Everyone’s beloved animated movies are full of important messages, too. 

By Real Simple
Updated June 17, 2016
Still from Finding Nemo
Credit: Disney/Pixar

When Pixar released Toy Story in 1995, the world of animated movies was forever changed. The films appeal to kids and adults alike for a reason: Each one is complete with impressive animation, clever characters, hilarious one-liners, and heartwarming stories. Here, in honor of the release of Pixar’s latest film Finding Dory, some of the most important life lessons gleaned from some of our favorite films.

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Still from Finding Nemo
Credit: Disney/Pixar

1 Finding Nemo

The vast ocean seems like a scary place when Nemo gets separated from his dad, but, with a little help from unlikely friends, he finds the strength to stay positive, determined, and keep on swimming.

2 Toy Story

Woody and Buzz have a lot to share about friendship. The toys teach us that friends are among one’s greatest assets—and that, with teamwork and loyalty, you’ll have a friend for life.

3 Inside Out

A glimpse into Riley’s emotions—as told by joy, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear—remind us that our psyche is complex, but everything we feel is valid and deserves recognition. It's healthy to embrace life's ups and downs.

4 Wall-E

Among other things, the endearing robot reminds us to unplug, have face-to-face human interaction, and break out of our routines (yes, even in the wired world we live in!).

5 Monsters Inc.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Sully and Mike might be monsters that hide under the bed, but really they’re kind, warm, and supportive. As for Boo, she’s not the scared three-year-old she appears to be—she’s braver than anyone would expect.

6 Up

Even after a heartbreaking loss, Carl finds a way to rewrite his story by embarking on what’s possibly his greatest adventure yet. Along the way, he makes new friends and finds happiness again.

7 Ratatouille

Remy proves that great talent can come from the most unlikely places. And, despite adversity, a combination of skill and perseverance will help you achieve your goals.

8 Cars

Lightening McQueen learns firsthand that life is full of unexpected twists and turns—and sometimes those hiccups make way for new experiences and opportunities.

9 Toy Story 2

Though Woody is disoriented and angry when he finds himself in a new and unusual place, he shows us that you can learn a lot about yourself—and those around you—when you open yourself to change.