Most people will agree that Pixar excels at telling a good story. Just think back to the first 10 minutes of UP. Not only does it tell a whole history with hardly any dialogue, it really grabs at your emotions and brings you to tears. Just that piece could be a standalone story, but it’s only the setup to the actual story about to be told. That’s a bit of storytelling genius at work right there.
Yet Pixar’s genius is grounded in basic elements which anyone can use in whatever form of storytelling they do. Pixar has shared an 10 episode series of Pixar Storytelling Rules. They are quick to watch, but hold simple principles which can help anyone starting out in the storytelling craft, or working through a tough moment in the middle, or simply needing ideas for tweaking a story.
Whether you feel you need help in writing or not, these videos are fascinating to watch just for the insight to how these master bards work their magic behind the scenes. Here’s the first one, an introduction to the series. They are all available for streaming on YouTube.
Pixar in a Box is put out in conjunction with Khan Academy. Pixar Storytelling Rules is put out with Bloop Animation.