Pixar was the first company to produce an award winning full length computer animated movie. They experienced enormous success with their first film, Toy Story. Woody and Buzz are as much a part of our culture as any could imagine. After Toy story came more films with one success after another. Maybe Disney bought this company to suppress competition but I think it goes much deeper than that.
Some of the most successful Disney films revolved around the same theme. In my mind the Disney classics consist of Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, later came Lion King, Aladdin and so on. These were some of the highest grossing films. Most of these films are about love. Love is strong, love can conquer evil, love can break magic, love can heal.
A real shift was needed and it came. The top of the Box Office was waiting patiently for a new contender, someone to break away from the theme of Love.
Pixar stepped up to the plate. With a record streak seen by none before they dominated the Box Office. They brought a fresh new genre to the plate and have been hitting home runs since.
Life lessons learned on the Hero’s journey became the dominating theme. Every Pixar movie revolves around these two themes. The only love story so far was between two robots, and even that was intertwined by a theme on the journey.
Disney couldn’t stand it and finally the two giants collided. It was very nerve wrecking for the staff at Pixar to be bought out. Fortunately Steve Jobs and John Lasseter protected the Pixar staff and they were able to continue working freely and creatively. Here read the book. The difference was that now they could do so with a multibillion dollar movie making machine behind them.
The collaboration brought us treasures of movies. The newest Moana, a perfect example of the Hero’s Journey. A young girl becomes the hero when she saves the entire planet. Empowering woman became another central theme. In Zootopia the feeble bunny becomes a police officer and solves a New York equivilant animal city’s biggest crime. These movies are loaded with cultural and deep philosophical questions.
These new themes promote human development, self improvement and helping others. They promote growth and prosperity earned by taking risk and putting yourself on the line. They encourage young girls to be independent, strong and courageous. They advise to help your fellow human being.