Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar’s Greatest Films by Dean Movshovitz

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

  1. Examines Pixar’s storytelling techniques to uncover the techniques and mechanisms which make them so successful
Key Takeaways
  1. Emotionally committed when characters get out of their comfort zone which forces them to grow and change. Best do this by exploiting existing flaw or problem
  2. Great characters deeply care about something, anything. We care because they care. Strong opinions about things and past experiences amplify the drama
  3. 3 liking levels – external / superficial, deeper, empathy (where their wins equal your wins and the character serves as your proxy for success and emotions)
    1. Put the character in harm’s way and let them fight their way out of it and never give up (unless they have tried absolutely everything!)
  4. Conflict evolves out of something the character stands to lose
  5. ‘Construction’ necessary – character changes some deep part of themselves which helps them achieve their goal
    1. Change is the measuring unit of conflict
  6. No such thing as small characters
  7. Never choose anything over honesty
  8. All villains have a value system that makes them believe their actions are right
  9. Avoid consequences when storytelling
What I got out of it
  1. Quick read with good examples from actual Pixar movies to bring it to life