There have been many, many times Disney has played me so hard I’ve wept rivulets. It’s all the dying in all the cartoons, I think. Bambi’s mom, Simba’s dad, Trusty the bloodhound in Lady and the Tramp. Freaking Up doesn’t even wait for the movie to start before it starts killing off beloved characters. But the one scene that just killed me wasn’t even a death. It was Dumbo’s mom singing Baby Mine. She reaches through the bars to stroke her little baby one last time. . . 'scuse me-- allergies.
It may be this one scene really gets to me because it was the first time a cartoon made me do anything beside laugh. Also, I was quite young. My dad should have known better than to show this to me, especially since my very own mother died when I was 5-- not that long before I watched this movie on The Wonderful World of Disney. I was inconsolable and am glad it isn’t one of those Disney clips they show all the time.
When I saw The Jungle Book after reading Kipling, and realized that Disney had made buffoonish singing cartoons out of something I thought was magical and wise. I was maybe ten so that would be 1966. Don’t think I watched another Disney cartoon for several decades after that rude awakening. None of the tear-jerking scenes before that moved me much. I had read far too many books written for adults by then.
I was seven when he plugged Old Yeller. Only time I ever saw it, and I remember it as plain as day. Totally worst ever. On the other hand, I knew everybody at the Alamo was goin’ down. I was born in Lubbock. It wasn’t so pain-full as perfectly melodramatic, and that time I was only five. Best dyin’ scene ever. Buddy Ebson as George Russel: Give 'em what fer, Davy.
Seeing Finding Nemo a few weeks after our son died was a big mistake. My wife, our two kids, and I had been moping about the house for a while in our sadness. We decided we should go to the movies. We love Pixar movies, so we picked their latest offering, not knowing what it was about.
Dammit, dammit, dammit.
When Nemo’s Dad says, “I’ll never let anything happen to you.” sent me over the edge. Seeing me cry sent the wife and kids into tears.
I wouldn’t say Return to Oz emotionally devastated five year old me…more like emotionally “baptized me in a lake of liquid fire, reborn, cleansed, free to scrawl my own design on a morally blank world.”
'Loved that movie. Still do. Those Wheelers do still creep me the heck out, though.