Whether it’s produced or distributed by the media company (that often partners with Pixar), these movies leave a lasting impression on fans, with some even pointing out the saddest films from the company on Reddit. From classics like The Fox and the Hound to more recent releases like Encanto, the most moving Disney movies are the perfect choice for a tearful viewing experience.
Although Up revolves around the grand adventure that the retired Carl Fredricksen has with 8-year-old Russell, a deleted Redditor points out that its “first five minutes” of the animated film are incredibly sad “and overall gave the movie its tone.”
These infamous five minutes tell the heartbreaking love story of Carl and Ellie, which also eventually inspires the protagonist to go on that wild trip the two of them always dreamed of. More mature audiences will be able to appreciate the hard-hitting themes the movie tackles, which include grief, acceptance, and youth.
The Fox And The Hound (1981)
Despite being released over forty years ago, The Fox and the Hound is an old-school Disney movie still worth watching today. The user sourgummies highlights the important but painful lesson it imparts, which is about “how easily friends come and go.” They further detail how “it’s so honest and genuine” and add that it’s “impossible not to feel invested in both Tod and Copper.”
The film depicts the unlikely friendship that develops between the fox Tod and the foxhound Copper. The pair don’t know that they’re not supposed to bond, and soon enough, their innocent relationship is complicated by external pressures. Their tear-jerking story may hit too close to home for anyone who has ever lost a friend.
Often cited alongside the most popular animated films of the decade, Coco tells the story of 12-year-old Miguel who has big dreams of becoming a musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. His fantastical experiences traveling into the Land of the Dead caught KronZed “off guard,” convincing him to name it as one of the “saddest Disney movies of all time.”
The animated film’s setting may be vibrant and musical, but that doesn’t take away from the heartfelt realizations its protagonist has after he meets his dead ancestors. There’s one particularly touching scene that Miguel shares with the titular character that’s obviously meant to make fans shed a tear.
The Lion King (1994)
Simba’s story in The Lion King is a big part of many viewers’ childhoods. It takes place in a kingdom of lions where Simba’s father, King Mufasa, teaches his son what it means to lead their pack. His uncle, the villainous Scar, isn’t about to stand idly by and let that happen, though.
The Redditor PMC1996 doesn’t have to say much except that everyone knows “the scene” that turns the Disney classic into an emotional one. It’s a part of the film that teaches a heavy but crucial lesson about death, guilt, and responsibility.
Encanto introduced lovable and powerful characters from the Madrigal family, with the seemingly average Mirabel at the center of the film’s profound narrative. Pale-Cold-Quivering details how they “cried 7 times” because it was “so good,” noting that one scene between Mirabel and Abuela “just made” them “cry as it was a release of all built-up emotions.”
The messy family dynamic of the Madrigals is explored by the visually stunning movie, which exposes the flaws of the seemingly perfect siblings. The way the film thoughtfully depicts Mirabel’s quest for acceptance through her challenging experiences with her family members is both entertaining and moving.
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Baymax may be the adorable sidekick prominently featured alongside Hiro Hamada in Big Hero 6, but he’s also one of the biggest reasons the movie becomes unexpectedly tear-jerking. AceDynamicHero recounts how they “don’t think” they “ever cried so blatantly in a theater” before the animated film.
Beyond being just a riveting hunt for the big baddie, the movie focuses on how Hiro copes with anger and grief after the untimely loss of his brother. The way Baymax helps him go through this personal journey is touching, as in many ways, the charming robot is an extension of and a reminder of the love of Hiro’s big brother.
Anyone who has never seen the original Dumbo should consider watching it, as there are several aspects of the animated film that still hold up today. A deleted Redditor recalls how they “saw it a lot growing up” and points out a specific “scene” with Dumbo’s “caged mother” that makes them cry “like a toddler every time.”
The likable protagonist is ridiculed for his big ears, which soon become his biggest asset. It’s easy to root for the naive protagonist, who’s only a child at that time after all. It’s almost too painful to watch some scenes that show the cute character being mocked and bullied by those around him.
Inside Out (2015)
When 11-year-old Riley’s family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco in Inside Out, she has a tough time adjusting to her new environment. The animated film shows what going on in her mind as five personified emotions attempt to help her cope with the big change. Ze_Ubermench shares that “the only movie that” has ever made them cry “is Inside Out.”
While it’s a lot of fun to watch Riley’s emotions like Joy, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness argue with each other, there are some serious scenes that highlight the importance of each one. As the young protagonist struggles in school and at home, she, along with the emotions, learns critical things about growing up.
Although Bambi was first released eighty years ago, it still has the same emotional effect on anyone who watches it today. The user cjl2441 recounts how they got “choked up from a 90-second clip” of the movie despite not having seen it “in 20-some years,” highlighting the scene where “Bambi and his mother are fleeing from the hunters” as a particularly heartwrenching one.
Beyond being an amazing story about Bambi’s resilience, the award-winning film is a bold commentary on animal cruelty and deforestation. Aside from the iconic sequence of Bambi and her mother running from hunters, there’s also an intense scene depicting a raging wildfire.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
For those who grew up watching every single Toy Story movie, the third one likely hit hard just as it did for Shyronaut, who cried “a lot” at “the end.” The third entry in the massively successful franchise marks Andy’s transition to college, which means a major change for fan-favorite characters like Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Jessie, and more.
The toys go on their biggest and most dangerous adventure yet as they search for a new home, but soon find that not every character they meet has good intentions. Everything comes to a head in the heartbreaking conclusion, which felt both like an ending and the beginning of something new.
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