‘The Pixar Theory of Labor’

Posted on by Jeremy Daggett

To live is to work is to live.

James Douglas, writing for The Awl:

It is in the nature of modern capitalism that corporations, especially ones of a certain size and influence, glaze a veneer of enlightenment over a brutal, instrumental value system. This is why Facebook and Google go on worldwide fishing expeditions for new users, but frame it publicly as bringing the internet and opportunity to the developing world; it’s why Whole Foods tells its customers they’re helping to save the planet by buying organically farmed produce, but often neglects to specify how far that produce has been shipped. Pixar has created a stable of films for children that is founded on narratives of self-actualization—of characters branching out, embracing freedom, hitting personal goals, and living their best lives. But this self-actualization is almost exclusively expressed in terms of labor, resulting in a filmography that consistently conflates individual flourishing with the embrace of unremitting work.

Interesting lens through which to understand Pixar movies.

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