Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here today to talk about Euphoria. You know, that moment when your happiest payoff is reached, the ultimate goal is vanquished and you’re left doing the happy victory dance and shouting “YES! YES! YES! YES!” In films and television, these moments happen to our heroes and when they do, we just want to jump out of our chairs and shout hurrah! at them when it happens. Today, I’d like to list my top 12 moments of pure joy and adulation in films and television. Why 12? Because I feel like jumping up and going “YABBA DABBA DOOOOOOOOO!” 😉 As these are all pretty fun, I’m not going to rank the list.

 

Warning: Small Spoilers and fun happy moments ahead

 

Rocky defeats Apollo Creed for the World Heavyweight Boxing Title(Rocky II)

Rocky defeats Apollo

Rocky’s Speech
Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) spends most of the picture failing to make a career at anything besides boxing to support his new wife, Adrian(Talia Shire) and the child on the way. He then gets another chance to face Apollo(Carl Weathers) for the championship of the world title and finds the will to go the distance again. In the last round, both fighters are completely spent but still trying desperately to knock each other out. With a final swing, Rocky knocks Apollo down, but falls, himself…and the two struggle to rise before the 10-count. It’s really suspenseful…and done in slow motion, of course. In the final second, Rocky makes it to his feet and Apollo collapses back to the canvas. The music swells up and Rocky has won an upset by knockout. He’s crying his heart out as he makes his victory speech for the crowd, ending with a last word to his wife, watching tv at home…”YO…ADRIAN! I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!” he cries and holds up the belt and his euphoria is amazing.

 

The Spring Sprite overcomes being cremated by the Firebird and makes the forest lush and growing green again(Fantasia 2000)

Green and happy

This one is incredible, my friends. In true “Fantasia” style, nature is embodied by a fairy-like character who is completely mute, but nonetheless, really emotional. The Spring Sprite comes to life from the breath of a reindeer and starts to make the forest bloom with green and flowers…until she reaches the mountain where her power doesn’t affect the ground. Curious, she goes into the mountain crater and unsuspectingly awakens the Firebird(the character embodiment of the volcano coming to life in a gigantic eruption. In the next tense moments, she’s pursued by the Firebird and cornered in a tree where the Firebird devours her in flame and the screen goes blank. The reindeer wanders through the ashes and burnt trees and breathes the sprite back to life. However, she’s nothing but ashes blowing in the wind. Her expression is utter pain and sorrow, but the reindeer encourages her onto his back and he begins to run. Her tears splash on the ground and the spots start to bloom again. Slowly, she takes flight and starts to refresh the barren landscape and gradually gains her powers back. In a flash she’s undoing all the damage the firebird wrought and in the final scene, the camera pulls back through a thick clump of pine trees and the sprite springs into the frame with the happiest expression of pure joy on her face. It’s absolutely beautiful and gives me chills every time I see it.

 

Gil Buckman cheers his son making a game-winning catch in little league baseball(Parenthood)

Victory Dance

Gil(Steve Martin) has been struggling the whole film with the self esteem of his son(Who is probably Asperger’s..but the film was made before that condition was widely known). He just wants his son to be happy, and in this scene, the baseball is hit straight to him and Gil holds his breath as one of the other kids runs to make the catch since Gil’s son has dropped every fly ball hit to him previously. The two collide but on the rebound, Gil’s son makes the catch and wins the game. Gil’s reaction is the happiest victory dance I’ve ever seen in a film. It’s just so happy.

 

Chief Brody blows up the shark with a scuba tank and a riffle(Jaws)

Smile you SONOFABI….

After Captain Quint(Robert Shaw) is gobbled up by the shark, Chief Brody is all alone on the slowly sinking Orca. Gathering his wits and gear in the flooded interior of the boat, the shark comes crashing through the window to threaten him. Thinking fast, he grabs a scuba tank and bashes the shark in the nose with it and tosses into the shark’s mouth. Then, climbing through the other window and up the tilting mast to the crow’s nest, he sets up to attempt to shoot the tank as the shark makes a run at him. On the 6th shot, he succeeds and blows up the shark’s head and his reaction? “HAAAAAA!!!!!!!!” He’s elated to have killed the creature that was about to eat him and it’s pure euphoria.

 

Dorothy wakes up and is overjoyed to be home again(The Wizard of Oz)

There’s no place like home!

You want to talk happy? Dorothy(Judy Garland) has woken up from her adventure in the land of Oz, and positively gushes at how happy she is to be home again. Classic scene and a really joyful one.

 

George Bailey gets his life back at the end of the film and flips out with happiness(It’s a Wonderful Life)

My MOUTH IS BLEEDING!

You really got to give props to Jimmy Stewart for the way he acted this scene. He goes from absolute dejection, despair and hopelessness, to insanely happy in the space of mere seconds when he realizes he’s been given his life back. If this doesn’t make you smile and feel all warm inside, you need medical help.

 

Elizabeth(Madeline Kahn), at last finds “(the)sweet mystery of life”(Young Frankenstein)

OH! Sweet Mystery of life at last I’ve found youuuuu!

The actual moment of elation and euphoria is offscreen, but she still manages to convey the feeling by breaking out into song “OH SWEET MYSTERY OF LIFE AT LAST I’VE FOUND YOUUUUUUUUU!” LMAO!

 

The 9th Doctor cures the gas mask zombies in WW-II Britain(Doctor Who)

Everyone Lives, Rose!

In the second part of the story, the Doctor(Christopher Eccleston) solves the mystery of who the empty child is, and convinces Nancy, the teenage mother to claim him as her son. The nanogenes figure out the differing DNA of the parent and reprogram to restore all the zombies back into the people they were before. The Doctor is fervent. “Oh, please…give me this one…..figure it out you little nano genes!” he pleads. When they do, he cracks a smile so wide his whole head threatens to split in half. “Just this once, Rose…EVERYONE LIVES!….EVERYONE LIVES!” I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any incarnation of the Doctor happier than he is at this moment.

 

Q gives Mr. Data the gift of laughter(Star Trek The Next Generation)

Data Laughs

Mr. Data(Brent Spiner), the android who has no genuine emotions has assisted Q(John De Lancie) during his brief tenure with mortality. In repayment, Q gives him the gift of laughter…the results speak for themselves.

 

John Goodman is Fred Flintstone(The Flintstones)

Fred Flintstone

So the film was mediocre…this trailer was GREAT! Nobody knew who was going to play Fred when the trailer came out. The song is sung with a clever “follow the bouncing stone” format…and the stone falls in the hand of Fred. The camera pulls back and we see it’s John Goodman. He flexes his arm and lets out the signature call “YABBA DABBA DOOOOOO!” and you can tell he’s really happy to be in this role.

 

Oscar Diggs(James Franco) revels in the royal treasure vault(Oz The Great and Powerful)

images-1

I can’t find a clip of this, but if you can imagine a human having a “Daffy Duck goes berserk in the genie’s treasure vault,” reaction, that pretty much sums up how he reacts to seeing a mountain of gold in the Emerald City Royal Treasure Vault. He closes his eyes and falls backwards down the hill of coins laughing like a lunatic. “IT’S MINE!!!! IT’S MINE!!!! No more ratty old suits, it’s nothing but the finest silks, baby! ALI BABA!!!!!” while tossing the coins in the air to rain down on his head.

 

Chihiro helps Haku remember who he was before becoming a spirit(Spirited Away)

images-2

And yeah, I couldn’t find a good clip of this one, either…that wasn’t made into a music video(I FREAKING HATE IT WHEN SOMEONE RUINS A SCENE I COULD OTHERWISE USE IN MY BLOGS!!!!! GRRRRRR!). Chihiro(Daveigh Chase), a human trapped in the spirit world trying to save her parents who’ve been transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba(Susan Pleshette), is flying back with her friend, Haku(Jason Marsden)(who’s in dragon form). Halfway into the flight, she remembers nearly drowning in the Colaku River trying to get her red shoe that fell in, and the river carrying her to shore saving her life. She believes that Haku is the spirit of that river and tells him. He remembers everything and sheds the dragon scales and they fall out of the sky together having a happy moment of elation that he’s finally figured out who he is, and she’s helped him do it. They’re both shedding tears of joy and holding onto each other before Haku saves them from the fall by flying again. With the music of Joe Hisiashi swelling, it’s a really happy moment.

 

And those are my top 12 moments of euphoria in films and television.  Did I miss any of yours?  I’d love to hear what moments of triumph made you feel great, my friends.  Peace.

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