Disney-Pixar’s Upcame out on DVD this week, and in the course of just two days, I’ve probably been asked by about ten of my friends if I’ve picked it up yet. You see, those close to me know how much I love Pixar, and it’s true- I really do adore them. There is no other studio that works so hard on each of their movies, carefully crafting each one into an artistic, heartwarming masterpiece. In honor of Up’sDVD release, I wanted this week’s Wednesday List to be showcase my favorite studio, and so I’ve decided to count down 10 inspiring lines from Pixar films. Mind you, putting together this list together has been more difficult than I originally would have thought. When I came up with the idea, I thought, “I’ve found so many scenes in Pixar films emotional. This should be simple.” I thought of the shredded door in Monsters, Inc. glued back together. I thought of the Wall-E and EVE’s beautiful “dance” in space in Wall-E. I thought of Remy’s passionate reaction to tasting great food in Ratatouille. But then I realized: A lot of these scenes really don’t have any dialogue, and that is because Pixar has mastered the art of visual storytelling, and at its core, film is a visual medium. Indeed, Pixar uses gorgeous imagery to engage audiences, but to only acknowledge the visuals would be undermining the brilliant writing in each Pixar script, which convey humor, heart, and often deep emotion. Therefore, allow me to share some of my favorite dialogue from every Pixar film, and why I find these lines inspirational and emotional.
Woody: What chance does a toy like me have against a Buzz Lightyear action figure?
Why I love it: Because who can’t relate to feeling rejected?
Flik: You’re wrong, Hopper. Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I’ve seen these ants do great things, and year after year they somehow manage to pick food for themselves and you. So-so who is the weaker species? Ants don’t serve grasshoppers! It’s you who need us! We’re a lot stronger than you say we are… And you know it, don’t you?
Why I love it: Because inside all of us, there is a courageous fighter waiting to take a stand. Flik’s remarks appeal to an innate desire to stand up for something important.
Buzz Lightyear: Woody, stop this nonsense and let’s go.
Woody: Nah, Buzz, I can’t go. I can’t abandon these guys. They need me to get into this museum. Without me, they’ll go back into storage. Maybe forever.
Buzz Lightyear: Woody, you’re not a collector’s item, you’re a child’s plaything. You are a toy!
Woody: For how much longer? One more rip, and Andy’s done with me. And what do I do then, Buzz? Huh? You tell me.
Buzz Lightyear: Somewhere in that pad of stuffing is a toy who taught me that life’s only worth living if you’re being loved by a kid. And I traveled all this way to rescue that toy because I believed him.
Why I love it: Because this is what true friendship looks like- wanting what is best for a comrade, even if he doesn’t want it himself.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Sulley: I’m sorry, Mike. I’m sorry we’re stuck out here. I didn’t mean all this to happen. But Boo’s in trouble. I think there might be a way to save her if we can just get down to that…
Sulley: [is fighting the invisible Randall when he is hit with a snowball] Mike?
Mike: Look, it’s not that I don’t care about the kid.
Sulley: Mike, you don’t understand.
Mike: Yes, I do. I was just mad, that’s all. I needed some time to think, but you shouldn’t have left me out there.
Sulley: I’m being attacked!
Mike: No, I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to be honest, just hear me out. You and I are a team. Nothing is more important than our friendship.
[Boo approaches Mike, frightened]
Mike: I-I know, kid. He’s too sensitive.
Mike: [Sulley is being strangled] Come on, pal. If you start crying, I’m gonna cry, and I’ll never get through this. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you, but I am now. Hey, Sulley, I am baring my soul here. The least you can do is pay attention!
Why I love it: Because there’s nothing more fun than witnessing a pair of friends that love each other immensely, but are a still completely odd couple. “How are these two friends?” you think.
Dory: No. No, you can’t… STOP. Please don’t go away. Please? No one’s ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave… if you leave… I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two… forty-two… I remember it, I do. It’s there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And-and I look at you, and I… and I’m home. Please… I don’t want that to go away. I don’t want to forget.
Why I love it: Because we’re all terribly scared of being left alone.
The Incredibles (2004)
[Helen hands the kids two masks]
Helen: Put these on. Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.
Why I love it: Because in the midst of all the action in life, it is not simply what we do, but who we are that matters.
Sally: Forty years ago, that interstate down there didn’t exist.
Lightning McQueen: Really?
Sally: Yeah. Back then, cars came across the country a whole different way.
Lightning McQueen: How do you mean?
Sally: Well, the road didn’t cut through the land like that interstate. It moved with the land, it rose, it fell, it curved. Cars didn’t drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.
Why I love it: Because I love America. I love Americana. And I love nostalgic looks at our country’s storied past.
Anton Ego: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.
Why I love it: Because two beautiful things happen here: someone (Remy the rat) is finally acknowledged for his passion, and someone (Anton Ego) is reminded why he once had a similar passion.
Captain: Out there is our home. HOME, Auto. And it’s in trouble. I can’t just sit here and-and-do nothing. That’s all I’ve ever done! That’s all anyone on this blasted ship has ever done. Nothing!
AUTO: On the Axiom, you will survive.
Captain: I don’t want to survive. I want to live!
Why I love it: Because this is just what our world needs to hear. Sometimes on rainy days, I’ll spend hours blogging, listening to music, watching YouTube, doing class work, watching more YouTube, and napping, and I’ll think, “What have I become? Life must have more purpose than simply existing and wasting time.” It reminds me of the song “Done Living” by Justin McRoberts: “The question isn’t are you gonna die, you’re gonna die / Will you be done living when you do?”
Carl: Russell, for assisting the elderly and for performing above and beyond the call of duty, I would like to award you the highest honor I can bestow, the Ellie badge.
Why I love it: Because every person wants fatherly approval. For Russell, who had no father in his life, Carl’s loving gesture helps to fill that void just a little.
What are some your favorite lines? Are you as affected by Pixar movies as I am, or do I sound a little crazy? Let me know in the comments.