ByHeather Snowden, writer at
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

If you're anything like me, you regularly find yourself bawling like a baby to at least one scene in Pixar movies. Like, every single time Nemo's mom dies and Marlin has to scoop up that unhatched lonesome little egg, for example, I'm pretending I've got something in my eye whilst those sneaky tears are a gatherin'. When Andy gives away his toys in Toy Story 3, I'm reaching for the tissues, and by the time we get to the opening sequence of UP, it's bye bye composure. I've completely lost it. Sigh. That's just part and parcel of being an emotional wreck, I guess.

Or perhaps not. Thanks to the comical minds of the Above Average clan, I've recently discovered that becoming a blubbering mess when a beloved animated character passes, or says goodbye, or is shoved into a furnace, is in fact a well devised formula, designed to make you completely break down and fall apart.

Introducing 'SadLab,' Pixar's 'Sadness Studios,' the super secret and successful venture which operates on a fundamentally emotional level, turning empathy into empirics to transform our tears into tons of cold hard cash. You can think of it as such:

“It’s like the Human Genome project, but instead of mapping DNA, we’re trying to make people sob so hard that they lose their sh*t.”

A behind-the-scenes tour video has recently been released, which gives us, and now you, an exclusive glimpse at how they crack those nuts of despair. Lead by an excitable guide, we see a man watching Toy Story 3 whilst a SadLabologist steals and analysis's his tears for research purposes. Who knew tears carry memories, eh?

Then, after passing a large container labeled 'Tears,' we move onto another employee conducting field research to maximize on 'sadness potential':

“How do you guys feel about a rabbit who can’t hear very well? A boy who’s reunited with his dog that he thought was dead? A sad balloon? The color yellow?”

(Answer: All of the above are very depressing)

Our guide further explains that their formula violently pulls on our heartstrings by adopting a full frontal approach:

“We found that our ideal formula to really get audience’s tears jerking is to ambush them. For instance, when you're watching UP, you're thinking it's a kids movie, what could go wrong, the balloons...and then WHAM miscarriage and a dead wife."

I think you'd all agree it's a solid tactic!

Take the tour for yourself:

Constantly looking for new ways to destroy us inside, the team pat themselves on the back if they manage to nail a scene that visibly breaks the audience. And do they ever feel a slight pang of guilt as the tears fall? Do they heck.

“When I see someone walk out of a Pixar movie and their face is swollen, their nose is raw, I get to say, ‘I did that to them.'”

So, there you have it, now you know the hidden 'science' behind Pixar. How do you feel?

Source: Hello Giggles


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