8. WHEN SOMEBODY LOVED ME
Film: TOY STORY 2.
LINK TO THE SONG
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.