6 Pixar Films to Watch If You Need to Soothe Your ~*Inner Child*~

by Mariel Roja   |  May 10, 2023
Image: (left to right) Instagram/pixar, YouTube/Pixar
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Pixar films have repeatedly shown that they are not just for children but for people of all ages. It makes no difference where you are in life because your inner child still jumps with ~joy~ whenever the famous animation studio releases a new feature film. Through their heartwarming stories about life, family, and reaching for your wildest dreams, Pixar has beautifully filled our lives with magic and endless imagination. They have always given us unexpected happy endings which taught us that life doesn't always turn out the way you want it to and that is perfectly fine. The lessons that these films taught us are the ones that we will remember as we grow older. We've listed six Pixar films that gave us hope by nurturing the child within us.

1. Soul

“I’m going to live every minute of it,” Joe’s last words in the film, gloriously encapsulating what Pixar's Soul is all about. This 2020 movie written and directed by Pete Docter, tells the story of a jazz musician who had just gotten his hands on the big break he had been waiting for his entire life, but it slipped from his grasp when he fell into a coma due to an accident. Soul won “Best Animated Feature” and “Best Original Score” at the 93rd Academy Awards for its unforgettable take on a person's ultimate ~purpose~ in life.

2. Inside Out

Pixar has mastered the art of touching our hearts by eliciting a wide range of emotions in their films and Inside Out is one of their most *profound* creations. Also written and directed by Pete, this 2015 film dives deep into the brain of Riley, an eleven-year-old optimistic girl who faced drastic change as their family moved to a new city. By personifying her emotions and visualizing her memories, Inside Out sent an important message about mental health which is groundbreaking to tackle for a powerhouse production like Pixar. It bagged the “Best Animated Feature'' at the 88th Academy Awards.


3. Coco

Who can forget Coco’s original song Remember Me? From the creative mind and direction of Lee Unkrich, Coco is about a twelve-year-old aspiring young musician named Miguel who was transported to the land of the dead where he met his great grandfather that unveiled his family’s real history. The whole film was inspired by Mexico’s tradition named Día de Muertos and also gave respect to the Mexican heritage by showing proper representation. Coco emerged as the "Best Animated Feature" at the 90th Academy Awards for its story that emphasizes the importance of family.

4. Toy Story 3

The Toy Story franchise remains a classic for marking the legacy of Pixar as brilliant animators and storytellers, but its third installment released in 2010 got everybody drowning in tears for all the right reasons. Toy Story 3 was written by Michael Arndt and also directed by Lee which follows Andy's preparation for college, implying that he is beginning a new chapter in his life without his toys. Despite being 17 years old, we felt Andy's struggle to let go of his beloved toys, especially his long-term pal *Woody* who has been his greatest friend since he was a clueless little boy. Toy Story 3 won “Best Animated Feature” and “Best Original Score” at the 83rd Academy Awards for this emotional separation between our favorite group of toys and their much-loved owner.

5. Finding Dory

If this adorable regal blue tang has taught us anything, it's that when life gets you down, all you have to do is just keep swimming. Finding Dory is the long-awaited Finding Nemo sequel that premiered in 2016 and was written and directed by Andrew Stanton. We have come to know Dory on a more personal level as she takes us on her journey to find her parents, Jenny and Charlie, thanks to its right mix of hilarious and poignant narrative. Suffering from short-term memory loss did not stop her to brave the vast ~sea~ along with her clownfish friends Marlin and Nemo. Finding Dory was the third highest-grossing film of 2016.

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6. Onward

Although this Pixar film did not receive the same amount of attention as the preceding films, Onward deserves a spot on this list for depicting a *heartfelt* story about a father and son relationship. Written and directed by Dan Scanlon, this 2020 film is set in a suburban fantasy world of mythic creatures where two elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot are on a quest to find an artifact that will resurrect their late father Wilden Lightfoot for 24 hours. The exploration of themes of longing and grief in a family was impactfully shown, allowing us to see how far someone will go to be with their loved ones again. Despite its poor box office performance, Onward was still nominated for “Best Animated Feature” at the 93rd Academy Awards.

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