Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing

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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Author: jowensauthor

I'm a geeky, animal/cat-loving author of Fantasy and YA Fiction. I'm a supporter of animal charities such as the WWF. I'm also a fan of anime and sci-fi/fantasy. I'm an avid reader as well, and enjoy mainly reading fantasies, mysteries, and books about animals. I have a B.A. in History with a minor in English. I also dabble in making jewelry, reading tarot, and am interested in the paranormal. You can find out more about me and my various books and writings at my website: You can also find me on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

3 thoughts on “Create Memorable Characters the Pixar Way

  1. So cool! Character 101 for all writers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many thanks for the share, Jeanne! Cartoons sure have come a long way since the days of rodents dropping anvils on hapless felines 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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