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The Story Behind the “Fear of the Unknown” Quote from Pixar’s “Day & Night” Short

Warning: If you don’t want to read spoilers to the short before Toy Story 3, scroll on down past this post.

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Day & Night is the terrific Pixar short film that screens before the even greater Toy Story 3. Directed by first-time helmsman and animator Teddy Newton, who also voices a Deep Throat-esque character Chatter Telephone in Toy Story 3, the short is a uniquely visualized tale about the embodiments of day and night meeting one another for the first time, and not liking what they see in one another.

In my conversations with moviegoers this past weekend, I’ve discovered a good number of people are curious about the source of the “fear of the unknown” speech that the two characters hear playing from a radio tower in Day & Night. Well, we did a little digging, and this is what we found:

The voice you hear from the “Fear of the Unknown” monologue is from Dr. Wayne Dyer, a self-help author and motivational speaker. According to the Day & Night Wikipedia, the audio clip was taken from a lecture he gave in the 1970s. The Pixar web site for the short reads: “Director Teddy Newton remembered hearing Dr. Dyer on recordings his mother played when he was young, and he decided to incorporate one of the recordings into the film.”

The full text of the quote, from the film, is as follows:

Fear of the unknown.

They are afraid of new ideas.

They are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based on… if something is new, I reject it immediately because it’s frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.

You know, to me, the most beautiful things in all the universe, are the most mysterious.

In an interview Pixar Blog conducted with Newton, the director acknowledged that the final quote is originally attributed to the master geek himself, Albert Einstein.

(h/t With Further Ado)

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