Inside The Writers Studio – Right in the animated feels

5 min read


We’d be pretty happy individuals, if it weren’t for animated movies. All ages my magnificent ass, the films back in the day didn’t just contain two-dimensional art, it featured angiush porn as well. Whether it was a king falling, a mother dying or knowledge that your dog was going to hell, there was plenty of mental trauma hiding behind that all ages banner. And no matter what your age is, movies can still reduce you to a tearful wreck. Here’s a list of the movies which made us secrete the eye-juices which kept that industry motivated.

Darryn – All Star Superman

If you haven’t seen All Star Superman yet, then tough, you’ve had enough time to do so. Right at the end of the film, everything comes to a head. Superman starts to feel the effects of being overloaded with too much solar energy after falling for another Lex Luthor plot, with only minutes left to live. Luthor has escaped from prison, recreated a serum which gives him superpowers similar to the man of steel and has run amok. Eventually defeating him, Superman realises that he has mere minutes left, bids farewell to Lois Lane and once again saves the day, for the last time.

But dammit, I was tearing up. That entire final act was just perfect. The animation, the music, the battle. Superman doesn’t only physically beat Luthor, he outsmarts him, deconstructs him and leaves just enough pieces for Luthor to finally redeem himself. But that final kiss with Lois, that immortal line of Superman only having once chance to save the world and Lois telling him “That’s all you’ve ever needed”, before it’s up, up and away and flying into the sun…Now that’s the real Man of Steel.

James – Watership Down

Well, it’s obvious – isn’t it? Watership Down! That movie traumatised a generation of movie viewers – so much so that everyone talks about it, but nobody wants to see it again. It’s not just that rabbits die. It’s that stupid Art Garfunkel song that makes you want to crawl under a bed and eat a box of Kleenex. Even tough guys have to swallow it back or risk looking droopy-eyed when the chorus of Bright Eyes comes on. Just writing this leaves a lump in my throat – and I haven’t seen the film since I was something like ten. The only animated films that came close to rendering such emotional scarring were Grave of the Fireflies and When the Wind Blows.

Kervyn – Watership Down

I’m with James on this one. I’m a manly man, who eats slightly warm cow backside with my bare teeth and have even drunk strong alcohol through my eyeball (true story), but Watership Down reduced me to a soppy, whimpering mess. You may have noticed that I never added “as a child” to that previous sentence, and that’s because this happened only a few years ago. See, I was sure that I had seen the movie as a kid, but my brain had obviously deleted that memory for fear that I would spend all of primary school being beaten up for crying over bunny rabbits. So I went and watched it all over again to remind myself what the fuss was about.

Two lines into “Bright Eyes” and all the holes in my face were doing Niagara Falls impersonations.

Tracy – The Incredibles

Oddly enough, the one scene that will make me cry without fail isn’t a sad one. The scene that always brings me to tears is from The Incredibles, where Mrs. Incredible is flying to the island and the bad guys shoot missiles at the aeroplane. It’s one of the most emotionally charged scenes I’ve ever watched.

You have a superhero, who is used to being invincible, suddenly in a situation that she can’t control. Missiles have been fired at her plane, her children are with her and she can’t escape. The missiles are bearing down and her evasive manoeuvres fail. Her pleading to call them off falls on deaf ears. Her daughter is too scared to put a force field around the plane. She gets more and more panicked until she does the only thing she can, she sacrifices herself to protect her children as the aeroplane explodes.

Holly Hunter’s voice acting in that scene is just amazing. I think the reason I will always cry in that scene is that she makes it so real. It’s scary and hectic, and she puts her character through so many emotions, from her attempts to stay calm to losing her cool at Violet, and then the rising panic as she realises that there’s no way out. It brings a serious lump to my throat every time.

Nick – Up

I challenge anyone to find a movie that can better stir juices up that should be otherwise left buried, under a rock, preferably in a steel coffin. The 2009 movie Up by Pixar/Walt Disney will have you weeping and laughing as you are taken on a roller-coaster journey. It is also one of the few movies that STILL elicits the same response years later. I remember being brought to tears when I watched Artax the horse die in the Swamp of Sadness in the NeverEnding Story (1984), but on watching it again it seems to have dated. Also, it’s a horse, not an old granny who has spent her life with her best friend… Either way Up, with its old grumpy lead did what very few CGI movies can do: made the person sitting next to me cry, because I wouldn’t as a MAN. (Sniff).

Last Updated: March 18, 2014

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