Some of These May Make You CryBy the time Walt Disney got to "The Jungle Book," the final film which bore his personal fingerprint, he knew how to make animated films like nobody before or since. Against opposition from his own animators, Disney told his writers to take the basic Rudyard Kipling tale and lighten it up until the story was more family-friendly. The result was an animation classic, one of Walt Disney's biggest hits. It has withstood the test of time and was the pinnacle of the Disney legacy.
Walt Disney wasn't born with this knowledge, though. Year after year, film after film, he learned hard lessons about what the audience would accept, what would make it laugh, what would make it cry, what would leave it indifferent.
Being a wise man, Walt knew that you don't always keep everything light and fluffy. Sometimes, the biggest moment of a picture, the one that really reaches an audience, must follow something sad and even tragic. It doesn't have to be a death, and indeed some of the most emotional moments just involve a simple display of normal feelings. The audience appreciates that cathartic release, and this magnifies an ultimately pleasant outcome. The Disney studio carried on Walt's legacy after his untimely death, and its animated films have followed Walt's guiding principles. Accordingly, there have been spectacularly sad moments since, but it all stems from the man himself.
Herewith, a list of the ten saddest moments in Walt Disney animated films.
#10 Shang of "Mulan" Dies
|Mulan and Shang.|
#9 Kerchak Dies in "Tarzan"
|Tarzan and Kerchak.|
#8 John Smith Must Leave Pocahontas
|John Smith and Pocahontas.|
#7 Cinderella's First Dress is Destroyed
|Cinderella and the ruins of her first dress|
#6 Eric leaves Ariel for Vanessa in "The Little Mermaid"
|Prince Eric and Vanessa.|
#5 Quasimodo Pelted By the Crowd in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
#4 Snow White's Rest in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
|Snow White sleeping.|
#3 The Pound Scene of "Lady and the Tramp"
|The pound puppies.|
#2 Dumbo and his Mom
|Dumbo and his mother|
If that sequence doesn't bring a tear to your eye, nothing in a Disney film ever will. World War II Four-Star General "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell wrote that viewing "Dumbo" soon after Pearl Harbor was his happiest moment of the war, and he likely was thinking of this scene.
#1 Bambi Cries