The Evolution of Pixar: From ‘Toy Story’ to ‘Coco’

By  · Published on November 22nd, 2017

The animation groundbreakers are still plugging away.

When Pixar Animation Studios made Toy Story they were innovators of form. Then they became innovators of story. Now, three franchises deep with the Incredibles sequel underway, the studio is struggling to remember where its strengths lie.

With Coco, the company seems to be embracing the big heart pathos that got them to their prestigious peak, but watching the animation evolve in beauty over time isn’t enough to sustain quality.

Burger Fiction’s historicizing video essay lines up iconic moments from the studio’s filmography so we can notice every refining upgrade, but also every storytelling stumble along the way. Forgetting The Good Dinosaur, as many of us would like to, would brighten their oeuvre, but it would take away from some of the necessary failure any creator needs in order to grow. Nobody gets them all right, but this video reminds us that Pixar’s near-perfection has only recently begun to fade.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).