Historian and philosopher Will Durant is best known for co-authoring “The Story of Civilization,” an 11-volume series on Western history that he wrote with his wife Ariel Durant, originally published in 1935. His writings often synthesized complex philosophy concepts and historical events into digestible narratives for the modern reader. Though he was a professor and doctorate holder, Durant’s life wasn’t governed solely by studying. His material support of women’s suffrage and fairer working conditions equally guided his ideas about intolerance, morality, and justice. His words here encourage us to draw wisdom from our experiences as much as from learned knowledge.
From semi-anthropomorphic desk lamps to talking toys and personified emotions, Pixar Animation Studios has never shied away from creativity and the awesome power of the imagination. As Pixar’s co-founder Ed Catmull said, “You’ll never stumble upon the unexpected if you stick only to the familiar.”
Through 24 feature films made to date, the studio has introduced us to a huge variety of colorful and lovable characters — including Woody and Buzz, WALL-E and EVE, Mike and Sulley, and Marlin and Dory, to name just a few. These characters have also given us their fair share of catchphrases and memorable lines, none more famous than Buzz Lightyear’s “To infinity and beyond!”
Pixar movies cover many themes, but growth is key to all of them. Whether the protagonists are cars, bugs, monsters, or fish, they have an arc that sees them grow to become kinder, wiser, and stronger. Even the antagonists often end up as better versions of themselves by the end of the movie. This gives Pixar films the heart to go along with the laughs, and provides many inspirational moments that stick with us long after the credits roll. These nine quotes capture some of the best moments. (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)
When life gets you down, do you know what you've gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.
— Dory, "Finding Nemo"
Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is a regal blue tang and — according to Disney — the friendliest fish in the ocean. So when life gets tough, Dory is always a good fish to turn to.
You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.
— Auguste Gusteau, "Ratatouille"
Auguste Gusteau was the renowned chef who inspired the movie’s hero, Remy, to take up cooking. Remy took Gusteau's motto, “Anyone can cook,” to heart, despite the slightly problematic issue of being a rat.
Sometimes you got to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.
— Poppa Henry, "The Good Dinosaur"
There are many good dinosaurs in Pixar’s 2015 movie, and Poppa certainly ranks among the best of them. A devoted husband and father, he takes particular care of his small and fearful son, Arlo.
There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own. But I know better. Our fate lives within us; you only have to be brave enough to see it.
— Princess Merida, "Brave"
When we first meet Merida, she’s a headstrong and free-spirited Scottish princess who wants to control her own destiny. By the end of the film, well, she’s still headstrong and free-spirited, but she has realized that her destiny really is in her own hands.
You and I are a team. Nothing is more important than our friendship.
— Mike Wazowski, "Monsters, Inc."
Mike and Sulley, the two monster protagonists in Monsters, Inc., get themselves into all kinds of trouble during the course of the movie. But they manage to pull through thanks to their unshakable friendship.
Don't fear failure. Be afraid of not having the chance. You have the chance!
— Sally Carrera, "Cars 3"
Only in a Pixar movie could such excellent advice come from the mouth of a Porsche 911 Carrera. Sally is charming, intelligent, and witty, making her the perfect girlfriend for the movie’s main character, Lightning McQueen.
I don't want to survive. I want to live!
— Captain B. McCrea, "Wall-E"
Like all of the humans in Wall-E, Captain B. McCrea is not quite operating at 100% for most of the movie. But when he does start to get a grasp on things, he finds his inner strength with this impassioned cry.
Take her to the moon for me. OK?
— Bing Bong, "Inside Out"
Pixar movies often deal with loss, whether it’s the loss of childhood innocence or the loss of a loved one. When Bing Bong fades away in the Memory Dump, his last thoughts are for Riley, the girl who first created him as her imaginary friend. Not a dry eye in the house…
Now, you might not feel like you can do much now, but that's just because, well, you're not a tree yet. You just have to give yourself some time. You're still a seed.
— Flik, "A Bug's Life"
When Flik tries to tell his young friend Dot — one of the few people who listens to his ideas — about patience and growth, his metaphors don’t quite get the message across. Dot doesn’t really understand what he’s on about, but nonetheless concludes, “You're weird, but I like you.”
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