Crying at Animated Films

By way of Animated Views I came across this Time article which discussed the tear factor of animated films, in particular Toy Story 3. The reason the article was written in the first place was the rather astonishing number of reports that came out after Toy Story 3 was released in which adults openly admitted crying during the film.

There is next to no reason why adults shouldn’t be afraid to display their emotiond during an animated film. The Time piece focuses on the fact that adults were crying at a children’s film. So what? Are they supposed to hide their feelings or are they supposed to be able to realise that what is on screen isn’t real? Poppycock! Just because a film is aimed at kids does not in any way prohibit adults from enjoying the full range of emotions that a kid does.

So the film ‘looks’ different, that is a pathetic excuse to pre-suppose that it is somehow unworthy of adult emotions. An animated film is still a film. it has a plot, characters, setting and climactic conclusion no different from any other movie you see out there. In fact, I’d go on to say that an animated film is more deserving of adult emotions for the simple reason that adults, while more mature and experienced when it comes to films, tend to suppress displaying such emotions, especially in public. On a related note, the fact that the animator’s hard work can be related to by both adults and kids alike is a sure sign of their skill.

I freely admit that I welled up during Toy Story 3 but not during the incinerator scene. instead what got me was the one where Andy was standing in an empty bedroom as he leaves for college. It brought back a simlar memory for me when I had all my stuff packed for my move to the States. In my case it wsn’t anything to do with the plot or the characters, it was simply the thought of my mother having an empty room in the house that did me in.

it’s fair to say that animation excels at stirring emtions in the audience. The artform’s longevity means that films such as Dumbo continue to extract responses from the viewer despite the fact that live-action films of the same era do not have near the same impact as they did when released.

it would be nice to think that Toy Story 3 has set some sort of a precedent in the area of adult emotion. Perhaps we will see more animated films that dare to branch out from the safety of the kiddie genre.

2 Comments on “Crying at Animated Films

  1. The whole “animation age ghetto” is a stygma that we, the people interested in animation, should wash off. I’m not ashamed to say that in my adult life I have cried while watching Toy Story 3. And Up. And Finding Nemo. And My neighbour Totoro. And… well, you get the idea. Emotional connection with an expressive or narrative medium are proof of our relation with their works. Great post! I hope too that phenomena as the reaction to Toy Story 3 change the public perception of the media.

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