When the first Toy Story movie debuted 20 years ago on November 22, 1995, it launched its studio Pixar's particular brand of telling stories for children while still embracing hard, adult themes.
The studio's 17th movie and latest sequel, Finding Dory, was released on June 17 — thirteen years after Finding Nemo premiered. . By now Pixar fans know what to expect, and will likely walk into Finding Dory ready for a touching story about childhood while bracing themselves for possible emotional devastation.
One of Pixar's latest release, 2015's Inside Out, earned rave reviews for essentially being the most Pixar movie that ever had been. The exploration of how an 11 year-old girl's emotions work and grow took cues from its Pixar predecessors to create a deeply affecting story about childhood and growing up.
But it came as no surprise. The best moments in Pixar's history prize whimsy, imagination, and an open-hearted earnestness. (And then there's Cars.)
Inside Out owes so much to Pixar's brand, in fact, that we decided to break down what ties all the Pixar movies together to find the common themes throughout the franchise's history. Check out how Pixar structures its movies and the threads and themes that tie the films together.
Or, more simply, here's how Pixar gets you to cry into your popcorn.