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Tear Jerker / Chicken Run

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Spoilers Off applies to all Tear Jerker pages, so all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Never again will chickens make you feel so much...

  • Ginger is the only reason the rest of the chickens even consider escape as a possibility, let alone stay motivated. As a result, she has to shoulder the burden of not only keeping everyone's spirits up — including her own — and creating new escape plans, but then taking the fall for them every time they fail, and it's shown to be really taking its toll on her. The chickens all panicking when she's taken to the pie machine and, later, the mud fight which ensues after Rocky deserts them shows just how quickly everything falls apart without Ginger's guidance.
    Ginger: I care about what happens to them!
    • After Bunty tells Ginger that the odds of their escaping were a million to one, Ginger replies sturdily, "Then there's still a chance". She steps out of the hut with her composure in tact... and breaks down crying as the weight of the whole situation crashes down on her. You truly feel her anguish when she punches the fence in hopeless frustration before slumping against it, muttering to herself "Heaven help us".
    • Shortly after hearing Edwina getting "the chop", she watches a flock of migrating birds from the roof of her hut. With tears in her eyes, she whispers to herself "We've got to get out of here".
    • Ginger's Heroic BSoD when she discovers that not only has Rocky deserted them, but he could never fly. He was just shot out of a cannon. Not only does their last chance of escape and her one chance at love literally walk out on them, but they realize that all their hard work trying to learn to fly amounted to nothing. Ginger doesn't give up because she's sad, she gives up because she's finally out of options.
      Ginger: (despairingly) Let's face it. Our only way out of here... is wrapped in pastry.
    • Rocky's entire demeanour, when everyone thinks that the flying demonstration he'll give them tomorrow will help them fully understand the process. You can tell he's absolutely miserable about how disappointed they're going to be when they learn that their problems are not going to be solved at all.
    • The subtle way that Ginger's look of curiosity gives way to heartbroken shock when she finds the torn piece of the poster revealing that Rocky was a fraud, followed by the shot of her walking back to the poster with an unflinching look of total devastation frozen on her face, is some amazing work on the animators' part.
      • As she walks back, she passes several cheerful and eager hens, whose faces fall and/or darken when they look at her. She hasn't said anything yet, and they can't see the poster piece, but they just know that if Ginger of all chickens looks that disheartened, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
    • Adding to it all as well is the immensely dramatic and depressing theme that flares up right when Ginger completes the poster; punctuated by a bleak rainstorm setting in as the chickens finally put two and two together about everything. At this point, Rocky himself can be seen slowly trudging away from the farm — having left his medal and the poster piece behind — and you can feel his absolute guilt and shame at building their hopes up, only to abandon them when they needed him.
    • The afore-mentioned slapstick mud-fight doesn't even phase her.note  Ginger just quietly accepts that they're done for and there's nothing they can do to avoid their gruesome fate.
  • Rocky's reaction when Ginger is seemingly killed by Mrs. Tweedy. The next shot reveals that he started crying.
  • Edwina's death — by decapitation from an axe, before eventually being eaten — has an even deeper impact than possibly imagined with the simple exchange of dialogue between two characters.
    Ginger: (whispering) Oh, no... Edwina...! (horrified) Bunty! Why didn't you give her some of yours?!
    Bunty: (whispering) I would have! But she didn't tell me! She didn't tell anyone!
    • This simple exchange of dialogue reveals every subtle detail we need to know about this scene:
      • 1) That morning, Edwina knew she was going to die.
      • 2) It's clearly stated that if she had told the others, any of them would've most likely been more than happy to give her an egg, allowing her to survive.
      • 3) She willingly refused to inform anyone.
    • With the above factors in mind, one conclusion is drawn: Edwina was so miserable in the chicken pen that she purposely allowed herself to be chosen as a means of freedom through what essentially amounts to suicide. Go watch that scene again, and wonder if the expression on Edwina's face is fear... or anticipation? From the way Edwina just meekly hangs upside down, and never once struggles even at the last moments before the inevitable, either way it's pretty chilling.
    • Or consider an alternate interpretation: she became essentially a martyr. Seeing a normally productive hen such as Bunty lay less eggs than usual could've been taken as a sign that she wouldn't have been worth keeping within some weeks. And that could be said of any other chicken. Edwina simply preferred to accept her fate rather than risk having someone else be unjustly killed because of her.
    • It's also possible that if Edwina were to be able to lay eggs or she didn't refuse to lay them, then Ginger's life would have been in danger; since presumably, with Ginger coming up with all of the plans for everyone to escape, she would probably be the chicken with the lowest production of eggs. It wouldn't help that Mr Tweedy would have a bone to pick with her for getting him in trouble with Mrs Tweedy, and if Ginger were to be killed, then Edwina probably thought it would be all over for both herself and the other chickens; so she sacrificed herself so that Ginger and the other chickens could escape and live. Her fears and actions then would be justified in that without Ginger, the chickens wouldn't try to escape and they would all eventually be killed and turned into Chicken Pies for Mrs Tweedy to sell to the markets.
    • And then it's revealed she doesn't even leave the farm at all. Her execution is just a hen house away to the chopping block. And even if the actual kill is off-screen, the OST, the timing, and chickens' reactions to it makes it very uncomfortable to watch. The chickens all then sadly walk away to the rest of their day! It is clear that by this point, this has happened so many times that they feel they can't do anything about it!
    • The tie-in book Chicken Pies For the Soul has a chapter dedicated to Edwina from Gingerís perspective, and itís quite clear that she still feels some kind of remorse and guilt towards her death.
  • The meeting in Hut 17. It's played for Black Comedy and is indeed very funny, but it also shows how much of a struggle it is for Ginger to keep everyone's morale up.
    Ginger: Think, everyone, think! What haven't we tried yet?
    Bunty: We haven't tried not trying to escape.
    Ginger: (aghast) ...What about Edwina? How many more empty nests will it take?!
    Bunty: Well, perhaps it wouldn't be empty if she'd spent more time laying, and less time escaping!
  • After Rocky calls Ginger "difficult" for her Brutal Honesty (while not wrong), he turns the corner and sees just how miserable all the chickens are. Most of them are staring at the ground, some are slumped against the huts, others are just wandering around in a daze or crying at the thought of their eventual fate. Bunty scoops up seed and lets it fall through her fingers. Meanwhile, Babs is knitting a noose. Again, it's played for Black Comedy, but the only reason it's funny is because all of their reactions are perfectly appropriate.
  • At the end of the montage of the chickens building the crate, Babs jokingly calls Ginger "doll face" which Rocky used to do. Ginger clearly gets upset hearing this and looks over at his poster (which for some reason she didn't remove). It then cuts to Rocky far away somewhere, riding a tricycle as he sings "The Wanderer". He acts happy at first, then his expression changes as he sings "And when I find myself falling for some girl...". He's clearly thinking about Ginger too.
  • While you won't be Rooting for the Empire, it's still sad to see Mr. Tweedy get abused and ordered about constantly by Mrs. Tweedy. After getting a hard kick up the rear the last time he failed to fix the machine, we see him trying to activate it again, painfully feeling his rear while quietly begging for it to work. You may not necessarily want the man to succeed, but you do get the impression he's being treated unfairly and deserves a better wife than the monstrous woman he ended up marrying.
  • Depending on your view, you'll probably feel bad for Nick and Fetcher when they start crying over having to deploy the eggs at the climax scene, especially since they spent practically the whole movie scheming and wanting these eggs. It's basically like the equivalent of having to give up your prized possession that you love so much.