Five Times Pixar Broke Our Hearts

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Ever since Toy Story, Pixar (with some help from Disney) has revolutionized what it means to watch a kids’ movie. Disney has always been good at making movies both kids and grown-ups can enjoy, but it wasn’t until Pixar came along that animated movies became a true art form. Pixar’s genius lies in that they aren’t afraid to tackle mature topics, especially death and loss, while still remaining bright, funny and full of life.

However, it’s become noticeably harder and harder to get through a Pixar movie without breaking down into tears. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of the top five moments that Pixar broke our hearts, because if there’s one thing they’re great at, it’s reminding us of our own mortality.

5. Finding Nemo – The barracuda attack

Finding Nemo is an adorable movie about the unbreakable bond between a father and son. But how do you get that bond so strong in the first place? You gotta kill the mom (and all the other babies). Preferably in the most brutal way possible for a kids’ movie, via hungry barracuda. Pixar is probably the only company that makes talking animal movies and actually pays attention to the food chain, scarring plenty of us for life. Clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) and baby Nemo’s disfigured little egg sac are the only survivors of the attack, making Marlin the neurotic, anxious worrywart we know and love, which makes his later adventures all the more heartwarming. And sob-worthy.

4. Toy Story 2 – Jessie’s song

Toy Story 2 finds Woody (Tom Hanks) stuck with a collector of Woody’s Roundup memorabilia due to a garage sale mishap, but he soon finds a friend in Jessie (Joan Cusack) a spirited, yodeling cowgirl who serves as one of the movie’s brightest characters. Until we learn her backstory, that is. Jessie tells Woody how she came to be a collectable – in song form.

Sarah McLachlan takes over, telling the story of Jessie’s life with her original owner, Emily, whom she loved more than anything. As Emily grew older, she abandoned Jessie for music and makeup, eventually donating her just when Jessie thought she loved her again. Excuse me, I think I have something in my eye. If you’ve ever felt guilty about giving away your childhood toys, don’t worry, you have Jessie’s song to help you feel ten times worse.

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Comments (7)

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  1. All of these are soul-destroying…but Jessie’s song? I just can’t. It’s impossible not to die inside when you hear that song.

    1. vi31says:

      They’ve now started using that song with Sarah Mac for ASPCA commercials.  I mean, come ON.

  2. Mike Niemietzsays:

    That first part of Up gets me every freakin’ time. I have no idea how Pixar managed to make the audience so attached to a couple within just a few minutes, but they managed it.

    1. vi31says:

      There was something floating around Facebook about a month or so ago – this same pic of Carl and Ellie with the caption “Disney told a better love story in 8 minutes than Stephenie Meyer did in four books.”  WIN.

  3. Guestsays:

    I’m pretty sure Woody is voiced by Tom Hanks, not Tim Allen. Tim Allen is Buzz, right? 🙂

    1. Carina Bellessays:

      Wow thank you for catching that, I was definitely typing too fast.

  4. Gpeddinosays:

    Expanding with another scene from Up… The scene in which Carl finds Ellie’s message by the end of the picture book. I literally had to pause the movie for some good 10 minutes to bawl my eyes out.

    I’ve never seen Toy Story 3, but some really macho friends of mine told me how they all lost i during the ending scene…

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