The Top 5 heartbreaking Disney movies that make you cry

Last updated on September 28th, 2022 at 11:43 am

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Most of the time, we get that warm, fuzzy feeling from watching a Disney movie but there are some moments that really tug at our heart strings.

Here is my list of the top five moments from Disney movies that make you cry (in descending order) – be warned though, there are some spoilers here:

5. Triton lets Ariel go – The Little Mermaid

This moment isn’t usually found in lists of Disney movies that make you cry but I feel it needs to be. This is one moment that really gets to me. After Ariel has expressed her wishes to become human, bargained with a sea witch and lost her voice, fallen in love with Prince Eric, battled the sea witch and then returned to the sea, she watches Eric on the shore from the ocean. King Triton and Sebastian look on as Ariel gazes longingly at her true love from a rock.

I guess there's one problem left. How much I'm going to miss her ...

There is an exchange between Triton and Sebastian where they discuss how much Ariel does truly love the human and Triton says, “Well, there’s only one problem left.” Baffled, Sebastian replies, “And what’s that, your majesty?”

Yarn | How much I'm going to miss her. ~ The Little Mermaid (1989 ...

Then before Triton uses magic to give Ariel legs once again, he says, “How much I’m going to miss her.” And that is why this moment deserves to be on the list. Triton, who has expressed his disapproval of Ariel interacting with humans, turns his own daughter from mermaid to human and lets her go.

4. Pocahontas letting John Smith go – Pocahontas

After falling in love with a stranger from another land (classic Disney!), John Smith’s head is placed on a block and he is about to be executed. However, Pocahontas throws herself in front of her father’s club to save John Smith’s life. This act of love and kindness ultimately stops the war between their people.

POCAHONTAS (1995) Scene: "I'll always be with you..."/John departs ...

The sad moment is when Pocahontas says goodbye to John Smith as he goes back to England. She stays with her family and bids farewell to true love. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a happy ending – there was no war and her family could live in peace.

This really is one of the top Disney movies that make you cry! Pass me those tissues…

Warning: The next three choices are a little bleak!

3. Yeller being put down – Old Yeller

If you have seen this movie, you will know how heartbreaking it is. If you haven’t watched it and plan to, certainly prepare for tears or, at least, a lump in your throat.

Old Yeller
Source: IMdB

Yeller is a loveable Labrador who is adored by his family and any viewer who has a family pet can relate to the fact that the animal is part of the family. However, towards the end of the move, Yeller saves the family from a savage wolf but is bitten on the neck in the process. He quickly develops rabies and as this renders him dangerous, there is no other way to deal with the problem than to put the dog down. What’s even more sad is that Travis, the dog’s young owner, chooses to be the one who carries out the deed because he feels it’s only right.

Seriously, I feel choked up just writing this!

You are probably wondering what could be higher on the list of Disney movies that make you cry.

2. Ray’s Death – The Princess and the Frog

Throughout the movie, little Ray, the firefly, talks about his love for the brightest firefly that ever lived, Evangeline. Everyone knows that he is talking about a star in the sky, which that alone is just enough to tug at the heart strings as he seems so delusional, but when he dies in the movie, there’s a complete “Awwww” moment when a new, bright star appears in the sky next to Evangeline. Too cute!

Ray and Evangeline — aladalove
Ray the Firefly representing the top 5 Disney movies that make you cry

Now we are at number one… but you probably know what’s coming on this list of Disney movies that make you cry.

1. Mufasa’s Death – The Lion King

No other scene could have been at the top spot of this list. This movie is almost thirty years old and I’ve seen it countless times… and every single time I get choked up. It’s that moment when the last wildebeest has trotted through the canyon and Simba sees his strong, heroic father lying lifeless on the floor after plummeting to his death.

I refuse to ever watch the Lion King again | IGN Boards

Then, Simba pleads, “Dad, get up! We gotta go home!” and this is the tearjerking moment. This scene is enough to make grown men get emotional – it’s just so heartbreaking.

**Check out this list of Disney villains and my theory as to why Scar is completely misunderstood.

What’s your saddest Disney moment? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Did your saddest movie make it to the Top 5 Disney movies that make you cry list?

Loula Bella xoxo

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