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The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Pixar movies have gone down in quality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2014 Category: Movies
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,048 times Debate No: 65625
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




While I love Pixar films and once believed that they dominated the animated movie industry, I believe that after Toy Story 3 they have decreased in quality. While the company still produces quality films, I no longer feel that they have the same emotion and originality of their previous pictures, especially compared to other companies like Disney and Dreamworks. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the three most recent Pixar films (Monsters University, Brave, Cars 2) have gone down in quality from the rest of the company's critically acclaimed resume (with the exception of Cars). It is my belief that the quality of the films have gone downhill, and will continue to do so over years to come.


Hi, this is my first debate on DDO so far, so I'm quite excited. Good luck, have fun, and I'll be courteous (:
Debate Round No. 1


My first debate too, miraculous. I wish you the same!

As I mentioned above, Pixar films have gone down in quality as my opinion and as evidence from other sources such as Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps this is because the industry has gotten bigger and there are better films out (that statement is based on popular opinion) or perhaps it is Pixar beginning to give up and lose its creativity.

For example, take the trailer for Pixar's newest film "Inside Out". (Here's a link if you haven't seen it. The majority of the film is comprised of clips from their previous works. This gives me the impression that they are running out of ideas and are trying to remind viewers why they fell in love with their work in the first place.

Also, do you remember the film "Monster's Inc"? There is a scene in it where the character Sulley is lying in the snow and the viewers can see his fur moving with the wind. This was an amazing feat in animation at the time, which shows that Pixar knew how to break records and make film-making history. They were, after all, the first company to create a feature-length CGI film. However, their current films do not seem to be "changing the industry" so to speak in the same way that some of these older films did.

Once more, I think this is going to be a trend for Pixar. They will no longer be the dominating animation studio, but just another company that makes films that used to be great. This is something that has happened to actors, writers, and directors as well. It is only a matter of time before Pixar joins this group of once-greats.


Thanks dodo.

Before starting, I'd like to mention the fact that our debate topic is rather, subjective. It'll be quite difficult presenting adequate evidence that'll be applicable in the scenario, so I'll cope by applying anything that would a) Make sense/seems logical. b) Negate your claim. Without further ado, I'll begin by pointing out a few flaws in your argument and provide rebuttals.

Pro mentions earlier that Pixar films, and I quote "no longer have the same emotion and originality of their previous pictures". It's an assertion in which no proof can be provided because, how does one simply measure a decrease in emotion and originality? It's all in the eyes of the viewers.
Viewer 1 may think a certain movie is superb and shows true depth and grace; Viewer 2 may think that same movie is overly sentimental and incompetent. It's your perception that truly dictates the greatness of a film. If you see life through the eyes of a skeptic, of course Pixar films can appear to be lacking. If you see life through the eyes of a credulous 10 year old however, a Pixar film can be just as noteworthy as The Breakfast Club.
To further support my claim, I will use myself as an example. I consider myself relatively skeptical when judging other people's work. After watching Toy Story 3, a Pixar film in which Pro claims to have been SUCCESSFUL in terms of emotion and creativity, I felt utter remorse for even attempting to watch the film. It was distasteful to me; the overall concept was overused and the line, (that caused the masses to break down in tears and agony) "So long, partner," irritated me for two weeks at most, because it was so cheesy. Now Pixar's recent film (which Pro claims to have deteriorated in quality) Brave, I liked a little better. I adored the fact that the protagonist walked past society's harsh norms, and did whatever she felt necessary by applying her definition of morality while doing so.
The point is, there is no proof that says Pixar has lost its touch, because you(Pro) may have interpreted the entire theme differently than what was intended.

Furthermore, Pro continues by explaining how she/he feels that Pixar no longer applies effort to the works and is supposedly "beginning to give up". I say that's nonsense. If Pixar was indeed giving up, the corporation would not spend much time and money required for a successful film. Their most recent films (Cars 2, Brave, Monsters University) actually demanded a more than sufficient amount of money. An estimated 200 million budget was used for the making of Monsters University, surpassing multiple previous works in terms of any "effort" or "sacrifice" involved in the making of the films. Additionally, Pixar's highly anticipated new films Finding Dory, Cars 3, and Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2 are currently underway and scheduled for release in 2015-2017. Pro can argue by saying Pixar has given up, but clearly there is much more planned in the near future that can be used to determine whether the corporation has truly given up or not.

Pro states that a future trend will be noticeable for the deterioration of Pixar films. I disagree, because there's not much evidence as to why this really will occur. S/he says that the most recent films (Brave, Monsters University, Cars 2) have gotten bad ratings compared to other critically acclaimed works by Pixar, from sources such as Rotten Tomatoes. These 3 films are the sole reason as to why Pro claims Pixar is losing its once great imagination.. It's ridiculous to assume an overall trend or domino effect will be a result of bad production of THREE films. Not to mention that there are other abnormalities in Pixar's great list of films as well. Not all are consistently rated high, and a few here and there fall short of a good score. Another thought provoking thing is that, these films actually have been quite popular with the audiences in comparison to other Pixar-owned films. Of course sales and quality have no DIRECT correlation to one another, for one variable applies to another aspect all together. But think about this, isn't it more reasonable that people spend money on a movie with higher quality and standard compared to one that lacks substance and originality, as Pro claims?

In this section, I'll be discussing some minor flaws in Pro's argument. Some are more prominent than others. Some are not worth mentioning at all. Regardless, I'll be addressing as much as possible.
A.) Pro's argument in Round 1 was that "Pixar lacks ___________ especially compared to Dreamworks and Disney." Pixar and Dreamworks are both currently owned by Disney. All three companies are usually all associated with each other because of the interconnectedness. Because it's a simple mistake that can be disregarded, I will not go in depth as to elaborate on it. I'm merely mentioning it became it irks me.
B.) The short clip that Pro presented titled "Inside Out US Teaser Trailer", in no way supports that Pixar is running short of ideas. Yes, the majority of the clip was comprised of their previous works, but for what purpose is what matters. The repetitiveness wasn't because of a lack of idea, but Pixar merely showed the compilation as an introduction to the premise of Inside Out.
They were using the many facial expressions from Pixar characters to show the theme of Inside Out, which was involving emotions. If anything, it's quite a clever tactic actually. By showing loved characters that were once part of an individual's childhood, it causes nostalgia and lures the viewer into the rest of the video while at the same time displaying the overall concept of Inside Out. Just because Pixar used MINOR samples from other films, does NOT mean they are reiterating the same concepts.
C.) "There is a scene in it where the character Sulley is lying in the snow and the viewers can see his fur moving with the wind. This is an amazing feat in animation at the time, which shows Pixar knew.." I fail to comprehend why this disproves that Pixar is still as proficient as ever. As far as I know, that shows no internal nor external conflicts, and has no emotional factor involved whatsoever. The beast is merely lying in the snow. If you're talking about display resolution, then Pixar is still top notch at animation as it was back then. The graphics are still as clear, there's still distinct pixels, and the dimensions are where they're meant to be. If there was a change at all, I'd imagine Pixar actually IMPROVED its animation due to an advance in technology.

There aren't particularly any sources I can cite, for most of the information I knew based on background knowledge, and most of this round consisted of me rebutting Pro's statements. Possibly the next round will require a few sources.
Your move, Pro.
Debate Round No. 2


Good argument, Con. I'll respond in the same style as yours through rebuttal, and as you said, some of what I say may vary based on opinion, but I will post it if I find it essential to my case.

1. I agree with you that this is a concept that may vary depending on what triggers a person's emotional responses and is not information that can be set in stone, but you pointed out that you were less than impressed with Toy Story 3 and found Brave to be a better film. You used the adjectives "cheesy and distasteful" to describe it, but as one of my favorite Pixar films, I feel the need to defend why I thought it was a successful film.

a. You claimed that the line "So long, partner" caused "the masses to break down in tears and agony" while you thought it was too cheesy. Personally, I think a little waterworks are acceptable for this scene. For some people, that scene brought back memories to the previous two films which came out 15 and 11 years prior respectively. There may have been adults in the theater who were still considered children when they saw the original film and cried for the sake of nostalgia. This line signified more than just what was happening on screen- it signified an end to the franchise so many people had come to love and grow up with. (Note that this was before the speculation of Toy Story 4.)
b. In terms of creativity, I thought the interpretation of the daycare being a prison for the toys to break out of made for a unique story. The plot managed to flow well with Woody finding a new home for the toys and plenty of action and humor to match it. Especially considering that the film is a second sequel, I thought the film was clever. Brave however, just felt dry in comparison to this and most previous Pixar films. The plot, to me, was just a slightly altered retelling of Brother Bear that was made to appeal to the fans who wanted a female protagonist. It's for this reason that I believe it won the best animated feature Oscar that year instead of the arguably more creative Wreck-It-Ralph. (Although that's probably a discussion for another time.)

What I am trying to say with all this (besides defending my preferences) is that Toy Story 3, while it has been considered overrated and has been criticized by many (including you, Con), it can't be denied that it is in fact, a successful film. It is as of yet the most recent film by the studio to be nominated for best picture, and as Pixar's two most recent films did not even receive a nomination for best animated feature, the only films not to since the creation of the Academy Award category, which is part of my evidence as to why I believe Pixar's quality in film-making is declining. They had what I'm going to consider a misstep with Cars back in 2006 (it was considered by a majority of critics to be a step down from all of their previous films and it was the only one so far not to win the Oscar for best animated feature since the creation of the category), but managed to bounce back with Ratatouille which continued the successful trend. So far, there has not been any "bouncing back" from the studio. (This is also my main rebuttal to your third point.)
(Some of these statistics were verified through IMDB and HollywoodReporter.)

2. What Con says about my belief that Pixar is giving up is a good argument, but I have to point out this. The films scheduled for the future include Finding Dory, Cars 3, Toy Story 4, and Incredibles 2. What these films all have in common is that they are sequels. Yes, they may spend a lot of time and money on these upcoming films, but this may also mean that Pixar is running out of ideas. Yes, they have original ideas with the upcoming Inside Out and in the past with Brave, but with so many sequels in preparation, it makes me wonder just how many original ideas the company has left. Pixar can afford to spend money on these films because the company knows it will receive a lot of money in the box office as they usually have in the past. To me, this is not the best way to judge their level of effort on the film as it is done, in my opinion, for the money and not because of how much they value the art they are putting out.

3. While I already gave most of my opinion on Con's third point in an above paragraph, I will add one more thing. Con states "people spend money on a movie with higher quality and standard than one that lacks substance and originality". This is not necessarily true. As Pixar has established itself as a contender in the animation department, there will be loyal followers who attend every screening simply for the people behind it despite the overall quality of the film. Also, being an animation studio, a large demographic includes children, who are most likely not going to be the best judge of quality films just yet.

4. In response to the flaws Con pointed out to me:
A. I should point out that Dreamworks, while many films are distributed by Disney, is NOT owned by Disney (info via Con was however, right to point out that Disney owns Pixar. I mentioned it separately because I was referring to Disney films that had no affiliation with Pixar.
B. I understand Con's way of thinking in terms of the trailer, but I still believe it is done this way to remind viewers of previous (and arguably better) films that made viewers respect the company. Of course this statement is just my opinion as was yours, but I would have preferred to see more about the film that I was viewing the trailer for. Also, I should point out that I did not mean that they were reiterating the same concepts, just that they were throwing in previous film scenes to "pat themselves on the back" so to speak.
C. For the lying in the snow scene, I did mean display resolution, and I agree that the animation has improved since then. Still, I should point out that in this day and age, I no longer feel that Pixar necessarily has the "edge" over other film companies as I think it once did. This makes me think of film such as Rango or The Adventures of Tin Tin, two non-Pixar movies which I thought to have brilliant animation, and are worthy of being compared to Pixar's animation skills. I mentioned the snow scene because I believed that at the time, Pixar was the only studio capable of that feat, whereas they have more competition now. While the success of other studios does necessarily affect Pixar's quality of film-making, more worthy competition could potentially be enough to one day make Pixar a company that faded into the background. Of course this prediction may not come true at all, but it's worth pointing out that there is a higher possibility now than in the past.

Well, Con, it's your turn now. I hope I've put up a worthy fight. Like you said, this topic is subjective and it isn't an easy subject to professionally argue about.


Thanks for the considerate response, Pro.

(1) Rebuttal #1
I'd like to clear a misunderstanding.
It appears Pro believes my line, "Brave is essentially better than Toy Story 3" was the main argument for (1). Not at all. I merely used that example to support my claim "Quality and emotion is interpreted differently depending on the individual." Of course I knew Pro preferred Toy Story 3 over the likes of Brave, but my point was not to convince Pro to re-evaluate her opinions but merely to address how her assertion is subjective and cannot be proven by statistical means. There is no way to measure the decrease in quality or emotion, was what I was trying to emphasize.
What I wanted Pro to refute was my main statement, not the supporting statements. Since Pro agreed on THAT main statement, I do not feel the need to address it further. Instead I will negate Pro's claims (1C), for (1A) and (1B) were his/her's defense for Toy Story 3, which is irrelevant to the debate.

Once again, Pro you've misinterpreted my claim.
Not once did I deny Toy Story 3 was a successful film. What I did say was that I found it unpleasant and unsuccessful in terms of EMOTION, but that was just my perspective solely for the purpose of proving an example. Indeed Toy Story 3 IS a successful film, but I did not disagree in the first place.
Moving forward, my refutation for "Cars(2006), considered an abnormality in Pixar's highly rated list of films, was redeemed by the 'bouncing back' of the movie, Ratatouille." To summarize, Pro claims that though Cars was indeed rated lower compared to other Pixar films, it was redeemed, while the 3 most recent Pixar works have yet to prove themselves worthy.
This is imprecise because Brave accomplished some great achievements as well, which you can consider as a redemption. Besides just winning the Academy Award which Pro wrote earlier, here are a few other accomplishments.
1. Globe Awards for Best Animated Feature Film
2. BAFTA Awards for Best Animated Film
3. Women Film Critics Circle for Best Animated Females
4. Annie Awards for Production Design
5. American Cinema Editors
6. Pixar's 8th highest grossing film
7. Release in a total of 4,164 theaters (a record high for Pixar)
8. Release of short story La Luna (paired with Brave), which was nominated for Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and the 84th Academy Awards
(Sources for the above will be supplied at the end of round)

(2) Rebuttal #2
My apologies, I didn't intend to only include sequels for Pixar's future releases. The other films that have been confirmed include : Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and 3 other untitled, unannounced films.
Using the fact that most of the prepared films are sequels to support, "Pixar is lacking of ideas" is inappropriate because
a) As Pro mentioned, Pixar may only be interested in the money. This in no way disproves my claim, nor supports Pro's. Just because they are interested in money does not prove Pixar is losing influence in the industry, it just shows that, sequels = more money. In fact, it's easier to gain money from a sequel than ANY new film because viewers are already affiliated to the concept (creative or not), and that only shows that Pixar knows how to succeed in the industry not how much they value the art.
b) Refutation for "Pixar only creates sequels because of lack of inspiration"
The film Monsters Inc.(2001) which was insanely successful and considered the epitome of Pixar's talent, was followed by Monsters University, a film that Pro declares less innovative. Monsters University was confirmed in 2005, 4 years after the release of Monsters Inc.
This disproves Pro's claim "Pixar only creates sequels because of lack of inspiration" because at the time, Pixar still had the great streak that Pro says is no longer lasting. The company was still in its prime when Monsters university was in planning, ultimately meaning that IF Pixar indeed lost inspiration, they lost it back then, not currently. It also implies that Monsters University may have only been a slight blunder, for great Pixar films have still been releasing after 2005, such as Up and Wall-E "redeeming" the loss.
c) By saying that the sequels were products of mediocrity on Pixar's part, this is counter- productive for Pro. My elaboration: Cars 2, a recent film rendered lacking in emotion by Pro, topped at international success while surpassing another Pixar sequel, Toy Story 2. Though both films were highly anticipated and were BOTH sequels, Cars 2 was dominant over Toy Story 2(which Pro preferred). My point overall for c) is sequels does not = lack of inspiration supported by the example above, therefor proving Pro's claim invalid.

3. Rebuttal #3
Pro fails to negate/ bring up my third main claim about trends so not much to rebut here... But as for Pro's argument regarding loyal followers, I agree but that's the case with every movie including Pixar's most popular ones. Consider Toy Story 2 and Cars 2 that I just mentioned.
Toy Story is clearly more popular than Cars since Pixar is currently making the fourth movie which is extremely rare in the industry. Yet, Cars 2 still surpassed Toy Story 2 meaning "loyal followers attend every Pixar screening despite quality" would apply to both movies, though Pro finds one triumphant over the other.

4. Rebuttal #4
A) Sorry for my poor use of terminology. What I meant to voice was that Dreamworks is closely associated to Walt Disney because they are a partnership and Disney takes care of the marketing and distribution. The fault was mine.
B) Pro's rebuttal for B was an opinion, which cannot be disproved so I'll respect that.
My over-arching theme for B was that Pixar was not reiterating the same concepts but was only giving glimpses to appeal to viewers' emotional senses. Also it seems there was a misconception regarding the subject as said by Pro, but I don't think it's very credible or significant to the debate, so I'll refrain from pointing it out.
C) Pixar no longer has the lead in display resolution because other companies have improved, which both sides can agree on. I'd just like to say that just because other companies have improved in this area does not mean Pixar has regressed, which is the topic of our debate. As far as I'm concerned, Pixar is still refining it's skill in animation just like in the past.

Source Citations :

Thanks for the debate dodo; it was immensely fun.
If you're ever in search for a debate on cartoons/animation, do not hesitate to contact me. No one's a bigger cartoon enthusiast than me.

I conclude, vote CON!!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by miraculous 1 year ago
Where art thou Pro? ):
Posted by notyourbusiness 1 year ago
Whether a movie is good/bad or has high/low quality is very subjective, though there is usually a general consensus. Pro mentions how "Pixar movies have gone down in quality", which will make judgement even more difficult as a general trend or overall trend will have to be considered. Another interesting point to note is whether a series has gone down in quality or simply switched/changed to a style/genre you don't like as much. The subjectiveness of the debate makes it very hard for anyone to accept.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by carriead20 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate! Con had more sources and did a slightly better job refuting Pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by SlovakiaKentros 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This one was tight right down to the last round, and for first timers like you guys, it was pretty impressive. Both made good arguments, both made bad misconceptions about each others rounds. The thing is, who was better? Through the question at hand, dodokid (Horrible name for this website but whatever) made better arguments proving Pixar movies were going down in quality, however Miraculous. He was better at rebutting the other persons points. In the end: No one won.