Ah of coarse the happy endings. The points in movies or TV shows and what not that can either be some of the most powerful and also depressing points of the story. I mostly say depressing because some endings are so powerful that they leave you to be just like Pooh in the end of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh who would say "Goodbye? Oh please Mr. Narrator, can't we go back to page 1 and do it all over again?" But in any case, if an ending is done right, it can be the most moving part of the story that really brings the satisfaction that the journey, or the war is over and the goal is completed or whatever sort of happiness is finally brought to the characters we love with all our hearts and with whom we've been through every single thing that's happened in the story. So I've decided to officially make my list of favorite happy endings. So this is My Top 5 Happy Endings.
#5 The Ending of Return of the Jedi (DVD version specifically)
Okay now here's the thing; I'll agree with almost anything you have to say about all the remastering they've done over be past few years. I mean Vader going "NOOO" in the blue-ray version goes without saying, a lot of the CGI stuff from New Hope are unnecessary, and for the love of Frank Welker, Han totally shot first. But if there's one change from the original versions that I willingly accept, it's how they ended Return of the Jedi. I just felt that the way they ended it in the DVD version was much bigger and made a lot more sense. I mean with the original version, they were just celebrating with the Ewoks with that "Yub-Yub" song which may be fine for some people but doesn't work to be as far goes as a big finale. I mean this whole thing is a big deal. Palpatine's gone, Vader went back to the light side before dying, balance is restored in the force, and the Empire for the most part is in ruins with the second death star and most of its fleet destroyed. And ending for just a huge victory like that as they bring this trilogy to such a conclusion should be big and grand, and quite frankly, I find just celebrating with the Ewoks and singing "Yub-Yub" makes it seem like the rebel alliance is just celebrating a generally small victory with some of their allies then just taking it as if they just about finally won the war. So with that I consider the original version of the ending a downplay about what happened. But with the DVD version, we see all of these celebrations - not just on Endor, but also on Tatooine, Bespin, Naboo, and Courasant. And then there's that old guy being replaced by Hayden Christensen as Anakin's ghost. I mean I know that we all hate him and that he would've made more sense if Anakin looked burned and armless in his Jedi ghost form, but I think this made more sense at least compared to giving us some old guy we've never seen except from the original version. And then there's the music to top it all. I mean it's generally quiet and not too big, but it does give a sort of happy/finally-at-peace sort of feeling as everyone's celebrating that the whole thing is over. So while no one likes change - especially where Star Wars is concerned, I consider this bit of change to work better as an ending to this wonderful, classic trilogy.
#4 The ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
okay, there are plenty of issues I have when it came to loyalty to the books and all that when it came to the last three films. But at least with all that aside, they still gave us what made Deathly Hallows quite the finale in the book. I mean you have so many characters that you really, really, really, care about getting killed. And the final battle was really well done in both how big the action was (loved McGonagall's "I always wanted to use that spell" moment) and how messed up it is that they destroyed so much of Hogwarts. I mean they set the Quittitch stadium on fire, and I thought it was sad how abrupt they all of the sudden even blew up the clock tower. I mean that wasn't even the main focus of the camera shot when that happened. But after all that, things get really happy in the end, Neville kills Nagini with the Griffindor sword, Ron and Hermione kiss, Mrs. Weasley kills Bellatrix (with that ever so awesome "Not my daughter you b*%#&" line) and of coarse at long last, Harry finally kills Voldemort. Finally we finish with all of them grown up and happily married and have kids and all of that jazz. The whole things a big deal because it's so happy but at the same time it's stupid sad for all of us. I mean some of us had Harry Potter as quite a bit of our childhood. And for some of us that have become young adults since then, that film series was kind of all that was left of our childhood that wasn't completely finished if you will because they were still making movies. And now that they did finish it, and now some of us may have lost what's left of our childhood. So this is one of the best because Deathly Hallows in general, either book or film really did the job in keeping us in the suspense and giving us a big ending to say tragic yet happy farewell to what was left of our magical childhood.
#3 The ending of The Color Purple
Holy crap is this a big one. I mean the film itself is great to the point were- again, the fact that Out of Africa beat it for Best Picture...that was just wrong. The Color Purple is about this African-American girl named Celie who lived with
their father that has abused her to the point of having two children
with her and taking them both away from her at childbirth. Later her
father forces Celie to marry a local widower named Albert who
treats her like a slave and also abuses her. Her sister Nettie is banned from coming to visit after Albert tries to rape her and over the years, Celie continues to be abused while she, and
some of the people she knows face terrible things with racism, sexism
and poverty. But then you get to roughly the end of the movie. Celie finally decides to leave her husband, and from there everything just clicks. Her father dies but turns out to actually have been her stepfather the whole time and she inherits a shop from her REAL father. Her only friend Shug finally reunites with her father who's a pastor, after years of shunning her for the mistakes she made. And finally you get her Albert who out all the guilt from what he's done, decides to take all the money he's saved for over the years to arrange for Celie to be reunited with Nettie and also both of her children who are all grown up and all so eager to finally meet her. The entire remainder of the movie starting from when she leaves Albret just moves you as everything just gets better and better for her and her friends as it goes on. And when we get to the reunion...it's just moving. I mean it makes my mom cry every time, I try not to cry, the whole thing is just powerful right off the bat.
#2 The Ending of Toy Story 3
Yeah. You know I had to bring this one up. Deathly Hallows may have finished our childhood, but it sure as frick didn't make us think about our childhood to the deepest parts of our memory and mess with the very core of our hearts and made us think of all the toys we've loved so much since the days of kindergarten and a fair bit of elementary school or farther, like Toy Story 3 did. I mean first you have the suspense where you think they're going to die and how they expressed that was just too much. But then they make it back and so Andy decides to give them all to this little girl and before he leaves for college, he plays with them one last time with that girl. And then finally Andy takes one last look at all of them and says "Thanks guys" and as he drives off, Woody says "So long partner" and then it faced to black with the sky having clouds shapes like the ones from Andy's room in the first film. Now it probably goes without saying that this was a moving ending in a really epic way. I mean when this film hit the theaters, everyone was crying. I mean even my dad cried. And my dad's a pretty skeptical man when it comes to film. I've also heard some of my friends from film school say that they're seen gangsters in the theater cry their heart out when they saw the movie. It just moves you completely. And it also makes you think about all the toys you use to play with all the time when you were a kid. I mean mom felt that way when it came to a doll from when she was a little girl, and when I saw this film, I for one couldn't take it anymore and unwrapped some of my old toys from a big black trash bags and held them one more time...Snoopy....Hobbess....Pikachu...*snaps out of it* So this one is obviously one of the best because it was a great ending of this spectacular trilogy that touched the child at heart in all of us.
#1 The Ending of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Oh my gosh this ending gets me every time. Yeah I know that the various blackouts get annoying the first time but still. Right from the moment
Souron and the Ring are destroyed; both you and the characters get a
major feeling of joy after everything you’ve seen through this
whole trilogy. Frodo remembering the shire, the eagle’s rescue, the
Fellowship reunited, Aragorn crowned king of Gondor and finally together for good with Arwen. Then the camera changes to the map which goes from
Gondor to the Shire, showing all those places have been with all sort of
adventures and battle of Helm’s Deep to staying in Bree. And that sight for you
just as much as the hobbits when you finally see The Shire again from
that one hobbit that was raking the leaves to the Green Dragon where Sam
finally makes his move on Rosie and marries her. Then you see Frodo back
at Bag End almost done writing the entire story on Bilbo’s red book.
And from there the Hobbits along with Bilbo and Gandalf go to the Grey
Havens where Frodo says his goodbye to Merry, Pippin and mostly Sam
before he goes to the Undying Lands with Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond and
Galadriel. Then it moves to Sam coming home with his wife and children
saying “Well…I’m back” before he closes the door and then the screen
goes black with the words The End appearing. I just found the whole process moving with all the happiness that's happening after all the horror and darkness that was going on from facing Souron and his forces. I mean it's so happy that there's not a cloud in the sky over at Mordor. And finally, what I think
was the most powerful of all was the end credits with the song “Into the
West” It’s powerful just out of hearing the first few lyrics alone: “Lay down
your sweat and weary head. Night is falling, you’ve come journey’s
end.” And while it’s playing, drawn images of places of Middle-Earth and
several characters are shown continuing to make you think back from the
entire trilogy. I actually find it so powerful that I want "Into the West" to be one of
the last if not THE last song I hear before I die. Because it’s talking
about the end of the road and resting and all around living happily ever
after while showing all those characters and places from Middle-Earth. I find that song to be just the thing for me for thinking about my
life and getting ready to die before “I come to the house of my father,
and in his mighty company I shall not be ashamed.” (Theoden’s last
words revised) And even if I don’t make it one of the last songs I ever
hear, I want it to at least be one of the songs played at my funeral.
Which is something one of my best friends from high school wants for his funeral too. And
that’s why the end of Return of the King is - and hopefully always will be - the most powerful
ending I have ever seen.