When Toy Story hit movie theaters in 1995, it reached for the sky towards infinity and beyond. Not only was it the first fully computer animated feature film, it was the first feature film that Pixar had ever released. It was a big risk and it paid off, both in terms of creative fulfillment in filmmaking and in terms of box office receipts.

Ever since, aside from a handful of mediocre-at-best films, the vast majority of Pixar movies are commercial and critical successes. Aside from using computer animation to its fullest potential and somehow re-perfecting it film after film since 1995, the biggest secret to Pixar’s success is how they tell their stories. If you have studied Pixar’s film library, you probably have noticed certain story paths, patterns, and themes that have become a part of its usually-successful narrative formula. 

After years of presumption and theory, a Pixar storyboard artist, Emma Coats, shared with the public 22 tips, secrets, and techniques that Pixar implements into creating their stories. Here they are.

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