With Cars Pixar made a run of the mill, paint by number movie any studio could have produced.. like the ones from Dreamworks or any other animation studio that relies on big names to voice the characters and promote the movies.
Up until that point it was enough for me to know it was a Pixar movie to go see it and know i'd get a good movie with a good story.
But that doesn't mean they stopped
making good movies after that point. Cars
was followed by four of their best films in a row: Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up
, and Toy Story 3
. The only weak one since Cars
was Cars 2
. It's not the studio as a whole that's suffered, it's just that one concept that falls below their usual standard.