Pixar’s Storytelling Structure

Pixar is a company that specializes in animated movies. The company has produced many familiar titles including Toy Story, Up, and Finding Nemo. It is now part of The Walt Disney Company.

Emma Coats worked for Pixar and tweeted a series of storytelling “rules” that Pixar used. On her Twitter profile, Emma includes the following update … “Should have called them guidelines.”

Likely the most popular is Rule #4:

Rule #4

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

In researching for this post, one article suggested that missing from the sequence above is “And ever since that day ___.” The same article also provided insight into the originator of the sequence. The original creator is unknown.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Once upon a time there was a rabbit named Peter.

Every day, he disobeyed his mother and got into trouble. One day he entered the forbidden garden of Mr. MacGregor.

Because of that, he encountered Mr. McGregor and tried in vain to find the gate through which he entered.

Because of that, he gave himself up for lost and shed big tears.

Until finally he saw the gate, ran passed Mr. MacGregor and escaped the garden, left sick and exhausted from his adventure.

Ever since that day, Peter continued to disobey, and not too long afterward was found in Mr. McGregor’s garden again.

Additional Info

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

More story structure posts on Notes For Learning

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