Today we’re gonna’ be talkin’ about SAD SHIT.
SAD SHIT as in The Top 5 Traumatic Deaths in Movies kinda’ SAD.
Please take note that everything contained in this list is a product of the Azn Badger’s childhood; so don’t expect any movies on here to be made anytime past the mid-90’s.
Anyway, let’s get thing’s rollin’, shall we?:
#5. The NeverEnding Story – Artax Eats Some Mud. Check That, A Lot of Mud…
The NeverEnding Story was a tough movie for me to watch as a kid.
It was long, I didn’t really get it, there was a lot of unintentionally scary imagery, and oh yeah, it was long.
Pictured: One of the INTENTIONALLY scary parts of The Neverending Story.
So long in fact, that I never really finished it as a kid, resulting in me thinking the whole thing ended with the end of the world at the hands of The Nothing.
Pretty fuckin’ sad, am I right?
Thankfully, I went ahead and saw the rest of the movie a few years ago, thusly patching up a few childhood scars in the process.
That being said, while this death doesn’t really count as a death; ’cause if memory serves, Artax is still alive and well at the end of the movie, to the young Azn Badger the fuckin’ horse died in the mud hole.
Anyway, this death marks probably the first and only time the Azn Badger ever felt any sort of emotion in reference to a horse.
It was the fuckin’ kid that got to me, that girlie-boy Atreyu.
Hah! Father Time kicked his ASS!
They’re both standing in them mud, and the fuckin’ kid is blowin’ his lungs out screaming at his fuckin’ horse to “not give in to the sadness of the swamps” n’shit.
Meanwhile, the music is swelling and gettin’ all sad and crestfallen n’shit.
The whole thing was just too much for me as a kid, and for the life of me; I bought into it.
"Artax, you're sinking!" Oh God, make it stop!!!!
While I didn’t really “get” the Neverending Story back then, little episodes like Artax bitin’ the big one stuck with me on a visceral level; in this case, making me very sad.
Fun Fact – The only reason I remember that damn horse’s name is because of his death scene when Atreyu yells it about 50 times.
Repetition: It works.
#4. The Lion King – Mufasa Gets 50,000 Wildebeasts Rammed Up His Ass
Who's featured most prominently on the poster? That's right, MUFASA.
Mufasa was a pimp.
You take the raw power of James Earl Jones’ voice, and transplant it into the body of the biggest, baddest, most pimp-as-fuck lion in all of existence; and you’ve got Mufasa.
"This, is CNN..."
Needless to say, in my youth; Mufasa’s death hit me pretty hard.
As I hope we all know, Mufasa met his fate at the hands of the combined force of a stampeding herd of wildebeast, and the nasty claws of Jeremy Irons.
Wow. Believe it or not, I think Irons just topped himself...
Any less, and I’m sure his pimp-ass self would’ve survived somehow.
Anyway, Mufasa; pimp that he is, rushes headlong into the stampede to save his pussy-ass son, Simba.
'The fuck was up with kid in the 90's anyway? He was EVERYWHERE.
While he is successful in rescuing the boy, Mufasa takes some serious shots from the fuckin’ wildebeasts, the kinda’ hits that would fold a lesser lion in half.
All the while, Hans Zimmer’s music was goin’ crazy, and all the kids in the audience were either pickin’ their boogers, or hoping against hope that ‘ole Mufasa was gonna’ pull through and not fall prey to “Bambi’s Mother Syndrome.”
That’s right Disney, don’t pretend that us kids don’t know about “Bambi’s Mother Syndrome.”
Disney: Teaching kids that their parents are gonna' die.
Just as Mufasa’s managed to escape the stampede for just a few seconds, out strolls his brother; Jeremy Irons.
Slimey prick that he is, Jeremy Irons busts out his freshly manicured nails; and digs them puppies into Mufasa’s paws; but not before saying something creepy and vaguely savage like:
How ironic that the pimpest of all lions would be felled by a bunch of wildebeast AKA the butt of every Discovery Channel predator/prey joke…
To make matters worse, Mufasa’s death has the added impact of having a 40 minute guilt trip attached to it.
Jeremy Irons tells Simba, straight to his face; that the whole thing was his fault.
This of course results in Simba running off into the wild for the next 10 years to eat bugs and talk to clouds.
Talking to clouds: Useful for convincing one's self to go out and kill their uncle.
Oh well, guess we all have to cope somehow…
#3. The Land Before Time – Littlefoot’s Mom Gets Sharptooth-ed
I betcha' this movie wouldn't have done half as well without the T. Rex on the cover.
The Land Before Time was a special movie for me back in the day.
Come to think of it, while I’m sure how it all worked out, Don Bluth movies were all some of my favorites as a kid.
Not this one though... This one was just plain awful...
While the Secret of NIMH was definitely the cream of the crop, even back in the day, (sword fight!) The Land Before Time had dinosaurs and Spielberg-ian funding, making it a close second.
Although it wasn’t a Disney production, rest assured Mr. Bluth saw fit to work some “Bambi’s Mother Syndrome” into the mix in the form of Littlefoot’s Mom.
Much like the Lion King after it, Littlefoot’s Mother meets her fate partially due to the actions of her son.
Stop smiling, you killed your mother!
In short, Littlefoot and Cera are dickin’ around in the wild, they piss off Sharptooth, Littlefoot’s Mom shows up to save the kids, does so, but is mortally wounded in the process.
Easy to see why, look at that beast! He's a fuckin' Pimp-A-Saurus Rex I tells yah'!
Cue lengthy and heartbreaking death scene wherein parent reminds child that “they’ll always be with them.”
While the actual battle with Sharptooth was awesome to the young Azn Badger, instead of horrifying as it may have been intended to be perceived, the death sequence afterwards was just plain tough to sit through.
Oh no, it's happening again!!!
Even now, I bet I’d have a tough time getting through it without biting my lip or taking a deep breath or 2.
#2. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – Captain Nemo Succumbs To His ACTING TALENT
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, along with The Adventures of Robin Hood, was one of those terrific “old movies” that as a kid; I never knew was “old.”
I watched the both of them about a million times, and I don’t think I ever got close to getting tired of them.
While Robin Hood had swashbuckling and and ungodly amount of merry laughter, Leagues had Kirk Douglas and a GIANT FUCKING SQUID.
You have no idea how many times I sat through this entire movie just to get to this part.
The epic-ness of these 2 factors made for one of the single most spectacular and enchanting films of my childhood.
That being said, despite Kirk Douglas’ Ned Land being my favorite character, James Mason’s Captain Nemo was a pretty close second.
SO fucking pimp...
Even as a kid, I loved his pimp-ass beard, and the curious way in which he spoke.
His voice was awesome and all, but I loved the pace of his speech, how it was just a half beat slower than everyone else.
Appropriately, it made him seem enigmatic, like you’d never be able to figure out what he was thinking in a million years if you tried.
Anyway, while 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was yet another movie that I didn’t quite “get” when I watched it as a kid, Captain Nemo’s death was something that I understood all too well.
As with seemingly all deaths on this list, the music made all the difference.
Captain Nemo is running atop the Nautilus, dodging incoming gunfire from the dudes that want his technological secrets.
He jukes left, he jukes right, and all the while the strings in the orchestra are goin’ fuckin’ nuts.
Suddenly, just as he’s within feet of the entrance to the lower deck of the submarine, his body spasms and the music crashes to a halt with a horrifying *DOOOOMMM!*
No squib, no blood spurt, just James Mason’s ACTING TALENT and the power of a music cue.
From there, the rest of the movie has Nemo, resigned to the fate of his eventual death; lurch and stumble his way through the submarine to a couch next to an undersea viewing window.
Nemo’s last moments are spent gazing into the deep blue that he loved so much.
While the death was pretty epic, it was the initial gunshot that hit me as a kid.
As soon as that music cue hit, my tiny heart sunk down to my toes.
*Sniff!* I honestly thought he was going to make it…
#1. Transformers: The Movie – Optimus Prime Becomes One With The Matrix
This may seem like a cop-out to some.
A predictable, bandwagon-y ploy to get the nerds to read the blog; however if any of you genuinely think that, then you obviously don’t know the Azn Badger.
As mentioned several times on this blog, I watched Transformers: The Movie, quite literally nearly every day of my early childhood.
My older brother did the same.
Transformers: The Movie was one of those magical films that just did it for me as a kid.
I loved Godzilla movies as kid, but that was because I loved Godzilla as a character.
Man, what I would give to have been one of those kids...
Transformers: The Movie was a case of me simply loving an individual movie more than any human child should.
While I was a little bit too young to have enjoyed the Transformers TV show while it was first airing, The Movie served as my ambassador to the series; giving me a crash-course on the Gen-1 stuff before I even started watching the re-runs.
That being said, the opening battle on Cybertron, that takes the vast majority of the original cast of the show and kills them off in favor of new toys, I mean characters; was truly a thing of beauty.
The battle on Cybertron worked because it had actual stakes.
Lives were lost on both sides of the conflict, such that you truly got the sense that everyone was fair game.
Hell, Ironhide was one of my favorites from the TV show, and he got his head blown off in the first 10 minutes.
"Such heroic nonsense..."
Not only that, Prowl died a few seconds earlier via some hot chili; and Wheeljack, fuckin’ Wheeljack wouldn’t even get the respect of having an on-screen death.
Should probably cut back on those habaneros Prowl...
These were big name guys, characters that were at the forefront of the action in every episode of the TV show, and here they were gettin’ their clocks cleaned in the first 20 minutes of The Movie!
Then they went and killed Optimus Prime.
If the battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron at the beginning of Transformers: The Movie is one of the best fights in cinema history, then the death of Optimus Prime is surely one of the most dramatic deaths.
I love the subtlety of the death sequence.
Everyone is gathered around Prime, their facial expressions communicating far more than words could hope to.
Aw, Kup's sad face is sad!
Perceptor, the closest thing the group has to a doctor, presents his diagnosis with a simple:
“I’m afraid the wounds are, fatal…”
With the silence broken, Daniel; the child of the group, is the first to speak his mind:
"Prime, you can't die!"
From there, the whole thing just gets more and more epic.
We have the passing of the Matrix to Ultra Magnus, the not-so subtle symbolism of Hot Rod catching the Matrix, and Optimus Prime just plain being awesome, even as he’s moments from death.
"LIGHT. OUR DARKEST. HOUR."
At the end of it all, the hammer of childhood trauma drops as Optimus Prime’s entire form turns black, a decidedly fatalistic percussive music cue hits; and Prime commits his final act as his head limply turns to the side.
Shit just got real.
That, my friends; is how you kill an icon.
... And thank you Michael Bay for showing us how NOT to do it.
Filed under: Comics, Movies, Tokusatsu, Uncategorized, 000 Leagues Under The Sea, 2, 20, Adventures of Robin Hood, animation, Artax, Atreyu, Bambi, Captain Nemo, Cera, CNN, Cybertron, daikaiju, death, depressing, Discovery Channel, Disney, Don Bluth, Giant Squid, Godzilla, horse, Hot Rod, Ironhide, James Earl Jones, James Mason, Jeremy Irons, Johnathan Taylor Thomas, Jules Verne, Kirk Douglas, Kup, list, Littlefoot, Megatron, Michael Bay, Mother, movie, mud, Mufasa, Nautilus, Ned Land, Optimus Prime, Perceptor, Prowl, Revenge of the Fallen, Rock A Doodle, sad, Secret of NIMH, Sharptooth, Simba, stampede, Steven Spielberg, The Land Before Time, The Lion King, The Matrix, The Neverending Story, The Nothing, Tokusatsu, Top 5, Transformers: The Movie, traumatic, Ultra Magnus, Uncle Scar, Wheeljack, wildebeast, wolf