A look at Pixar films and Dramatica

TOTAL SIDE-STEP TO OUR DISCUSSION (I really wanted to take a crack at this to see what you all think; since my Dramatica is not on par with the rest of you, I’m constantly having to wait till I get home to have the software in front of me but at that time the topic has already moved on to the next step lol so this is just me finding a window for addressing something that pertains to Pixar and what some of us are feeling about why Dramatica says what it does pertaining to Coco).:smile:

Couldn’t agree with you more, Rachel. I totally see this too. So why have we moved on and decided that Miguel is steadfast? Perhaps in 10 Years we might be wrong and this is why it’s jmportant to get it right the first time so I hope my conversation here can persuade you to see the changes that have been made and why everything in the story has to do with the family’s acceptance of music (as opposed to Miguel accepting family). If family is the problem then Miguel would run away from home altogether and not go looking for a distant relative which is still part of family. Miguel; in the terms of forsaking his family, is simply acting out as a kid. The acceptance of music is what solves the story’s problem. Without Miguel there would be no acceptance and vice versa. And then we’d have no end.

Family is certainly a major theme and I’d like to explain why we as the Dramatica audience might see what Pixar might be showing as a character’s flaw is not directly lined-up in Dramatica terms (or maybe it is as something else. Idk)
So here’s what I’ve learned about Pixar in terms of Dramatica with my own understanding of story for why this sometimes happens. Because who knows; it has happened before with Toy Story right?

Pixar is tricky. If you were to look at half of Pixar’s films Dramatica has uncovered you’d be surprised how different the argument Dramatica makes as opposed to how we probably saw it the first time around; and I’m here to explain why this might be:

(Disclosure; I give total credit to Michael Arndt’s analysis on how to create a good beginning found on YouTube — along with other analysis I’ve watched)

The Incredibles
What we say:
Mr. Incredible is changed. He takes pride in his status as Mr. Incredible. A one man show. He says so to Elastigirl on the rooftop. He kicks out Buddy, saying no to having a ward. A bit into himself as stated by his wife when he’s talking about Dash being great; he’s really talking about himself. Ending — he allows his family to help in the fight and coming to understand the power of working together as a team. Great! (Even though let’s ignore that he worked with Frozone, that may have been during covert days and considered as a little work out slash boys night out).
What Dramatica says:
Mr. Incredible changes his family into becoming super-heroes as a way of solving the story’s problem; and at the end, society lightening up to the idea of the old days coming back as shown by their applause and then them changing into their costumes when The Underminder appears. Clearly stating: the old days are back.

Toy Story:
What we say: Woody is changed. Like Mr. Incredible he takes pride, being Andy’s favorite Toy. He doesn’t want to share that with anyone. Ending — he does his own psych evaluation under the crate and tells Buzz, why would Andy want to play with me when he’s got you? Ending — He changes his attitude about being number one to one of sharing as seen by Buzz and Woody working together, and sitting on the same spot on the bed at the end.
What Dramatica says:
Woody is steadfast in the way that he changes Buzz’s psychology of being a space-ranger into his final acceptance of being what he really is: a Toy and seeing that as the greatest thing in the world. Stop trying to find the rocket and do your space mission and be what you really ara… a Toy. (Something like that). Woody steps into his resolve solving the stories problem of being there for Andy.

What we say:
Miguel forsakes his family for the sake of his drive of becoming a famous musician. At the end, he embraces the love of his family and is finally okay with just being remembered by them as the most important thing as expressed by the day of the dead; and reflected by Hectors regret and remorse over having chosen wrongfully so many years ago.
What Dramatica says:
Miguel is steadfast. He changes everyone attitude into accepting music into the family and resolving the story’s problem.

Now there’s a caveat to all these films. Unlike Disney where there’s a status quo and so said hero like Simba or Aladdin or any number of princesses go on their journey’s to get back what was lost or changed: the status quo always returns to normal. Not to mention, they are all about teaching kids that they can be anything if they want it enough.

Pixar doesn’t just change the status quo and then get it back, it instead returns back having been changed, into something new; like a balance. Teaching kids that you can’t always get or be what you want, but if you accept change, you can find your place in this new world and embrace your new role. Woody now shares his role. They no longer use screams in Monster’s Inc; all the scarves exchange roles. Same in Monster’s University. Mike accepts his role not as a scarer but being fearless and the knowledge guy behind the scenes. Mr. Incredible finds his role in his family, being in a supportive team as superheroes. Cars 3 even finds Lightning McQueen no longer racing but as a coach. And in Brave, Meredith doesn’t have to marry (and in this case I believe Dramatica would say she is steadfast and the Mom changes along with everyone else) but she gets over her hang up of having to marry and acting selfishly (if not reasonably so in this day and age) but realizes the importance of keeping the clans at peace and respecting her mother’s teaching.

Anyways. I hope this has brought some insight and I’m not trying to talk in Dramatica terms or argue that Dramatica is one mind fulfilling an argument because you can find all that on NF. Just stating from one person to another about what I found with story relating to Pixar; and Dramatica as a device that helps us create an understanding to what it sees as problem solving.

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@Tous. I feel you might be confusing growth with change. Change in Dramatica terms is a shift in perspective. The MC tried to solve the problem one way and realized somehow(storyform dependent) that he/she was in the wrong. During that journey, there is growth. Arguments are made and they (and the audience) see both sides of the argument. They learn something along the way. Now, even Steadfast characters learn along the way. The issue with them is that they’re still convinced that their approach is what will solve the story’s problem. Most of other story conventions see the growth as change, which is inaccurate.


Hey Khodu!

Thanks for the clarification. No confusion on my end. There was another post that I got me writing this thought piece and what you said is exactly what I wrote. I think you only added onto that clarificstion, with much improvement, especially in use of simpler and more fitting terms as I myself couldn’t quite put my finger on it. My general contention was just on ruminating why the general audience confuses growth as you say with change but actually this isn’t addressed at all (unless you can point out where) on Dramatica; and I should say you are the first person to nail that on it’s head. :stuck_out_tongue:



Thanks for the kind words. This wisdom I now possess was gleaned from this very community. I read more deeply from Melanie Ann Phillips. Keep the will to keep getting better, you’ll be on top in no time.