6 Lessons Pixar Taught Us About Love

Movie nights as a kid often meant popcorn, Hi-C juice boxes and a Disney/Pixar film. The movies had us laughing and learning while keeping us entertained and engaged. You might have even bought the toys or action figures of your favorite characters so that your adventures and connections with them could extend beyond the screen.

There are also important lessons about love in our favorite Pixar movies! So sit back and relax with one of these beloved films that remind us what it means to love and to be loved.

1. A Bug’s Life (1998)

The lesson: It’s not always the guy who has to save the girl.

In A Bug’s Life, Atta is the cute princess ant, the eldest daughter of the Queen and the heir to Ant Island. Flik is a sweet yet awkward ant who tries very hard to save the ant colony from the grasshoppers. In the beginning of the film, Atta shows little interest in Flik, yet as the movie progresses, she learns more about him and his character and starts to develop a crush on him, and Flik develops a crush on Atta as well.

In the middle of the movie, Atta hears a speech from Flik regarding what Hopper, the head grasshopper, plans to do to their colony and what the grasshoppers have been putting the ants up to. Soon after, Flik gets beat up by Hopper, and Atta rushes to his defense to support him and gives orders to the other ants in order to protect the colony from the grasshoppers. After that, Hopper kidnaps Flik, and Atta is the one who rescues him.

Stereotypes often make it seem as if the man is the one who is supposed to rescue his lady, yet Atta shows some girl power in this film, as she’s the one who saves Flik’s life. Your partner might be going through some difficult times right now, but the best way for you to be a great girlfriend in return is by showing your support through caring words and thoughtful acts of kindness.

2. Finding Nemo (2003)

The lesson: Love involves taking risks.

Marlin the clownfish is on a mission to find his lost son, Nemo, who disobeyed him and was captured by scuba divers. As he endless searches for his son, Marlin befriends Dory, a fish with short-term memory loss, and together they join forces to try and find Nemo. During their search, the two run into several obstacles that threaten their lives: encountering three sharks, battling an anglerfish and fighting off a jellyfish, just to name a few.

Although Marlin almost lost his life several times during his search for Nemo, he never stopped searching for his son because he loved him. This lesson is meaningful for both familial and romantic love. Love might take some risks, such as making yourself vulnerable and learning how to become more selfless for the sake of another person. Your life probably (hopefully!) won’t be physically endangered for the one you love, but the point is that you’ll be there for your significant other through thick and thin. This also includes stepping outside of your comfort zone at times, just like Marlin had to do.

3. The Incredibles (2004)

The lesson: True love means overcoming conflict.

The kick-butt family in The Incredibles works together with their own unique talents to fight crime and save the world from destruction. Even though Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elastigirl, are an extremely powerful couple, they still have their problems. Once she finds out that her husband has been lying to her, she seeks advice from their stylist, Edna.

Elastigirl says that she doesn’t know what to do, she’s devastated and she fears that she will lose him. Soon into the conversation, Edna can’t take it, and she has to remind Elastigirl to remember who she is as a super individual, and that she needs to prove that to Mr. Incredible. This boosts Elastigirl’s confidence and puts her situation into perspective, giving her motivation to mend things with their husband and remind them of just how in love they are.

In college, you and your boyfriend might have arguments that make you nervous about the future of your relationship. You need to remind yourself that you are valuable, and sometimes this means hearing it from one of your best friends who knows and loves you unconditionally. This also means that you should confront your love about how to best solve your conflicts so that you can keep moving forward and remember why you two love each other.

4. WALL-E (2008)

The lesson: Love can overcome obstacles.

The characters in WALL-E are able to connect with each another based on their mutual love and respect for one another rather than by being able to communicate perfectly. Both WALL-E and EVE are robots, and they don’t have a common language, so they must communicate with gestures and other signals in order to have conversations. It doesn’t take long for the two to fall in love and connect, and they work to help each other stay alive and safe.

Despite everything, if love is meant to be, it will overcome the odds. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, despite the odds against you, you can make the relationship work if you and your partner are meant to be. Don’t worry about distance, status, friend groups or language barriers getting in the way of your relationship.

5. Up (2009)

The lesson: True love lasts forever.

The love story in Up will break your heart in the beginning, but eventually it puts all of the pieces back together in the end. It starts off with a young man named Carl and his admiration of the explorer Charles F. Muntz, who discovered the skeleton of a giant bird that he found in Paradise Falls. When Carl meets Ellie, a fellow Muntz fan, they fall in love, get married and decide to save up to have a home to overlook Paradise Falls. Soon after, Ellie gets sick and passes away. Carl becomes bitter but still desires to visit Paradise Falls in her honor.

Carl and Ellie grew up together until Ellie died, and they loved and supported each other throughout their lives. Despite her death, the love that Carl has for Ellie never dies, and in his old age he still wants to fulfill her earthly promises and dreams. A love like this shows us that true love never fades; if you really love someone, that love will be there forever.

6. Monsters University (2013)

The lesson: Be open to unlikely partners.

In Monsters University, Mike Wazowski and Sulley are two completely opposite monsters. Mike is a studious, tiny, one-eyed, green monster, while Sulley is a rebellious, big, fluffy, blue monster who never studies. Once the two are kicked out of the scare program because of Mike’s lack of natural scaring ability and Sulley’s lack of studying, they enter the Scare Games with a fraternity on campus that gives them the chance to get back into the program. During the games, the two become good friends and work together to get back into the scare department.

Even though Mike and Sulley are a very unlikely pair, they become the best of friends and look past their differences. The same is true for love; you may think that you have a “type” or that you’re not into certain guys, but the love of your life could be right in front of you and you might not even be aware of it. Make sure that you keep an open mind about whom you’re willing to date.


Love has its ups and downs, but that’s what the journey is all about. Pixar films remind us that love is worth the fight despite challenges and unfortunate circumstances.