These 3 Kids’ Movies Teach Adults About Teamwork

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Even though Shrek didn’t start out liking Donkey, they ended up being a perfect team.

Kids’ movies are full of important lessons, and sometimes those lessons apply to adults, too.

Here are a few things you can learn about teamwork from Shrek, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story.


Donkey is the picture of loyalty, always willing to put up with Shrek for the chance to be by his side. The nasty ogre doesn’t want him there because he never stops talking, but a stubborn Donkey just refuses to leave. In the end, the two become an unstoppable team, along with the charming Puss-in-Boots, on a mission to save Princess Fiona. Just like Shrek, you might not always have a choice in the teammates you are dealt. But seeing their positive traits and playing off those is what builds a strong team.

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc. is a utility company that generates power from the screams of children, which its monster employees elicit by scaring them in their sleep. Two of its employees, Sulley and Mike, are on their way to winning top honors for their scare tactics, when a little girl named Boo accidentally sneaks out of her bedroom and into their world. Suddenly, returning her to safety becomes all that matters to them. After many plot twists, the movie ends with Sulley as CEO and a new mission for the company: to generate energy from children’s laughs instead of their screams. It’s important that everyone on a team be invested in their mission—and that the playing field be ethical. In the end, Sulley and Mike were far too kind to be making a living scaring small children.

Toy Story

There might not be two more lovable movie characters than Woody and Buzz Lightyear in this Pixar classic. In fact, all the adorable toys in the box used their unique strengths to accomplish whatever it was they set out to do, which in most cases was to reunite with their owner, Andy. The group regularly would meet, plan a strategy and draw on each other’s strengths, whether an RC car or Mr. Potato Head. This is the most basic premise of teamwork: to analyze each individual for what they bring to the group, and to tap into each team member’s talents.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.