Movies – Soul & 6 Other Pixar Movies That Don’t Have A Villain
Villains can help teach protagonists important lessons. But as Pixar proved with Soul, Finding Nemo, and more, they’re not always necessary in movies.
Traditionally within movies, there is a clear villain that people can hate, giving an obvious reason for people to cheer on the hero of the movie. This is especially the case when it comes to animated movies, which are normally filled with classic good vs. evil stories.
Throughout Pixar’s incredible library of movies, there have been some amazing villains, from Lotso and Syndrome to Stinky Pete and Henry J. Waternoose, all of which have helped make their movies thrilling in different ways. However, not every single Pixar movie has had a villain, with several of Pixar’s best movies actually not having any major villain at all.
7 Soul (2020)
Soul is Pixar’s newest movie, and it is one that doesn’t have any villain at all. This movie is all about Joe Gardner and his attempt to get back into his body to continue his life, while he meets another soul, 22, who is adamant she doesn’t want to go to Earth, with the two of them going through a very emotional journey together.
It’s a journey about self-discovery, about appreciating life, and showing how important communication is. The only character that comes close to being a villain is Terry, who spends his time trying to bring Joe and 22 back to The Great Beyond. However, he is simply doing his job and isn’t actually doing it to be mean, and even then, he only has a very minor role in the movie.
6 Onward (2020)
Another one of Pixar’s newest movies that have no villain is Onward. This movie is all about two brothers desperately trying to find a magic gem in order to bring their deceased father back for just one day to spend time with him.
But once again, there’s no villain in this movie. The only villain in this movie is actually time itself. The brothers only have 24 hours to get the gem to complete the spell, and they simply run out of time. While there are a few antagonists along the way, from the pixies to the dragon, there’s no major villain in this movie.
5 Cars (2006)
Cars had the potential to create a big villain within Chick Hicks as he wiped out Lightning McQueen within the race and proved to be a really nasty character. However, the vast majority of the movie isn’t spent focused on Lightning’s racing career and is actually all about his character developing and learning during his time in Radiator Springs.
The movie actually positions Lightning in a negative light for a portion, as he acts incredibly arrogant around the other cars in Radiator Springs. Then he develops throughout the movie through his interactions, and he doesn’t need any villain to make that happen.
4 Monsters University (2013)
While Monsters Inc. has two fantastic villains with Henry J. Waternoose and Randall, the prequel doesn’t actually have any clear villains at all. While Dean Hardscrabble is seen as a villain within the movie, the Headmistress is really only an antagonist, as she isn’t someone who is going out against Mike and Sulley throughout the movie.
She was well within her rights to remove the two monsters from her university classes due to their behavior, and she still gives them a chance to return by winning the competition. Then there are the characters who are in the Roar Omega Roar group, but they’re not clear villains either as they’re just competing to try and win. The movie doesn’t need any big villains at all though, as this is all about the friendship between Mike and Sulley growing.
3 Inside Out (2015)
Inside Out really has no characters that are even close to being a villain, unlike other Pixar movies. This one is all about the emotions inside Riley’s head and how they try to impact Riley’s life, with Sadness and Joy ending up being out of headquarters as they desperately try to get back.
It’s a breathtaking movie and one that doesn’t need any villains at all. Instead, it is a very smartly written movie that puts all of its focus on the characters and how emotions develop. The journey of Joy and Sadness mixed with what’s happening with Riley in real life is more than enough excitement, without any villain being thrown into the mix.
2 Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Nemo is one of the greatest movies of all time which doesn’t feature a villain, with Marlin and Dory spending the movie trying to find Nemo, swimming across the ocean to get to him. There are a few small moments where they encounter difficulties, such as when Bruce smells blood and goes to attack them, or when Philip Sherman plans to take Nemo as a gift.
However, they’re just small antagonists within the movie to provide slight roadblocks to the eventual reunion of the father and son. There isn’t one major villain that tries to stop Marlin, and this is perfect proof that not every movie needs one.
1 Finding Dory (2016)
Much like Finding Nemo, the follow-up movie, Finding Dory also didn’t really have a clear villain either. This movie didn’t need a villain at all, as the story was all about Dory trying to find her parents, which was a very heartwarming and emotional one.
While there were plenty of obstacles along the way for Dory which provided plenty of emotion and put some stakes into the journey for viewers to invest in, the movie doesn’t have a clear villain that is trying to stop Dory, and it certainly works without one.
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