• Loren Javier

My Top FIVE Emotional Moments From Disney & Pixar Animated Features

My nephews put on Moana while I was visiting. I was puttering around, watching it mostly in the background. And then, it came to a certain scene where my attention was drawn in and I became an emotional mess. And I realize that this is what happens to me every time I see this film, no matter how much or little I've paid attention to the film on the whole.

It got me thinking of other scenes that destroy me like that, no matter what I'm doing. So, this is my top FIVE scenes that absolutelty have me in tears. For this list, I am only including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar features. And this is in no particular order.

Photo: Disney

1) Grandmother Tala appears from Moana The scene that I was speaking of that started this blog entry is when Moana's Grandmother Tala appears to her as a spirit just as Moana thinks all is lost. I think I've mentioned a few times on this blog that I've always looked to my grandmother as a source of inspiration and as a spiritual guide. I don't know if I'm a believer in reincarnation, but I do think there are signs and symbols that guide you and I often see my grandmother in various things. So, as soon as Moana sees the ray that her grandmother once said she wanted to return as, I am a mess. Then, the words of encouragement she gives Moana leads into, for me, the most empowering song in the movie.

Photo: Disney/Pixar

2) Married Life from Up I think many people are with me in saying that the "Married Life Suite" sequence at the beginning Up is one of the most amazing and powerful in film. Without any dialogue, we witness the entire relationship between Carl and Ellie. We see their high points (their marriage, their house, their fun jobs) and their low points (They learn they cannot have children), so, by the time we reach the end of Ellie's life, we understand everything we need to know about Carl and his motivations through the rest of the movie. We all know what it is like to love and hope and dream. And to see it so beautifully put on the screen just tears our heartstrings.

Photo: Disney

3) Ralph destroys Vanellope's Kart from Wreck-It Ralph This one was an unlikely one for me, but it gets me all the time. We see Ralph and Vanellope go from adversaries to buddies to him becoming her hero. Tricked by King Candy into believing that Vanellope is being kept out of the race to save her life, Ralph feels like he has to take things into his own hands to protect her, even if it means destroying her dreams. There is something very powerful about the performance here, from Ralph's conflicted hesitation in wrecking her kart to Vanellope's cries of betrayal. It's very visceral to me and always has me in tears.

Photo: Disney/Pixar

4) Andy gives his toys to Bonnie from Toy Story 3 I love all three Toy Story movies and think each film says something to say about relationships - our fears, our bonds, our connections. But, Toy Story 3 gets me all the time because the ending is a natural conclusion to some relationships. Sometimes, those who we've loved and nurtured for years need to move on. It's just that next step in life and Andy's passing on his toys to Bonnie is a perfect allegory for this. Watching my nephews go from little boys to tweens to teens to my eldest nephew going away to college in a couple years, the scene reminds me it's okay to let go and that you will always have your memories.

Photo: Disney

5) Flynn tells Rapunzel she was his new dream from Tangled Of all the Disney Princess movies, I felt Flynn Rider to be the most fleshed out "prince" and his love story with Rapunzel to be the most organic. By the end of the movie, I truly believed that this scoundrel could be so charmed and fall in love with the goofy innocent gal who was trapped in a tower. But, in a movie about her sharing dreams, it isn't until he tells her that she was his new dream where I completely lose it.

What are the scenes that most make you cry?

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