When one thinks of Disney, the obvious Mickey Mouse is one of the first characters that comes to mind. Then follows Minnie and Goofy as well as old fashioned creatures like Bambi, Pinocchio and Dumbo. This way, Disney is able to focus more on developing the characters personalities and characteristics. Pixar takes this personification to another level; dedicating stories to rats, toys, and monsters to name a few.
In Ratatouille, Remy the rat has a cynical father and an optimistic brother. In the story, Remy goes on a big adventure, overcoming society’s expectations of him to be the person he wants to be. His dream is to cook, which as a rat, is next to impossible. Yet he gains his opportunity with Linguini, a garbage boy, struggling to keep his job. Remy realized that he can control Linguini by pulling on his hair.
This mythological ability sheds light on the importance of real life traits such as coordination and working together. Remy has to learn to swallow his pride and accept that he must let Linguini have the glory to continue doing what he loves; cooking.
Using a rat helps Disney to convey the concept of someone completely unwelcomed by society. Specifically, rats are not welcomed in the kitchen. This a whole new level of significance and accomplishment for Remy’s achievement.
The use of creatures to symbolize difficulties faced by people is also evident in Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.
Monsters Sully and Mike work for Monster Incorporation, who supply energy to the entire monster community through the screams of human children. What’s different about this situation is that the monsters are just as afraid of the humans, as the humans are of the monsters. Overtime the Monsters Inc. CEO has repeatedly stressed the danger of touching a human being, instilling a deep sense of fear of humans among monsters. This fear is exhibited when Mike and Sully realize they have brough a human, Boo, into their world.
Overtime the two learn to trust the little girl, despite what their monster society has told them. The movie stresses the importance of discovering things for yourself, despite what society has told you. Which is a very good lesson to teach such a young and curious generation of individuals, the intended audience of the film.
The way the monsters feel about the children signifies how we address the parts of our lives which are unknown. We are quick to judge specific races and people with low socioeconomic statuses, despite not knowing much about them.
Disney uses Sully and Mike as examples of what it means to break this barrier and discover things for yourself.
Toy Story was a three part saga ending in 2010. Like Ratatouille, the movie does have humans, but the storyline focuses on a toy cowboy named Woody and a plastic astronaut named Buzz. The fight over who will become the favorite toy sheds light on human characteristics of jealousy and ambition.
Also, we as humans can easily feel that we are a very small part of a large system. As if anything we do will do nothing to affect the world. As toys, Woody and Buzz are literally too small for the world around them. This stresses the importance of working together and sharing the spotlight in order to succeed.
The biggest reason why these films are important is that they are meant for the most impressionable, interested age group of people. Lacing these films with important lessons makes them unforgettable.