The Best Life Lessons Pixar Taught Us
Pixar's movies are great adventures that take us to far-flung locations on Earth, into the hidden lives of toys, far out into space and even deep within ourselves. The studio takes the time to craft stories that work on many levels, with characters who help make our own experiences and trials seem surmountable — even if those characters happen to be fish, robots, or even rats.
Even more than the thrill of each movie's adventure, we love the long-lasting messages of Pixar's stories. These movies have taught audiences of all ages some useful lessons that make life just a bit easier. Here are the best life lessons we've learned from Pixar movies.
Just Keep Swimming
Some of the lessons we've learned from Pixar movies are implied while others are right there in the script. FINDING NEMO's story, which teaches perseverance even in the face of despair and uncertainty, is wrapped up in a single line of guidance given by Nemo's father, Marlin (voiced with rich emotion by the great Albert Brooks): "Just keep swimming!" When we're facing particularly difficult tasks, it helps to remember that if a little clownfish could overcome massive obstacles, so can we.
Anyone Can Cook
Another lesson delivered directly from the characters to us is the central idea in RATATOUILLE: "Anyone can cook!" And while it's the story of the film, don't take the cooking part too literally — the movie teaches us that barriers to entry are often only perceived. Which, of course, is more true for some people than for others. Regardless, Pixar's movies show, over and over again, that a willingness to take a chance on trying to succeed is often the most important ingredient in a recipe for success.
Change Is Important
Without change there's no story and without story you don't have a movie, so of course Pixar movies have to embrace change. But this lesson goes deeper than that. Characters in Pixar movies experience change all the time, whether through the disappearance of a friend or relative, being thrust into a new environment — like an aquarium, or space — or even the simple action of moving to a new house. The point isn't that the change happens, it's that the characters react to it by eventually learning to deal with the new situations and living a more robust life thanks to the shakeup.
It's OK to Have Flaws
No one is perfect, but it's easy to think that we can be — and that we should be. Pixar's movies understand that our flaws are what make us who we are, and that learning to understand and live with them is as important as any other achievement we can accomplish. The friendship between Woody and Buzz in the Toy Story movies is based on an acceptance of their differences — and their flaws. Once Woody was able to accept his own shortcomings and limitations, he became a stronger leader, and a better friend.
Above all else, Pixar movies know that being yourself and learning to love and believe in who you are, is incredibly important. In THE INCREDIBLES, Violet's acceptance of her powers and personality allowed her to develop strength and self-confidence.
Want to learn about Pixar's next movie, SOUL?
All images courtesy of Disney/Pixar.