Jeanne Owens, author

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Create Memorable Characters the Pixar Way

Nicholas C. Rossis

No Film School has published some of Pixar’s tips for creating memorable characters.

From Woody to Nemo, Pixar’s characters have a unique way of sticking with you, whether it’s due to their hilarious banter or heartbreaking humanity. But what is it that makes them so memorable? StudioBinder offers up an explanation in this interesting video:

The video mentions 4 rules but personally, I would sum it up in 3:

  1. They all have a clear want,
  2. They all have an unconscious need, and
  3. They all have character arcs.

They all have a clear want

Woody wants to be Andy’s favorite toy. Bob Parr wants to be Mr. Incredible again. Joy wants to make Riley happy.These are all examples of a character’s external “want“, and all characters have them. It’s what drives them to do what they do throughout the movie.

Or so it seems. Because they also have…

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