She wasn’t there to love WALL-E. She was there to steal his plant.
November 14, 2014 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Grantland: "This is the Animated Movie Sadness Index. It’s very simple, though perhaps easy to get confused by. This is not a ranking of sad moments from animated movies. For example: Charlotte dying in Charlotte’s Web was a sad moment. But Charlotte wasn’t a sad character, nor was Wilbur, so they aren’t here. Because this Sadness Index charts characters with sad backstories — tragic figures with dark histories, who endure the most awful of circumstances."
posted by troika (154 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
Blasphemy. Marlin is an awesome dad.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:53 AM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


Jumping to the bottom of the article/top of the list:

Carl is the saddest. Oh, great, now I’m crying again.

Yeah, I've seen a gnarly looking dude talk to people he just met at someone else's birthday party about how that relationship montage tore him up because he just got married, and he got really emotional just retelling his experience.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:55 AM on November 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


This is very good, thank you!

Problem: Elsa should be WAY higher! She goes through life struggling with her pain, not having anywhere to turn, terrified of hurting everyone she loves, completely unable to cope, escape, or even talk about it! Plus her parents are dead! And her sister thinks she's an unfeeling monster and she can't explain why not! She loves her sister and because she loves her sister she can never, ever tell her! She lives her life completely alone to protect people and simultaneously believes she is bad! That is the most tragic thing in the world!

I'm such a fool, I can't be free! No escape from the storm inside of me!"
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:55 AM on November 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


Only Americans make animated movies apparently. Although I suppose as we don't yet have a percentage rating high enough for Grave of the Fireflies maybe they had to leave everything else from the rest of the world out as well just for fairness's sake.
posted by dng at 11:55 AM on November 14, 2014 [66 favorites]


Ohhhh... I still haven't seen Grave because I don't think I've ever had enough surplus joy in my life to counteract the sadness I expect to feel from that movie. Maybe when my kids are teenagers, we can sit down together and suffer through it as a family. But I can't see myself watching anything that brings misery to children characters anywhere in the near future. Being a dad has made me a gooey mess of a man when it comes to the welfare of children, real or fictional.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:58 AM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Carl? What about Carl's wife? She never even got to go on a vacation! Also missed out on being a surrogate grandparent. Just caterring to Carl her entire life.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:00 PM on November 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


I also came here to add Grave of the Fireflies at ALL THE SAD.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on November 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


OH NO LITTLEFOOT
posted by poffin boffin at 12:03 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


Although I suppose as we don't yet have a percentage rating high enough for Grave of the Fireflies maybe they had to leave everything else from the rest of the world out as well just for fairness's sake.

Grave of the Fireflies was so sad that it flipped over into hilarious for me at some point.
posted by empath at 12:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


God dammit. I'm at work.

God dammit. Up. Carl.

Screen... blurry

dakghrjsjksaykjaz
posted by duffell at 12:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


The most grievous absence has to be The Brave Little Toaster: all the characters, everything about it, forever and always, 100% sadness. For real, it's a movie about what happens when the people you love abandon you to die. The whole to-do set me up for a lifetime of crouton-petting like nothing else ever could.
posted by divined by radio at 12:05 PM on November 14, 2014 [49 favorites]


The most grievous absence has to be The Brave Little Toaster

That remains the scariest movie I have ever seen. I can't even remember there being sadness, just straight-up terror. oh wait, you're right, Blankie, brb need to have a quick wail
posted by troika at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


Why does this person believe that The Iron Giant was Russian? Dude, did you even watch this movie?
posted by SPrintF at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2014 [24 favorites]


OH NO LITTLEFOOT

My most cherished childhood stuffed animal was a stuffed Littlefoot and this has made worried, because he's at my parents house and not at my home where I can make sure he's okay. I recognize that this reaction may not be entirely rational.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:09 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


Only Americans make animated movies apparently.

Hon, hon, so let's fix that. It's going to be hard to do worse than Seita and Setsuko, so let's make the scale milli-Fireflies, with Carl at, say, 100 mFf. Up is at least ten times less sad that Grave of the Fireflies.

Madame Souza, Les Triplets de Belleville: 9mFf

An older woman, presumably widowed, who has lost her only child, left to raise a gloomy, but talented grandson. A grandson who is, if not developmentally delayed, is so focussed as to mania. She re-arranges her life around him, crosses literal oceans for him, risks life and limb, all sort of hardships, even eats frogs for him. But, she does get to jam with the triplets.
posted by bonehead at 12:11 PM on November 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


First, I know this was movies, but Fry's dog waiting for Fry has to be the second or third saddest animated sequence of all time. (Carl 1st, and the Iron Giant vying for 2nd or 3rd.)

Second, the worst thing about the devastation visited upon you as a child by animated movies is that as bad as it was, your child mind couldn't really understand what it really meant so the older you get, the more you know what it means to watch your mom get eaten by a T-rex or CARL oh gawd carllllllll so every time you re-watch those scenes it GETS WORSE.
posted by barchan at 12:12 PM on November 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


I hadn't seen the James and The Giant Peach film and was surprised to learn that the aunts survive the film. That's a shame, because they're fate in the book is just so perfectly Dahl.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:15 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I recognize that this reaction may not be entirely rational.

you should call right now to check just in case though
posted by poffin boffin at 12:15 PM on November 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


Watership Down, surely.
posted by boo_radley at 12:16 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Velveteen Rabbit used to be peak tragedy for me until a terrible friend pointed out that the Skin Horse sounds like a terrible terrible sex toy name and hopefully I have ruined many lives with this comment good day
posted by poffin boffin at 12:18 PM on November 14, 2014 [33 favorites]


The Plague Dogs too. Richard Adams has animals locked down.

Until someone animates the Book of the Dun Cow, at least.
posted by bonehead at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


Only Americans make animated movies apparently. Although I suppose as we don't yet have a percentage rating high enough for Grave of the Fireflies maybe they had to leave everything else from the rest of the world out as well just for fairness's sake.

Don't forget The Secret of NIMH

or worse The Plague Dogs
posted by leotrotsky at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


jinx
posted by leotrotsky at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


First, I know this was movies, but Fry's dog waiting for Fry yt has to be the second or third saddest animated sequence of all time. (Carl 1st, and the Iron Giant vying for 2nd or 3rd.)
"Fry's dog" was also in this last week's Simpsonorama, resting in front of Panucci's Pizza (temporarily paradoxed to 2014 Springfield from (Old) New York.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Genie, Aladdin
Sadness Rating: 33 percent

Eternal servitude. He just wanted to be free. :(


Buh? It's been a while since I've seen this, but isn't Aladdin's last wish used to free Genie?
posted by nubs at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, any list where Aladdin is ranked more sad than Iron Giant is basically fundamentally incorrect.
posted by TypographicalError at 12:23 PM on November 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


My vote is for Red.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:24 PM on November 14, 2014


The Brave Little Toaster

All I can figure is the person who thought this story was appropriate for an animated kid's movie must be the same one who optioned Exit to Eden because hey, Anne Rice. It's a freaking Thomas Disch story so of course it is a mindfuck of galactic proportions.
posted by localroger at 12:27 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Grave of the Fireflies isn't a family film, tho - it's operating on a different level, and was meant as a gut-punch to society as a whole, right in the guilts. Les Triplets is also excused, along with When the Wind Blows and Mary and Max... geeze that movie. The only film I'm aware of that can go toe-to-toe with Grave of the Fireflies for soul-destroying sorrow, only a satisfying (yet still amazingly, crushingly sad) ending keeps it from taking the title by decision.

Also, if we're doing Toy Story sadness, Jesse's montage has Lotso's beat - dirty pool with the soundtrack skewing things, there.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


A lot of the saddest and most devastating stories I have encountered in my life have been aimed at children*. It's part of why I always roll my eyes about the occasional articles chastising adults for reading media aimed for kids or young adults, a lot of times there is a lot more emotional complexity going on in these stories than you would think.

(*But the most terrible one isn't a kids film, it is worst movie of all time The Bicycle Thief.)
posted by Drinky Die at 12:41 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


God dammit. Up. Carl.

That film. I had heard it was good, so I bought it for my wife's birthday when it came out on DVD. This was about 3-4 weeks after we had suffered a miscarriage, and celebrations/family stuff was still fairly low-key and muted for us as a result. She was pleasantly surprised, and our first son (I think he was 3 or 4 at the time) was excited to see it, so we popped it in and started watching it.

We were both in the kitchen bawling our eyes out 3 minutes into the film, and our poor son was so confused.

It doesn't get watched often - our youngest son is the one to pull it out now - but I still mist up. Every god damn time.
posted by nubs at 12:43 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


This is the Animated Children's Movie Sadness Index.

(As mentioned above- the omissions of Plague Dogs and Grave of the Fireflies are proof of this)
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:44 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Grave of the Fireflies *was* actually marketed as a family movie in Japan, and in fact was released as a double feature with 'My Neighbor Totoro'.
posted by matcha action at 12:47 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


Most of these stories seem to boil down to Scott Kurtz's Batman - MY PARENTS ARE DEAD - and sadly there are no longer any good links to it! Argh!
posted by GuyZero at 12:48 PM on November 14, 2014


Buh? It's been a while since I've seen this, but isn't Aladdin's last wish used to free Genie?

Well, yes - and Carl eventually learns that he didn't fail Ellie because she lived a long, happy life with the man she loved and that was her adventure, and she adored every minute of it, and then he goes off with his new talking dog to save his surrogate grandson, whom he then more or less adopts. But that doesn't mean the backstory isn't tragic and it doesn't mean the Genie isn't lonely and sad.
posted by mightygodking at 12:50 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


Grave of the Fireflies *was* actually marketed as a family movie in Japan

That actually makes sense to me. I'm failing to come up with a western example, but it seems like it would fall under the "disturbing but importantly educational" genre.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:51 PM on November 14, 2014


Sorry America, but I think Japan pretty much owns the animated misery category.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:51 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Don't forget The Secret of NIMH

Nice choice. I'm not a fan of Don Bluth's work except for The Secret of NIMH. It is rather dark, so I can see why it's not a go-to for young kids, but it's good for older kids who aren't out of the "talking animals" genre yet.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but NIMH is the only talking animal movie animation that actually qualifies as science fiction. It's like every other one until the second act and you find out that the rats are super-intelligent and can talk because of drug experiments. The talking animals were created in a lab. Spoiler alert, btw, oops. Though that still doesn't explain Dom DeLuise's crow character being able to talk, but I guess it's not perfect.
posted by zardoz at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


nubs, us too. We went out to the movies to take our minds off of a miscarriage and news of maybe not being able to carry a baby to term (which turned out to not be true, but we wouldn't know that for another couple of months.) Hey, look, a fun movie about a floating house! NO.

There was a sweet kid in front of us who asked their mom why this part of the movie was supposed to be sad, while we blubbered away. His uncomprehending innocence made me blubber harder.
posted by tchemgrrl at 12:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


There has to be some way to bring Pixar to justice for making Up. It's like, hey, a movie about a house that floats away to a magical wonderland! You buy your ticket, wait for the fun to begin...five minutes later you're hunched over in your seat with your face contorted in agony, buried in your tear-slicked hands. "But...I thought...the floating house...I don't understand...."
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2014 [31 favorites]


tchemgrrl, I'm glad things turned out for you.

I'm thinking of starting a support group for people scarred by the opening of UP.

I mean, yes, Carl goes on to learn that his life isn't over just because Elly is gone - that his adventures haven't stopped, just the adventure he had with her - but still.
posted by nubs at 1:01 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Came here to mention The Plague Dogs. This list is nonsense.
posted by cthuljew at 1:03 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Aladdin's Genie got out, but Mrs. Jumbo and Dumbo never did. Their great reward was marginally better treatment in the same abusive circus as long as Dumbo continued to draw crowds! Dumbo is a horrifying film.
posted by gladly at 1:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


Sure, the animated movies of my childhood used to walk the line between terror and sadness: Secret of NIMH, Watership Down, the Mouse and His Child, etc. Even typing the list is giving me flashbacks to the sheer number of creepy eyes in those films.

But this year has been no picnic taking sensitive kids to animated movies.

Frozen - Parents die during the movie
Big Hero 6 - [Spoiler, but it is in the FPP] Brother dies in the movie, parents also dead
How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Parents die in the movie.

Seriously, I have had to have lots of talks with my children.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nothing makes me tear up more, makes me more sad & hopeful than the final scene of Iron Giant. (jeez, eyes teared-up just previewing the video for posting ...)
posted by Auden at 1:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


Frozen is really a story about shitty parenting - that is the true tragedy of Elsa. "A dangerous power you can't control and accidentally used to hurt your sister? We could try to help you learn to control it, or we could tell you to repress it and then lock you away to deal with your guilt and freakishness alone." I like to think of it as a companion piece to Firestarter.
posted by Flannery Culp at 1:06 PM on November 14, 2014 [32 favorites]


The Plague Dogs

I find it interesting that the film version is the sadder one, rather than being bolderized as is usual. The film has the original ambiguous ending, as opposed to the novel, which was softened for publication:
The differences between the film's conclusion and the book's are numerous and have substantial bearing on their respective outcomes. The most significant is that the survival of the dogs at the end of the film seems very unlikely; the book as originally submitted to the publisher concluded similarly, but in all known editions, the pair is rescued and returned to Snitter's original owner, who in the book has survived.
posted by bonehead at 1:10 PM on November 14, 2014


You buy your ticket, wait for the fun to begin...five minutes later...

The other day I saw a Buzzfeed video where they showed drunk guys the first 5 minutes of Up. It wasn't nearly as amusing/tragic as it could have been, so I'm not going to link it, but it had its moments. It's such a beautiful sequence, but I'd forgotten how quickly the tone changes - the second you think they're going to have a baby - because it's a kid's movie! - you're suddenly learning they can't, and while you're reeling from that unexpectedly unpleasant news, you realize Ellie's getting older, and omgnoooooo!
posted by lesli212 at 1:10 PM on November 14, 2014


The relationship montage in Up makes me cry blubbering tears every single time, but it is such a beautiful sadness that I feel enriched, not scarred, by it. It makes me feel alive and grateful to have love.
posted by matildaben at 1:13 PM on November 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


Yeah, the more times you watch Frozen--where my parents of young girls at?--the more you realized what a fucked-up dynamic that whole setup is. Let's shame our one daughter for having magical powers she can't control (*cough*sexual metaphor*cough*) and isolate her from the world for years--and hell, while we're at it, why not DO IT TO HER SISTER TOO JUST FOR KICKS (for reasons she was magically made to forget!), thus turning sister against sister and how this doesn't end up in mass bloodshed or at least a lifetime of therapy I just don't know.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:15 PM on November 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


The amazing thing about the opening of Up is really the animation. Reshoot that sequence in live action and it's utter schlock. It's really a testament to the skill of the animators and the art director that it works as well as it does.
posted by asterix at 1:15 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


Although the general theme does make sense in light of something I read recently (here?) about how kids having dangerous adventures kind of depends on parents being absent (or better yet, dead!) since part of the basic parental job description is to keep kids from having dangerous adventures.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met. Willie the whale sings opera and is killed by a scheming impressario. Saw it with my dad, as a pre-feature short, some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s and was devastated, even though Willie gets to sing in heaven. I have no idea what the feature was. Anyone else remember this little animated tragedy?
posted by angiep at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


Icing on the cake is that Carl is definitely planning on killing himself, right? No way he plans on surviving in the jungle, and he doesn't have proper gear/food in the house.

Have a great weekend, everybody!
posted by graphnerd at 1:19 PM on November 14, 2014 [14 favorites]


I swear Up broke whatever sensitivity I had to animated pathos. By the end of the opening I hit my LD50 on Heartwarming and it completely soured the rest of the movie for me cause I knew there was no chance of Carl getting beaten to death with an oar. (I liked the dog.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:19 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not sure if it's spoilery but the animated short 'Fetch' before Big Hero 6 made me weepy. Like holy crap I wanted to go home and hug my puppy. I guess it prepped me for the upcoming movie where oh all your immediate family is dead.
posted by msbutah at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Don't forget The Secret of NIMH

Known to my 3 year old as "that scary rat movie."
posted by odinsdream at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


THEY MAKE IT TO THE ISLAND IN PLAGUE DOGS DAMMIT YOU GUYS.
posted by maxsparber at 1:30 PM on November 14, 2014


The first time I saw Up was with my boyfriend, who happened to be in the Coast Guard. He broke up with me by changing himself to a relationship with someone else on facebook about a month and a half later. Went back to college, started dating someone really cool, and we saw Up at the dollar theater. A week later, he decided I was too distracting, blocked me on all social networks and Instant Message, and has never spoken to me since. Undaunted, I started cultivating a potential relationship with a friend. We watched Up on his couch, and he let me know a few days after that he just couldn't manage a relationship. Since then, the only person I've been willing to watch Up with is my cat, who loves me unconditionally and would never, ever break up with me.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2014 [37 favorites]


Madame Souza, Les Triplets de Belleville: 9mFf

I would put Madame Souza at closer to a 30mFf.


I'm also going to add the Jacques Tati character from The Illusionist at somewhere between a Bambi and a Gepetto.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't forget The Secret of NIMH

AAAAAAAAAAA nicodemus whyyyyyyyyyyy. And the fat little one who redeems himself at the last minute.

Though that still doesn't explain Dom DeLuise's crow character being able to talk, but I guess it's not perfect.

No, all the animals can talk--Mrs. Brisby, Auntie Shrew, etc. weren't in the experiment. It's just that the rats can also read. And, like, engineer shit.

i loved that movie as a kid because it had cussing in it.

posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Illusionist was so unbearably sad it took me about three goes to watch it all. I felt like I was suffocating.
posted by dng at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


also pssst: we discussed the iron giant over at fanfare as part of our "lets only watch movies from 1999" thing - He comes from space, right? It's just everyone assumes he's a Russian War Bot?
posted by The Whelk at 1:39 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Illusionist was quite something. I wish it was a little less of a punch to emotions, because it had some great comedy and incredible animation that I'd love to rewatch.
posted by tychotesla at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mary and Max

I think by the criteria they laid out Chicken Run also deserves to be on there. As well, The Wind Rises

They are not "full length" but My Green Crocodile - The Big Snit - Balance -
posted by edgeways at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Illusionist was quite something. I wish it was a little less of a punch to emotions, because it had some great comedy and incredible animation that I'd love to rewatch.


Just watch old Jacques Tati movies. They're like animated movies in live-action. Playtime is especially good.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:49 PM on November 14, 2014


Cale from Titan A.E. has a pretty tragic backstory, but it's kinda glossed over and it doesn't really hit you. His planet gets blown up and his dad abandons him with an alien and promises to come and get him, but never does. He ends up working a menial job on a salvage yard, getting treated as a second-class being, and losing all hope of ever leading a better life.
posted by Small Dollar at 1:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's a new film from the director of Grave of the Fireflies, by the way! The Tale of Princess Kaguya. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard someone mention that it's rather emotional and heartbreaking.
posted by naju at 1:53 PM on November 14, 2014


The main lesson I took away from The Tale of Princess Kaguya is that the Amida Buddha is really shit at teaching lessons.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:03 PM on November 14, 2014


on a related note if you didn't cry during toy story 3 I don't want to be friends with you

(my brother, his wife and I took his 4- year old kid to see that movie. His kid was the only one not weeping at some point in the last 20 minutes of the film, openly, in the theater).
posted by dismas at 2:05 PM on November 14, 2014


Lilo was an amazing character for me growing up, because she was SO angry (for completely understandable reasons), and before that, I'd never seen a child character who didn't react to trauma in an easily 'fixed' way. In particular, the scene where she screams into her pillow (and Nani is outside the door, equally frustrated) was very poignant for me.
posted by threetwentytwo at 2:19 PM on November 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


The Iron Giant is on the list of Movies I Love But Will Never Watch Again. Well, maybe one day when I really feel the need to cry a whole bunch.

I also love Lilo & Stitch for its sweetness and tragedy (Stitch's "This is my family ..." line kills me every time). Wreck It-Ralph I don't find sad so much as touching (but as my brother wisely pointed out, Ralph and Vanellope both have flaws little kids have. He's destructive without intending to be and she can't control being hyper. But in the end, those are their strengths.)

Grave of the Fireflies is, clearly, on an entirely different level. I may have recovered enough to finally watch it again like 15 years later.

Honestly, when I think about movies that have made me cry so hard (like ugly bawling crying), only one is live action. All the rest are animated. Why do you want to make me cry, cartoon movies???
posted by darksong at 2:33 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nothing from Beavis and Butthead Do America? Now there was a heart-tugging piece of cinema.
posted by jonmc at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


I always feel awkward about this subject because the beginning of Up didn't really provoke any sadness in me. I knew what was going to happen, though, because I saw it way after everyone else and I don't care at all about spoilers, so maybe that's it. Maybe not.

But I understand why Grave of the Fireflies isn't on this list. It's a list of Animated Sadness, not Animated Soul-Crushing Despair And Resignation To The Incredible And Inevitable Depravity Of The Entire Human Race.
posted by Errant at 2:39 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


For sheer melancholy, it's tough to beat this opening sequence from A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:48 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think why grave of the fireflies doesn't belong on the list is that it really was in no way a kids movie.

The sequence in UP was so powerful because most people let their guard down and settled in with the popcorn for another Toy Story.
posted by cacofonie at 2:50 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks TheWhiteSkull! This is important information that I was not aware of... and I will take advantage of it in nefarious ways. :q
posted by tychotesla at 2:50 PM on November 14, 2014


Carl is a being than which none sadder can be imagined.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:58 PM on November 14, 2014


The most grievous absence has to be The Brave Little Toaster

Oh, dear sweet god yes. Although I think we are getting to the point where a lot of people in Buzzfeed's demo may not have seen TBLT, which will no doubt lead to more broken household appliances getting recycled instead of being stored, forever, in the closet because how can you do anything else you monster
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:01 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


It probably says a lot about me that I was obsessed with The Brave Little Toaster as a kid. Insisted on watching it over and over. Even though it terrified me.
posted by naju at 3:03 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have created a sadness rating scale for everything they left out:
  • Muppet Babies: 3% sad
  • Animated sequence from Kill Bill: 90% sad
  • Grave of the Fireflies: 99% sad
  • Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie: 1000% sad
posted by compartment at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


First, I know this was movies, but Fry's dog waiting for Fry yt has to be the second or third saddest animated sequence of all time.

I showed this to a girlfriend, who was actually a fairly non-emotional person, just to illustrate that mass market animated shows occasionally produced very very poignant content.

She ended up blubbering and inconsolable. I felt like the worst person in the world. I hadn't been intending to perform an experiment on her.
posted by ftm at 3:24 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've only seen my wife cry at two movies, and both of them were Pixar cartoons (WALL-E and, especially, Up). People had warned me about the first ten minutes of Up, so I was expecting it and got through it...and then [SPOILERS] BAM - the scene towards the end with the extra pages in the photo album. Seeing it in the theatre would have been embarrassing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:24 PM on November 14, 2014


First, I know this was movies, but Fry's dog waiting for Fry

NO. NO. THIS NEVER HAPPENED. NO.
posted by Justinian at 3:27 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think this would remotely qualify for the list because it's so fleeting, but the scene with the cartoon shoe in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is something that's been seared into my memory since I was six years old. I couldn't even handle it the first (and only) time I saw it. I had to leave the room and go comfort myself by doting on my collection of stuffed animals and other inanimate-but-still-possessing-of-thoughts-and-emotions things. God, I just did a Google image search for that scene and it's still disturbing and now I need to think about something else.

Although I think we are getting to the point where a lot of people in Buzzfeed's demo may not have seen TBLT, which will no doubt lead to more broken household appliances getting recycled instead of being stored, forever, in the closet because how can you do anything else you monster

That's what I thought, too! I'm just going to assume that the person who wrote the list was either too young to have seen it or so deeply traumatized by it as a child that they blocked out the memory. I remember being especially horrified by the scene where Blanky gets blown up into the tree, and the air conditioner scene, and the scene when they're crunching up the cars, and...

When my first car broke down (permanently) when I was 25, I swear to god, I laid weeping on the back seat with that scene looping my brain for a solid half-hour. My car, my car who had a name AND a theme song -- she'd given her life to service, and here I was about to waltz out of the salvage yard parking lot and let her get pieced out and then crunched up just like in The Brave Little Toaster?!! Bad feelings, man. On a happier note, I do still have the same blankie as I did when I saw the movie shhhhhh I'm only 32 that's not too old to have a blankie
posted by divined by radio at 3:32 PM on November 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


Saddest Tentpole Animated Films, anyway. As mentioned above, I don't think I've ever a pair of movies as bleak and existentially hopeless as Grave of the Fireflies and Plague Dogs.

Watching Plague Dogs is probably about as hollowed out as I've ever felt in my life that didn't involve the death of a family member. By the time the credits were rolling, I was speechless. Not metaphorically, or at least not only. Literally sitting in silence and staring off into space for something like three straight hours.

I remember by friends being seriously concerned by what a dark place that movie sent me to. It was an amazing movie, and it's probably one of my favorite movies that I've only seen once and that I will probably never revisit.
posted by absalom at 3:33 PM on November 14, 2014


Yeah, needs more Brave Little Toaster. The flower scene alone? Damn.

And Plague Dogs? Jesus Christ.

Up definitely earned its spot though.
posted by brundlefly at 3:40 PM on November 14, 2014


[Wall-E,] A loved-starved sentient robot trash compactor meets and instantly falls in love with a fancy female robot [Eve].
You know, apart from some fairly trivial cosmetic bits (the name, the voice) there's precious little marking Eve as a "female robot." (Whatever the hell that even means, anyway.) She actually embodies a lot of stereotypically male traits - she's uncommunicative-but-complex, taciturn, short-tempered, violent, militaristic, and aloof. Wall-E is the soft-hearted, nurturing, romantic, sentimental, appealingly eccentric one who nevertheless has a strong sense of duty toward and respect for his traditional role.

Wall-E is Eve's manic pixie dream girl.
posted by Western Infidels at 3:40 PM on November 14, 2014 [47 favorites]


I remember being especially horrified by the scene where Blanky gets blown up into the tree, and the air conditioner scene, and the scene when they're crunching up the cars, and...

Don't forget the appliance repair shop.

*shudder*
posted by brundlefly at 3:45 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


the saddest thing is when you realize that these kids are too young to remember An American Tail.

Fievel escaped from a pogrom you heartless bastards
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:50 PM on November 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


Up is worse for me now. I always thought Carl looked like an old Robin Williams. sniffle
posted by maggieb at 3:51 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why has no one mentioned All Dogs Go to Heaven yet?
posted by domo at 3:54 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


nubs: That film. I had heard it was good, so I bought it for my wife's birthday when it came out on DVD.
Among other gifts, I bought WALL-E for my wife for our anniversary so we could have a movie date night. Champagne with dinner probably wasn't the best idea, because she wound up asleep about an hour into the movie. I, on the other hand, wound up drinking champagne straight from the bottle out of one hand, and with the other looking up how long it would take me to get to San Francisco so I could kick Andrew Stanton's ass for making me cry at a robot movie for kids.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:56 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


Anne-Marie is kept only because of her ability to talk to animals. They don't really love her. Not to mention what happened to her voice actress, Judith Barsi.
posted by domo at 3:56 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re Dumbo:

Where's his father?
posted by brujita at 4:01 PM on November 14, 2014


*googles Judith Barsi*

Shit.
posted by brundlefly at 4:02 PM on November 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


Up did indeed make me start leaking tears while desperately trying to stifle my sobs in a movie theater full of children. The only other animated art to do that to me was the Iroh's Tale part of the Tales of Ba Sing Se episode of Avatar: the Last Airbender, which left me a goddamned wreck. I was watching on my laptop in bed, and when the episode was over, I just had to sort of curl up under the covers and sniffle while mentally wailing about how unfair it was that an animated kids' show just did that to me.

The whole show is amazing, and something close to perfect, but it was that episode especially that convinced me of how special Avatar really was. The mere mention of the song "Leaves from the Vine" is enough to bring tears to my eyes now.
posted by yasaman at 4:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Grave of the Fireflies *was* actually marketed as a family movie in Japan, and in fact was released as a double feature with 'My Neighbor Totoro'.

I'd heard that 'Night of the Living Dead' had been released in some markets as the 2nd feature accompanying the Peter Cushing 'Dr Who and the Daleks' — so some of the outrage against 'Night of the Living Dead' was from parents who were led to believe it was some bit of kid entertainment.
posted by rochrobbb at 4:13 PM on November 14, 2014


I'm surprised Where the Wind Blows hasn't turned up - basically the whole film is the third minute of Up, but everyone else in the world dies too. Horribly.
posted by Grangousier at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


didn't expect to end up thinking of Wall-E as a kind of gender bending film when I started reading this... but there you are. It really is a sly subversive film in a number of ways.

The robots who break out of the psych ward equivalent are the ones who save the day. The mentally ill characters are the heroes.
posted by edgeways at 4:29 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Soul crushing movie marathon: Brave Little Toaster, Plague Dogs, Grave of the Fireflies. If you're up for it, we can break FanFare with our wracking sobs. Hard liquor recommended.
posted by naju at 4:32 PM on November 14, 2014


Don't forget The Secret of NIMH

I wish I could. I wish. I can't.

Fuck this thread.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: calibrating animated sadness against Grave of the Fireflies as theoretical maximum
posted by qbject at 4:38 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Where's his father?

electrocuted by thomas edison
posted by poffin boffin at 4:45 PM on November 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


What about When the Wind Blows or Ringing Bell?
posted by Small Dollar at 4:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person who blubbered so hard she gave herself a nosebleed at Brave?

It got to the part where Merida and her bear-mama were learning about each other and fishing and gradually working together, and I was like LOOK THEY'RE TRYING SO HARD AND THE MOMMY REALLY LOVES HER STRONG, WONDERFUL, TOO-WILLFUL DAUGHTER AND SHE DID ALL THE TIME BUT SHE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO SHO-OH-OH-OH-OW IT... and there were not enough napkins in the world for my tears.

When my mom saw it, I tentatively asked her what she thought. "So she's a bear? Huh."

We are not exactly getting closer like I had hoped.
posted by Madamina at 5:02 PM on November 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


Many of you feel bad for this lamp.
posted by angerbot at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2014 [18 favorites]


You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a toaster, it’s walking toward you. You reach down, you flip the toaster over on its back. The toaster lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?
posted by tychotesla at 5:10 PM on November 14, 2014 [19 favorites]


I think we are getting to the point where a lot of people in Buzzfeed's demo may not have seen TBLT, which will no doubt lead to more broken household appliances getting recycled instead of being stored, forever, in the closet because how can you do anything else you monster

God I think my parents rented "Brave Little Toaster" for me because I was really into household appliances. Great plan guys!

If anybody hasn't rewatched it it's absolutely that dark, by the way. From the terrifying air conditioner scene at the beginning, to the flower sequence, to the musical number at the climax with the cars in the junkyard singing about, well, mortality, but specifically about feeling worthless and forgotten at the end of their useful lives - and then they get crushed!
posted by atoxyl at 5:11 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Dead Parents" are such an omnipresent trope in animated features, I'm surprised they've never done a Batman reboot as a toon. (Give them time.)

But for sadness not related to Family Mortality, to me, the saddest cartoon character EVER has to be that symbol of Sisyphean effort and inevitable failure, WILE. E. COYOTE.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:22 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


Gah! Simba's father dying and he walks up and nudges him. I can barely write that without crying. I used to pride myself on never crying at movies but that scene gets me every time. Probably due to my own father dying when I was young. But seriously, I need to leave the room when that scene comes on.
posted by kanata at 5:25 PM on November 14, 2014


My mom talks about the time when I was very little, probably two-ish?, and she had to take me out of the theatre after Bambi's mother was killed because I was hysterical and inconsolable. I don't remember it, but I'm sure it's why I've never liked Disneyana and why I still avoid sad cartoons. And now I'm supposed to believe that there are supposedly seven animated films that are much, much sadder? No thank you.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:26 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


ok but why is animated anthropomorphic fictional tragedy so much more tragic than actual human fictional tragedy? like i'm still traumatized by fievel getting washed overboard and totally will be for life, but that scene at the end of last season's walking dead where you are supposed to think a certain extremely vulnerable member of the group was eaten by zombies? i literally laughed about it for MONTHS, even harder when people were like "i cried so hard at that scene".

i mean i guess the answer to this could be "liz you are a monster" so idk
posted by poffin boffin at 6:32 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


a terrible friend pointed out that the Skin Horse sounds like a terrible terrible sex toy name

he PREFERS to be called "Sybian"
posted by Greg Nog at 6:32 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


ok but why is animated anthropomorphic fictional tragedy so much more tragic than actual human fictional tragedy?

I think it's because aside from our imaginations there's really no upper limit on how cute we can make the animated characters. And to whoever mentioned Mary and Max, thanks. I'm currently wallowing for a bit and that will do nicely ;_;
posted by mcrandello at 6:44 PM on November 14, 2014


why is animated anthropomorphic fictional tragedy so much more tragic than actual human fictional tragedy?

To be fair, I don't much care for that, either.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:03 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


which will no doubt lead to more broken household appliances getting recycled instead of being stored, forever, in the closet because how can you do anything else you monster

All I can say is SAD LAMP COMMERCIAL
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:12 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Soul crushing movie marathon: Brave Little Toaster, Plague Dogs, Grave of the Fireflies.

That's a soul crushing cartoon marathon. A soul-crushing movie marathon has to include Das Boot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:24 PM on November 14, 2014


I read this and thought "huh, pretty good list" because I had blocked Grave of the Fireflies and Where the Wind Blows from my memory. Gee, thanks Metafilter!
posted by gofargogo at 8:25 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is one of the saddest cartoons ever made. It's the only thing I know of that compares to the first 10 minutes of "Up".

I can't even watch it.
posted by evil otto at 8:26 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


The list's ordering had a lot of head-scratching moments for me. But I mostly came in here to say that a couple years ago I watched the first bit of Cinderella and when the stepsisters tore apart her dress I started crying so hard I had to turn off the movie and go sit in the dark for awhile.

The crazy thing to me was that I'd seen Cinderella hundreds of times as a kid and couldn't remember even being affected by that scene. So +1 to everyone upthread who's saying that kids are immune to the devastation in a lot of these movies and it actually makes it way more potent when you revisit them as an adult. Because you realize just how much more human you've become and how brutal life is and how no matter how sweet and kind a person is and how hard they're working to just get along and stay out of everyone else's way there's always some awful fucker just waiting to tear them down and victimize them and keep them as slave labor in their house annnnd okaaaay guess I'm stepping away from this thread. Night all! Go watch something fun!
posted by town of cats at 8:38 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


Man, how is Fox and the Hound so low? If I ever need to clear my sinuses I just have to watch the scene where he's dropped off in the forest.

I had successfully blocked TBLT from my memory, so thanks for that. Seems like the only difference between movies for children and adults is sex scenes, really.
posted by Trifling at 8:57 PM on November 14, 2014


I know the Fox And The Hound is REALLY IMPORTANT to a lot of people cause it's one of the few animated kid's movies to be ALL ABOUT RACISM (er, Foxism, whatever)
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh goodness, evil otto. That's tragic.
posted by angiep at 9:04 PM on November 14, 2014


'Up' bit me because 1) I'm getting significantly older, and all his limitations ring true, and 2) I've had that 'no kids for you' meeting with the doc and it went about as well. No crying because that's not what us stoic Germans do, but there's definitely something in my eye.

I relate to listing Lilo and Stitch, because I'm now married to someone who once told me "I love Lilo and Stitch, because the only animated movie that has people that look like me". Made me pay attention.

Oh, and thanks for the consistency, MF...4 whole comments before "the list sucks because America". Shocker.
posted by kjs3 at 9:05 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't know what your on about there kjs3, but goodness, in such an interconnected interwebby media rich world surely an observation about some list being mono cultural is not a bad thing? I would hope a similar comment would arise if the list was all Japanese films, or Russian... Etc. The list doesn't suck because America, it sucks because ONLY America. ... In fact much so called America hate can be boiled down to that oftentimes.
posted by edgeways at 9:14 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Animated GIF of sad Carl what the hell.

I remember "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" being depressing, but "Snoopy Come Home" being downright sad.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:22 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


OH HELL THEY'RE ALL DEPRESSING. So depressing I felt like the sadness rankings were arbitrary because every back story is horrible.

Oh, and what was said earlier about how live parents would forbid all fun adventures.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:23 PM on November 14, 2014


The list doesn't suck because America, it sucks because ONLY America. ... In fact much so called America hate can be boiled down to that oftentimes.

No. Cultures exist. America is one, and the people living in it are entitled to entertainment catered to it. Metafilter is an anglophone website. This presents two challenges to your worldview:

1) The third most populous country is the USA. There are a lot of us, creating and participating in our culture and media.

2) The US does a fantastic job shoveling people into the middle class, or it did, for a while. There are a metric fuck-ton of people who have the luxury to think very deeply about the media in their "mother tongue" - this is not a moral failing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:29 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Topsy the elephant was female
posted by brujita at 9:55 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man, how is Fox and the Hound so low? If I ever need to clear my sinuses I just have to watch the scene where he's dropped off in the forest.

I'd retained only a vague and hazy memory of Fox & The Hound making me cry as a kid, but as soon as I read this I could immediately see in my head the exact scene you're talking about and reflexively teared up. AND NOW EVERYTHING IS SAD AND IT HURTS WHY WHY.

On the other hand, I got my extremely chill and unfazeable dude to actually tear up last night by showing him the xkcd Spirit comic, so i'll go back to feeling smugly satisfied by that. After I stop sniffling over it, I mean.
posted by pseudonymph at 9:57 PM on November 14, 2014


I can't find it online, but several years back, local pbs channel occasionally aired a beautifully animated version of The Little Match Girl short to fill time that just killed me. ISTR it might have been a student project, perhaps local (USC? CalArts?), or possibly from Asia.

Regardless, there are several animated versions out there. Lord Jesus, what a story.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:53 PM on November 14, 2014


The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met. Willie the whale sings opera and is killed by a scheming impressario. Saw it with my dad, as a pre-feature short, some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s and was devastated, even though Willie gets to sing in heaven. I have no idea what the feature was. Anyone else remember this little animated tragedy?

Holy cow, I had completely forgotten that until your comment but yeah, I absolutely remember it. Not in great detail or anything, and no idea where I saw it, but I do remember being surprised that such a dark little animated film even existed. So I must have seen it when I was fairly young, early to mid-70's sounds plausible.

Looks like it was actually from the WWII era of Disney, part of an anthology film (Make Mine Music) that also gave us the animated Peter and the Wolf.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:07 PM on November 14, 2014


endless loop of the Iron Giant saying SSSUUUPPPEERMANNNNN and closing his eyes AAAAGH

also yes he is totally from space
posted by egypturnash at 1:21 AM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, and thanks for the consistency, MF...4 whole comments before "the list sucks because America". Shocker.

Hey, I would have been first if I hadn't bothered wasting time adding a joke as well.
posted by dng at 3:47 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I took my elderly, ailing, widowed mother to see Up, and the Carl and Ellie arc sucked the air out of the theater for both of us. Same thing with the short Bunny. Came for the lovely animation, but were horrified by the death/suicide plot.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:30 AM on November 15, 2014


Oh god, it wasn't just the intro sequence to Up.

The animated short that played before it was all about storks delivering babies.

At that point in time, we had suffered through two miscarriages. So they hit us with the cartoon about babies and then the gut punch opening sequence of Up.

Even though we now have an amazing almost-3 boy, there's good reason why Up is the only Pixar movie we don't own.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:59 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Damn it. I knew Carl would be on this list, and I knew it was going to wreck me when I found him, and it did.
posted by Foosnark at 6:04 AM on November 15, 2014


Grantland is owned by Disney, ergo the majority of the films in this list are Disney/Pixar features. The article even acknowledges this near the start.

I do hope The Tale of Princess Kaguya is nominated for the 2015 best animated feature oscar and goes on to win it; but that probably won't happen and certainly won't happen, respectively. Takahata's ability to reach through the fourth wall and tear your heart out makes Up look like a rounding error. Up is a fantastic 5 minute short turned into a very poor 100 minute full feature.
posted by lawrencium at 6:24 AM on November 15, 2014



Topsy the elephant was female


Animated version.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2014


Topsy the elephant was female

Yes, you have caught me, my comment was a dumb joke and not actually a presentation of true and factual information about the absent parent of an animated elephant.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:13 AM on November 15, 2014


The Brave Little Toaster was a sad movie, but none of the main characters were really sad characters

unless…

The toaster's nightmare was actually a flashback. It really did electrocute the master as a young boy and set fire to the kitchen. That's why the cabin is abandoned and the parents have never returned to pick up the boy's childhood things. This is why the other appliances treat the toaster and the blanket as crazy for reinforcing each other's delusions. They follow the toaster on its journey reluctantly, hoping only to keep it from self-destruction.

In the director's cut, a final scene is added after the “happy” ending: The toaster, still on a shelf in the appliance store, humming “City of Light,” blind to its surroundings, with the remains of its dismembered fellows strewn all around it.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:33 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


The montage in "Up" is so good that it left me wanting to see a movie about *her.* You know, with maybe Amy Poehler voicing the character. This somewhat diluted the rest of the actual movie for me.

Wall-E is a wonderful movie all around. But as a music theatre nerd, I especially love it for "Put on Your Sunday Clothes." (There, I've put THAT song in your mind for the rest of the day.)

Also this list reminds me of the gaps in my childhood cultural icon knowledge. There are famous kids books I never read, had read to me or read to any child. And ditto on a few animated films, evidently.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:04 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dumbo is a horrifying film.

If I had any tolerance for Disney after Bambi it was thoroughly destroyed by Dumbo. These films preyed so viciously on childrens' greatest fears and insecurities that I have to conclude that Walt Disney hated children.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:16 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


My kids come and stare at me at the end of Lilo and Stitch to see if I'm crying again.

It's the 'This is my family. I found it all on my own. It's little, and broken, but still good. Yeah - still good.' line that gets me every time.
posted by hfnuala at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wall-E is a wonderful movie all around.

Man, I will never understand this point of view. For me WALL-E was great up until they left Earth; everything after that was dumb and insulting.
posted by asterix at 12:11 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


@pseudonymph: the xkcd Spirit comic

Dammit, and I thought "I got you a comet." was sad.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 12:13 PM on November 15, 2014


I've been rewatching my all-time favorite anime series and movies with my partner, and in doing so I had a disturbing revelation: Nearly every one of them features a woman that's totally inundated with tragedy and unhappiness brought about by an environment of overt misogyny. I mean, I guess I always knew this, but my youthful reaction was more along the lines of "Wow, she's so strong in the face of adversity. Now back to the gunplay and sword swinging!" Going back through the shows now, looking at the challenges they faced structurally (and with the understanding that I'm viewing this through an American cultural lens), I feel a lot more unsettled by it.

Some examples that immediately spring to mind: Casca (from Berserk); Kageto (from Ninja Scroll); Maria (from Gungrave). I think all three of them would fit squarely on a list like this.
posted by kryptondog at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2014


>For me WALL-E was great up until they left Earth

Yeah, it gets a lot more heavy-handed, and I really don't like the lol fat people approach that it takes in the second half. But I like watching how the sphere of programming that Wall-E breaks gets wider and wider. First, it's his own, then his immediate environment, then Eve's (sort of). He disrupts the routine of every character he meets, and the ripples of that disruption widen until he's broken the entire society's programming. It's a message of a single entity making incremental progress against a broken society that is satisfying for me to watch.
posted by tchemgrrl at 3:51 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I really don't like the lol fat people approach that it takes in the second half

As a (then) fat person, I didn't get that at all. I did pick up on the nuance that they were in a low-G environment where it was difficult to get any meaningful exercise, and temporary solutions and comforts had ossified into an entrenched culture. More, none of them were blamed for their condition or shamed for it, but set out as heroic examples for transcending it. The culture was under scrutiny, not those born in it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:56 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


For those who haven't had the pleasure in a while, I'll just leave this right here. It's -- and I am not making this up here -- the nightmare of a small appliance.

In retrospect I really have to give them some credit for sitting down and really brainstorming out "hey, what would a toaster's nightmare actually be like, anyway? What would a toaster's real fears be?" and really running with that to its logical conclusion plus or minus a few tabs of acid, and then reality creeps in and it's all "wtf wait who does that as part of making a kids movie? what the hell..."

That is true of a fair number of 'classic' Disney pictures I suppose. I have never rewatched All Dogs Go to Heaven, for instance.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:13 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't believe 150 posts and not a one recalled this sad little southern fried sadness from Disney's water works factory. Its so sad... HOW SAD IS IT?... It features a scene to remind you of bambi and his mother, before she was shot: The Rescuers (1977). And just in case you aint seen it, and thought it was all moonlight sad songs, here's the best line of the cartoon.
posted by xtian at 8:18 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I give Vin Diesel more slack than pretty much anyone, simply because of Sooopermaahn.

My wife and I cried painful, wracking tears at roughly four different points throughout Up. If you see the film with someone who doesn't cry at all, they're not human. If you see it with someone who, every time you start to cry, you look over, and they're looking back at you, also crying, you might have just found a soulmate.

Still, for sadness, Pom Poko. I can't even rationally talk about it. Just watching this trailer, with no dialog, makes me want to curl up in a fetal position, holding my pooh bear. Oh, look, a movie about those loveable shapeshifting tricksters with the giant testicles! That must be a load of fun! Wait, what do you mean it's a fictionalized retelling of the construction of Tama New Town, a western suburb of Tokyo, which was built in the largest remaining habitat for tanuki (the actual animal) in Japan (and hence, the world)? And (SPOILER, duh) that since it's based on this actual event, the magical frolicking tanuki, with all of their cheerful trickery and shape changing not only don't win, they most emphatically fail, and lose their homes, families, and everything? It's about this point in thinking about Pom Poko that I can't remember ever feeling happiness, and wonder if I ever will again. Even thinking about it brings that pain in the back of my throat, the one that tells you you're going to cry until it hurts.

Great, great movie.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:43 PM on November 15, 2014


Up.

Went to see it with my 70 year old parents, one of whom was ailing from several strokes. Cried my eyes out. My dad fell asleep, my mom thought it was a fun movie with talking dogs.

I can't talk about the film without tearing up.
posted by booooooze at 5:50 AM on November 16, 2014


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