10 Heart-Breaking Pixar Backstories You Probably Missed

Kids' films, are they? Pfft.

Finding Nemo Dory
Pixar

If you think Pixar movies are all endless sunshine, colourful characters and childish thrills, then you probably haven't been paying attention. Or you've literally only seen Cars. Either way, you've missed the depth beneath the pretty drawings that meant the animation studio went from being a collective of accomplished story-tellers into a formidable brand that ended up pretty much saving Disney.

The films released under John Lassiter's reign as Pixar supremo have been some of the most impressively received in critical terms of the past 20 years (now there's a revelation to take the wind out of you), and that success has been down to two things. Firstly, the animation is beautiful and cutting edge, and secondly because the stories - inevitably slanted towards entertainment - have dealt with some seriously weighty issues that are as universally important and devastatingly emotional as those personal demons Steven Spielberg allowed to influence his Amblin work.

While some will say that Pixar films are universally appealing simply because they're colourful and occasionally have jokes that parents will get, the real currency of the situation is emotion: it is the single strongest unifying point in all of the releases (and it says something that the least personal feeling film - Cars 2 - is also the studio's worst received).

And as a mark of their story-telling genius, Pixar add even more emotional depth than you might have immediately noticed by hinting at ominous devastation in almost all of their character's pasts...

Executive Editor
Executive Editor

Executive Editor, chief Gunter and the most read writer on WhatCulture. Like ever.