Has Pixar lost Its creative mojo?

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Between 2000-2008 every movie they released either very good or a flat-out masterpiece. At some point, they were taking major artistic risks. Think of the radical, dialogue-free first act of WALL-E, the touching 10-minute life story of Carl and Ellie in UP!, The terrifying final few minutes of TOY STORY 3, Nemo's mom dying in the opening minutes of FINDING NEMO, and Bing Bong's 'sacrifice' in INSIDE OUT.

Nowadays we're seeing a lot more sequels and less of the transcendent moments that I've just mentioned. Sure, there's last year's wildly colorful and exuberant paean to Mexican culture "Coco," but as much as I liked that film, and I really didn't, it resorted to conventional storytelling and lacked the risk-taking of the aforementioned classics.

Last month, "Incredibles 2" came hot off the heels of some rather disappointing sequels from Pixar. With the exceptions of “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3,” Pixar has had lackluster continuations to their classics. Suffice to say, we still had high expectations for "Incredibles 2," especially with Brad Bird back at the helm. It ended up being good, but, again, not an essential Pixar addition.

With "Incredibles 2," "Finding Dory," "Cars 2,” "Cars 3," "Monster University," and, not to mention, the non-sequel but very average "The Good Dinosaur" and you have to wonder if Pixar has lost a bit of its edge. Their dive into the business of sequels has watered down their reputation. Every sequel, again except for the Toy Story films, lacked the qualities of their predecessors and confirmed that they did not really need to be pursued. 

What's next for Pixar? Another sequel, this time "Toy Story 4," but if it's anything as good as the last two sequels from that series, then we're in for a treat. The "Toy Story" franchise has turned into Pixar's "Boyhood," following the different steps into adolescence young Andy has taken in the 23 years since the 1995 original.