You’ve Got A Friend In Me: 5 Most Memorable Pixar Friendships

Becca Van Sambeck
Becca is a recent Fordham grad, a former German beer hall girl, and a new Brooklyn resident who used to read the dictionary for fun as a kid. She has only gotten slightly less lame since then. She loves pugs, chicken fingers, reading and Game of Thrones.

If there’s a common thread in Pixar movies, it would be that opposites attract. Most of us grew up with Pixar’s characters and learned valuable lessons about how friendships work along the way. Most of the movies in the Pixar movie collection center around unusual friendships. In honor of Pixar’s latest, “The Good Dinosaur,” out this Thanksgiving, we’re highlighting some of Pixar’s most memorable friends.

1. Joy and Sadness

“Inside Out” is the story of the emotions inside a young girl’s head. It specifically details the trip Joy and Sadness take to to get back to the brain’s main headquarters after they get lost. Sadness is a mopey lump, Joy is that show-offy kid you hated in grade school because they never stopped raising his/her hand. Apart they don’t work well. But together, they make a great team — Joy literally drags Sadness along and Sadness tones down Joy. It’s a team that’s actually necessary for a person’s emotional well-being.

The lesson: A good friendship is one that can provide some balance.

2. Carl and Russell

“Up” is best known as the Pixar movie that’s guaranteed to send you sobbing out of the room in less than 15 minutes, but it’s also got a beautiful, unlikely friendship at its core: between Carl, a grumpy old man, and Russell, a chubby, eager Boy Scout.

Carl needs Russell to regain his childlike joy and Russell needs an adult figure in his life. A friend should bring you the joy and support you need in the darkest of times. From that description alone, you can see why you’ll keep sobbing after the 15-minute mark into this movie.

Up Movie Carl and Russell ice cream

3. Sully and Mike

Sully and Mike are the duo at the center of “Monsters Inc.” Their friendship is tested when they accidentally bring a tiny human girl into the world of monsters. Sully is a big guy with a heart of gold; Mike is a tiny motormouth. Even though they spend a majority of the movie arguing, Mike will do anything for Sully and vice versa. It’s a pretty lovely and accurate depiction of a longtime friendship — petty fights are nothing compared to the love you have for each other.

4. Marlin and Dory

Marlin is an overbearing, uptight dad who just lost his son. Dory is a go-with-the flow fish with a terrible memory. It’s like if the dad who never let his kid have a sleepover partnered with the “cool mom” from down the street. Yet in the process of finding Nemo, his son, in “Finding Nemo” (hah), the unlikely duo bond. Marlin learns to relax a little and have fun, a crucial aspect of any friendship.

5. Woody and Buzz

Ah, the Pixar friendship that started it all. Woody and Buzz begin “Toy Story” as two rival toys, competing for owner Andy’s attention and love. Yet naturally, the cowboy and the astronaut learn they work better together than as competitors and become buddies — a friendship that lasted three amazing movies.

A friendly rivalry can mean you have more in common than you think, like these two toys learn. Those deeper similarities formed a bond that lasted to infinity and beyond.

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