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Pixar went too far

The top ten saddest Pixar movies

Throughout our childhoods, we enjoyed the cinematic experience of Disney and Pixar movies. They shape our childhoods and change our perspectives on people. However, Pixar movies are quite well known for making your eyes well up with tears. Therefore it is only right to rank the top ten most sorrowful movies. 


#10. Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo (Disney/Pixar)

Finding Nemo was released in 2003 on May 30th, and was a crucial part of everyone’s childhood. However, there were key moments in the movie that put it on this list. To start, the movie begins with a devastating and heartbreaking scene where the clownfish Marlin, his wife Coral, and their eggs are attacked by a shark. Only Marlin survives with Nemo’s egg partially cracked, leading him to have a smaller fin. The next sorrowful part of the movie is Nemo being taken by scuba divers when he tries to defy his father by touching the boat. While watching this scene unfold, you see the fear in Marlin’s eyes as he attempts to chase after the boat. The third and final sad moment of the movie is when Dory and Marlin argue after Marlin thinks he has lost his son forever. The scene is depressing and is relatable for most everyone who has lost someone they love and care for. Because the movie’s ending truly resolved the majority of the issues and provided a happy ending for  Marlin, Dory, and Nemo, it ranks #10. 


#9. Brave

Brave (Disney/Pixar)

Brave was awarded the Golden Glove Award for best-animated feature film in 2013. The movie depicts the rocky relationship between Merida and her mother Queen Elinor, as well as Merida’s struggles to be herself in a patriarchal world. The movie certainly captivates the audience when you see the tapestry created by Queen Elinor slashed in Merida’s dislike for her mother. Many teens understand what it is like having a rocky relationship with their parents, and can relate to the frustration at the beginning of the story. Despite this, seeing Merida work so hard to transform her mother back really punctures the heart; family is family, and seeing her care for the mother even though they have differences certainly makes the eyes well with tears. 


#8. Coco

Coco (Disney/Pixar)

Coco is a family classic as it shows how one’s family, new and old, shapes our lives and we shape theirs, even after death. Life after death is even symbolized with the marigolds being the only living plants in the Land of the Dead, the land of the Dead is,as the name says, a place for the dead to live after dying, and nothing alive is allowed there except the marigolds, showing life after death. However, when Miguel feels upset when his guitar is destroyed and this family does not understand his love for music, we all feel the heartbreak, everyone loves something that has been hated. A truly sad moment is seeing Miguel’s hopes crushed as he realizes the man he thought was his great-great-grandfather, Ernesto, is the one who betrayed and poisoned his real grandfather and does not care for Miguel. The film touched everyone’s soft spot when Miguel sang the song “Remember Me” to his great-grandmother Coco to save Hector and restore her memory of her father. As Miguel sings, you see Mama Coco’s memories of her father, and I dare you to keep your eyes dry as you take in the heartfelt, emotional moment when she’s so excited in her old age at the thought of her sweet father. The movie overall does have a lot of happy moments and therefore ranks #8. 


#7. Onward 

Onward (Disney/Pixar)

The movie Onward has a lot of truth behind it, as it is inspired by the experiences of Dan Scanlon, the movie’s director, own childhood. The movie certainly met the expectations of Pixar, as it showed how devastating it can be to lose a parent. Ian Lightfoot lost his dad at a young age and attempts to bring back his father for a day. However, because he has never practiced magic before, he only brings back his bottom half. He then tries all the things he missed out on with his father. The exact moment in which you get really misty-eyed is when Ian realizes he had those experiences with his brother, Barley Lightfoot, who was like a father figure, or at least tried his best to be a father figure. Selflessness plays a part in the movie when Ian sacrifices seeing his dad fully so his brother can get the chance to say goodbye, something he couldn’t do when he was a kid. 


#6. Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 (Disney/Pixar)

Toy Story 3 was an iconic part of everyone’s childhood and even had Tom Hanks as the voice actor of the beloved toy, Woody. However, Toy Story 3 hit differently than all the other Toy Story movies. The first reason is watching Andy Davis say goodbye to his childhood, and relive the memories that shaped him as a person. Another scene that hurts everyone’s inner child is seeing Lotso recall the devastating memory of his person replacing him with a new bear. The movie in general is quite depressing when you realize the theme is about letting go of your childhood and growing up, something everyone struggles with now and then. 


#5. Up

Up (Disney/Pixar)

Up was based on people escaping reality when life gets too tough. The 2004 film inspires others to achieve their dreams because it is never too late. On the contrary to the purpose of the film, the movie bruised your heart seeing Carl lose the love of his life and have to live the rest of his life without his soulmate. Another scene that floods the eyes is the moment in which Russel has no one to award him his assisting the elderly badge until Carl shows up to present him the award himself, as he is proud and wants to be there for Russel. In general, the whole movie has a bitter-sweet feeling throughout. 


#4. Finding Dory

Finding Dory (Disney/Pixar)

Finding Dory certainly can make someone sensitive, the movie goes from a great happy moment to a devastating loss. When you see Dory recall the memory of getting sucked into the strong current and pushed through the pipes, losing her parents for the rest of her childhood, you can help but feel the pain Dory must have felt losing her loved one like that. Next, watching Dory being told by the other Blue Tang fish that her parents are not alive not only feels like an emotional roulette on the heart but depresses an audience member after Dory searches the majority of her life for her parents. After Dory seems to have been dealt the worst hand of cards in her life, you see her follow a path of shells where she ends up seeing her parents after all these years, who have laid down thousands of shell paths for her to follow back home.  Watching Dory reconnect with her parents after all that time makes you sympathize with her and feel a burst of sadness in your heart. 


#3. Wall-E

Wall-E (Disney/Pixar)

Wall-E is perhaps one of the most innocent robots created, and Wall-E is incredibly selfless as he takes care of others before himself. A sad moment in Wall-E is understanding that Wall-E is the last of his kind, all alone, on a deserted planet, this makes anyone who feels alone connect with the character and feel sad for him. This makes the part of the film in which Eve saves Wall-E so much more heartbreaking, making your eyes water enough to fill an ocean as Wall-E has someone to look out for him now.  Also, seeing Wall-E fight so hard for the small little plant to be noticed shows his compassion for others, which overall makes the tears stream a bit more than the seven movies ranked below it. 


#2. Inside Out

Inside Out (Disney/Pixar)

Inside Out isn’t just about our emotions but how they control us and our decisions. Many teenagers go through periods of time in which they feel completely lost in their lives and in Riley’s case, she became more distant from her parents when feeling unnoticed and ignored. When Sadness and Joy are lost, there is a realization that we need sadness in our lives to help us feel our other emotions as well, this can make anyone misty-eyed, as we all have felt sadness that has hit differently. At one point or another everyone experienced a friend like Bing Bong -someone we could always count on – and seeing Bing Bong be forgotten simply turns the heart blue for saying goodbye to our childhoods can be devastating. Lastly, seeing Riley buy a bus ticket and feel like running away is her only option is almost too relatable; in our most emotional moments, running away from our problems feels like the only option left. 


#1. The Good Dinosaur

The Good Dinosaur (Disney/Pixar)

The Good Dinosaur ranks #1 because almost the entire movie has you sobbing. Arlo’s and Spot’s whole friendship was based on them only having each other, due to Spot’s parents being dead, Arlo’s dad being dead, and the rest of his family nowhere to be seen. Then after all the trouble Spot and Arlo went through being friends, they separate again and Arlo comes back to see that his family has gone back to their normal lives. While they are happy to see him, they put no effort into finding him and he had already felt like an outcast before. With all the commotion in the movie, the tragic losses, and the painful goodbyes, no one could watch the movie without feeling the heart-wrenching pain of seeing Arlo go through all of this.

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About the Contributor
Ainsley Davis
Ainsley Davis, Journalist
Hi, I am Ainsley Davis, a 9th-grade journalist at Cavelero Mid-High. I'm the youngest of three and have 18 pets! I enjoy reading, playing volleyball with my friends, baking, shopping, and hanging out with friends and family in my free time. I did tae kwon do for about 5-6 years and got to my second degree black belt before quitting to focus on my studies more. Thanks for getting to know me!

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