[disclaimer: As I mentioned in a comment, Up, the movie, will probably be less reliant on formulaic animation and style than the teaser trailer (due to its inherent time constraints) which triggered the following thoughts. This is really a comment on general trends in theatrical animation that disappoint me, and should not be construed as criticism of the superb artists at Pixar, some of whom I've had the pleasure of working with in the past.]
I just watched the trailer for Pixar's Up, and I'm underwhelmed again. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but does anyone else think Pixar's films get blander every time out? The design, the lighting, the rendering and even the animation is all...there's no other word for it: bland.
Well, maybe there is: verisimilitude. Why have they gone so far down this road of pursuing realism? Why even start down that road? Can't we have some fun with the backgrounds and designs anymore?
And in the animation, I recognized about 5 different standard Pixar moves (which are also imitated by every other studio) in that short little clip [this is probably due to time constraints]. Come one, guys! Surprise us! Entertain us! You're the best in the business. You've got the skill and resources to push the limits!
Well, maybe I'm all wet. And I owe a lot to Pixar for pioneering the CG animation industry which I enjoy working in. I just wish they'd show some of the spunk they used to show in their early days.
And there's some things I like about the concept of the movie; It reminds me a little of a G.K. Chesterton story. But if Chesterton was an animator I can't imagine him limiting himself with the slavish pursuit of verisimilitude.
[edited after a good night's sleep]