1. Asaph Judea Wagner
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    Asaph Judea Wagner Member

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    Why does Disney and Pixar movies make me cry?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Asaph Judea Wagner, Feb 3, 2013.

    I've just watched Wreck It Ralph. Even though I know the plot line is corny, but enjoyful, and I expect things to happen as the same outline of all there other movies. I'm in tears every time near the ending. (lose-lose situation, sacrifice, miraculous save, characters win something, everything's better than before, all loose ends are tied, happy end or something of that nature). I know I'm not the only one.

    What does these movies make me, and maybe you, cry?
    What is the complete Disney/Pixar formula for screenwriting?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This has been moved. It's better suited in the Lounge, it's not a 'general writing' question.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That pretty much hits the nail on the head. You've answered your own question.

    It comes down to having a likable main character, put him in a tough situation, have him struggle, make it look like he's about to lose everything (self-sacrifice is a great touch here), then have him win in the end. If he's likable, the audience is with him, on his side, all the way through the adventure, and their emotions will mirror his.

    It's best if what he winds up winning is actually better than what he originally set out to win. Wreck-It Ralph wanted a medal and wound up with a great new friend and a better life. We can all cheer for that (and cry happily, too).
     
  4. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    The main character always believes in himself and knows he has to keep moving forward, no matter what. That's about it. We see in his films what we want to see in us.
     
  5. Lunatia
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    Lunatia Member

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    I don't know Disney/Pixar's formula for writing so I can't answer that. And I don't cry at their movies or any other movie for that matter. But when I watched The Dark Knight Rises at the cinema, I cried during a few scenes. In public! Most embarrassing. I tried my best not to cry loudly. :D

    I think it was because of raw emotion. Almost as if the writer poured his heart into the words and had fantastic actors bring the words to life. Your audience can sniff falseness or a cheap trick to elicit emotion a mile away so I think it's important to write from the heart.
     
  6. Asaph Judea Wagner
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    Asaph Judea Wagner Member

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    I attempted now to create a "formula" I feel all the Disney and Pixar movies fall into. Still there is much room for interpretation, especially about minor characters.

    Act I

    1. Introducing the character and settings, the character is relatable by being in a diminutive situation
    2. Protagonist hesitates for a change (planting punch line I)
    3. Protagonist goes through a breakdown
    4. Protagonist is off on a quest to redeem himself
    5. Protagonist reaches his goal
    6. Protagonist loses the goal and creates a bad mistake from it
    7. Protagonists doesn't regain the goal in the blame of the foil
    8. The protagonist is pursued by others wanting to fix his mistake (punch line II)

    Act II

    9. Protagonist has to go on a journey he didn't want to for that goal forced by foil
    10. Protagonist is attempted to be stopped by the yet to be reveled antagonist under seems to be lawful claims
    11. Pursuers may run into the antagonist, hindering them from fixing that mistake
    12. Protagonist begins to attach to the new foil when realizing more about it
    13. Protagonist helps the foil reach his goal
    14. Protagonist is conceived somehow to stop the foil's journey, usually by the unknown antagonist

    Act III

    15. Protagonist returns from original quest victorious
    16. Protagonist realizes the foil's goal is the one that mattered
    17. Protagonist also realizes about the nature of the antagonist (punch line IV)
    18. The pursuers of the protagonist come to help him
    19. The antagonist reveals himself; it is the punch line
    20. The original mistake made by the protagonist has sprouted
    21. Protagonist is in a lose-lose situation
    22. Protagonist sacrifices himself
    23. Protagonist is miraculously saved by the foil
    24. The protagonist and the foil win something
    25. In the epilogue, everything is better than before, the protagonist and the foil gained what they were looking and each other and all loose ends are tied with a happy ever after ending

    Is it on the money, or requires a few changes?
     
  7. spartan928
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    spartan928 Member

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