Some people actually think Pixar animation is getting worse

Toy Story CGI comparison
An image from Toy Story (left) and Toy Story 4 (right) (Image credit: Pixar)

Ah, Pixar. It's one of the world's most beloved animated movie studios, right? And its visuals have gone from strength to strength since 1995's Toy Story, right? The answer might seem obvious – but a pretty unbelievable Twitter debate suggests not everyone agrees.

The firestorm has begun in the build-up to Turning Red, the studio's latest feature film. Dealing with the trials and tribulations of growing up (and, of course, regularly turning into a red panda) as a young girl, it sounds like yet another delightful offering from Pixar. But the art style has attracted its fair share of detractors – and defenders. 

Screenshot of a tweet which read, 'Pixar fell off so hard, what even is that' alongside a screenshot of Turning Red showing main character Mei Lee

(Image credit: Pixar/@Bolverk15)

It all started with one rather mean-spirited tweet (above) declaring "Pixar fell off so f****g hard" alongside a screenshot of Turning Red, featuring 13 year-old protagonist Mei Lee. "I would be embarrassed to have my name attached to this project, I'd legitimately ask to have my name removed from the credits, this is bad and everyone involved should feel bad," the user adds, objectively.

It's hard to see exactly what @Bolverk15's problem is. Sure, Mei Lee is rendered in a cartoonish style and isn't ultra-realistic – but then again, neither are the characters in Cars. Some have speculated that some viewers just "can't stand seeing a female character who isn't perfectly adorable, and expressionless all the time." (Just wait until they hear about Aloy's facial hair in Horizon Forbidden West.) 

As if that wasn't enough, the tweet has given rise to a debate over whether Pixar's animation quality has got better or worse. Thankfully though, it's led to some pretty hilarious replies, with fans highlighting some of the, er, dodgier early animations as proof. Who can forget the dog from Toy Story?

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Of course, it's a little unfair to laugh at Pixar's efforts from 1995 – let's not forget that its animation was indeed cutting-edge at the time. But when the purpose is to highlight how much the animation has improved with time, it starts to feel a little more justified. And as these mind-boggling facts about the making of Toy Story 4 show, the contemporary animations are no walk in the park.

Either way, we can't wait for Turning Red. If you want to get your Pixar fill – if only to compare how the animations have changed over the years – check out our guide on how to get 15% off Disney Plus. And if you're inspired to create your own animation, here's how to download After Effects

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.