Note: Part 1 of this post can be read here: http://darianbjohnson.com/2016/02/06/my-favorite-animated-movie-and-tv-scenes-part-1/
Snake Eyes’ Wordless Goodbye – G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (“The MASS Device”).
Snake-Eyes – the coldest Joe ever. We never saw his face. He never said a word. He was a ninja. He had a wolf for a pet.
So this scene, where Snake-Eyes sacrifices himself to save the team, has to be high on the list.
The Joe team is trying to collect rare elements to build a M.A.S.S. Device (basically, a teleportation device). The team has to travel to a cave in the Arctic to obtain red crystals for the machine.1 The team is able to retrieve the crystals, but is ambushed by Cobra (they trigger a radioactive gas to fill the cave and poison the Joes). Snake-Eyes saves his teammates (and sacrifices himself) by triggering a shield to keep radioactive gas from the team. Unfortunately, he’s on the wrong side of the shield. Scarlett, knowing that Snake-Eyes is a goner, simply says goodbye by placing her palm on the glass2.
Bruce dons the cape and cowl for the first time – Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
In this animated movie, Batman investigates the murders of old-time criminals. As we progress through the story, we get flashbacks to his first love, his quest to fight crime, and ultimately, the first time he puts on the Batman outfit.
What’s great about this scene is that you never a clear shot of the Batman; instead you see Bruce suiting up in the shadows, and Alfred’s reaction – genuine fear.
The Death of Optimus Prime – Transformers: The Movie
Some people think this scene falls just behind the deaths of Bambi’s mom and The Lion King’s Mustafa’s from a traumatic experience perspective.3. Give the guys who wrote the Transformers movie credit – no one expected the leader of the Autobots to die4. At least he went out in a blaze glory5
Prime transforms into automobile form and starts plowing through Decepticons. Then he blasts into robot form, does a somersault, and kills 3 or 4 more baddies. Then he holds is gun “Tony Montaya” style and starts gunning down more baddies. Finally, he faces off against Megatron, and almost wins…6.
The True Essence of the Batman– Justice League Unlimited (“Epilogue”, Season 2).
Batman is a bad-a$$. He’s smart, tough, strong, stoic. But at the end of the day, he be may the the most compassionate character in the DC Universe. It’s his humanity that separates Batman from the others in the Justice League, and solidifies his place in the DC Holy Trinity7. How can a god truly understand human pain, hurt and suffering? They can’t, but a human can – especially one that has a lifetime of pain and suffering.
No scene better captures this truism than the first five minutes of “Epilogue”, which ties up stories between Justice League, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, and Batman Beyond. Batman is asked to do the unthinkable: kill.
- Not sure why there were red crystals in a cave in the Arctic. Sometimes you just have to go with it.
- Of course, this being a kids’ show, Snake-Eyes doesn’t die. He escapes from the cave, fights a bear, saves a wolf, and is cured of his radiation poison by a blind hermit. Totally believable.
- I bs you not: there’s a rumor that a kid locked himself in his room for two weeks after watching the movie.
- And why did he die? “Bleeping” Hot Rod.
- Until “Bleeping” Hot Rod got in the way
- Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman