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Tear Jerker / Disney Animated Canon

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Make Mine Music
  • There's a horrifying Mood Whiplash right at the end of this mostly wacky and lighthearted film. We speak, of course, of The Whale Who Wanted To Sing At The Met, the story of Willie, an opera-singing whale who dreams of being a star despite the species barrier, and a crazed sailor Tetti-Tatti who is convinced that the singing is a result of Willie having swallowed opera singers. The majority of the short is light-hearted wacky cartoon gags, as Willie sings a repertoire of his best songs and Tetti-Tatti is foiled in his every attempt to harpoon Willie (as his own crew love the singing so much they don't allow him). And then, just as the short winds to a close, suddenly Tetti-Tatti takes the harpoon gun and does the deed. The music stops as we see the absolute heartbreaking silhouette of a harpooned Willie leaping from the water one last time before sinking beneath the sea. Just to drive the point home, we see Willie's seagull friend sitting by the sea in silent sorrow, as the narrator tries to soothe him. The sadness is mitigated only slightly by the reveal that Willie now plays sold-out shows in heaven. Disney dealt with some deep issues here - some of us won't realize our dreams before we die, and that this world is full of people who "aren't used to miracles" and will destroy them.
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