Introducing Motivation And Goal

This article is the continued from series of articles –Story Writing For Animation. You can read them all articles by clicking here

“The Best Movie is the One that has A Deeper Reflection About Life That We can Take Away With Us . . . .”


“The Story may be told through the character actors of the story

  • Animals
  • Villains
  • Humorous characters

Rather than more ordinary Hero and Heroin”.

On these two facts we are going to decide why Motivation and Goal are necessary for a Story and how to introduce them in SET-UP.

Until now we have seen how to introduce and why we must introduce

  1. World
  2. Rules
  3. Characters
  4. Character Relationships
  5. Motivation and Goal


Let’s take some answers from you . . .

Tell me one thing that do you think your Life is like a story (may be interesting one ).

I’m just kidding it can’t be ‘may be’!

Its MUST BE interesting if you are in Animation or want to be in this Creative Field of Dreams. (no regrets about others because I know  everybody has his special life story).

So what made you to choose this as a career?

I guess it was something that Motivated you , right ?

But it doesn’t mean that you get motivated immediately so strongly at that particular moment, because The SPARK WAS IN YOUR LIFE STORY’S SET-UP.

And we are back on track.

Same thing applies for story (if THIS has THE DEEPER REFLACTION of LIFE.)
That sparks of motivation must be introduce in the SET-UP and This you can do through some impressive SITUATIONS.

(Remember in last article we derived the Special Equation:
Situation => Anything you want to Show about Character, Relations . . .)

Passion always overflows through actions of the Character.  If they are passionate about something they don’t have to speak it loud, it just seems that they are damn passionate about something.

Motivation can be already in character, so you may have some Situations where audience will realize that he is Motivated


Sometimes in the journey he will be motivated by something again you will need Situation/s for that!

Motivation or Passion is the BIGGEST DRIVING FORCE for us and same is true for our characters. And believe me if some one is so much passionate about something he has the great story to tell.

So you need to show

  1. Motivation or
  2. Sparks of passion

in the SET-UP and

then throughout the movie it will increase or decrease or . . . depends on the story.


Don’t you have the doubt that why should I have taken the motivation and Goal as the single element?

Let’s talk about that . . .

Our mentor tells us that

“Highly motivated and fully energized people without Goal, are highly dangerous, they are like open petrol tanks, small spark and BOOOM.”

Every story is chasing some Goal … Biggest Challenge of our Character!
For our motivated character the Goal can be turning point.

Goal is called as catalyst that puts movie into action.

So it’s up to your story that introduction of goal in the start i.e. in SET-UP or you can put that Goal in Conflict or wherever you want to put.

Remember the Goal must seem  impossible your character but believable for your character , there must something in his gut that will tell him that he don’t know how but he’s going to make it happen . . .

If you have succeed in this, after that audience is not going to leave their seats 

For introduction of GOAL in SET-UP there are two possibilities


Like in movie Kung Fu Panda.
2.   Imagine Goal as the SNOWBALL throughout the story, which is growing, becoming critical and impossible up to the END.

So introduce the start of SNOWBALL in SET-UP.


For this there are two possibilities

1.    Motivation and Goal work together as Driving force .
In Ratatouille,

Remmy’s motivation =

He loves creating the food, he loves the flavors, he’s passionate about the way humans create food, and he like to walk like humans, and his source of motivation is Gustaev the best chef in Paris.

Remmy’s Goal = Becoming the best cook

Here the Motivation and The Goal are working together.

And it creates incredibly passionate, energized character.

2.    Motivation and Goal are in Contrast.

Confused?  (This also creates sometimes confused character)

Let me simplify,

See in Toy Story 1, Buzz’s motivation is that he is only one who has information that will survive the universe from Evil Emperor Zerg, and he is the Space ranger.

For him Goal is that he has to save the universe.

But according to real perception of story He is a Toy and The real Goal for him and Woodie is that they have to get back to Andy and All Toys.

If Buzz perceives the situation through his own beliefs, then actual Goal of Story are working in Contrast.

If he doesnt realize the true perception of the situation, it’s the hidden conflict for him and True Conflict for Woodie.

As without his (Buzz) help, both can’t overcome the real Conflict

The last year’s BEST MOVIE “BOLT” is based on the same fact of Motivation and Goal are working in the contrast.

Where Bolt believes that his TV serial powers are real and his aim is to save his person (Penny) , for him the motivation is the love of  Penny.

But in real world Penny is just a TV serial character, and She is not in danger.

The Goal of movie is Our Cute and innocent Bolt should realize the truth about him and should live life like normal dogs.

But his perception totally works against this Goal.

This contradiction creates a best movie.

Finally let me discuss some more about Motivation and Goal with the My Favorite Movie (I guess everybody’s)


This is the BEST because it has fully motivated and Passionate character Remmy!

Look in SET-UP

Where he argues with his Dad, “we are thieves and what we steal? Garbage! ”

Again in his self talk “ .. . . I know I’m supposed to hate humans. .  but something about them  . .  They don’t just survive, they discover, they create! Just look what they do with food . . .”

When he talks about food, cooking , his expressions, the way he smells food are telling that he is so much passionate about the cooking the food.

Reading the complete book of Great Chef and try to walk like humans tells us that deep in his gut he believes that SOMEDAY HE WILL BE THE GREAT COOK (which he achieves at the END )

Every time I watch movie my mind denies that he is  Intelligent RAT who knows how to cook best but I believe that he is THE BEST COOK and incredible guy (I don’t know he is rat or human ).

That’s the impact of FULLY MOTIVATED characters and when you tell the story through characters not through Hero or Heroine.

There are so many situations in SET-UP for goal but the most specific and critical one is where Linguini leaves him from bottle and Remmy runs . .  but after running while Remmy comes back . . he comes because he know that this could be the good way to help the kid but here He will be able to cook . .

Again at some point he tells his Dad that
“Please dad , I cant choose between my two halves
cooking and the family”.

And the last one where how Passion , Motivation flows .

Remmy is freed from cage by Dad and family . .  He is running back to hotel . .

Dad: Where are you going ?

Remmy (running ): Back to the restaurant , they will fail without me!

Dad:  But why do you care?

Remmy: Because I’m Cook!

(Now everybody even me look so smaller in front of Remmy)

Here we finished all the 4 elements of SET-UP

  1. World
  2. Rules
  3. Character
  4. Character Relationships
  5. Motivation And Goal.

Next article we discuss a good story framework in which we will learn how to create good story throughout . . .


For All Animation Story Writing Lessons click here



  1. hi Mahesh….

    Its a very wonderful article like others…i am really thankful for you that you are posting very great articles like that….!!
    Thanks man….!! your really doing great job!!

    😉 Keep posting..


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