On this day in 1995, the computer-animated film Toy Story was released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film, directed by John Lasseter, was the first feature-length film produced by Pixar Animation Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney. Widely considered one of the greatest animated films of all time, Toy Story and has earned over $350 million.
Today Pixar Animation Studios, located in Emeryville, California, is one of the most successful studios in movie history, grossing over $7 billion and winning 26 Oscars. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 have all won the Academy Award for Best Animated Features.
In his book To Sell Is Human, Daniel H. Pink attributes the success of Pixar to “The Pixar Pitch,” a template that provides a structure for the most important part of every Pixar film – the story:
Once upon a time ____________. Every day ____________. One day ____________. Because of that, ____________. Because of that, ____________. Until finally ____________.
According to Pink, the strength of the Pixar Pitch format is that it a concise and controlled “framework that takes advantage of the well-documented persuasive force of stories” (1). Just as the fourteen lines of a sonnet seem to be the best package for a message of love, the six-sentence template of the Pixar Pitch is the perfect way to deliver a packaged plot.
Today’s Challenge: The Six-Sentence Sell
What story would you tell using the Pixar Pitch as your template? Try your hand at creating a narrative that uses the six-sentence structure of the Pixar Pitch. Imagine that you are making a pitch for the next Pixar feature. If you are working with others, have a contest to see who can come up with the most compelling pitch. (Common Core Writing 3 – Narrative)
1-Pink, Daniel. To Sell Is Human. New York: Riverhead Books, 2012: 170-174.