Monday, 11 January 2010


Film: TOY STORY 2.


The Nostalgia Critic once placed ‘every goddamn Disney movie ever made’ at the third place in a list of the saddest moments in film history, and there’s some sense behind that. From Bambi onwards, there’s some pretty depressing stuff in there. The most heartbreaking of all songs is, I think, the candid and simple love ballad from Toy Story 2. The parallel song from its predecessor falls into the same category (You’ve got a friend in me), but it’s nowhere near as powerful.

The video for the song tracks the story of Jessie as she goes from being the most cherished companion of her little girl to a useless commodity, one which the girl abandons mindlessly by the side of the road (a metaphor made literal, really – Jessie really is abandoned by the sidewalk). The fact that she’s a toy drives home how depersonalised we become to someone else when that someone stops loving us. The song follows the trajectory of a very natural and very real narrative, and this is exactly what makes it so touching. There’s little to say because there’s little to interpret – someone loved us, then they didn’t, and now our heart is broken. You can be a teenage girlfriend, a dumped husband, a child of divorced parents, an old lady who’s waiting for her children, or just a toy – it will still mean the world to us. The song’s capacity to encapsulate our little great love in its very simple lyrics and video makes it, really, a little great song – and one of the two saddest in the whole Disney repertoire. You’ll find the other one in this list as well, but a little further up.


Mory said...
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Mory said...

The only Disney song I can think of offhand that was sadder than this is "Baby Mine", but since you indicated in the 101 Dalmations post that you were making a choice between two from the same film (as though one precluded the other), and there's already been a song from Dumbo, I'm guessing you have something else in mind.

I'm curious what you're calling "Disney songs". I assumed you were referring to songs from the Disney "animated canon", but then you included a Pixar movie, which means songs like "Down to Earth" (a personal favorite of mine) are in the running. Are you counting live-action films, like "Song of the South" and "Enchanted", which have animation in them? Or are you considering even films with no animation at all? What about the Disney Broadway shows, which had some great original songs in them?

Mory said...

Ooh, how about Disney theme parks? "Blood on the Saddle" from Country Bears Jamboree seems right up your alley.

John Silver said...

I think the Disney broadway shows and the theme parks are a little beyond me. :D I did include live-action and Pixar films though. Don't hold your breath - not many of them made it into the list. The wealth of fantastic songs from the animated canon offer one hell of a competition.

And yeah, I'm sticking to the 'one song per film' rule. Makes it easier. 'Baby mine' is as sad as this song (or the other, further up on the list), but imo it's just not that good - the music has this sort of waily quality which doesn't resonate very much with me. That's why I went with 'An elephant fly' in the end.

Fred said...

It's good to remind the sadness that Disney movies always got... but check it out, Nostalgia Critic didn't place them at the third place nostalgia-critic-top-11-saddest-moments they at the f**king top spot, really deserving it... NB but I still think the drowning of Artax deserved to be placed higher in that top 11..