Top 10 SADDEST DISNEY Movie Deaths (TRY NOT TO CRY CHALLENGE)
Before we proceed any further, we want you to think of puppies, kitties, and anything else that may bring joy to your heart. Hold onto those keepsakes, because the territory you're about to enter is filled with heartbreak and sorrow. There is a common theme among many Disney movies that seems pretty heavy for something generally meant to be loved by children, and this installment is going to explore that element. With a heavy heart, we present to you the Top 10 Saddest Disney Deaths.
Ellie Fredricksen (Up)
Damn you Disney. Just… damn you to the deepest depths of somewhere terrible. The entire prologue to Up chronicles the budding and lasting love of Carl and Ellie. If you're not sure how the cycle of life works, then Up is going to have some pretty nasty surprises for your feels. For one, the adorable pair suffers a miscarriage and are told they can't have kids, but that's far from the worst knife that gets dug into our hearts. After enjoying watching the happy couple suffer through the struggles of life, constantly sacrificing a vacation together for more pressing matters, Disney drops the big bomb. Ellie falls ill and dies, leaving Carl by himself with the regret of not spending more time with his beloved..... Got you didn't I?
Marlin's Family (Finding Nemo)
The opening scene to Finding Nemo is adorable. Two clown fish, Marlin and Coral, reminisce about how they met and swim around playfully, clearly in love with one another. Then that happiness is ripped right from our hearts when a barracuda shows up and threatens to ruin the day - and ruin the day he does. After being knocked unconscious by the vicious fish, Marlin wakes up several hours later to find that Coral and their entire nest of eggs is missing, obviously devoured by the insatiable barracuda. Disney isn't entirely a monster, though, and lets one egg survive. Marlin spots the lone spawn and, already dispirited from his great loss, vows to never let anything happen to it.
Mufasa (The Lion King)
When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die. Poor Mufasa was definitely unaware that he was vying to keep the throne as king of all animals in the Pride Lands of Africa. His younger brother, the villainous Scar, was more than ready to do anything he needed to do in order to remove Mufasa from power - even if it meant dropping him to his death into a stampede of wildebeest. The true tragedy of Mufasa's death is Simba, the king's young son, who, while already devastated by his father's death, is convinced by Scar that it was his fault. Through soggy eyes, viewers watch as Simba walks away from the animal kingdom, leaving his mother, Sarabi, behind.
Old Yeller (Old Yeller)
(Aww... Do I have to do this one?) Disney, what are you doing? Disney, stop! We understand this is a coming of age story and the protagonist, Travis, needs to make a tough decision to begin his journey to adulthood, but did you really have to have Travis shoot his own dog, the animal that protected him and his family on so many occasions? You're cruel. Just plain cruel. Old Yeller never hurt anybody, in fact, he contracted rabies by doing exactly what makes us love him in the first place! When a rabid wolf threatens the safety of the Coates family, Old Yeller intervenes and gets bitten. When the poor dog shows signs of rabies, Travis is forced to put an end to his friend’s life.
Bambi's Mother (Bambi)
Twas the shot heard round the forest, and no matter what your situation was at home, no matter how close you were to your mother, the death of Bambi's mother likely broke your heart into a million pieces. While enjoying a beautiful, wintry day in the forest searching for food, a young Bambi and his mother have an unfortunate run-in with a hunter. With his mother's persistent urging, the fawn runs his little heart out back to the safety of a cave, unaware that his pursuers caught the prize they were after. It doesn't take long for Bambi to realize his mother isn't coming for him and for viewers to have to rush to the tissue box.
Tadashi (Big Hero 6)
For those that found Sitka's death unbearable… here's another sibling demise to leave you weeping in the fetal position on the floor. Tadashi is another character we don't get much time with, but he's quickly portrayed as a loving, caring brother to Big Hero 6's protagonist Hiro and an all around good guy, having designed a healthcare robot. With these traits so predominant, we can't help but gasp in horror when the burning building he rushes into to save Professor Callaghan explodes. The sadness subsides for a while until it's revealed Callaghan was alive and well and was behind the fire that wound up killing Tadashi.
If the loss of Harambe left you feeling emotionally gutted, chances are that this Disney death is going to cut to the core. Throughout Tarzan, Kerchak is a cold and calculating character after having suffered the loss of a son. While it never seems likely that the large gorilla would ever warm up to Tarzan, the mighty beast had a change of heart when the King of the Jungle saved his family from the ferocious Sabor. The gorilla's respect for Tarzan would be short lived as he gives his life during a struggle with the malevolent Clayton. As the life slipped from his big, fluffy gorilla body, Tarzan finally received acceptance as Kerchak's son, a proclamation sure to send a wave of tears throughout all viewers.
Sitka (Brother Bear)
The 44th animated entry into Disney's film library, Brother Bear, proves to be a devastating movie from beginning to end. Laced with references to spiritualism and spirit animals, you can guess that, at some point, somebody is going to have to die. Enter Sitka, oldest brother to main protagonist and youngest sibling Kenai and the middle child, Denahi. While searching for a bear that stole salmon from them, the trio winds up engaging the towering beast. When the bear gets the upper hand and threatens to devour his brothers, Sitka causes a glacier he and the bear are on to collapse, sending himself to an icy grave below. We may not get much time with Sitka before his demise, but it's a loss that anybody with an older sibling can relate to.
Leslie (Bridge to Terabithia)
Before rushing into the Cornucopia of the 74th Hunger Games, Josh Hutchinson was warming hearts in Disney productions. In Bridge to Terabithia, Josh plays 12-year-old Jess Aarons alongside AnnaSophia Robb, who portrays new student Leslie Burke. The two form a bond, as can be expected, and create the strange world of Terabithia, which is inhabited by creatures resembling students they often are at odds with. This is all moot, of course, as towards the end of the movie Leslie has an accident trying to cross a flooded creek and dies. Out of left field, the already heavy Bridge to Terabithia digs the knife in further with an unexpected, heart-wrenching, and off-screen death of Jess' best friend.
Bing Bong (Inside Out)
Inside Out offered a unique look at the inner workings of children and teens, diluting a myriad of emotions into 5 staple characters - Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. After being separated from the "control room", Joy and Sadness have to return quickly before Anger, Fear, and Disgust turn Riley, their human subject, into a teenage nightmare. Along their journey, Joy and Sadness meet Bing Bong, an imaginary friend from Riley's past and an unexpectedly useful ally. While trying to help Joy and Sadness escape the "Memory Dump" where memories are forever lost, Bing Bong realizes his time with Riley has run its course and valiantly sacrifices himself to the abyss, leaving viewers heartbroken… but apparently less so than the original cut, which added 40 seconds of misery to the scene.