I don't think I've shed more tears than the Disney movies have caused me collectively over my 20+ years on earth. They have a habit of being lighthearted and fun until suddenly, they're not and you're swimming in a pool of unsolicited tears.
When Disney decides that it's going to make you feel things, dammit, you're going to feel them hard. So here are, in no particular order, 38 animated Disney moments that still make my heart shatter into a million pieces. Be forewarned, some parts of this list may induce an uncontrollable flow of tears.
1. When Mufasa dies.
I still consider this a brutal attack on my emotions.
2. When Bambi's mom is killed.
When Bambi says, "We made it mother!" but you know she didn't. Oh man, my heart.
3. When nobody wants to play with Lilo.
Lilo & Stitch is one of Disney's sadder movies. Why did no one want to play with Lilo? She was so cool! Plus she played an integral role in controlling the weather.
4. When Shang realizes that his father's entire army has been killed.
Shang broke down over his father's death and the sense that he was fighting a losing war, and we broke down with him.
5. The beginning montage from Up.
Since this movie came out in 2009, I don't think I've watched this scene a single time without crying.
6. When Marlin vows to always protect Nemo.
Even if he was a bit overbearing, Marlin only wanted the best for Nemo after his mother and siblings were brutally murdered.
7. When no one wanted Oliver.
Even though he was a FREE kitten! I'll take you and love you forever, Oliver.
8. When you realized what happened to Tarzan's parents.
Too many feelings with this one.
9. When Widow Tweed says goodbye to Tod.
His face when she drives away is unbearable! Can I adopt a pet fox? I feel inspired.
10. When everyone bullies Quasimodo.
This scene always has me yelling, "Leave him alone!" at my screen.
11. When Meg saves Hercules and then admits she loves him before dying.
When the normally sassy Megara is finally sincere about her feelings towards Herc only to die...oof.
12. When Jessie tells Woody about her past.
What is it about Sarah McLachlan songs that hits me on such a deep, emotional level?
13. When Anna begins to understand that Elsa is cutting her out of her life.
All she wanted to do was build a freakin' snowman. Someone play with this little girl!
14. When the Beast dies.
15. When Ralph destroys Vanellope's kart.
He was doing it for the right reasons, but seeing Ralph crush sweet Vanellope's dreams was awful.
16. When Gurgi casts himself into the cauldron to save Taran.
17. When Kenai's brothers realize that he is better off as a bear.
The love and understanding in this scene always makes me a little misty eyed.
18. When Pocahontas and John Smith know they can't be together.
Why couldn't it just work out between them?
19. When Pinocchio died and Geppetto mourned him.
Sure, he was brought back to life as a real boy, but it's still very sad!
20. When Kerchak died, but not before finally acknowledging Tarzan as his son.
He finally accepted him as his son, just to die moments later. Why, Disney?
21. When Goob tells his sad story.
This is not only heart-wrenching because seeing the adorable Goob get bullied is devastating, but also because Meet the Robinsons is one of the most underrated Disney movies of all time.
22. When Ray's light goes out.
At least he was finally reunited with his love, Evangeline.
23. When King Triton sacrifices himself to save Ariel.
Oh Ariel, you messed things up pretty bad here.
24. When Hiro watches Tadashi's test videos.
Since this movie is relatively new I won't say anymore on the matter, but you know what I'm talking about.
25. When Cinderella's stepsisters rip her dress apart.
Cinderella worked so hard with her animal friends to make her mother's dress perfect for the ball, just to have these wenches destroy it. Sad.
26. When Nani sings Aloha 'Oe to Lilo.
As if Lilo and Nani haven't been through enough!
27. When the toys get caught in the incinerator.
The moment when they all accept their fate and hold hands was almost too much to handle.
28. When Copper protects Tod.
"And we'll always be friends forever. Won't we?"
29. When Sully says goodbye to Boo.
I melt every time Boo says, "Kitty." And her little gasp when she opens the closet! Someone hold me.
30. When Quasimodo experiences the ultimate heartbreak.
We all know that feeling, Quasimodo.
31. When WALL-E can't remember EVE.
How could these two robots make me feel so many things with so few words?
32. When Flynn dies just before Rapunzel can save him.
Man, Disney is really into self-sacrifice.
33. When Ariel and King Triton share a touching moment on her wedding day.
These father-daughter moments always get to me.
34. When the wagon falls on Trusty.
Poor Trusty! At least we know that he ended up surviving and found a home.
35. When Andy finally gives up Woody and leaves for college.
When Andy grew up, we grew up with him. It was bittersweet to see the torch being passed to the next generation.
36. When Dumbo visits his mother, but they're still so far apart.
Also known as the scene that makes everyone want to call their mom. Seriously though, call your mom!
37. When Carl reads Ellie's last note to him.
This scene had tears streaming down my face.
38. "Genie, you're free."
This moment seems so much more poignant now after the untimely passing of Robin Williams.
Are there any other Disney moments that still tug at your heartstrings? If so, let me know which ones in the comments section!