15 Pieces of Pixar Wisdom

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15 Pieces of Pixar Wisdom

Pixar produced its first film back in 1995. That one film, Toy Story, ended up being a massive hit that spawned two more films (with another in the works) and some shorts. From there, the whirlwind that is Pixar has created animated perfection with such hits as Cars, Up, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, and Inside Out.

Naturally, over the years, these films and characters have spawned some quotes and had some moments that showed they were wise beyond their animated years. While I am sure I could list hundreds of iconic quotes from these films, I’ve somehow narrowed it down to just 15.

What are your favorite Pixar movies? Let me know your favorite moments in the comments!


“When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming.” – Dory (Finding Nemo)

Advice from someone with short-term memory loss doesn’t get better than this. We all have to just keep moving forward no matter what life throws at us.

Ellie Up

“Thanks for the adventure. Now go have a new one.” – Ellie (Up)

Make sure you have your tissues around for this one. Quite possibly the saddest and most tissue-worthy moment in any Pixar film. It’s also the entire point of life, right?

Anton Ego

“Not everyone can become a great artist, but great artists can come from anywhere.”  – Anton Ego (Ratatouille)

At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter who we are. If we have a talent we should be allowed to express it and share that talent with others.

Buzz Lightyear

“There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere.” – Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story)

Maybe it’s because of the Presidential election, but it certainly does seem like this is fitting. This should especially hit home for anyone that has seen a GOP debate.


“I never look back, Darling. It distracts from the now.” – Edna (The Incredibles)

Truer words have never been spoken. Life is too short for regrets. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Learn from them and move forward. Just keep swimming.

Mater staring at Lightening McQueen with cans all around them.

“Ain’t no need to watch where I’m goin'; just need to know where I’ve been.” – Mater (Cars)

While said in his own way, Mater is just speaking his own brand of truth. As long as you have learned from where you have been and the things you’ve done, you will have an easier path ahead of you.

A close second for Mater was the popular “I’m happier ‘n a tornado in a trailer park!” Not much words of wisdom here, although if you’re happier than a tornado in a trailer park, you must be pretty damn happy.

Russell from Up dressed like a boy scout, smiling as he stands next to a partially visible old man using a cane.

“That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” – Russell (Up)

When you are young, people often believe that their memories will be only of the big things and moments in their lives. However, as we age, it becomes clear that sometimes its the quiet moments that resonate the most.

Carl, an old man, is shown from the bowtie up. He's wearing glasses and a hearing aide and has his left hand cupping the back of his ear.

“This is crazy. I finally meet my childhood hero and he’s trying to kill us. What a joke.” – Carl (Up)

Our heroes aren’t always everything we think they are. More importantly, we need to remember whether we view someone as a hero or not, they are still human, and therefore capable of having faults and issues just like everyone else.

A purple Fear is standing freaking out. Next to him is Joy with blue hair and Disgust who is entirely green.

“All right! We did not die today, I call that an unqualified success.” – Fear (Inside Out)

What can I say other than sometimes being an adult is dangerous? Well, that or our inability to feel like an adult is what’s dangerous. Something like one of those things. Some days putting on pants makes that day a success.

Blue Sadness laying defeated floating on a river of what looks like lava.

“Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.” – Sadness (Inside Out)

Sadness is one of the most ingenious characters from any film in a long time. She is that nagging downtrodden voice in our head that is the darkest before the dawn. Those of us that are lucky, don’t struggle with her too much, but without her we could never know true joy and for that, we have something to be thankful.

A big green dinosaur looks curiously at the lightening bug on his sons nose.

“You have to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.” – Poppa (The Good Dinosaur)

That’s a dinosaur that knows what he is talking about. Sometimes we have to just push past our fears because if we don’t we have no way of knowing what life could be like.

A red classic car next to a yellow classic car. Both are animated and cartoonish to fit with the film Cars 2.

“Whoever finds a friend, finds a treasure.” – Mama Topolino (Cars 2)

I don’t feel like this even needs any form of explanation. Treasure your friends. The true ones are priceless.

Marlin facing Dory surrounded by a calm ocean


“There are no wrong choices. The only wrong choice is to sit there like you’re doing.” – Marlin (Finding Nemo)

Sometimes we just need to get off our butts and do something. The worst choice is always the choice to sit idly by and do nothing.

Nemo swimming toward a boat.


“He touched the butt.” – Tad (Finding Nemo)

While there is not a lot of wisdom attached to this quote, it is responsible for a large number of people now referring to the bottom of the boat, as the butt. So that’s something.

Hopper the grasshopper kneeling down and extending his arms.

“First rule of leadership: Everything is your fault.” – Hopper (A Bug’s Life)

I jokingly tell Dominick, who is a film director, this very thing. As a director, if your film is amazing, it’s because of the actors. If it sucks, it’s because of the director. Everything that goes wrong can and will be your fault if you’re the guy in charge. It works in every area of life. I guess what they say is true, with great power comes great responsibility.

What is your favorite Pixar moment? Be sure to leave a comment letting me know!


Ashtyn Law is a freelance writer living in Ohio. Focusing on film, she spends much of her days watching and analyzing film and television and also writing screenplays.

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