a Shrek 4, and the various one off programs that followed.

Like Shrek, there are certain other films that just need to realise when enough is enough. I’m thinking here of the Saw series, who’s tediously dragged out a storyline has destroyed all that was interesting, albeit mentally disturbing, about it’s original concept. It is based on the premise of a sadistic madman who uses different methods of torture to make people aware of the value of life. In some ways, multiple films allowed more creative concepts to be used, but 3 or 4 films on you begin to wonder how disturbed  the writers are. The links between films become messy (both structurally, and with the high levels of gore) and unnecessary.

I don’t have too many films to make example of, because as a rule I steer clear of sequels. They often seem to be done, somewhat understandably, to grapple at any money making opportunity that an original film idea presents. However, I will end my complaining on a positive and contradictory note, summed up in two words: Toy Story. Toy Story 1 won the hearts of viewers everywhere. Similarly to Shrek, it had loveable characterisations and storylines to entice children, yet a more mature comical appeal for the adults. Toy Story 2 was no different. Over ten years later came the much anticipated third member of the trilogy, which raised the same concerns that we now feel for Finding Dory- will we lose all faith in Pixar? I know I speak the voice of many when I say no, we did not. Toy Story 3 was just as heart warming, fresh, funny and magical as its prequels. I only pray that Finding Dory will be the same, and that Pixar will safely ‘fin’-ish the story when the time is right (my apologies for that last pun.)

Nicola Reed

Image: Cthomasuscg.

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