Among the evil artifice filmmakers can unleash on an audience, none are as calculated (or as potent) as the weepy animal flick. It's a cruel ploy that exploits our emotions, but we're helpless to its inherent effectiveness.
Steven Spielberg, never one to miss an opportunity to use nostalgia against us (see: The Adventures of TinTin), has now resorted to manipulating moviegoers with sentimentally-driven animal movies. In fact we have reason to believe his Christmas release, War Horse, which sources its dramatic undertones from the connection between a child (Jeremy Irvine) and his horse as much as from the hard-hitting WWI imagery, was created to do nothing more than remind of our sad inability to be strong in the presence of an animal's pain.
Spielberg isn't the first to bring us to tears in a dark room full of strangers, though. Directors have been using our animal-empathy as means of inflicting emotional torture on us for years, and we're embarrassed by how grossly effective it is. Just let it all out and weep with us as we count down the 10 Animal Movie That Will Make You Cry Like A Little Girl.
Written by Shanté Cosme (@ShanteCosme)