Remember that one scene in "Finding Nemo"?
Image via Pixar
The emotional connection an audience feels to film is somewhat of a conundrum. The onscreen talent are professionals, playing fictional roles, most often following storylines of similarly fictional people.
The empathy we, the audience, feels for the characters, however, is tangible, as those of us who have been brought to tears watching some of our favorite films can attest to.
Disney Pixar, specifically, has mastered the technique of sending viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, driven by animated tales of pure fantasy. So why is it we become so emotionally invested to the point of tears over stories of friendly monsters and handicapped fish?
As explained in the video above, the secret to pulling on the heartstrings of an audience is behind the music. Film creators establish a theme by playing the same sounds during scenes in which the same relationships are depicted in order to illicit familiarity in the audience.
The theme, thus, becomes associated with positive memories and is, in turn, used during sad scenes. This contrast between scene and sound builds a mixture of confusing feelings for the audience, resulting in the waterworks. Watch the full video above to learn more about how Pixar does what they do best.