1. Go Back To Basics
Pixar used to be defined by its simple premises. In the early days of Pixar one sure fire way you could tell the difference between Pixar and any other film studio on the map was in the way that a Pixar film could be summed up easily in one simple sentence, question or even thought. Toy Story for example: "What would happen if your toys came alive when you left your bedroom?" is one obvious example of this... but pretty much every film until Cars could be summed up this way. "What if monsters actually did live in your closet?", "What if superheroes were real people with real problems?". In the case where Pixar films couldn't be described as simply, it was because Pixar wanted to explore simple, everyday worlds. Finding Nemo simply explored the oceans, and A Bugs Life explored the insect world. Simple. But then Pixar began to run out of these ideas, or alternatively decided to get too complex for their own good. How do you sum up Cars this simply? Perhaps "what if Cars where people?" would just about do it, but that sounds pretty lame right there doesn't it. How do you sum up Ratatouille this way, or dare I say it even Up? In my opinion the greatest original Pixar movie (non-sequel) since Cars was Wall-E, and this is the only film since Cars that goes back to the basics that used to define Pixar... it explores space. Simple, but it works. Pixar needs to stop watching and taking notice of the other animated films studios produce all around it and remember its original mission statement. If you struggle to sum up a Pixar movie in one captivating and thought provoking sentence, chances are it won't be one of your best Pixar. And if you aren't "reaching for the stars" every time you make a movie, than you may as well just stop making movies all together.