I just received The Art of Pixar’s Up in the mail from Amazon (the book is amazing by the way, but don’t read it until you’ve seen the movie – tons of spoilers). I was flipping through the pages when I came across a passage that theorizes that when taken as a whole, the 10 Pixar feature films can be viewed as serialized chapters in a single life. I liked the interpretation and thought I’d pass it along (warning: possible first act Up spoiler):
“From sibling rivalry, early attachment (Toy Story) and socialization (A Bug’s Life), to maturation (Monsters, Inc.) separation, and parenthood (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo); from protecting the nuclear family (The Incredibles), shifting out of the fast lane (Cars), and rekindling passion (Ratatouille), to planning for future generations (WALL-E) and finally, accepting death (Up).”
Some of the associations are a bit of a stretch, but overall you can definitely see a progression. When asked about the theory, Up co-director Bob Peterson (and voice of Doug the Dog) explains that Pixar animators and directors are getting older, developing families, and “you write what you know.” Which makes sense.