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For every laugh, there should be a tear.—Walt Disney
Chances are, if Disney movies don't warm your heart, make you jump up and cheer, or make you hide under the covers, they brought tears to your eyes. With films such as Bambi, Dumbo, every Winnie the Pooh film, and Tangled, Disney animation still manages to tug at our heartstrings. And, if you've ever seen a film produced by Pixar Animation Studios, you know what we're talking about.
Disney Animated Canon and its sequels, prequels, midquels, etc.
- Bambi's mom. Quite possibly the Tear Jerker, simply because everyone saw it as a kid, and no one watching this movie was cold-hearted enough not to shed a tear.
- Arguably Bambi's Disney Death in the midquel. Yeah, not a single person watching is gonna believe Bambi is dead, but the Great Prince sure did...
- Jafar has been beaten, the Genie has been freed, everything's okay, right?
Genie: Oh does that feel good! I'm getting out of here! I'm off to see the world! I--
Aladdin: Genie... I'm really gonna miss you.
Genie: [with tears in his eyes] Me too, Al. No matter what anybody says, you'll always be a prince to me.
- After her escape plan has spectacularly failed, Jasmine weeps in her garden, believing that she's the one responsible for the execution of the boy who saved her life in the marketplace. Rajah comes over to comfort her, and she says, "I didn't even know his name!" Think for a moment about how this feels for her: making a deep connection with a stranger, then losing him in the same day and believing that it's all her fault.
- In Aladdin and the King of Thieves Aladdin and Jasmine are finally married and share their first kiss as husband and wife, the crowd parts as they walk back up the aisle, and standing in the back is Aladdin's father.
- Even though it wasn't technically in the movie, the song "Proud of Your Boy" always gets me. Especially when you hear the story behind it. Just... watch the video.
- There's a bit in the third movie when we see a bit of Aladdin's past as an orphan, watching a happy family together that makes me depressed just thinking about it...
- In addition to all the scenes mentioned on the Tear Jerker page for the original movie, the Dungeon scene from Beauty and The Beast The Enchanted Christmas where Belle was trying to get a pine tree from the forest outside of the castle. Belle almost drowns in a lake; the Beast comes and saves her, but locks her up for leaving the castle grounds. Cogsworth, Lumiere, Fife, and Angelique come to her cell and try to cheer her up. Angelique believed that bringing Christmas to the castle was nothing but "a hopeless folly", but admits that she was wrong, and sings a Dark Reprise of "As Long As There's Christmas" with Belle.
- Kala losing her baby and subsequently finding the infant Tarzan, set to Phil Collins' "Two Worlds", a song which itself has made people cry when hearing it.
- The Musical adds in a reprise of "You'll Be in My Heart" (sung as a duet between Kala and Tarzan) after Tarzan decides to leave the jungle and return to society to be with Jane. While the musical was seen as So Okay It's Average, every critic admitted that that scene would reduce the entire house to tears every time.
- Tarzan's parents and what happened to them. Picture it: Victorian-age Englishfolk, lost in the rainforest with their infant son, yet determined not to just lie there and die. They built a treehouse, working together (when the beam slips on the father's shoulders and the mother joins him to help carry it, that's when the tears start), and then Sabor showed up...
- The death of Kerchak.
- And also:
Tarzan (to Kala): No matter where I go, you will always be my mother.
Kala: And you will always be in my heart.
- The fact that Tarzan is dressed in his father's clothes during that scene doubles the emotional impact. Something about a well-dressed gentleman hugging a gorilla and reassuring her that she is his mother just increases the poignancy.
- Phil Collins' "You'll Be In My Heart" instrumentally played in the score during this scene reeeeaaaally gets the eyes to leak.
- When Jane and Tarzan say goodbye at the end of the film. Yes, it only lasts for a couple of minutes, but the heartwrenching tension is PAINFUL. And then Disney thinks, "Oh wait, this scene isn't emotional enough," so what do they do? Make Jane lose her glove in the wind and conveniently fly over to Tarzan, who picks it up and gives Jane one of the most pitiful looks in the history of Disney animated canon. Oh GOD.
"You came back..."
"I came home."
- The scene where Tod's owner has to abandon him in a game preserve for fear that the hunter will eventually kill him (he even threatens her with "You can't keep him locked up forever!").
- The abandonment scene is made even worse by the fact that Tod has no concept of why she is doing it, and he tries to follow her. And the tearjerking song the woman sings about how she really doesn't want to do this.
- The echo of one of the early lines played at the end:
Tod: Copper? You're my very best friend.
Copper: And you're mine too Tod.
Tod: And we'll always be friends, forever, won't we?
Copper: Yeah, forever!
- The scene where Tod reunites with Copper, after the latter had spent the winter evolving into a prime hunting dog. After noting how big they've both grown, Copper says that Tod shouldn't have come.
Copper: It's good to see you again, Tod...but you shouldn't have come here.
Tod: Hey, I just wanted to see you again. We're still friends, aren't we?
Copper: Tod...those days are over. I'm a hunting dog now.
- Upon hearing this, Tod recoils in disbelief...then hangs his head and closes his eyes, crushed by the finality of Copper's statement.
- The song "The Best Of Friends".
- The finale when
LewisCornelius is brought into his room, and you can see in his eyes the realization: This is where I belong. Everything from here on out is going to be all right.
- Happy tears, it goes without saying. It's enough to pull any lost, forgotten, or downright blue nerd out of their funk.
- The scene near the end after Doris is defeated and Lewis asks Goob to join the Robinsons. The look on Goob's face as he walks away is so sad.
- Lewis tries to fix the PB&J maker and it explodes. The family responds with "You failed! And you did it so magnificently!"
- During the credits when they showed a quote from Walt Disney, the whole "Keep moving forward." is tear inducing.
- Also touching is when, after the battle with the T. rex, Lewis says, "Wow. You all risked so much for me," and the family responds, "Of course we did. You are one special kid."
- One punctuation mark: "?"
- "Mr. Steak, you're my only friend": If you don't feel sorry for the kid after he says that and hugs the steak like it's his teddy bear, you are one soulless monster.
- When adult Lewis/Cornelius says that out of all of his world-changing inventions, the memory scanner is the one he's most proud of.
- The Walt Disney quote at the end that fades out to simply, "Keep moving forward."
- Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
- The emperor, then everybody, bowing to Mulan gets me every single time.
- At the very end of Mulan where Mulan brings the sword and medal to her father, and he proceeds to throw them aside, get down on his knees, and tell her that the greatest honor in life is having her as a daughter.
- How about the destroyed village scene?
- What about when they see the remains of the army? Their faces...
- When Mulan's family wakes to find that Mulan has run away, her father dashes out into the rain and slips in the mud, looking up to see her decorative comb laying abandoned on the ground. Mulan's mother runs to him, saying they should go after her or else she could be killed. The father's reply: "If I reveal her...she will be." Their look of parental despair is heart-rending.
- Whenever Mulan hugs the emperor, his reaction to this surprise is enough to get me a little teary-eyed.
- "Reflection". Just...that. That horrible, horrible sense of being a disappointment, of feeling false and wrong and ill-fitted to what roles your family desperately needs you to fill? Uh, yeah, it hasn't gotten less familiar over time.
- Made even worse by this line in the movie: "If I were truly to be myself, I would break my family's heart". For many people, they feel they wouldn't have much problem with society knowing their secrets; it's allowing their family to see them for who they truly are that terrifies them. The fact that your family are the people who you should feel most comfortable with just makes this line heartbreaking.
- I will never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter... Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?/Why is my reflection someone I don't know?
- In Mulan II, there's Shang's Heroic Sacrifice and Mulan subsequently breaking down afterwards. He gets better, though.
- There's also Mulan offering herself to marry the eldest prince of Qi-Gong in place of the princesses. During the marriage, Shang reveals himself to be alive, and Mushu, disguising himself as the "Golden Dragon of Unity" marries Mulan and Shang right then and there.
- Manly Tears will be shed at the climax of "I'll Make a Man Out Of You".
- The look on Shang's face when he finds out his father was killed in battle.
- Even sadder is when Mulan is revealed as a woman and he has to make the decision to kill her, or let one of his best friends, who also saved his life, go free. Made worse when Mulan tells him she did it to save her father's life, especially when you realize Shang just lost his own father to the war and knows exactly how she feels.
- It wasn't just the fact that Shang's father, the leader, had been killed, it was that every single soldier and innocent civilian in that village had been killed along with him. You realize that all of those dead men lying down there were someone's husband, someone's brother, someone's father/son/cousin/uncle/nephew, and now they're never going home, which was why Mulan stole her father's war things and took his place to begin with, so she didn't lose him like that. Mulan finding the abandoned doll amongst the burned wreckage -- one of the most cruel implied inversions of Infant Immortality I've ever seen -- only drives the point home even harder: the Huns are merciless, bloodthirsty, evil bastards, and if they aren't stopped... Brrr.
- For some reason, the dinner scene early in the movie always makes me tear up... When Mulan is trying to tell her father he'll be killed if he goes to war, and he, frustrated, shouts at her to learn her place, causing her to run outside and cry privately.
- How about the ending exchange between Mulan and her father? "The greatest gift and honor is having you for a daughter."
- When Mittens finally lets her past slip. "No, Bolt. See, that's what they do. They act like they love you. They act like they'll be there forever. And then one day they pack up all their stuff and move away and take their love with them, and leave their declawed cat behind to fend for herself!" (shocked silence) "They leave her, wondering, what she did wrong." Anyone that has worked in an animal shelter should start bawling about now.
- Bolt, trapped in a burning building and seeing no way out, curling up beside Penny, intending to die with his person. Oh, man, and the fade to black. Intellectually, you know they're not going to let the kid and the dog die, but still...
- The worst part is that there is a way out; Bolt is small enough to fit through the vent. Penny isn't. And there's no way Bolt is going to leave her behind.
- "You're my good boy. I love you."
- How about the face of Bolt himself, when he finds out that Penny is a goner?
- Bolt brought this humble contributor close to Manly Tears shortly before the fire. Having finally accepted the world as he knew it was a lie, Bolt continues holding on to the one true thing he has left - the love of his person - only for the first thing he sees after reaching the studio to be Penny in rehearsal, hugging the studio's replacement Bolt.
- When Penny tries to persuade Bolt to play with the squeaky toy, it's just how the way Bolt's been treated for his whole life has stopped him acting like a real dog.
- Oh, God, the bit where Penny's mom is searching through the crowd outside of the burning set.
- The whole 2nd half of the movie is one tearjerker after another with a few non-depressing scenes thrown in. The part where Penny meets the 'replacement Bolt' ... The viewer knows it's not really him, but seeing her face when she realizes it's some other dog is heartbreaking. And it just gets sadder from there. It turns to Happy Tears when we get to the ambulance scene and Penny sees the nearly-unconscious Bolt wagging his tail. Have tissues when you watch it.
- There are stories of how Snow White was allegedly the first animated anything to make an audience cry at the premiere. After months prior to the release of people calling the movie "Disney's Folly," saying that an hour and a half of color/animation would drive people mad, etc., a bunch of grown celebrities/film industry members broke down over the sight of a dead cartoon character. Seeing Dopey sob into Doc's shoulder probably didn't help...
- Grumpy being way back in a corner, covering his face and turning away sobbing is even worse.
- It's an especially masterful one, as in some versions of the film after the sheer musical chaos of the chase and death of the queen the scene of the dwarfs with the "dead" Snow White cuts to complete and total silence for a full minute, it's the cinematic equivalent of a punch in the gut.
- The most Tear Jerking thing about this movie is not actually a part of the story. In Don Bluth's guide to animation, Bluth himself, former Disney employee, described the point during production where Disney ran out of money halfway through the film. With no way to finish, he had to go to the bank and beg for another loan in front of a board of executives. As an aid, he brought along fragments of the half finished film, fragments which astounded the entire board. When finished, the Head Executive got to his feet and made what, for a business man at that time especially, constitutes a tremendous leap of faith into the complete unknown:
"Gentlemen, in fifty years time, nobody will remember the names of any of the people in this room. But they will remember the name Walt Disney. I'm in."
- Dopey who sobs on Doc's shoulder during Snow White's "funeral".
- Grumpy can't even look at her.
- Gepetto's Adult Fear scene when he walks the raining streets in search of his puppet-son who never returned home from school is hard to watch... Gepetto wanted this little puppet boy to be real so he could have someone to love and care for... and now that person isn't there...
Gepetto: (agonizedly) What could have happened to him? Where could he be at this hour? (determinedly)...I better go out again and look for him.
- Also when Jiminy discovers the pen where the Coachmen keeps the donkeys that can still talk.
- Made all the more hauntingly tragic since unlike so many examples here there is no uplifting conclusion to this. This is the last we see of those poor boys as they are likely sent to some horrible fate by the Coachman for the rest of their lives. The endearing designs and voices used for the donkeys doesn't help one bit.
Donkey: *sobs* I wanna go home to my mama!!!
- This line from Jiminy when he discovers this atrocity. He's abandoning Pinocchio and his duties as conscience, but when he see what the boys on Pleasure Island end up becoming, he rushes back to save Pinoke.
Jiminy: Boys? So that's what...PINOCCHIO!!! (later) I hope I'm not too late!
- May not be a common thing for audiences nowadays but apparently Pinocchio's apparent death scene contributed handsomely to the well of tears Disney seeks to reap from its audiences.
- "When You Wish Upon A Star" (the original 1940 version) So happy that it brings tears.
- "Solid gold, too! Oh I think it's swell."
- The scene with the song "I'm Still Here" accompanied by images of Jim's father leaving him and his mother. Especially the one where Jim runs down the stairs in the morning to find him mother crying then in desperation runs outside to where his father is taking off on a ship and he tries to get to it before it takes off but fails. The sequence was done beautifully.
- Completely in agreement. Because: Hello there, long-standing issues! Back again, eh? Eyes mist up as well at James stacking plates and overhearing his mother fretting over him; the guilt and frustration with himself is obvious, and anyone who's ever seen their parent at their wits' end over you...
- The part where Silver encourages Jim after the boy thinks he has royally screwed up and caused the death of one of the crewmembers.
Silver: Now you listen to me, James Hawkins... ya got the makings of greatness in ya. But ya gotta take the helm and chart your own course! Stick to it, no matter the squalls! And when the time comes, ya get to really test the cut of your sails and show what you're made of... well, I hope I'm there... catching some o' the light comin' off ya that day..."
- Which makes the scene in the purp barrel that much more of a Tear Jerker! The look on Jim's face when he overhears Silver denying that he cares for Jim and is only pretending to keep Jim off of the pirates' tail...
- It was Jim's monologue right before Silver comforts him. Fellow teenagers, raise your hands if you've ever felt this exact feeling!
Don't you get it? I screwed up! I thought for two seconds, I thought I could do something right!
- The scene where Silver leaves. The whole speech he gave about why he needs Jim to take Morph, when really he's talking about himself is emotional, then after a certain point both characters are sniffling and concealing tears right along with the audience. The part where Silver flies away to freedom and lets out the most joyful laugh ever is the final straw.
- The Princess and the Frog is ready to crank up the waterworks with Ray's death. No, not Disney Death. Actual, factual, honest-to-God-death. But never fear! Just as you're sobbing yourself ragged, the happy tears chime in. Ray and Evangeline, together forever in the night sky...
- Tiana's ten-second reprise of "Almost There", when it looks as if the dream she has spent most of her life working toward has been anticlimactically shot down. It's arguably one of the movie's highlights. Er... that didn't sound right.
- That little scene where Facilier makes an illusory version of Tiana's dream appear for her. And the bit where Tiana, feeling betrayed and upset, lashes out at Ray by telling him Evangeline is only a star. And in a moment of Fridge Logic tear-jerkeriness in regards to Louis-- that rather than trying to be a "normal" human to pursue his dream, in the end he just had to find people who didn't care about being an alligator.
- Dr. Facilier's speech about Tiana's father; how hard he worked, how tired he was, and how he tried to hide this all from Tiana. It's even more tear Jerking when you consider that he probably died of a stress and/or exhaustion related illness.
- Word of God says that he died during the war. Though the stress/exhaustion thing could have happened.
- Ironically it's this scene above all else that convinces Tiana that there's more to her dream than just business success. Her father never lived to see the dream they had been fighting for for so long, a silly little dream which "never got off the back porch", but that he still had the most important thing of all: his family.
Tiana: He never got what he wanted... But he had what he needed. He had love.
- Despite having been prince-obsessed the entire movie, Charlotte instantly puts it on hold when she sees that Naveen and Tiana love each other, and offers the magic kiss with no strings attached so they can be human and happy together. And then it doesn't work, because midnight's passed and she's no longer the Mardi Gras princess. Just that quiet, "Oh, honey. I'm so sorry." as she sets Naveen down, knowing there's nothing she can do to help her best friend at all, is crushing.
- The movie itself. Just... a good, traditionally animated, fairy-tale-ish Disney movie. It's like being a little kid again. It was just like going to see a movie at the cinema for the first time. Sometimes it's nice to feel like a little kid again.
- How on God's green earth did this movie not get a single mention on this page before?! This movie deserves its own page of tear jerkers! Including, but not limited to:
- The sheer intensity of "The Bells of Notre Dame" informing us of Quasi's backstory:
"You can lie to yourself and your minions
You can claim that you haven't a qualm
But you never can run from
Nor hide what you've done from the eyes
The very eyes of Notre Dame..."
- When Quasimodo is tormented by the townspeople during the Feast Of Fools.
- Also: Quasimodo flinching in fear as Esmeralda approaches him while he's tied up, and her reassuring him to "Don't be afraid".
- The shot of Esmeralda from Quasi's POV, bathed in light, with an expression of pure compassion on her face? Kills me. Kills!
- ALSO: Quasi limping back to Notre Dame in the pouring rain, and then shutting the massive door behind him with... Oh God, that heartbreaking look on his face...
- Also: Quasimodo flinching in fear as Esmeralda approaches him while he's tied up, and her reassuring him to "Don't be afraid".
- Every song Quasimodo sings is, if not tragic (my God, "Heaven's Light (Reprise)") is unbelievably beautiful and uplifting
I knew I'd never know that warm and loving glow
Though I might wish with all my might
No face as hideous as my face
Was ever meant for Heaven's Light...
- "God Help The Outcasts". It might be the most beautiful Disney song ever created.
- The ending when the little girl hugs Quasimodo wins the Crowning Moment of Heartwarming award.
- When Frollo holds baby Quasi over the well during 'Bells of Notre Dame', fully prepared to kill an infant. It's one of the most callous things a Disney villain has done - almost murdering a child purely due to dislike of their race.
- When Quasi thinks Esmeralda is dead, the look on his face is just so heartbreakingly sad.
- The song at the end, with the line "Who is the monster and who is the man?" because it sums up the theme of the film, and causes you to flash back through the events of the story and appreciate Quasi's journey.
- The "Firebird Suite" sequence in Fantasia 2000 - the Firebird's rampage is one of the most horrific scenes in Disney, and the ashen Sprite is a further blow...then the whole thing turns around as the forest is restored better than before (all accompanied by the glorious Stravinsky ballet music, natch).
- The sprite restoring the beautiful tree that she had made after it was destroyed. And the soaring music through the whole end sequence.
- Also from Fantasia 2000, the "Pomp and Circumstance" sequence about Donald Duck on Noah's Ark has a brief shot of a unicorn, dragon and gryphon pointing and laughing at all the other animals getting on the ark. The knowledge that those creatures were going to drown and never be seen again (shades of The Unicorn by Shel Silverstein) not only made me tear up, but deeply upset my then-six-year-old niece.
- Both Donald and Daisy fail to witness each other get on the Ark before the flood sweeps away their home, so they believe their true love to be gone forever. Sure, they get back together in the end, but the idea of feeling so alone amidst a boat full of millions of couples is heartbreaking, and the parallels with An American Tale.
- In Disney's The Sword in the Stone, when Arthur and Merlin turn back into people after being squirrels and you hear the female squirrel who fell in love with Arthur sobbing hysterically. Man, it's hard to even think about without tearing up.
Merlin: Ah, you see, lad... that love business is a powerful thing.
Arthur: Greater than gravity?
Merlin: Well, yes, boy, in its way, I'd, uh- Yes, I'd say it's the greatest force on Earth.
- It's the moment when he pulled the sword from the stone in front of everybody. Just the look of wonder and amazement on the people's faces were just... it was a good kind of tearjerker.
- The song in the beginning is so melancholy...*sniff*
- The song "Very Good Advice" from Alice in Wonderland.
- Oh...GOD...where to begin? We have Alice utterly lost and giving herself a "Reason I Suck Speech" which eventually ends with her and everyone around her in tears, and then everyone else disappears, leaving her alone and dejected. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
- Ariel's "I love you, Daddy..." at the end of The Little Mermaid.
- The scene where Triton destroys all her treasured possessions. No child should ever be put through watching this.
- That even brought Sebastian to tears. To see a crab who would normally approve of Ariel getting punished tear up and walk away after he tries to comfort her is just heartbreaking. Then Flotsam and Jetsam showed up...
- And later, Triton's "What Have I Done" moment.
- The Rescuers. Penny. Poor, poor little Penny... This song made it all the more heartbreaking.
- In the sequel, the tiny, silent bit where the rangers give Cody's mother the torn backpack, and she thinks her son is dead.
- Gurgi's "death" in The Black Cauldron.
- The Emperors New Groove, despite its "played for laughs" theme, fits in a truly sad part when Kuzco - whose own ego has got him turned into a llama, ruined his life and lost him his only reliable friend, Pacha - is briefly resigned to being stuck as a llama for life after finding out Yzma never liked him at all, leading to his realizing that Pacha was right. He even starts to eat grass like other llamas - despite clearly not fitting in. It then seamlessly becomes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when he hears Pacha talking to the other llamas about how he appreciates the one good thing Kuzco did, and from this one thing, he's prepared to forgive him and help him get changed back. Needless to say, Kuzco is permanently changed for the better. Just to put this in perspective, Pacha was going have his home destroyed, be locked up forever, left hanging over a cliff, and called winy peasant by Kuzco. He had every right to just leave him for good, but just because Kuzco saves his life once, from something that Kuzco fiercely tried to swear off, He still finds it in himself to forgive Kuzco again. That feels more like a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, and one of the most beautifully amazing moments in a movie more about making you laugh. At least, until The Emperors New School comes along and the Aesop Amnesia kicks in, and he's right back to his Jerkass self every episode.
- A Goofy Movie doesn't sound like a title that would jerk tears, and true, it's very funny indeed...but it jerks tears as well. Fortunately, all of them are tears of joy. May go as far as to deserve its own page.
Goofy: I was only trying to take my boy fishin', okay?!
Max: I'm not your little boy anymore, Dad! I'm grown up! I've got my own life now!
Goofy: I know that! I just wanted to be part of it! (pause) You're my son, Max. No matter how big ya get, you'll always be my son.
- Chicken Little wishing to follow in his father Buck's footsteps as a baseball star, but Buck tells him not to set his hopes so high. Trust me, it's sadder than it sounds.
- And then there's after C.L. rings the bell to alert the whole town about the aliens invading. Unfortunately, the ship goes back to camouflage mode, and no one believes him, not even Buck, who finally appreciated his son after the Acorns baseball team won.
- The end. When a constellation is created for Hercules, his trainer, Philoctetes is awed. Someone points out the constellation, saying, "That's Phil's boy!", and Phil sheds a single tear of joy, having just realized his life's ambition.
- The part where Meg dies. Hercules is racing as fast as he can to make it back as soon as possible and he is one second too late.
- Hercules loses his super strength after fully realizing his betrayal by Meg and his betrayal of Phil. Cyclops is yelling for him to come fight, and he goes.
Megara: What are you doing? Without your strength you'll be killed!
Hercules: There are worse things.
- The "No Way Out" sequence in Brother Bear, where Kenai must confess to Koda that he killed his mother and the cub flees consumed with grief and betrayal.
- The moment just a few scenes later between Rut and Tuke over what it meant to be a brother, right in front of Koda, who realizes despite the mistakes his brother made, he saved him several time, showing that he did love him and that he could change, just like the moose brothers.
- What about the scene where Kenai is forced to fight his brother to try and protect Koda and they're trying to kill each other and they're brothers... That really gets me.
- Oliver and Company freaking starts with one. The opening sequence, set to a fittingly bittersweet song about pursuing your dreams, details Oliver's origin story of sorts. It starts with him being the only kitten in a litter to not get adopted, and goes downhill from there when he gets flooded out of his cardboard box (while mewing pitifully at an oblivious passerby for help,) nearly swept down a storm drain, soaked by a passing car, chased by a pack of vicious mongrels (including one with a missing eye,) and finally curls up in the underside of a pickup, frightened, lonely and exhausted. This is why you don't leave kittens and puppies in boxes on a street corner and hope some kind strangers will take care of them!
- The song "Good Company".
- Kocoum's death in Pocahontas. Just look at his face when he's struggling with John over the knife. He genuinely looks heartbroken over seeing his future wife stab him in the back, and promptly shot in the front.
- This tribute is not for those who want to sleep with a dry pillow tonight.
- Whatever else you say about Pocahontas, don't try and pretend that the final two minute don't bring a tear to your eye... the music, the animation, the silent goodbye...
- "Colors of the Wind"
- When Pocahontas goes to see John Smith the night before his execution; made even better (read: more-likely-to-make-you-cry) in the cut sequence by the beautiful rendition of "If I Never Knew You" performed by Mel Gibson and Judy Kuhn.
- Also, Pocahontas' heartfelt speech as she begs her father to spare John Smith's life.
- Robin Hood
Other Disney TV
- American Dragon Jake Long "Homecoming"
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Find Her, Keep Her". In it, Rabbit cares for Kessie, a baby bluebird that grows up to be a surrogate daughter. Sooner or later, Kessie has to fly south for the winter, much to Rabbit's dismay.
- "Stripes", in the New Adventures Of Winnie the Pooh. In a nutshell, Tigger loses his stripes after everyone forces him to have a bath...they then insist that he can't be a tigger, since tiggers have stripes. He sings a song toward the end of the episode, tearfully, about being "nothin' but stuffin'" and not having a name.
I know I've changed, on the outside
But on the inside, I feel the same
Maybe someday, I'll know who I am
But as of right now... somehow
I don't have a name
- In "Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too" when Pooh has lost the letter to Santa in a gust of wind. His cries of "Please come back! I'm supposed to take you to Santa!" are for naught. His face falls into an expression of pure despair. He's failed in his mission; and now has to trudge back home and tell everyone that they're not getting anything for Christmas. It all works out in the end, but you can't help but feel his pain.
- Then we cut back to his friends, who are all anticipating their gifts from Santa, except Piglet, who acknowledges that Pooh won't make it back home in time for Christmas due to sending their letter. He spent the whole episode confused as to what he actually wanted for Christmas, now he knows, he wants Pooh.
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
- The third part of "To The Rescue" has a moment: Gadget has just met the chipmunks and seen Monty for the first time since she was a little girl, and Monty asks for her father. She says he's gone, in a tone that tells everyone that he's gone permanently... everyone, that is, except Dale, who asks when he'll be back. She reveals that he won't be coming back; she had lost him about a year prior. To compound this, when Monty says he'll be missed, she tells him, "He already is." Then she cheerfully offers to make them a chair. That's right, make them a chair.
- "The Case of the Cola Cult" when Gadget decides it's better for the Rescue Rangers if she leaves them. She packs her tools and walks out in the rain, crying. Not only is this a sad scene, it's also hard to see Gadget cry.
- In A Sitch In Time right at the start where Kim and Ron are saying their goodbye's as his family is moving to Norway and the two of them are standing on the top of a hill desperately trying not to cry and in proper teen fashion completely unable to tell the other how much this separation hurts.
- Tale Spin has the episode "Her Chance to Dream", where Rebecca falls in love with Captain Stansbury, who is really a ghost that haunts the island where Louie's business now resides. She is so enamored by the ghost that she believes that she's dreaming when the ghost summons up his old ship and tries to spirit her away so that they can be together. The scene where Baloo and Louie try to get her to summon the ghost back to the afterlife becomes downright tear-extracting when Rebecca screams "I just want to be happy!" and when Baloo makes her snap out of her dream state by telling her to think of her daughter Molly.
- Witch in "H is for Hunted". Nerissa turns a soulless clone of Will into an actual living optimistic girl with a huge passion for life, with the plan to drive her to such desperation she'll kill the real Will Vandom to take her place. The plan itself fails when both Will and her altamere realize they aren't actually enemies. Nerissa uses the distraction to try to kill Will more directly with a lightning bolt ... which the altamere jumps in front of. Fading rapidly she manages to say "that's what sisters do... right?"
- PB and J Otter. Hope Castle. Nothing Lasts Forever. *sob*
- The Timmy Time episode "Timmy's Snowball". In it, Timmy makes a snowball which he cherishes deeply and wants to take everywhere with him. He then tucks it into his lunchbox with a handkerchief, and, not surprisingly, it melts and Timmy becomes understandably upset and confused. Anyone who has ever lost something they loved dearly as a small child can definitely relate.
- The finale of Pepper Ann as well, it reminds you to never let go of your friends.
- DuckTales has several:
- There's the "Time is Money" multi-parter that introduces Bubba. The cave duck spends the first three episodes being hated or dumped on by Scrooge, and this culminates in the fourth episode where he accidentally gets Scrooged locked out of the Money Bin by the Beagle Boys, leading Scrooge to chew him out and completely reject him. The two meet up again when they're both tossed in prison for different reasons (Bubba accidentally caused some property damage; Scrooge was framed by the Beagle Boys). Bubba then gives Scrooge a coin he found earlier in the episode to say he's sorry for what happened earlier. Since Scrooge has mellowed out a bit since last time and also had a chewing out of his own thanks to his own conscience, Bubba's action moves him so much he starts crying. So does this troper.
- "Nothing to Fear" has Magica using everyone's fears against them, with the worst ones being the nephews being abandoned by Scrooge and vice versa. Their looks of heartbreak are just too damn sad not to tear up at. And then shortly after when the four reunite it also counts as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Other Animated Films
- The Nightmare Before Christmas had some really sad moments. Let's see, there's Jack's Lament, which the lead character laments that he is tired of being the Pumpkin King and wishes that he could give it all up. I.E. Jack's depressed. Then there's Sally's Song, singing about her unrequited love for Jack and wondering "what his actions lead us then". THEN there's when Jack is shot down and we see everyone in Halloweentown grieving for Jack. Then we see all the kids in the Real World crying as the police tells them that there is no sign of Santa. And then there's the first half of "Poor Jack" with Jack regretting the harm that he's done. DAMN. Luckily, Jack and Sally getting together at the end brings more positive tears.
- The entirety of The Brave Little Toaster is absolutely heartbreaking, when it isn't giving you nightmares. It was also a very good film with epic music.
- James and the Giant Peach. "My Name Is James." 'nuff said.
- Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers where Mickey is chained in the dungeon and left to die and realizes that all of his friends have either been killed or abandoned him, his supposed greatness was all just a setup by the Big Bad, and he's utterly failed in everything, including protecting his charge and love interest. The look of utter hopelessness on his face is heartbreaking, and he tosses aside his Musketeer hat and just cries.
- Mickey's Christmas Carol starring Scrooge McDuck as Ebeneezer Scrooge and Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit. The Ghost of Christmas 'Yet To Come' takes Scrooge to the future where Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit's youngest son dies. The scene where Mickey as Bob places Tim's crutch by his tombstone with tears in his eyes is tear jerking.
- Released on the same DVD is Don Bluth's Disney Swan Song, The Small One: after an unsuccessful day of Small One's owner trying to find someone who will love him as much as he did, Small One leads them back to the Tanner, prepared to give up his life, until Joseph buys him, and then the title song plays as the star appears over the manger.
- The Little Matchgirl. The music, the atmosphere, everything about it will make even the most bitter man cry. And a little hint: they didn't change the ending.
- "Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas": Though all three shorts have their tearjerker moments, the biggest one is the Donald Duck short. Just after Donald destroys the house chasing the turkey, the whole family (except for HD&L) looks around sadly until Donald notices the Christmas tree is still standing up and with a small smile says "Well, at least we still have the tree!" only to have the tree fall on top of him. Cue Daisy rushing to comfort Donald who just crawled from underneath the tree, bruised all over.
- It's an especially poignant moment for the character since, rather than turning on his nephews as they expect, he just lies on the floor, depressed and heartbroken, for what it is perhaps the first time actually showing humility and guilt over screwing things up. Meanwhile his nephews finally read the Christmas Card from him and Daisy that they ignored the whole time, a surprisingly touching message about Christmas being about love and giving to those they care about. For all the times they and their uncle have been at war, this is the point they realise they took things too far.
- And in "A Very Goofy Christmas", Max doubts the existence of Santa and Goofy attempts to dress as Santa to get his hopes up. Eventually, his disguise is exposed and he suffers a Heroic BSOD.. Feeling sorry for his dad, Max dresses as Santa to cheer up Goofy.
- And in the "Gift of the Magi" segment when Pete takes Mickey's hard-earned cash he was saving to buy Minnie a chain for her watch. And later when he trades his harmonica at the pawn shop for said chain.
- "Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas" has the segment "Mickey's Doggone Christmas", where after messing up Mickey's decorations for his Christmas party, Pluto gets sent to the dog house. Feeling rejected by Mickey, her takes off his collar and runs away, ending up at the North Pole where he's adopted by Santa's reindeer. But Pluto soon starts to miss Mickey and starts seeing reminders of him wherever he looks.
- Then in the subplot, Mickey feels guilty for yelling at Pluto and goes to his dog house to apologize, but finds his collar and discovers he's run away. He then frantically starts posting "Lost Dog" posters around town until he gives up and feels sorry he even yelled at him in the first place. He's so desperate, he turns to Santa Claus for help (however, it's not a Mall Santa, but the real guy). Santa then returns to the North Pole with a picture of him and Mickey to show Pluto that he really does care about him and reunites the two.
- And in "Donald's Gift", Donald is sick of hearing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" everywhere he goes and in the process, wrecks a Christmas display at the department store he took Daisy and the nephews to. Donald is then shunned by his nephews and told off by Daisy.
"Daisy: This is a new low...even for you.
- In the short "Winnie The Pooh and A Day for Eeyore": the red balloon Piglet brought for Eeyore's birthday pops.
- "Wherever You Are." Have fun.
- That entire movie is traumatic.
- The Tigger Movie, a video in which Tigger discovers the implications of being "the only one": He has no family.
- This troper nearly choked up with tears when she heard Tigger, after finding out that his friends disguised as his family weren't his actual family and goes off to find them, say the exact words, "TTFE: Ta-ta forever!" It nearly broke me into tears.
- The worst part was near the end, when, certain that his non-existent family is coming back for him, Tigger ventures deep into the woods during a snowstorm. The sheer heartbreak on his face and in his voice as he suddenly realizes no one's there is just...
- And then it just kept piling on the angst. Tigger's friends go after him in said perilous snowstorm and BEG for him to come home and out of danger. The way Tigger painfully shouts "NO" makes you feel every ounce of what both sides are experiencing in that scene.
- Just after the above "NO" scene, an avalanche starts. Everyone runs for the nearest object, the tree Tigger believed to be his family tree. Tigger starts bouncing with all his might to get everyone else to safety, and as soon as he tosses up his last friend, Rabbit, he gets swept away by the avalanche. Roo then goes in to rescue him. A shock chord plays when Tigger gets attacked by the avalanche, cue lots of flinching and shocked gasps.
- For that extra touch, listen carefully, who is the person giving the most shrill and horrified reaction to Tigger's supposed demise? Rabbit.
- Roo's role in the story is even more heartbreaking, spending the entire movie trying to cheer up Tigger and get his idol to notice and love him like a 'big brother', though is either ignored in Tigger's obsession to find his family, or makes things worse. This hits even harder during the climax where he repeatedly attempts to just hug Tigger though is distracted or ignored each and every time, until about the final two minutes when Tigger finally accepts his friends as his real family and thus gives special notice to his "bestest little brother". Having been mostly a side character in previous Pooh features, an enormous Woobie role was a good way to start Roo's ascention as a Breakout Character, suitingly just like Tigger himself.
- And then there's the end credits song, "Your Heart Will Lead You Home." In fact, the end credits period, still drawing replicating events of the story but in the style of E. H. Shepard, the original illustrator of the Winnie The Pooh novels. The same heartbreaking story with an added nostalgic tear for fans of the original A. A. Milne books.
- Rabbit and Kessie. Made worse when Kessie falls from the tree.
Tigger: She's...she's gone...
- The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh had a lot of tear jerkers, most notably the above mentioned episode. There's also the episode where Tigger, Rabbit, and Piglet pop Christopher Robin's balloon, and Pooh, who was taking care of it at the time, believes it to be his fault, just to name an example. This one is called Balloonatics, for those wanting to watch this particular one.
- Rabbit's vision of his future in "Springtime With Roo", showing that he's such a Control Freak, all his friends have abondoned him. Finding all their houses completely empty and covered with dust and cobwebs is just...
Rabbit: I don't understand. Roo was looking so forward to--
Narrator: Spring Cleaning Day, was it?
- "Forever and Ever" hits even harder when you find out how much the real Christopher Robin grew to resent Winnie-the-Pooh...
- The Partners statue in the Magic Kingdom - the one with Walt and Mickey holding hands. Especially for those who still see Walt as Mickey's father.
- Just walking through the train station gate into the park sets a lot of people off. Many of them have been saving up their whole lives to be able to come to Disneyland/Walt Disney World and the realization that they finally made it just hits them.
- Seeing the Castle will do it too, a lot of the time.
- The Characters. While some people may not like them, there is absolutely nothing more adorable than watching a four-year-old go up to Mickey - or Minnie, or Tigger, or their favorite Princess - for the first time and watching their face light up. The real Tear Jerkers, though, come when you watch kids on the Make a Wish program light up, because you know that it very well could be the last time they'll ever see the Characters, and many of the Make a Wish kids only have a limited time to live. And as a Cast Member, we're not supposed to cry...* sniff*
- I'm not a Cast Member or even work at Disney, but I felt like crying in that moment too. Just seeing small children run up to their characters in delight makes me want to go, "Awwwwww". The only thing that ruins the whole moment is the moms that constantly want to take pictures of their kids. Even the older kids that are at least twelve years old running up to the characters is relieving, especially since they're a kid at heart. While many kids those age these days are more preoccupied with Justin Bieber and crap, the ones that actually care for Disney makes me want to cry.
- On the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Animal Kingdom you chase down poachers that have captured Little Red, a baby elephant, after shooting Big Red, the mother. Unfortuntately, the ride is often unclear as to whether Big Red survived. I think so, but jeez...
- Word of God says she does, if that makes you feel better. It's in the radio broadcast at the end. Still, just the idea of the baby elephant, who can't survive away from Mommy, being forced away like that...
- For the bad kind of Tearjerker, leaving the Magic Kingdom, your favourite place on Earth, on the Ferry, seeing the castle all lit up and beautiful, and knowing that it's the last time you're going to see it.
- The end of Fantasmic! Just seeing Mickey steering the Mark Twain and knowing that, in Disneyland, good always conquers evil...
- The finales of Spectromagic and Wishes. They're just such a wonderful sight to see and it stays true to the Disney magic. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth always does it too during the We Go On finale.
- "So Close" from Enchanted already sounds melancholy by itself. The part of Beauty and the Beast when Belle says, "I love you", to a dying Beast feels wrenching enough in its original context. A scene in World of Color manages to bring you even closer to crying by putting them together!
- The ending of Mickey's Good Deed. Just earlier in the short, Mickey sold Pluto to a rich family just so he could buy presents for a poor widow and her large litter of kittens, and spends the time after, cold and alone, bemoaning how he'll never see Pluto again. Thankfully, Pluto escapes the family and rejoins his old companion in a very heartfelt scene.
- The ending of The Old Mill.
- Elmer Elephant, when the other animals are taunting Elmer for his nose and send him sulking away crying. Anyone who was bullied as a kid would remember how much that kind of treatment hurt.
- The second Silly Symphonies version of The Ugly Duckling (as if that story weren't depressing enough).
- Puppy Love in which Mickey and Minnie get into a huge fight when she thinks Mickey put a bone in her box of chocolates (it was really Pluto and Fifi) and they nearly break up.
- The ending to The Barn Dance.
Real Life Events
- The numerous deaths of veterans of the Disney Studios - including Walt Disney, Roy O. Disney, the Nine Old Men, Roy E. Disney, Eddie Carroll (Jiminy Cricket) and Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse).
- And Disney's two longest-performing stage actors, Wally Boag and Betty Taylor (as Pecos Bill and Slue Foot Sue) died within a day of each other.
- Ilene Woods of Cinderella fame contracted Alzheimer's in her final years. She reportedly spent that time sitting in a retirement home, unable to understand the events of her surroundings, while listening to "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", which made her feel happy for reasons she probably couldn't remember.
- The death of legendary song writer Robert B. Sherman, who (with his brother Richard), wrote many songs for "Mary Poppins", "The Jungle Book", and the Disney Theme Parks.
- Robert, before writing such happy and uplifting songs with Robert, witnessed the horrific results of the Holocaust while serving in the US Army, as he was one of the first soldiers to liberate the Dachau concentration camp.
- At Wayne Allwine's tribute service, after his friend and fellow voice actor Tony Anselmo (aka Donald Duck) said a few words before saying in Donald's voices "I'm sure gonna miss you, Mickey".
- Soon after Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was revealed to return to Disney, and appear as a main character in Epic Mickey, the internet quickly made him look like The Woobie, or an Eldritch Abomination. A comic appeared where a little girl, named Priscilla I believe, goes to hug Oswald, and tells him "My friends call me crazy, but you're my favorite". As she gets pulled away by her mother, she says "Good bye! I love you Mickey!" The last panel shows Oswald, crying, a forced smile on his face, waving to the girl.
- Here's the link.
- Speaking of Epic Mickey, during one of the cut-scenes, Mickey and Gus come across the iconic statue of Walt holding Mickey's hand--supposedly. Mickey looks absolutely overjoyed to see Walt's likeness again...and then looks down and notices it's Oswald's hand he's holding, not Mickey's. The look that comes over Mickey's face can only be described as "heartbreak."
- When you finally manage to enter at Walt's apartment at the Wasteland. Not only because Gus says "Mickey... you know what's this place, right? I can't say it. I'm going to start crying", but because the fact that it's Walt's apartment on the Wasteland, the place "where forgotten characters go". And the image of Walt Disney actually becoming depressed after losing Oswald, not creating Mickey Mouse and making us lose the best animation company in history just knocks me off.
- The Beast's self-hating monologue in Kingdom Hearts II.