10 inspiring idioms from Pixar films, from Encanto to Finding Nemo

  • Movies like Toy Story and Turning Red can still move us, no matter how old we are
  • These quotes will warm your heart and teach you valuable life lessons
Yanni Chow |

Latest Articles

Hong Kong Science Fair showcases power of creativity

Hot Topics: What’s next for Hong Kong schools that didn’t meet minimum enrollment?

Who could forget Dory’s iconic advice? Just keep swimming! Photo: Pixar

Animations from Pixar may be a big part of many people’s childhood, but they are not only for kids. In fact, often when we rewatch these seemingly naive cartoons as we grow older, we get inspired by the dialogue. Here are 10 quotes from Pixar that warm our hearts and teach us lessons in life.

Just keep swimming

Context: One of the most notable lines by Dory from Finding Nemo, the idea of “just keep swimming” gives us the hope we need to reach our goal – to finish strong, and to persevere through the hard times.

Example: I know losing that job must be hard, but remember, just keep swimming!

You’ve got a friend in me

Context: Used as the theme song from Toy Story, it is about a special kind of friendship where you know another human being, or in the movie, toy, will be there for you no matter what, with no questions and judgments.

Example: You can always rely on me, you’ve got a friend in me.

You always have a friend as long as we’re around! Photo: Disney/Pixar

I’ll be shooting for my own hand

Context: Princess Merida from Brave said the line when she shot for her own hand in an archery battle deciding her own marriage. She took control of her own fate and proved to many people that she is more than “just a girl”: she is strong, smart, and brave.

Example: I don’t need my parents deciding my future career, I’ll be shooting for my own hand.

Keep surprising people

Context: In Monsters University, after Mike and Sulley were expelled from school, Dean Hardscrabble catches them at the exit and encourages them to “keep surprising people” and wishing them luck, after the duo changed her view of how scary monsters can be.

Example: Don’t be discouraged by people’s words, keep surprising people until one day they’ll know your worth.

6 English phrases from K-pop songs to level up your writing

You have more power than you realise

Context: Helen encourages Violet in The Incredibles to embrace her superpowers to protect the family on their mission. The quote is to help people boost their confidence and believe in themselves more.

Example: You have more power than you realise, don’t be afraid to show that to the world.

Take her to the moon for me

Context: In one of the most tear-jerking scenes from Inside Out, Bing Bong said this line before sacrificing himself, allowing Joy to get back to safety with Riley’s core memories before they vanish.

Example: I can no longer be there for her to reach her dreams, take her to the moon for me.

Sorry, we still haven’t emotionally come to terms with the loss of Bing Bong. Photo: Disney/Pixar

Thanks for the adventure, now go have a new one

Context: Written in the last page of the scrapbook from Ellie in Up, the line from the wife shows her wish for wanting adventures for both her and Carl. She had hers, and her wish is for Carl to have more.

Example: I’ve had a wonderful time with this team, but now it’s time for me to go. Thanks for the adventure, now go have a new one.

Sometimes you gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side

Context: Comforting Arlo with this line, Poppa from The Good Dinosaur wanted his son to brave through his fears and walk across a field without his company. Despite being scared, Arlo ended up discovering a beautiful field of fireflies.

Example: You never know where you’ll be headed if you don’t take the first step. Sometimes you gotta get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.

9 idioms from hit songs to help you raise the bar on your English writing

The truth is, gift or no gift, I am just as special as the rest of my family

Context: This is the life story of Mirabel from Encanto – being the only one without special powers.

Example: It doesn’t matter if I am not a music prodigy like my brother or sports star like my cousin. The truth is, gift or no gift, I am just as special as the rest of my family.

You might forget to honour yourself

Context: Mei from Turning Red has been trying hard to strike a balance between being a good daughter and having her own personality and self-love. In one of the last scenes, she reminded everyone to honour oneself instead of only satisfying others.

Example: Sometimes when you care too much about making someone else proud, you might forget to honour yourself.

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy