Pixar in a Box
- Introduction to character
- Warm up activity
- Internal vs. external features
- Activity 1: Internal & external features
- Wants vs. needs
- Activity 2: Wants vs. needs
- Activity 3: Obstacles
- Character arc
- Activity 4: Character arc
- Activity 5: Stakes
- Advice on characters
- Glossary: Character
Obstacles stand in the way of our wants and needs.
Want to join the conversation?
- what would be the obstacle in a zombie apocalypse??(13 votes)
- Surviving the zombie - obvi!(6 votes)
- Wait a minute, Finding Dory/Nemo and the Moana Universe story is very similar.
"Do not go out of the reef".(11 votes)
- Sasuke Uchiha wants to have revenge on his brother, but he needs to learn to work with his team. (sorry for the anime references UwU)(7 votes)
- what if sully is the abomidable's cusin(7 votes)
- I think they are in two different universe's, but still kinda cool to think about, oh, here's a question for anyone. In cars, who drives the cars?(0 votes)
- It would be the zombies killing each other(5 votes)
- So are the obstacales supposed to kind of turn your charactor away from their wants and show them what their needs are?(3 votes)
- Yes. I believe that is what the obstacles are intended to do, teach the character something and help them grow.(1 vote)
- My Character is struggling with bullying and who he/she is so would an obstacle be trying to figure out what her gender is and losing her best friend? And not being able to fit in?(3 votes)
- For a Transformers film I have in mind, Optimus and Bumblebee are the protagonists. As one of their obstacles, it's the giant, monstrous Decepticon, Devastator. They have to find a way to take down this beast while simultaneously avoiding getting sucked up by its Vortex Grinder. Another obstacle is the Decepticon spy Soundwave and hacker Blackout, as they want to gather information on the Autobots' activities tn allow the Decepticons to plan ahead of time. I haven't analyzed my newly-written story well enough, so I can't imagine ways they'd tackle these obstacles.(2 votes)
- "fight or flight" is another way of saying it's a sink or swim, or fight or run away situation.(2 votes)
- Aphmau wants to be a prankster, but her obstacle is that she gets captured and he would only let her out if she could stop pranking everyone else. So, her need is to try to do fewer pranks.(2 votes)
- Now that we've thought about what motivates a character to act in the world, let's flip things around and think about things that can stand in their way. These can be referred to as obstacles. Obstacles can be anything. A person, a great distance or something internal, like fear. Whatever it is, an obstacle is something which stands in the way of a character and prevents them from getting what they want or need. Let's hear again from our story artists, how they think about this. - So, the core of storytelling is not only what's your character want and need, but then, what is standing in their way, what's the conflict? - We have this expression that we create these characters, we put 'em in a tree, and then we throw rocks at them. We make their life a little harder. - Marlin's obstacle would be his fear of the ocean. He tells Nemo all the time you stay in the reef, it's safe here, and so in order to get back to Nemo, he has to break everything that he's comfortable with. The obstacles that were in Marlin's way from that point on were engineered to force Marlin out of his comfort zone in order to get to his son and reach a place where he could trust his son. - In ET, Elliott the boy meets ET the alien, and he wants ET to stay with him on earth, but the obstacle is that ET is an alien. He can't stay on earth. He can't survive. He's dying. - I think about what's the best way to make this character realize what they need to accomplish. - Here at Pixar, when we're creating these stories and making these films, we go through iteration after iteration of what this journey could be for this character. - Fear plays a part as an obstacle, depending on the character. A lot of times we try to skirt around our fears and not deal with them, so if you present a character with a fear that they have to confront, it's a very immediate fight or flight scenario that you've created, and so it forces your character to react. - When you're developing your stories, you wanna think, "Okay, what's the fun external, you know, what's the car chase, what's the villain?" But more importantly, how does that car chase and how does that villain reflect the obstacle inside the character and reflect all of their flaws and their shortcomings. - So those kinds of obstacles you put in front of your characters because it makes them think about their wants and needs. - One of my favorite examples is from Cars. McQueen's primary want is to get to California and win the big race, but when confronted by the obstacle of being stuck in Radiator Springs having to fix a road, what he needs is to slow down, enjoy the journey, and make friends. In the next exercise, you'll have a chance to think about the obstacles characters can face and the choices they make in response.