1. Travis Perry says:

    I for one like stand-alone stories like Gattica better than franchises like Star Wars. But I do watch both.

  2. Jes Drew says:

    I personally enjoy both watching and writing franchises, because like you said, I like the characters. But there is a certain charm to a stand alone.

  3. I love franchises, but when people milk them too hard they run the risk of ruining them. Sometimes they might shorten the deadlines between releases too much, for instance, which means that the writers have less time to write the stories as well as they should. Deadlines aren’t the only issue, but I appreciate it when people put a lot of effort into making every part of the franchise good, instead of rapidly cranking out sequels for money.

    The thing about franchises is that it helps cultivate a fandom that viewers can get immersed in. Those fans are more likely to buy merchandise, or write fanfiction and keep people excited about a story for a long time to come. That increases fan enjoyment and gives the story a deeper meaning.

    When it comes to franchises, what I like to see is good world building and characterization, and then have all the sequels and associated series be a continuation that comes naturally and that fans long for. With Naruto, for instance, there is a very large and immersive world. And, at the end of the first Naruto series, there was still tons of room for character growth and world exploration. At the end of the first series, Sasuke was still a revenge driven rogue, and the sequel, Naruto Shippuden, was spent trying to redeem him and navigate the dark politics that affected the world up until then. The Naruto franchise is far from perfect(the anime has lots of annoying filler episodes) but they do a pretty good job of making fans care about the characters. They really need to work on making the Boruto series(the sequel to Naruto Shippuden) better, though.

    The Fate series is another example of a story universe that has a good model for franchises. It has a great premise, and the secret world of mages and legendary heroes it presents has a lot of good lore to it. It’s already established that there have been many wars for the Holy Grail, along with interesting things around the Grail Wars’ origins, so the franchise owners only need to explore those. They’ve already started doing that, and the newer Fate Stay Night show (Unlimited Blade Works, I think) was fairly decent. Other than that, though, I haven’t seen enough of the sequels to say how well they’ve done.

    The Warriors series seems to be a franchise that has gone a bit more poorly, though. There’s tons of great worldbuilding in it, but from what I understand, multiple authors work on that series, and often under short deadlines. From a lot of the complaints I hear from fans, it sounds like the authors tend to just crank them out because it’s their job, rather than having time to handle the story the way they need to. Fans have pointed out tons of obvious inconsistencies in characterization and even character appearances, at least.

    A lot of franchises now, like ones based off Pixar films, seem to have a hard time because they take something they meant to be a standalone and try to force a sequel out of it. Given enough time and thought, standalones can probably turn into good franchises, but it looks like studios are giving far less time and thought to the sequels than they do the first story in the series. Or they just flat out run out of ideas.

  4. I concur, insofar as I’m already glassy-eyed over the amount of Disney live-action remakes.

    Cinderella and Pete’s Dragon were wonderful for at least two reasons. First, each was based on an older Disney film that may be well-known, but are not as renowned as other Disney films. Second, each was directed by a creator (respectively, Kenneth Branagh and David Lowery) who re-imagined each story and truly brought something new even while respecting the original. To some extent, The Jungle Book from Jon Favreau also qualifies.

    But remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and any other Disney film from literally less than thirty years ago are simply unnecessary. I’ve no desire to see any of them, after Beast proved so soullessly lackluster.

What do you think?