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Following the smashing success of ‘Incredibles 2,’ FilmWeek critics sketch the future of Disney/Pixar post-John Lasseter

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 14:  Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios John Lasseter took part today in the Walt Disney Studios animation presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. (name of film) will be released in U.S. theaters on (release date).  (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 14: Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios John Lasseter (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Pixar and Disney studios have long been praised for their consistent execution of thought-provoking and socially-relevant animated features.

Pixar and Disney studios have long been praised for their consistent execution of thought-provoking and socially-relevant animated features.

From classics such as “Toy Story” to recent hits like “Coco,” these films, complete with infallible plots and developed characters, often provide social commentary on current events, or maybe just make us bawl our eyes out a la the introductory sequence of “Up.” We see this with Pixar’s latest box office smash, “Incredibles 2,” in which writer/director Brad Bird traces a vision of our present world through the escapades of the red spandex-clad Parr family as they tackle themes like feminism and politics, all while saving humanity from certain destruction. As Justin Chang mentions in his piece for the LA Times, The Incredibles 2 grapples with several relevant talking points including feminism, technology, media and politics, and the pursuit of justice.

Given Disney/Pixar’s long history of crafting films for a better tomorrow, the impending departure of its chief creative officer John Lasseter at the end of this year following allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct raises questions regarding not only the culture within the studios, but what happens next creatively for Disney/Pixar. Who will be the new face leading content creation at Pixar? Will they fall in to “sequel space” and simply spit out franchise sequels or will there be a push to create even more original films to rival the success of hits like “Up,” “Ratatouille,” and “Wall-E?” And is there space in the animation field for more than one player? Who might that be?

If you're an anime fan, the anime expo is happening this weekend here in Los Angeles. For more information, read below. 

WHERE: Los Angeles Convention Center

WHEN: Friday, July 5th to Sunday, July 8th

NOTE: Our very own FilmWeek critic Charles Solomon will be leading a panel on the life and legacy of the late Japanese film director/writer/producer and Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, who died earlier this year. You can find more on Charles’ panel and all of the other events as well as ticket information at www.anime-expo.org 

Guests

Christy Lemire, film critic for KPCC, RogerEbert.com and co-host of YouTube’s “What the Flick?”; she tweets

Justin Chang, film critic for KPCC and the Los Angeles Times; he tweets

Charles Solomon, film critic for KPCC, Animation Scoop and Animation Magazine

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