Just over a year ago, Pixar released the first full trailer for Toy Story 4. Honestly, this trailer is not to be missed.

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From major online TV and news channels, to just about every social media outlet, it seems like the release of this trailer is the biggest thing since … well, since the release of Toy Story 3!

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Why? Why are we so obsessed with a franchise whose first movie came out almost 25 years ago? What made us fall in love with this movie and these characters, that the Toy Story franchise alone has grossed over $2 billion worldwide?

Telling stories.

The creators of Pixar are masters of storytelling. And they were well rewarded for it. The 20 feature films they have released in the last 25 years have grossed $ 13 billion in total. That’s over $ 650 million per movie! Four of these films are even on the list of the 50 highest grossing films of all time. This is an absolutely staggering statistic.
Even more surprising is that Pixar boasts 19 Academy Awards and 8 Golden Globe Awards, which means that not only are its films popular (and monstrously profitable) at the box office, but even the critics themselves. Even the pickiest jars seem to enjoy them.And all because they have mastered the art of storytelling.

Why is storytelling so important?

Because it is in our DNA. Storytelling is a tool as old as humanity itself. From ancient stories of sophistry shared around ancient campfires, Egyptian hieroglyphs, biblical writings thousands of years ago, storytelling has always been the tool of choice for people to share their stories, the biggest, brightest and most important ideas. As such, we naturally respond to the power of history. A great story can make us laugh, smile, reflect on ourselves, and much more.

The art of storytelling

But there is an imperative in all of this. Telling a story is not enough. Many can tell a great story. No, to harness the power of storytelling, you must tell a story that resonates. A story that connects with the basic truth of the audience.

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This “core truth” component is why Pixar has been so successful over the years. All of Pixar movies are very upbeat and fun to watch, for sure. But all of its biggest blockbusters have deep underlying truths woven throughout. The films resonated with both the young audience and the parents who brought them there.

Toy story

The story of Woody the Cowboy and Buzz Lightyear the Futuristic Astronaut resonated with people around the world. Not just because it’s a great story, but also because it speaks to some key foundational truths: the timeless childhood dream of being a cowboy or an astronaut, the power of love’s friends, the fear of getting old, and the pain of feeling insignificant.

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These facts are the reason that Toy Story has grown to become such a great cultural force.

Monsters inc.

What do all boys and girls fear the most? Of course, the monster in the closet or under the bed! Monsters inc. tells a powerful story about this deep-seated fear.

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It takes viewers back to a time when their parents were asked to see the monsters under the bed. It also connects basic truths about feeling different from your peers, facing a rival or bully at work, perseverance, and more.

WALL E

The future WALL-E is full of fundamental truths. It not only exploits the truth of loneliness and the search for love, but it also serves as a warning to humanity. A glimpse into our future if we continue with our bad habits. From making our planet livable to making our bodies fat and dysfunctional, WALL-E opens the eyes of all onlookers, making sure everyone recognizes the changes they need to start making in their own lives.
As you can see, the reason these Pixar classics are such a huge hit is because they touch on so many fundamental truths. They reach deep within the viewer and find the truth (s) that resonate. And when you find a valuable truth, you will surely succeed.

Conclusion

Storytelling is at the heart of everything. Pixar movies taught us to be good friends. How to accept your difference. And how to avoid the destruction of our planet. Its movies also teach us that the power of storytelling, when used to expose deep and fundamental truths, is limitless. So take a lesson from Woody, Buzz and the rest of the Pixar team and start thinking about the stories you can tell.

 

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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/