All the times Disney movies made us cry a million tears

On August 13th, 1942, Walt Disney’s 5th animated movie, Bambi, opened in theater’s nationwide. Though times were very different back then — like, how theater tickets cost 25 CENTS! — one thing has remained the same about Bambi all these years: it makes us weep. . .hysterically. That’s all because Bambi is a story about a young deer growing up in the crazy forest-world, and his mother is suddenly killed by an off-screen hunter. Too much, Disney. Too much.

OH MY GOD THIS PICTURE. NOOOO! We can’t even post it here because it hurts too much, so we’ll just post this one instead.

Have you recovered from a waterfall of emotions yet? (Did you look at the picture?) Because we’ve got more moments from the Disney canon that totally squelched our hearts with an iron fist of feelingsSo grab a box of tissues (or two) and settle in. It’s time to take a look at all the times Disney has made us cry, with both human and anthropomorphic animals. Deep breath. Let’s do this.

1. Pinocchio — When Pinocchio dies, and Jiminy Cricket’s little hat comes off

All Gepetto wants is a boy, and instead he gets a talking puppet who comes to life, Pinocchio. Gepetto treats him like a son, and the two become family. But then, after fighting off the whale, Monstro, it appears as if Pinocchio has drowned. It’s the way Jiminy Cricket yells, “Pinocchio! Pinocchio!” And then he takes off his little cricket top hat and weeps on a candle! That’s still not including how Gepetto still takes Pinocchio home with him, because even though he’s wood, he’s still his boy.

2. Dumbo — The song “Baby Mine”

Dumbo and his mother have been separated on the circus train. Timothy Mouse takes Dumbo to see his mom, and they hold trunks through the bars of the cage. Then, “Baby Mine” kicks in, and Dumbo starts crying. Then it’s just images of all the animals in the circus hanging out with their moms, and the tears are real.

3. The Little Mermaid — When King Triton turns Ariel human

Sure, Ariel has disobeyed her father a hundred times, but he still loves her. He loves her so much, he wants to make her happy. King Triton realizes that the only way to see to his daughter’s happiness is to give her legs, telling Sebastien that there’s one problem left, and it’s just “how much [he’s] going to miss her.” THUNK. That’s the sound of our hearts dropping to our ankles.

4. Beauty and the Beast — The Beast’s transformation

The curse placed on the Beast promises that he’ll only transform back into a human if he can get someone to love him before the last petal on his enchanted rose falls. But who could ever love a beast? Belle can! And she does. So when Gaston stabs the Beast, and Belle cries over his body (oh, this is also just after he’s mentioned to her that at least he got to see her “one last time”) it’s impossible not to cry. Belle cries, too, and her soft, “I love you” turns him human again. Thank god.

5. Aladdin — When Aladdin sets Genie free

Earlier in the movie, the Genie makes a passing comment about how if he had one wish, he’d wish for his freedom. When it comes time for Genie to grant Aladdin one last wish, that’s what he does. Instead of wishing to be a prince (so he can marry Jasmine) Aladdin grants Genie his freedom. It’s the sweetest act, but it also means these two besties won’t be attached at the lamp. But you know what they say, if you love someone, set them free.

6. The Lion King — YOU KNOW WHAT SCENE, OK?

Do we really even need to talk about the saddest scene in The Lion King? You know.  It’s the scene that has haunted you for probably your whole childhood and adult life. Simba can’t wake up his dad, Mufasa. He asks, “Dad?” He tells his dad to “get up.” And Mufasa doesn’t. So. many. TEARS.

7. Finding Nemo — Dory talking about family

Yes, it’s sad when Nemo’s mom, Coral, dies like thirty seconds into the movie. It’s also sad when Nemo is accidentally kidnapped by the dentist. And it’s also sad when it appears as if Nemo has died trying to save the day. But the SADDEST part of the movie comes whenever Dory is talking about family, and how Marlin and Nemo are her new family. When she’s with them, she’s “home.”

8. Toy Story 3 — The Toys and the realization of death

It appears as if the Toys are about to meet their maker. Woody doesn’t have a plan. Buzz doesn’t have a plan. They are slowly descending into the flaming inferno, so what do the toys do? They grab hands with one another, so at least they’re together, whatever might happen. (And don’t worry, they still save the day in the end). But seriously Disney, this is getting too real.

9. Tangled – Flynn sacrifices himself for Rapunzel

There are lots of Disney princes out there, but not too many of them have truly sacrificed themselves to save the princess. Flynn is stabbed by Mother Gothel. As he slowly dies, he cuts off Rapuzel’s hair, setting her free from Mother Gothel’s overbearing rule. Flynn knows that by doing this, he’ll die, too, but it’s what he’s willing to do. Solid dude.

10. Wreck-It-Ralph — Ralph saves the day

A movie based on old school video game can make you cry? Yes. Ralph doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore, he wants to be the hero. He proves that by risking his 8-bit life to save all the games in the arcade. Not only that, as he’s plunging to his apparent death, he repeats his Bad Guy mantra: “I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be then me.” Aw.

11. Frozen — Anna stops Hans

Even though Elsa locked herself away for years, her and Anna still had an incredibly strong bond. And even though Elsa then ran away from home to live in her ice palace, still, the sisters had a bond. The bond was only made stronger when Hans tried to kill Elsa, and Anna — though on the verge of turning completely into ice — stepped in to save her sister. It is the most sister-powered moment we’ve ever seen—and if you’ve got a sister of your own—you know how happy-weepy this moment will make you.

12. Inside Out — Bing Bong

Is it still too soon to talk about Bing Bong? Maybe. He’s just your regular imaginary friend who likes to play, shout hooray, and then will sacrifice himself for you in the end. AHHHHHH!

13. Up — The beginning

Oh you thought you were going to get all the way through this list and not have to think about the beginning of Up? The first four minutes of the movie tell the complete story of Carl and Ellie’s life. They meet, they get married, and then Ellie learns she can’t have children. Carl and Ellie don’t let that ruin their wonderful life together, and continue to have adventures and save up for their biggest one yet, a trip to Paradise Falls. But then Ellie falls ill and dies before they can take that trip. And this is still the first four minutes of the movie. It’s a wonder anyone can compose themselves enough to finish watching Up.

(Images via Disney)


The perfect mashup of every ’90s Disney movie

Disney characters who understood our quarter-life anxieties

Filed Under