Many of us know what to do about the inevitable zombie uprisings, as we have made our plans to handle any type of undead apocalypse. Sadly, however, we don't devote as much thought to identifying and combating the replicants, soulless clones infiltrating humanity in order to learn our weaknesses in preparation for the inevitable invasion. How will we know who is human and who is the flawless replicant?
Fortunately for us, Pixar has been helping humanity fight this scourge for many years.
Why do you think their films are so sad? Is it that, like the scream of Monsters Inc., they need our tears to power their company? A good guess, but no; Pixar is, in fact, one of the last and greatest lines of defense against the replicant threat. After all, a replicant might be able to pass a generic medical screening, even so far as having DNA indistinguishable from ours. However, with the power of Pixar, we can now easily screen for who is a replicant intent on worldwide domination. Because only a replicant could watch the following Pixar scenes and be unmoved.
For your convenience, I have found the top seven Pixar moments guaranteed to help you identify whether the person you've known all your life is an actual human or a replicant. I've described each scene and assigned it a Replicant Detection Success Rate (RDSR) so you can know the potency of each scene. What you do once you discover the truth is up to you, but no matter what, you'll be certain whether the people in your life are actually people.
Oh, and SPOILER ALERT!
7: Anton Ego eats the Ratatouille
This is a quick moment in a quirky film about a rat who wants to be a chef. When harsh food critic Ego takes a bite of ratatouille, he immediately flashes back to his childhood, when his mother made him that dish to comfort him. There's no dialogue, just a scene that cuts to the heart of what food means: it often means home.
For many, this is a deep emotional moment, as many of us have experienced the sensation of taking a bite of something and being filled with the feeling of home. However not everyone has such a connection to food. If anyone tears up at this moment, they aren't a replicant, but if they don't, consider your tests inconclusive. Move on to...
6: Jessie's Flashback
Arguably the first Pixar tearjerker moment. This is when we learn that while children grow up, toys don't. Jessie's owner was no exception, and to the heart-tugging song of "When She Loved Me," we see Jessie forgotten about and then abandoned. Plus, Sarah McLachlan did the vocal honors, taking a break from traumatizing us with commercials about sad and injured animals.
It's emotional when you see life from an abandoned toy's point of view, especially one so endearing as Jessie. Still, while touching, it doesn't automatically guarantee waterworks. Some of us have developed a resistance to Sarah McLachlan. This scene will weed out more humans from replicants, but more testing is still needed to be sure.
5: Dory Doesn't Want to Forget
At the end of 'Finding Nemo,' Nemo is found. However, his father, Marlin, thinks he's dead. Marlin decides to just swim away, leaving Dory behind. But Dory likes being with Marlin. She has a bad memory, but being around Marlin makes it easier for her to remember things. She pleads for him to stay, because if Marlin leaves, she fears her mind will go as well. She doesn't want to start forgetting things again.
For some, Dory's terror of returning to who she used to be will unleash some tears. Not only is she saying that Marlin brings out the best in her, she's telling him, in her own way, that she loves him. It's a raw declaration of love, one rarely seen in a children's movie, and this will definitely help you identify the humans. Still, don't assume anyone unmoved is automatically a replicant, as not everyone can see Ellen Degeneres as a serious actress.
4: Andy Gives Away his Toys
Throughout the 'Toy Story' movies there's been one constant: Andy and his toys. Yet, as we saw in 'Toy Story 2,' everyone grows up, and Andy is no exception. At the end of this movie, Andy makes a very special gift to a girl named Bonnie: his beloved toys. But he doesn't just give them away, he has one last go at playing with them. The scene is especially poignant when he says goodbye to Woody, knowing that his beloved cowboy will keep another child company.
Where to begin. Throughout the movie, the toys were desperate for one last play-date with their beloved Andy, and boy do they get it. It's getting one more day with someone we've lost, and we all know someone we'd like that one more day with. We also see Andy come to terms with growing up, much like we all have to do. It's also a happy ending, because our toys have a new child in their lives, someone as wonderful and deserving as Andy. It's a moving moment not because it's wrenching, but we recognize a transition we have made, and that our children must one day make as well. Clearly, this will be a foreign concept for a replicant, and discerning the humans should be easy. Still, there are some humans who aren't quite as sentimental about their childhood and/or toys. More testing awaits.
3: WALL-E Doesn't Recognize EVE
In a post-apocalyptic world covered in trash (perhaps because of the replicants?) one lone trash robot named WALL-E falls in love with EVE, a futuristic robot from space. After suffering a crippling injury in order to bring humanity back to Earth, WALL-E is near death. When EVE fixes him, WALL-E reverts back to his original programming, forgetting about EVE and what they mean to each other.
There are few things worse than looking at the person you love and them not knowing who you are.WALL-E's injury and resultant memory loss can be seen as an allegory for stroke victims or Alzheimer's patients, and anyone who's watched a family member slip away like that, or fears it happening to themselves, can instantly relate to these two robots. Most humans will be affected by this scene, either relating to it all to well or feeling a twinge of empathy. Replicants, who only see humans as a food source or slaves or whatever they want to do with us, will not be able to grasp EVE's profound sense of loss. Either that or it's just a human who just can't relate to robots, but most humans should have been revealed by the testing thus far. To winnow out the rest, you'll need the big guns.
Monsters Inc. is about a lovable monster, Sully, who becomes the protector of a two-year-old girl. He calls her 'Boo' and she calls him 'Kitty.' At the end of the movie, he has to say goodbye because she belongs in the human world, and he must remain in the monster world. But his best friend, Mike Wazowski, is able to reopen the door that connects their worlds. The final shot of the movie is Mike sticking his head into Boo's room. He sees her and smiles and she joyfully calls out 'Kitty!'
If you can watch this scene, after sitting through the entire movie, and not be moved a little, then quite frankly I think that you just might be a replicant. Hell, I have to make an excuse of it being incredibly dusty just recapping it, thinking about that smile on Sully's face when he sees Boo. However, it's possible that, perhaps, you are indeed human but aren't moved.. While this scene is a very good test at identifying the humans, you just might be an outlier. Perhaps you find children annoying, or aren't into movies about lovable monsters. Fine. Still, there's one more test: Pixar's WMD.
1: The first ten minutes of Up
While Pixar tends to save the tearjerking for the final act, here they decided to open with it. We see Carl and Ellie meet as children and instantly form a bond. They grow up, get married, and we see their entire lives flash before our eyes. We see their hopes and dreams not go exactly as planned as they get older, until finally, Carl loses Ellie.
Word of advice: don't watch Up on your anniversary. The opening scene from Up beautifully devastating. How can you not be moved by Ellie weeping in the doctor's office, by their trials and disappointments, and finally by Carl watching the only love of his life slipping away. I'll tell you how, you're a replicant and the fact that you've watched all seven of these scenes without so much as expressing an emotion proves that you are part of the advance guard of the invasion, but we've got your number. And once we dry our eyes (and explain to everyone how it's just so dusty in here) we're going to take you down.
So there you have it. Thanks to Pixar, we now have a way to identify the replicant threat before it's too late. Should you suspect that someone you know is a replicant, have them watch these movies and pay attention to their reactions during these seven pivotal scenes. It just might save the entire human race.
I can do more than talk pop culture. Check out the book I wrote.
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