Symbolic Artwork and More Details From Pixar Movies That Made Us Tear Up

I’m fully prepared to cry when I sit down for a Pixar movie at this point. It’s just part of the experience. We all know it’s true.

Pixar promises three things: 1) real, humanized characters dealing with 2) real, relatable issues in a 3) fully fleshed out, detailed world.

That said, I hope you’re ready to cry over symbolic artwork and 10 other details from Pixar movies that you may not have noticed before.

1. A play on words:

Pixar’s 2018 short, Bao, written and directed by Domee Shi, tells the story of a lonely Chinese-Canadian mother experiencing empty nest syndrome. She receives an unexpected gift when her steamed bun (baozi) comes to life, a la the Gingerbread man.

“Bao” is a play on words. 包, pronounced “bao”, is Mandarin Chinese for “dumpling.” However, this pronunciation is shared by 宝, meaning “treasure” or “baby”, and 保, meaning “protect” or “defend”. See what they did there?

Image Credit: Pixar

2. Boo’s lines were off the cuff:

Have you ever wondered why all of Boo’s lines from Monster’s Inc (2001) sound so real and natural?

Mary Gibbs, the actress who voiced Boo, had a difficult time staying put in the recording booth to perform her lines, so the crew decided to follow her around with a microphone and record her as she played. They were able to cut and piece her lines together for the final draft using random things she said and noises she made while playing.

Image Credit: Pixar

3. Carl and Ellie’s items match their personalities:

In Pixar’s Up (2009), the animators were very intentional with how they designed Carl and Ellie, and their home. All of Ellie’s items are rounded, to reflect her round head and (I’m assuming) soft, inviting personality.

All of Carl’s objects are square to match his square jaw, and more stubborn, stoic, rigid personality.

Image Credit: Pixar

4. Foreshadowing what is to come:

Once again, in Pixar’s Up the animators utilize every detail on screen to help tell the story. In the top shot we see Carl and Ellie as a young, newly married couple. Ellie stands atop a hill, beckoning to Carl, as she did when they were kids. The sky is bright and hopeful. In the background we see what looks to be a clock tower and their quaint town.

In the second image the roles are reversed.  Now Carl stands atop the hill, beckoning to Ellie (who will soon be leaving us). The sun is now setting, the day will soon end. In the background we see their quiet town has become a large, metropolitan city.

This displays the passing of time while also foreshadowing the fact that Carl will soon find himself alone, in a house surrounded by newly built skyscrapers and continuous construction. Crying yet?

Image Credit: Pixar

5. Miguel knows how to play:

In Coco (2017), as audience members, we initially don’t know the extent of Miguel’s skill with the guitar. He even admits to Héctor, he’s never performed for people before.

However, once Miguel gets past his initial stage fright, he shows everyone just how talented he truly. In fact, if you watch his hands as he plays in this movie, you will notice he playing the actual chords to the songs he’s performing. Talk about detail!

Image Credit: Pixar

6. Riley’s clothes reflect her emotions:

In Inside Out (2015) Riley’s clothes become less joyful and more muted as she becomes more and more distraught. And it makes sense, because that’s what we do as real people! We use clothes to express how we’re feeling.

Just one more example of how Pixar animators use every inch of the screen to help tell the story.

Image Credit: Pixar

7. Toy Story 3:

In Toy Story 3 (2010), when Woody peers past the door, we can height measurements of Andy’s toys on the doorframe.

Just this little detail hits us right in the feels, because it’s such a small detail but so real. Just like Andy’s mom has measured Andy over the years, she’s also measured his most treasured toy friends.

Image Credit: Pixar


8. “That’s Mr. Potato Head to You!”

In Toy Story 4, Mr. Potato Head is voiced posthumously by his original voice actor, Don Rickles (who passed away in 2017.)

The Pixar team sorted through decades of Rickles’ voice over sessions, outtakes for other films, theme parts, toys, etc. to create a performance for the fourth movie.

Some might find this creepy, but I think it’s really meaningful that they spent the time to make Mr. Rickles a part of the film, rather than just hire a new actor.

Image Credit: Pixar

9. Toys can live forever?

This one might be sad depending on how you think about it. No, this isn’t a shot from Toy Story, it’s actually a segment from WALL-E (2008). But who do we have here? None other than our favorite dinosaur toy, Rex!

It seems that toys really can live forever, provided nothing destroys them. But if Rex is here, where are all his friends? What happened to them? Is he all alone? Why doesn’t he reveal his sentience to WALL-E? This Easter egg might actually raise more concerns that the animators intended…

Image Credit: Pixar

10. Art becomes life, life becomes art:

In Incredibles 2, we see Helen Incredible alone in her fancy hotel room, phoning her family. Behind her is a rather large painting. Things could just be fancy hotel art, but let’s be real, this is Pixar we’re talking about.

If you take another look, you’ll see this painting is a metaphor for the Incredible family in this moment. It illustrates Helen’s current distance from her family. She’s left her husband to take care of the family while she takes cares of crime.

Image Credit: Pixar

11. Violet is literally a combination of both her parents:

In Incredibles (2004), we’re given a glimpse into the past. We see that Mr. Incredible’s original suit was blue while Elstagirl’s original suit was red.

What color do you get when you mix red and blue? Violet. What’s the name of Mr. and Mrs. Incredible’s first child? “Violet.” (D’aww!)

Image Credit: Pixar

Would you like a tissue? *sniff*

As much as I hate how it messes up my mascara, it feels good to cry over something that has truly touched my heart.

When you becomes invested in these characters and their world, those little details that you hadn’t noticed before make it that much more special.

At the same time, it’s all those details coming together that draw you into the story in the first place.

What’s your favorite Pixar movie? Let us know in the comments!

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People Say That These Things Haven’t Aged Very Well

One of the most fun parts of life is how we are completely unable to guess, for the most part, the things that are going to not only catch on with people, but endure.

Our world is constantly changing, updating, and the people who live in it are adapting as well as we can (some faster than others), so that’s probably why these 12 things haven’t aged well.

At all.

12. Pop culture references are always risky.

Sex and the City.

There’s legit an episode where Samantha encourages someone to go to a party because ‘Harvey Weinstein will be there’.


Plus everyone is whiny and crap.

11. Yeah, don’t say that.

In my country, parents use(d) to tell their children “eat all of your food or there will be bad weather tomorrow” (to avoid leftovers).

Today we have overweight children and a climate crisis…

10. She’s always right.

My “not needing” to buy new underwear for 10 years.

I didn’t know cotton breaks down!

Now I have to admit to my wife she was right

9. This is so full of awkward cringe.

I exchanged emails with a few of my elementary school teachers when they left the school mid-way through the year.

I emailed my favorite teacher often, and I’d ask him about how the new school he was at was etc.

A few years later, I found out he was jailed for child molestation. 13 year old me sent an email to him asking how prison was at the time.

My siblings never let me forget.

8. It’s a sad story, really.

Kony 2012.

Anyone else remember that?

The dude ended up getting arrested for being naked in public.

7. The cast might be cursed.


Well, the teacher in charge of Glee Club isn’t nearly the great teacher he was made out to be. His behavior around the kids was creepy (inappropriate dance routines, pressuring them into wearing less clothes than they were comfortable with (worse, because the girl had an eating disorder and was very insecure about her body), that sort of thing). His relationship with a fellow teacher was portrayed as ‘relationship goals’, but was in fact not that healthy either.

Then there were a few comments about bisexuality that really wouldn’t fly today, and they weren’t shown to be ignorant either.

And there was an episode about a school shooting, that didn’t go over well, one might consider it tone deaf, what with how quickly everyone got over the scare (there was no actual shooting).

Finally, in the first season, Quinn, the cheerleader, was pregnant. She was big on saving yourself until marriage, and had convinced her boyfriend the baby was his, through some biologically impossible idea. What actually happened, was that another jock got her drunk and slept with her. It was never addressed how shady that was, especially with her being president of the abstinence club and already having a BF, so it was clear he wouldn’t stand a chance with her sober.

Said jock was played by Mark Salling, and was portrayed as being very into sex. That feels a bit weird, knowing now that he was arrested for possessing kiddie p and killed himself before it could go to trial.

6. We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Unvaccinated kids.

5. The face I’m making just thinking about it.

The “Special barbecue sauce” scene from The Cosby show.

4. That’s a metaphor if I’ve ever seen one.

The large American flag (made in China) on the town green’s flagpole.

It was less than 2 months old and already in tatters.

3. Little did he know…

My comment from a few years ago on a YouTube video where I said “How could a virus take down an economy? Lol”

Damn that comment aged poorly.

2. Anything with Bill Cosby.

Bill Cosby wrote a book titled Come On People.

So, yeah…

1. We’re all chuckling at that one.

Teachers saying you would not walk around with a calculator in your pocket.

Or the entire teaching style of teaching kids to memorize stuff they could look up in five seconds.

A few teachers understand students have access to the internet and instead teach them better ways to utilize the tools and creative thinking and problem solving

but sadly it seems most teachers still just teach kids to memorize stuff they can look up in five seconds

I’m sure I could think of a bunch more things to put on this list if I had the time!

What would you add? Tell us in the comments!

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The Creepy Mothman of West Virginia Gets a Closer Look in New Documentary

If you’re not into the kinds of tales that send weird chills down your spine, then you may never have heard about the mysterious Mothman who appeared in Point Pleasant, West Virginia back in the 1960s.

In November of 1966, two couples spotted a winged, man-shaped monster near the “TNT area,” a collection of abandoned bunkers where explosives were stored during WWII. The local newspaper reported on the events, and suddenly, more sightings began popping up.

Image Credit: Tim Bertelink

When nearly 50 people were killed in a bridge collapse the following December, more than a few Point Pleasant residents believed the Mothman could have caused the tragedy.

The mysterious creature’s popularity endured with the help of a 1975 novel by John Keel, The Mothman Prophecies, which also spawned a 2002 movie adaptation starting Richard Gere and Laura Linney.

While the bulk of the sightings happened back in the 60’s, some are still reporting close encounters today. The creature has inspired a statue, a museum, and an annual festival that all bring tourists (and tourism dollars) to the small, West Virginia community.

Now, director Seth Breedlove is tackling the history of the Mothman in his documentary, The Mothman LegacyIn it, he investigates the history and legacy of the creature and also interviews more recent eyewitnesses to its appearance.

Breedlove appears to be a bit hooked on the topic, as he also directed The Mothman of Point Pleasant back in 2017, which focuses on the more historical accounts, along with the bridge catastrophe.

The latest documentary, bolstered by author and expert Jeff Wamsley, who has written two books on the subject, doesn’t try to solve or disprove the mystery, but instead seems to almost celebrate the enduring urban legend.

You can watch it on Amazon Prime or YouTube.

It’s fascinating viewing any time of the year, and for any mood.

That said, if you’re looking for something delightfully mysterious and spooky, this should definitely fit the bill.

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