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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