When you think of the word "teamwork," what is the first thing that pops into your head? For me, it’s sports. Sports involve a lot of teamwork; players on the same team working together to achieve a goal or overpower another team. However, that word is not only used to describe a sport or a team, but can also describe a group of people in general who are working together to achieve a goal. The five movies that I am about to explain are movies that I believe bring out a great amount of teamwork. Just because the characters in these movies are not apart of the same organization, does not mean that they cannot work together to be successful or solve a problem. These films really prove that you do not have to be on the same team, let alone like each other, to use teamwork.
1. 'Wreck-It Ralph'
#WreckItRalph is known as the villain character in his video game. He gets tired of being treated as such and leaves his game to find out how to be a character that kids will love. He finds himself in a candy-coated race car game called Sugar Rush, where he teams up with Vanellope Von Schweetz who is also considered the villain in her game. Together, they search for a way to turn themselves into the good guys, but Ralph accidentally releases an evil enemy that could destroy the entire arcade.
After reading many reviews on this movie, it became apparent that everyone loved the movie because it was a very successful portrayal of video games:
“Wreck-It-Ralph is about video games. Pure, simple video games. If you are a gamer like me, you will love this movie, understand every single reference, and laugh at most of the jokes.” — BenjiSpetterg
Username DisneyVillain wrote:
“This is a movie for gamers done right. It has many classic characters in it like Sonic, Bowser, and Doctor Eggman. The source material for them is used well, despite the focus being on Ralph's quest to be a hero.”
However, those reviews did not mention a single thing about the teamwork that Ralph used with others along his quest. Ralph's main goal in this film is to become a hero; to show everyone that he really is not a bad guy. However, that does not necessarily mean that he did it alone. Not only do Ralph and Vanellope work together (even when they did not always like each other), but Ralph also used the help of other video game characters, including his own co-worker, Fix-it Felix. All of the people that Ralph worked with were unlikely partners, but they all had a different perspective that they brought to his quest to help him achieve his goal of becoming a hero.
2. 'The Avengers'
When Thor’s evil brother, Loki, gains power to take over the world with his team of aliens, Nick Fury goes out to recruit superheroes that can stop Loki and save Earth. Fury was able to round up Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Even though they do not always see eye to eye, they must work together to save the world.
This is the most obvious film when it comes to teamwork. If each one of these superheroes remained stubborn and refused to work together, Loki would have destroyed Earth. Every member in this group had a different set of specific skills; none of them were similar and it took them a while to realize that was not a bad thing. Roger Ebert put it best in his movie review of The Avengers when he said:
“When I see these six together, I can't help thinking of the champions at the Westminster Dog Show. You have breeds that seem completely different from one another (Labradors, poodles, boxers, Dalmatians), and yet they're all champions.”
The Avengers must use their different skills to back up each others' weaknesses with their own strengths. Again, a relevant quote from Ebert, “By bringing the Avengers together, he of course reopens ancient rivalries (i.e, my hammer can beat your shield), until they learn the benefits of teamwork.” They used their differences to work together and create a team, which saved the world in the end.
3. 'Kung Fu Panda'
Po, a kung fu loving panda who works in his family’s noodle shop, is chosen to fulfill a prophecy revealed by the great leaders of his town. He was the most unlikely candidate, and the group of kung fu professionals — known as the Furious Five — that had been vying for that position were not happy about the final decision. To Po’s excitement (and the The Furious Five’s dismay), Po had to work with them to master the art of kung fu. When an extremely dangerous foe broke out of prison and set his sight on Po’s town, Po really needed to work with the others to save the town and earn his place in the group.
Even though the Furious Five made a great team, they did not want anything to do with Po. They did not care to learn about his skills or strengths, and they all believed that they would be better off without him. Po began to believe this himself; he caught on quickly that he was not wanted and lost all of his enthusiasm. The greatest lesson in teamwork in this movie is Po working with himself. He constantly fought back and forth with his own mind whether or not he was good enough, and he usually lost. It was not until he realized what kind of potential that he had, that the rest of the members really let him into the group. He had to use his own strengths to build up his weaknesses.
4. 'Toy Story'
Woody is Andy’s favorite toy, but only until Andy receives the newest, coolest, most high-tech toy of all time: Buzz Lightyear. Woody is quickly replaced, leaving him in the toy box with the rest of the toy gang. Woody gets jealous of Buzz and pushes him out the bedroom window, only to be insulted by the rest of the toys. He then sets out to find Buzz and bring him back to Andy’s room, but not before the two are thrown into many wild adventures, including a scary neighbor, a trip to Pizza Planet, and a wild dog. Woody hopes that he can get the two toys back to the bedroom before Andy and his family finish packing and move to their new house, but he might have been too late.
#Disney is a mastermind at putting together two unlikely partners. First, Vanellope von Schweetz and Ralph, and now Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Buzz is convinced that he is a real astronaut trying to save the world from Zurg and his army of aliens. Woody is a jealous toy that just wants to be Andy’s favorite again. Constantly bickering and arguing, it is easy to think that there is no way that they would ever get back to Andy’s room. However, they do get help from a few others that did not necessarily intend to help them. Andy’s next door neighbor, Sid, is a mean, toy-destroying boy, and he would have been successful in blowing up Woody and Buzz if it had not been for Sid’s toys and his little sister, Hannah. She was able to distract Sid long enough to help the two toys get away. When you first watch the movie, it is not something that you would really consider teamwork, but when you see it from a different perspective, Hannah used her strengths to help Buzz and Woody while they were weak. Eventually, the toys figured out how to work together and were able to create a plan to get back to Andy’s room.
5. 'Now You See Me'
Small-time magicians Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Henley Reeves and Jack Wilder were teamed up together by an unknown source to create a group called the Four Horsemen. For their first act they rob a bank, and their trick is soon on the radar of FBI agent Dylan Rhodes. Rhodes spends all of his time trying to figure out how the magicians actually pulled it off, all while still trying to portray to the media that there was no such thing as magic. Thaddeus Bradley is an illusionist who is asked to debunk the magicians and reveal how they did their trick. The Four Horsemen must work together to keep their secrets a secret, while following the plan of their unnamed leader and staying away from Bradley and Rhodes.
The main goal of these four magicians was to make a name for themselves. They wanted to show the world what they could do (while also getting paid on the side by robbing banks and such). The four had known each other from different gigs and places, but all had very different personalities and knew that they would have a hard time teaming up and being successful. The leader who brought them all together knew that they would be able to pull all of their strengths together to pull off a couple of good shows, but it did not last. When things got tough, they all had different ideas on how to make it right. Without spoiling the ending, they unknowingly teamed up with someone that they never would have expected, and that person really helped them get out of their troubles, even without them knowing it.
Differences do not mean that a group of people cannot work as a team. Rather, it almost makes it better when differences are used to make each other stronger. Just like the Avengers, it is possible to put together a group of superheroes who have different ideas about how to go about things. Ralph and Vanellope were not even a part of the same video game, let alone a part of the same team. That did not stop them from working together and solving a problem that threatened the whole arcade. Buzz and Woody hated each other, and it is almost as if they used their stubbornness and different opinions to get them back to Andy’s room. The overall point is that you do not have to play a sport or be on a team to use teamwork. You do not even have to like the people you are working with (just like the Avengers or the Four Horsemen). It is still possible to use the strengths that you possess and to let others build upon your weaknesses.
Which of these movies best demonstrates TEAMWORK?
Ebert, Roger. "The Avengers Movie Review & Film Summary (2012) | Roger Ebert." All Content. N.p., 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
"Toy Story | Movie Review | Plugged In." Plugged In. N.p., 1999. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.