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Sunday Scaries: Could Pixar Ever Attempt Animated Horror?

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, we’ll be following up on last week’s animated horror musing, by looking at it through the lens of, believe it or not…Pixar.

Pixar

In case you missed it, last week I had animated horror on the brain. Basically, there’s isn’t much of it. Now, I’m writing this while currently on the West Coast for a day and change to do some interviews at Pixar Headquarters for Elemental. You’ll see my review of that film tomorrow, but being here, while wondering what a new Sunday Scaries piece should be on, led me here. Imagine if Pixar made a horror movie?

This here is some of what I said in that article on animated horror last time out:

Horror comes in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to animated horror, the pickings are very slim. In fact, when we get anything animated that’s even horror adjacent, the focus is on the other genre. Whether it’s Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Wendall & Wild (without Henry Selick, think of how desolate this genre would be), not to mention something along the lines of Corpse BrideFrankenweenie, or ParaNorman, horror is not quite an afterthought, but certainly not the prime focus. Now, one could argue that Monster House does have more of that focus, but it’s done in a fairly family friendly way. That leaves titles like Mad GodThe Spine of Night, and The Wolf House (Myles mentioned Perfect Blue to me, though that feels more like a thriller). If that’s it, then it’s clear that this is an underserved section of cinema.

Today, I’m specifying that I think Pixar could make this work. They have a boldness to their ideas, as well as often a high concept that’s not too cute, which gives them the track record. Moreover, the care they put into their animated features, as well as the emphasis on emotion, makes me think they could get scary if they wanted to. I’m sure Disney would prefer that they didn’t, but if given the opportunity, the creative minds at Pixar may well have the tools to do something special within this realm.

Pixar has tackled a lot of different genres over the years, but more so than genre, they’ve been able to mix adult tones into their flicks. Look at the themes in Toy Story 3, Up, and many others. They have the tools to do things aimed at adults while not excluding children. Coco is another one, with even some slightly spooky imagery. So, the germ of an idea could be here.

Now, I really don’t actually expect Pixar to do horror, even if it’s family friendly horror. At the same time, just imagine the possibilities? Regardless of whether you think they’re in a slump or not, they’re a studio capable of tackling just about anything. So, if they ever were to give this a shot, I think they could potentially make a classic fright flick for all ages. That’s just my two cents on the matter, at least…

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next week!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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