Pixar, "Finding Dory" and the end of an era?

Pixar ended up revealing earlier last week that they will be making Finding Dory -a sequel to Finding Nemo- set for release in 2015. Which got me thinking .. did we really need this? I've championed Pixar for as long as I can remember, I mean just look at their track record filled with animated classics -WALL-E, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 1,2,3 and Up. Lately they've taken a liking to making sequels, sure it worked with the Toy Story franchise but it didn't work with the preposterous followup to Cars and this summer a sequel to the playful Monsters Inc. smells of a money grab and there's been talk of a sequel to The Incredibles.

The followup to Finding Nemo -a Pixar classic- has me filled with doubt about its very existence. I really,  truly believe that it is not a priority for them to make sequel after sequel but to make art instead .. yet Disney is probably pushing them hard to make as much money as possible and the safest way to do that is to make a sequel to an already very popular film.  Pixar is at its best when they create a story from scratch. The creative team behind this company is second to none and has gained a great reputation over the years for their mix of art and commerce. The fact that lately they keep piling up the sequels is bad news for anyone that cherishes and sees their films as works of art. So it is then no surprise that news has come out that Disney has layed off most of its hand drawn animation staff - terrible news that only enhances the fact that Pixar will probably be taking over most of the company's animated releases. Which also means that there will be even more pressure on Pixar to perform at the box office - this will all result in more sequels to come and much less emphasis on the artistic process

Of course I hope I'm wrong. I still look forward to a Pixar release every year and DID enjoy last year's innocent but beautifully made Brave. When Pixar started more than 2 decades ago the sky was the limit for the animation studio, they had free reign to do whatever they wanted, could choose stories that were more adult  that any other animated movie around and could take risks that payed off magnificently. Now, it is turning into business as usual as Pixar will be getting more and more pressure from Disney to perform at the box office, let's see how this one turns out but I'm betting there isn't a happy ending to this story.