The Top 3 Disney Movies from Your Childhood That Will Still Make You Cry Like a Baby
They will break your heart every time
Disney movies have a way of moving us to laughter, to tears, or to both at the same time. Its recent works like Inside Out and Zootopia go down in the company’s history as one of its most insightful and touching creations. But Disney’s classics (before and during its Renaissance) hit hard when they hit home and that’s because they show us how painful real life can be. The worlds of their young characters were shaken so much so that their lives just fell to their laps in pieces and all we can do is watch them with tears in our eyes.
The Lion King
An innocent cub just had his life saved by his dad only to watch his dad get crushed by a stampede of wildebeests. The suspense of “Will Mufasa live or not?” is one thing. Watching a panicking Simba seek out his dad, also the king and the symbol of all that is good, is another. And then the dust clears and we see a lifeless Mufasa. Simba tries to wake him up, biting his dad’s ear and nudging him. The fact sinks in and we see Simba feel lost as he struggles to understand the whole concept and weight of loss. Simba even calls for help, as if Mufasa can be resurrected or his grief cushioned.
Let’s not forget that thanks to Scar, young Simba has deserted his home feeling responsible for his dad’s death.
The Toy Story series becomes more tear-inducing as each movie progresses. The first film is pretty much a comedy (especially compared to the succeeding two). Toy Story 2 deals with pain, loss and a sense of betrayal after being loved for what seems like forever and then jilted just like that. Jessie lost her true source of joy. Jessie is all bitterness as she spits her story to Woody about how she felt alive even when she was still whenever her owner played with her. She sings When She Loved Me. And every word sang in that high, fragile, voice cuts every one of us who’s ever loved deeply and eventually lost our world. We might have been kids when we first saw that montage and heard that song, but who’s to say we didn’t have our own set of heartbreak for us to relate?
And then we have Toy Story 3. Andy does donate his toys like what Jessie’s owner did in the end, but the way he did it put the “good” in goodbye: He played with Bonnie and later thanked his toys before leaving them for the first chapter in his adult life. It was a parting that we could have expected from Andy, yet the film earned it.
Before that ending was another emotional scene: the toys in the incinerator. Woody, Buzz, Slinky, Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head, Ham, Jessie and Rex resigned to their fate, and they held each other’s hands as they did it. It was not just a sign of solidarity after nearly twenty years together. We looked at them and saw they were a family. Meant to be discarded (as Lotso believes) or not, they had each other—which is beautiful—but that also meant Andy who still clung to his toys was going to lose them in one swoop—which is crushing.
The Fox and the Hound
The story of The Fox and the Hound isn’t just about friendship and growing apart from your best friend. It’s put together the beauty of childhood friendship, your own responsibilities according to society or the world and how those responsibilities can clash with those of your best friend—to the point that you inevitably become enemies, rivals.
What makes the movie succeed in wrenching our hearts is how it begins with tenderness and progresses by hardening the two main characters according to their nature. We watch Tod the fox and Copper the hound play, innocent of all malice and caution that the other animals around them have underneath their joy. We see them promise each other they’ll be best friends. And we hope like the other animals that it will last. But the world gets its way.
Even as the characters live out their responsibilities—one hunting the other, one outsmarting and escaping the other—we do see proof that they still carry memories of their closeness. Copper got attached by a bear as he hunted down Tod. But Tod defended Copper instead of letting the bear finally rid him of his hunter. Another instance: Amos has locked his aim on a very weak Tod to shoot him, yet Copper walked in front of Tod, shielding him from Amos’ rifle.
Yet memories aren’t enough for them to rebuild their friendship. Tod and Copper go their separate ways as if their past didn’t happen or was just a dream—the only thing they have left of each other and to hold on to for the time being.