Pixar SadLab

Just recently a wonderful fanmade montage took a look at the range of emotions that have been on display in the 20 year history of Pixar Animation‘s feature films. It’s truly impressive how Pixar’s films have the power to make adults and kids run through the gamut of the emotional spectrum, and a new video finally explains how they do it.

The secret to Pixar’s emotional appeal is something called the SadLab, a group of people working to to discover new ways of making audiences cry as much as possible. The Pixar SadLab has been doing a pretty bang-up job so far.

Here’s a look at the Pixar SadLab from Above Average:

The Pixar SadLab conducts rigorous studies to figure out what will make people cry the hardest, and this video gives us an in-depth look at some potential future Pixar stories in the works, including a sad balloon and a rabbit who can’t hear.

The video also just comes right out and says what makes the first 10-minutes of Pixar’s Up so sad. There you are watching a movie with your kids, just ready to have a good time, and then there’s a miscarriage and a dead wife. Yep, that’ll get the water works going pretty quickly.

The scientists can’t even talk about their best work in Pixar’s movies without starting to cry themselves. In all seriousness, I wonder if the animators and filmmakers at Pixar actually become numb to the emotions that their films provoke in people. It’s one thing to experience the story several times as an audience member, but are they still moved after seeing countless cuts of scenes as the animation is being worked on?

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