The Evolution of Pixar


Angelina Wandzel , Features Writer

With Pixar’s newest movie, Coco, winning over 30 awards according to IMDb, it has inspired the Eagan Independent team to publish an article about how Pixar has changed over the years. By middle school, most people have heard of Pixar, but if you haven’t, it’s an American computer animation film studio with 19 feature films and many short films. Some of their feature films include A Bug’s Life, Cars, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Toy Story was the first, earning a whopping 373 million at box offices all around the world. Now, their most recent movie, Coco, is getting a lot of attention as well. It’s already earned over 153 million and that amount is only continuing to grow. So, what makes Pixar so popular? Why do so many people find it so entertaining? To answer these questions and more, I’ve decided to dig into Pixar’s past and look at a few ways that it has evolved, along with how it’s stayed the same within every movie.

Coco, 2017

One of the most important things that has evolved within Pixar films is the quality of their animation. The world of technology is changing everyday which means that the future of animation will most likely grow to be hundreds of times better than it is now. For example, newer Pixar movies like The Good Dinosaur and Coco are great examples of this. Those movies have extreme detail and photorealistic animation. Toy Story, Pixar’s first movie, has great detail as well, but its animation is getting dated. Then again, it’s good to keep in mind that this is mostly, if not completely, because of technology.

Another thing that has changed in many styles is Pixar’s characters. Aside from animation and how realistic the characters look, Pixar has changed their attitudes and relatability in many small ways. They’ve made talking toys, bugs that speak, monsters, living cars, humans, and so many other characters, but the way they look are just some obvious differences. Some people think that Pixar is starting to make a lot more human characters in their movies to connect with their audiences. Others think that they’re doing that to change things up, but of course, there are more recent movies like Cars 3 and Inside Out that still have a lot of fictional characters.

The main message that Pixar relays to all of their viewers in each movie has also changed. Every Pixar movie has some sort of theme. In Toy Story it was friendship. Woody and Buzz, two toys that were also main characters, started out by hating each other. In the end, they resolved their conflict and went on to become friends. This message was relayed through two unrealistic characters. In more recent movies, the theme is slightly different. For example, in Brave, Merida, a human princess and main character of the movie, struggles with some selfishness and the feeling of wanting to rebel, later learning that it’s more fulfilling to help others. The main difference between this and the theme of Toy Story is that the themes in Brave are portrayed through humans. Of course, some recent movies like Monsters University and Finding Dory don’t have very realistic characters, but they’re also sequels. Is this because Pixar is trying to get its viewers to relate more to their movies by relaying their theme through human characters or does this matter tie back to their creative planning phase and wanting to do something different? There’s no specific answer so for now, so it’s up to you to decide for yourself.

Toy Story, 1995

Pixar has changed in many ways but with their creativity and storytelling, they’ve managed to always come up with great movies. It’s no surprise that their films have made billions of dollars. Pixar movies have had a big impact on many people and we can only hope that two of their upcoming films, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4, will be just as good as the originals.