3 Animated Movies on Love and loss that will Melt Your Heart

Enamored by what I presume are set pieces, I often see stories brush past me ― from the nooks of a crowded train, in the emptiness of a park bench or that forsaken paper bag soaring in alley. Hoards of people carrying their own tales of love, loss or longing. Some running away from their stories, others running toward theirs. Delighted at prologue, delirious at epilogue.

And within these stories perhaps there’s one of yours truly, this dog, but that’s for another time.

What I’ve dug up for now, my dear readers, are three animated movies on love and loss that I’ve lately found more meanings in.

UP movie dog

1. Up (2009) features one of my favorite opening sequences in any motion picture, showcasing with sublime innocence the life span of love from youth to grey years. While Dug, the dog, isn’t at the focus of this movie yet he steals the show with phrases that only a dog can say in earnestness:

 “I have only just met you and I LOVE you.”

Life may make sense when seen in reverse but it has to be lived in the present. To treasure the love we still have and, to believe and fight for it before the clutches of fate gnaw on us.

Dug does what dogs do best – he stays loyal and loving, saving the lives of Carl, Russell, and Kevin.  Sometimes when I see squirrels run past my office premises, I wish they could make me as animated as Dug!

2. Rabbit and Deer (2013) is an endearing animated film on friendship, love and loss. Like so many of us chasing distant dreams (and sometimes realizing them), the deer gets enchanted by his discovery of a brave new world but all that’s gold comes at a price.

Separated by distance of dimensions the two love-able characters have to find a way back into love.  

3. Frankenweenie (2012) A young boy, Victor loses his best friend, Sparky the dog in road accident. Grief stricken, Victor buries his poor dog under a tombstone but never comes to terms with the loss.

animated movies on love and loss
Forget Mercury, memories bear the heaviest weight.

Unlike the neighborhood and his friends, Victor never forgets Sparky. One day in his science class, the teacher demonstrates how life is but a form of electricity. Inspiring Victor to successfully bring Sparky back to life – although as a zombie dog.

Frankenweenie gif

Sparky, still a loving best friend, lets Victor know what it means to let go of your loved ones when the time comes.

“Dogs are special. You leave them and go out the front door. Then you come back two minutes later and it’s like they haven’t seen you in three weeks…You don’t get that with people, really.”

~Tim Burton, the director of Frankenweenie

Just like a children’s story isn’t for the kids alone, these animated movies tell us of the glimmer that can be grief and the poetry of pause. Which of the animated movies have motivated you through your hard times?

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Kind woman makes a special chair for the dog so he can eat

The Funny Farm Rescue in New Jersey is home to many an abandoned animals. Together they look after one another through the twists of fate. Here’s however one dog whose condition is way different from other animals on the farm.

Meet Chuck, the cute German shepherd who also presides over as the acting “Director of Security” at the rescue.

funny farm USA

Chuck is almost like any other dog – full of life and love but when it comes to having food, it all changes for worse, unfortunately.

Chuck suffers from an ailment known as Megaesophagus in which the animal’s esophagus grows too large, to the point where it loses the ability to contract its muscles, which is necessary in order to pass food and liquids into the stomach.

If Chuck were to eat in any other position, other than upright in a high chair, he would vomit.

Laurie Zaleski, the founder of Funny Farm knew that Chuck would face a high risk of being euthanized because of his condition. Furthermore it would be difficult to find a dog like him with special needs a home. So she adopted him herself in 2013.

special chair for the dog

Chuck’s megaesophagus could not be corrected through surgery as it was one of the worst cases veterinarians had ever encountered.

The doctors tried to convince Laurie into putting down Chuck, informing her that he would not likely live past the age of 1 — but she believed in Chuck.

“I researched how he was going to be able to eat and I got a child’s car seat from a friend. He quickly learned to jump in the car seat and eat upright at 3 months old. Sitting in an upright position while eating allows gravity to gradually pull food into Chuck’s stomach.”

~Laurie Zaleski

Special chair for the dog

dog food chair

Today, Chuck is a happy 3 years old who is completely normal-functioning dog when he is not eating in his chair. He swims in the pool, plays fetch all day and chases the horses … He is the happiest dog!

special chair dog eat

There are dogs like Chuck walking among us, the ones who have been relegated as down and out by the vet(s), their families or the society at large but the naysayers don’t know the power of will. They don’t know of the difference a single kind human can make. Here’s hoping that every Chuck finds a Laurie for he deserves it!

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