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.
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.
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.
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?