With Disney’s stock at an all time low, it may be time to feel bad for the magical giant. But let’s not forget how Disney has a way of taking little childhood souls, cradling them gently, and them tossing them aside, shattering them into bits and pieces. That is exactly how these moments felt—soul-shattering, kicking us out of innocence and into the cynical realm that is reality. Here are the top ten sad Disney GIFs when a sliver of your soul died:
1. Mufasa’s Death, The Lion King
Remember when Scar tosses Mufasa from the edge of a cliff into the stampede below—and he dies? There was that moment after Simba’s horror scream that took a piece of our childhood hearts: when Simba interacts with his dad’s dead body, trying to wake him up. And then he crawls under his paw to cuddle with him.
2. Bambi’s Mom Is Killed, Bambi
The gunshot that kills Bambi’s mom still rings in my head some nights. But what traumatizes kids even more is Bambi calling out his mother’s name over and over again, shedding a single tear when his father tells him she’s gone.
3. Kerchak’s Death, Tarzan
While Kerchak is hated throughout the movie due to his inability to accept Tarzan as his son or part of his family, his death is truly redemption. While dying, he finally accepts Tarzan as his son and leaves the protection of the gorillas to him. The acceptance Tarzan wanted from his father is finally given. Then, his father dies.
4. Feast of Fools, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Quasimodo’s five seconds of freedom go from on top of the world to rock bottom at the Feast of Fools. First crowned and hurrahed by the crowd, they instantly turn against him when they realize he isn’t wearing a mask. Desperate, Q calls for his master for help, but is left alone to face humiliation by the masses.
5. Ohana Means Family, Lilo and Stitch
This moment between Lilo and Stitch and their shared loneliness is perhaps one of the saddest scenes. No death, sure, but in Lilo we see the reason why she acts out, why she understands Stitch, and how desperate she is for a family of her own.
6. The Adventure Book, Up
While the montage at the beginning of Up was indeed gut-wrenching and depressing, there’s something about discovering Ellie’s note from beyond the grave that gets us. Carl has spent his entire life trying to fulfill his dead wife’s life-long goal of getting to Paradise Falls, so much so that he had forgotten about all the wonderful things that happened along the way. Ellie thanks him for the adventure and then inspires him to live his own.
7. Cooper’s Choice, The Fox and the Hound
Two rival species end up becoming the best of friends in spite of everything. So when their paths cross again and Cooper chooses friendship over duty, we can’t help but shed a tear or two. Their promise to be friends forever has been fulfilled.
8. Eugene and Rapunzel’s New Dream, Tangled
Eugene prevents Rapunzel from saving his life by cutting her hair. Then, he tells her that she was his new dream. And she cries as she says that he was hers. And for a moment, nothing was right with the world. Nothing.
9. Boo and Kitty, Monster’s Inc.
He spends the entire movie with her, but in the end, he can’t visit her anymore due to protocol. Their final goodbye is sad, but her realization that Sully is gone forever is even sadder with her final, “Kitty?”
Baymax’s Sacrifice, Big Hero 6
As seasoned Disney watchers, we’ve all grown to expect a moment of extreme sadness somewhere in the movie. So, yes, while we all saw Baymax’s death coming, it did nothing to prevent the pain when he sacrifices himself and urges Hiro to let him go.
Thanks a lot, Disney.