I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that. To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and fluffed it out to 31 entries (since December has 31 days). I have done a 30-day challenge before for movies, though that one was poorly executed (I started it in the middle of a month, at one point I posted 2 entries on one day, it is a mess). I did another one just this year in August on Video Games, that one was better, go read it after this one, all of it. Or don’t, no pressure.
Today is day 17 and the topic is “Saddest Moment”.
It is another Top 5 List, because I could think of 5 entries and they were all sad, so I am going to make a list. Strangely, even though there are 5 entries, there are only 3 types of Sad… You’ll see what I mean.
I have shockingly little connection to this movie. I am sure I have seen it, but I have almost no memory of it and know that it is sad more as a cultural touchstone. Everyone sort of knows what you are talking about when you mention it, and its effect on children has been parodied a number of times. I am speaking of Mother’s death in the movie “Bambi”.
This is a great scene, the snowfall obscuring the whole world is a fitting metaphor for the loss of a caregiver. The sad impotent calls for help as the world grows colder and darker… This is sadness type 1.
This one is sadder, mostly because of how it happens to a much stronger and more interesting character. There are lots of elements, the scope of the threat, the immediacy, and the surrounding sense of dread and betrayal. Is it not enough to lose your father, but to think you were responsible? That is the icing. I am talking about Mufasa’s death in “The Lion King”.
Less symbolic than the snowfall certainly, instead you have the action’s pace continue as Simba must flee the hyenas while going into exile while still grieving. He is alone, guilt ridden, and sad… This is also sadness type 1, death of a parent.
Ever seen grownups cry in a movie theater? Cause these next three deal with the sort of sadness that strikes more at the heart of adults, but to children serve more as dark prophecies for them to deny until self-reflective episodes in their 20’s and 30’s when they attempt to write blogs on sad Disney movie moments.
We all grow up. But we don’t always get to grow up with our fictional characters. When I am 70, Batman will still be 30 something. When I am 80, Captain America will still be 30 something. When I am dust there will probably still be Lego bricks in toy chests. We do not get to take the things we loved as children with us. Not because these things are unimportant or lack value, but because we change as people. It is important to leave our treasures with those who can take care of them and treasure them so that those parts of us do not disappear.
This entry comes from the rare Disney franchise that has sequels, the sequels grow the themes of the story, and they reflect the time that has passed in the real world. I am speaking of Andy saying goodbye to Woody and Buzz in “Toy Story 3”. This is sadness type 2-A, loss of childhood via loss of treasured possessions.
(The audio quality on here will give you cancer. Just a warning.)
This is a more obscure entry. I would venture to say that most people have not seen it, and that I am kind of an outlier in that I managed to watch it when I was a little kid. “The Fox and the Hound” is about a puppy hunting dog, Copper and his time befriending a fox cub, Todd. Why they did not name the copper colored fox “Copper” I have no idea. That is not what we are here for.
The point is that as the hunting puppy grows into a hunting dog he and his friend grow apart. I think just about anybody can identify with one of these two sides right? Your friend goes off to the military or college, or you go, and returning home you two have lost that connection you had previously. People grow and they grow apart. Especially from when they were children.
Spoiler alert, this movie ends with Todd going into exile in the woods after being hunted by Copper, and them both having to team up to fight a bear. The final cleft between the two is tear welling. This is sadness type 2-B, loss of childhood via loss of best friend.
Before I get to my number 1—and since I can’t go a blog without reminding everyone how much of a cultured twit I am—I would like to point out how the idea of a wild man and a cultured man becoming friends to battle a giant and then one of them leaving the story is kind of like the first few chapters of “Gilgamesh”. It is not a 1-to-1 comparison, just a theme.
In that story the wild man Enkidu befriends Gilgamesh and they go on adventures and ultimately Enkidu is killed. I see Todd the Fox as Enkidu in this story and I wonder if watching your childhood friend die saving you from a threat after you had just been hunting them would be sadder than the parting on strained terms ending that was present? Should Disney have killed Todd? It might have been sadder on one level, but certainly less identifiable. What do you think?
And because Pixar hates your happiness on a personal level, it is the opening to “Up”.
I do not think anyone will even argue with me about this. This is the sort of sad that cuts on multiple levels, of looking back on someone you lost, all the opportunities you each missed out on, and all the pain of the deep personal tragedies you had to share. This is sadness type 3, forlorn and regretful.
Share your own thoughts on this in the comments. I know I am not the only person out there who is nostalgic for Disney products, and I am sure many people disagree with my selection for today’s entry.
I picked Disney stuff just because I knew there was so much of it to talk about and it lends itself to discussion in the comments. So please, tell me how my opinion about cartoon movies is biased and how your opinion on cartoon movies is objectively right.