Friday 27 January 2023

Plotting with Pixar

 Having spent Christmas in bed with covid, binge-watching Disney Plus, I am now an expert on Pixar movies.

After something like my sixth movie, I noticed they fell into two broad shapes. To keep it neat, I've made a table.

There's more to it than that, of course. There'll be villains and sidekicks and lessons learned. But to prove it works (at least some of the time) here's a recent movie versus an old classic.

Some of my favourite Pixar films run both plot outlines side by side with different characters. I really am in a table mood today:

I find these kinds of outlines useful at the planning stage. What kind of a person is your main character? Are they striving towards a goal or trying to maintain the status quo? Will their goal change during the course of their adventure? What is the thing that matters most to them (whether they know it yet or not?)

Claire Fayers


Lynne Benton said...

Thanks for this, Claire - what a great way of surviving Covid! Nothing like watching pictures like this in quick succession for making you notice the similarities in the plotting! Useful stuff...

The Reluctant Pedant said...

This is a really awesome breakdown of two major story types – one more active, and the other more reactive.

The two parallel threads of Finding Nemo were particularly interesting. There's more than one way to tell a story!

Rowena House said...

Fab precis! Really captures the essence of it all. Going to borrow your take on Finding Nemo as a lens for my dual timeline WIP! Thank you.