10 Disney Movies That Make You Cry

April 21, 2022 | Benjamin Carpenter

Between Coco, Up, and the Toy Story franchise, Disney animations are known to pull at the heartstrings. The majority of Disney’s major animated characters have lost at least one parent or gone through some type of tragedy that propels them on the path we see in the film. Although animations are seen as light-hearted and meant for children, Disney movies have definitely mastered the art of creating emotional roller coasters that make audiences laugh, cry, and smile from beginning to end. In this blog post, we go through the 10 Disney animated movies that make you cry. Even adults will find themselves getting emotional with some movies on this list, so get your tissues ready. This list of Disney movies will include animated movies from both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar.


Top 10 Saddest Disney Movies (Animated)

Treasure Planet

10. Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet came out in 2002 and immediately became an underrated gem. The animation is a loose film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island from 1993. Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Treasure Planet is about a rebellious teen seen by the world as an aimless slacker as he receives a map from a dying pirate and embarks on an odyssey across the universe to find the legendary Treasure Planet. This animation is full of heart and has a soundtrack that will pull at your heartstrings.


Where To Watch Treasure Planet

Disney Plus



9. Frozen

Frozen quickly became a Disney classic when it was released in 2013. It played on the classic fairy tale tropes and used them to instead tell a story of unconditional love between two sisters. The movie is about newly crowned Queen Elsa who accidentally uses her power of turning things into ice to curse her home to an infinite winter, and her sister Anna who teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to lift the curse. Frozen has a warm, emotional core that revolves around the love shared between two family members despite all odds.


Where To Watch Frozen

Disney Plus


Big Hero 6

8. Big Hero 6

In classic Pixar fashion, Big Hero 6 begins with an emotional tragedy that will be felt deeply by those who can relate to it. Loosely based on the Marvel Comics, Big Hero 6 is about a special bond that develops between a plus-sized inflatable robot and a 14-year-old prodigy who together teams up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. Big Hero 6 may not be a standout in Disney’s library but the relationship between Baymax and Hiro is definitely one for the books.


Where To Watch Big Hero 6

Disney Plus


Inside Out

7. Inside Out

It’s not surprising that Pixar’s movie about emotions would be an emotional roller coaster in itself. Inside Out has many emotional moments that can make an adult shed tears. The Pixar animation is about the emotions of young Riley – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness – who fight about how to best navigate a new city, house, and school when Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco. Inside Out is a beautiful movie about the power of emotions and how they shape our lives.


Where To Watch Inside Out

Disney Plus



6. Dumbo

From the bullying that Dumbo undergoes to the incredibly sad moment between Dumbo and his mother, Dumbo is a movie with a lot of devastating moments. Released in 1941, Dumbo is about a young circus elephant who is ridiculed for his huge ears and assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential. Dumbo is a film that has definitely stood the test of time and its message of believing in yourself is just as relevant today as it was back then.


Where To Watch Dumbo

Disney Plus


5. Fox and the Hound

Fox and the Hound is one of Disney’s most underrated films. The animated movie has a lot of dark and mature themes for a kid’s film which is likely why it isn’t as popular as some of Disney’s other classics. Fox and the Hound is about a little fox named Tod, and Copper, a hound puppy, who vow to be best buddies forever. But as Copper grows into a hunting dog, their unlikely friendship faces the ultimate test. This animation tops our list of most sad movies because the ending is bittersweet and will definitely leave you feeling emotional.


Where To Watch The Fox and the Hound

Disney Plus


Up is One of The Best Opening Scenes in Movies

4. Up

For many, Up is Pixar’s saddest film they’ve ever made. Most of that notion comes from the first 15 minutes that show the lifelong relationship between Carl and Ellie. It’s a beautiful montage of their relationship from meeting as children all the way through their marriage. Up is about 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen who travels to Paradise Falls in his house equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. The Disney movie uniquely focuses on a part of our lives that is typically overlooked in films, the twilight years.


Where To Watch Up

Disney Plus

Read More: 30 Best Opening Scenes in Movies

The Lion King

3. The Lion King

The Lion King is a well-renowned animation that tells a tragic story that is full of compelling characters. Like all great films, The Lion King takes viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions. The Disney movie classic is about lion prince Simba and his father who is being targeted by his bitter uncle and wants to ascend the throne himself. The Lion King tells the story from the point of view of Simba and through his periods of despair, hope, and eventual triumph which makes for a powerful film-watching experience.


Where To Watch The Lion King

Disney Plus



2. Toy Story 3

If you grew up watching the Toy Story movies, then Toy Story 3 is likely to hit you right in the feels. The third installment of the franchise is about Andy’s toys which are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center right before Andy leaves for college, leaving it up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home. Toy Story 3 is not only an excellent conclusion to the story of Andy’s toys but it is also a heartwarming story about growing up and letting go.


Where To Watch Toy Story 3

Disney Plus



1. Bambi

Disney has a knack for telling stories from an animal’s perspective which can be emotional when highlighting realities that we tend not to think about. Bambi became popular because of the tragic death at the beginning of the film but there are many emotional scenes all throughout. The film is about a young deer named Bambi who sets off with his friends to explore the wonders of the woods and fulfill his destiny as prince of the forest. Bambi is practically a modern-day cultural touchstone that introduces children to dark truths that they need to ponder, which is why it tops our list of saddest Disney movies.


Where To Watch Bambi

Disney Plus


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