I've been lucky enough to have seen Pixar's "Inside Out" three
times already. Each time I cried not unlike a baby—a big, grown-up, blubbering baby. While
Pixar may bring to the screen beautifully animated stories, engaging
characters, stirring music and compelling narratives, they also bring the
Lots and lots of tears.
The studio has a knack for making us laugh, yes, but also to
cry (in a good cry sort of way). They make us care.
"Make me care," Pixar director Andrew Stanton pleaded to storytellers. "Please ... emotionally, intellectually,
aesthetically, just make me care. We
all know what it's like to not care. You've gone through hundreds of TV
channels, just switching channel after channel, and
then suddenly you actually stop on one. It's
already halfway over, but something's caught you and you're drawn in
and you care. That's not by chance, that's
This design (and emotional manipulation) is something that Pixar has honed
over the years from their 1995 not-so-tear-worthy-but-yet-awesome film "Toy
Story" to their brand new release, the not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house masterpiece
In honor of Pixar's
ability to touch us so deeply and to stimulate our tear ducts in such a
powerful way, I asked 48 of my friends on Facebook (90 percent of them parents) what
Pixar film made them cry the most. This is far from a scientific study, but it includes votes from an old friend from Herbert Hoover Middle School, parents from my
daughter's preschool, my sister-in-law, the Iris Award winner for Best Writing,
Lots and lots of bloggers.
Most of them have yet to see "Inside Out," but enough have seen it to give it a
spot on the list—which is presented here in order of tear flow, from a drip to a
"Finding Nemo" 2003—1 vote
I have a confession. My daughter has watched this film a gazillion times, but I
think she's only seen the beginning scene (when it's discovered that Nemo's mother
and siblings are killed) like once. It's a tearjerker scene for sure, but
thankfully the film becomes relatively upbeat from there.
"Brave" 2012—1 vote
One mom was moved to tears when Merida apologizes to her mother for creating
such chaos by being responsible for turning her into a bear. That's big
boo-boo, turning your mother into a wild creature. Thankfully, right after her tearful apology, order is restored.
"WALL-E" 2008—1 vote
The sci-fi flick that Pixar made
a few years back received a vote, as well, for the power of the musical score "as
they soar across the galaxy and anytime EVE says 'Wall-E,'" Jessica of the Disney Sisters said. "Sigh."
"Monsters, Inc." 2001—2 votes
While many see "Monsters, Inc." as a kick in the pants, it also moved two of my
pals to tears. "When Kitty brings Boo home and says goodbye," Professor Felicia Viator notes. "Good God, heart
"Toy Story 2" 1999—2 votes.
Smack dab in the middle of "Toy Story 2" is a scene that breaks the trance of fun
and adventure with a song and scene so sad that tears fell for many a viewer.
The touching moment is when Jessie sings her soulful ditty, "When Somebody Loved
"Inside Out" 2015—5 Votes
If I took this tally a couple of months from now, after more people have seen
"Inside Out," I have a feeling that the emotions would get the best of many of my
friends and it would be ranked higher in the cry meter. I won't say WHEN the
tears will hit, but will say that most will have wet cheeks from having all the
feels in this emotional saga about emotions.
"Toy Story 3" 2010—8 votes
I've seen "Toy Story 3" once and refuse to watch it ever again, although I loved it. When I went to the theater I cried every bit of black
mascara off my eyelashes, prompting me to switch brands. What brought a flood of tears to my eyes, and
apparently to eight of my friends, was the touching scene when Andy gives the "Toy
Story" crew to young Bonnie. It's even tougher for those whose kids mirrored
Andy's ages from "Toy Story" 1, 2 and 3. "My son
watched "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" every single day when he was a toddler," Kuleen Lashley of The Disney Kids said. "He is my Andy, and he is growing up
so fast. Seeing the real Andy going off to college really gets to me."
"Up" 2009—25 votes
Bastards went for the tear
ducts twice in 10 minutes in "Up." Then they came back for more at the end," noted Jim of GeekDad and Blue Collar, Black Tie. The scene that really got to people
was when it's revealed that Carl Fredricksen and his wife Ellie couldn't have
children and when he looks through the book about their travels. The first
minutes of the film are so brutal that some can't get past it and switch it off
before the fun begins.