Every so often, the team at Disney Pixar needs to reassert their dominance over your every emotion, and the song in the Toy Story 4 trailer does just that. The first teaser was released on Monday, Nov. 12, and in case you were weeping too loudly to parse what was playing, it's Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." That's already a tear-jerking track in its own right, what with the simple yet poignant melody and the flat-out devastating lyrics. But anyone who's ever seen Love Actually — and let's face it, that's all of us — has a particular connection to this song that makes it even more genetically-engineered to throw you into a tailspin of emotion.
As fans of the film likely recall, Mitchell is the favorite artist of Emma Thompson's character Karen in Love Actually. And "Both Sides Now" just happens to be the song that's playing in the background when she realizes that her husband is cheating on her. Woof. So with the song already intimately connected to that iconic scene where Thompson dabs away tears in the bedroom before putting on a brave face to rejoin her family, viewers of the Toy Story 4 trailer were goners before it even started playing.
Thankfully for your tear ducts, the trailer version is slightly more upbeat and at a faster tempo, and started from the beginning of the song. Which, fortunately, is a portion of the lyrics that registers slightly lower on the heart-wrenching scale.
As toys both familiar and unfamiliar drift by in front of a blue sky background, the song lilts:
"Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way"
Hey that doesn't sound so bad, right? Maybe you'll be able to get through this song without crying? But anyone who's familiar with this song knows that it's a big fat "NOPE," because the song quickly changes tone with the second verse:
"But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way"
In its own way, the minute-and-a-half long trailer seems to be trying to prepare audiences for the emotional wreckage that's in store for them once this film comes out in June 2019. It's been promised for over three years now, and Pixar animators have clearly dedicated that time to turning it into a waterworks factory.
Comedian Tim Allen voices Buzz Lightyear in the beloved series of films, and during an appearance on The Talk in September, he warned the audience that Toy Story 4 is going to be almost too sad. As he told the panel:
"I gotta resist getting emotional, I don't want to give it away, but this is an incredibly great story. It is so emotional, it's so funny, it's so big, the idea they've come up with, I'm startled... I couldn't even get through the last scene... A couple scenes towards the end were hard to get through."
You know it's a big deal if one of the actors is warning audiences about the sadness quotient. Especially since this isn't Toy Story's first rodeo. Even years later, just a few notes of "When She Loved Me" are still enough to derail your day, so hold onto your butts for their latest offering.