Top 10 Saddest Disney Movies

The Top Ten
1 Up

What makes a person more sad than seeing a normal romance that has its ups and downs and ends in a way that, for the most part, almost every married couple experiences at the end? But it isn't the beginning that makes me the saddest. It's the end, right before the climax when we finally learn what it means to go on an adventure. It doesn't have to include exotic locations, epic romances, or great tragedy. All you need is two people who just get along and enjoy getting along.

Though we only saw Carl's relationship with Ellie for a few minutes, it was clear they had a beautiful and true love. The whole sequence of their life was so well written, but it's the music that really made it so emotional. And seeing Ellie die before they got to travel like they wanted was heartbreaking. Poor Carl. I'm glad he finally found peace with Russell and Dug.

2 The Lion King

This is a very sad (yet very beautiful and amazing) movie. It first starts with many wonderful animals coming to see the birth of Prince Simba. Rafiki, a creepy but hilarious and loving baboon, raises the cub in the air so the animals can see. Then it shows Scar, King Mufasa's brother, catching a mouse. Scar was a cruel and selfish lion with a hideous scar running down his eye. Before he eats the mouse, strict Zazu the hornbill comes and tells Scar that King Mufasa is on his way and that Scar must have a good reason why he missed the coming of Simba.

Angered by losing his lunch, Scar traps Zazu in his mouth. An angry Mufasa comes and commands Scar to spit him out. Later, Simba grows up into a very loving young cub and has a best buddy named Nala. One day, they venture off into an elephant graveyard. They meet three very hungry hyenas. Before they get eaten, Mufasa saves the cubs but then scolds Simba. At night, Mufasa's anger leaves, and he shows Simba the stars. Then it is shown that Scar made the hyenas try to kill the young prince.

The next day, Scar orders the hyenas to make a stampede. The stampede almost kills Simba. Happily, he is saved by Mufasa. However, Mufasa was slipping and saw Scar. "Brother, help me!" says Mufasa. Scar grins evilly and makes Mufasa fall down and get stepped on by the thousands of wildebeests. Simba curls up to his deceased father and runs away. Simba stays with a fat warthog and a thin meerkat until he grows up into a very handsome young adult.

He finds a young adult Nala and then sees Mufasa's spirit with the help of Rafiki. Simba returns and fights Scar. Scar is thrown off of Pride Rock and killed by the hyenas. Simba now takes his place as the king, where he lives happily with his new wife and his baby daughter.

3 The Fox and the Hound

The Fox and the Hound is arguably the saddest movie Disney has created, making everybody feel for the poor little rascals, Todd the fox and Copper the hound. When Copper is taken on a hunting trip during the fall to learn what it means to be a hunting dog, Todd is told by his friends about how Copper is being taken away to learn how to kill animals like him and is warned about the hunter who might kill him if they see him again. Even though Todd is scared of the animal skins hanging on the wall of the hunter's shed, he still trusts Copper with his life.

This trust really shows in the end when the hunter was about to shoot Todd after he was weakened by the bear attack, but Copper stepped in and guarded Todd, making the hunter give up. Their friendship really shines throughout this movie. The lesson of the movie is that, no matter the differences between people, friendships can never stop being made, even if they're forbidden, because love always finds a way.

4 Bambi

This was the first movie I saw in a theatre at 5 years old. My mom told me I cried for days. I kept asking her why Bambi's mother had to die. To this day, I still cannot bring myself to watch it...

This should be at least number 2. I mean, the poor little deer is abandoned because the mom dies. Then other deer get mad at him for no reason. It's a really sad movie.

I just saw Bambi lose her mother. It's really sad because in this movie, humans cause all the problems. If you look at Bambi 2: The Forest Prince, where the dad is there, Bambi dreams of her mother. She was saying, I'm here, and when he wakes up, he hears this I'm here and follows it to the plains. Then there are dogs coming to kill him and humans trying to shoot him with a gun. This is really intense. I don't think hunters should be that cruel. This is so sad. I cried every time.

5 Toy Story 3

After spending all of my life watching the first two movies and waiting for the third one, 2010 came, and with it, the third part of the franchise. Yeah... Pixar made me very emotional with the end of this one, and it happens every time I watch this...

Such an amazing and touching movie. These characters were a part of my childhood, and seeing everything change really moved me. Lessons of growing up, sticking together, and moving on. One of my favorites.

When Andy says goodbye, I felt it was the saddest moment in Disney history, as everyone knows Woody was Andy's favorite toy and best friend. Then, at the end of Toy Story 3, that changes.

6 Old Yeller

In sixth grade, we watched this in school. It was great, but I couldn't help but sob my eyes out, along with the rest of our class.

Hi everyone! This movie made me cry so badly. It was horrific. I hate when my dad and my sis see me cry. I ran into the bathroom, and I was in there for 1 hour crying and waited until the movie was over. I'm so surprised that this was not the first most sad Disney movie!

I bawled my eyes out at about 5-6 years of age. It still makes me sad now, 45 years later, and I haven't seen it a second time.

7 Dumbo

How is Dumbo not even on the list!? A baby elephant shunned for having oversized ears, his mother locked up for protecting him, and people treating him as an average circus freak. I cry every time I see the mother rocking little Dumbo from her cage. And it plays that song, "Baby Mine," I think it's called. Gets me every time.

This is the only movie in which I cry just from seeing a clip of it online. I bawl from the moment I start the movie because I just know the sadness that will happen next... This is the only Disney movie that puts me in that particular sorrow. So it being #9 is extremely ridiculous and a disservice to this amazing movie.

8 Bridge to Terabithia

I cried for an hour after first watching this movie, and I have cried every time since. I kept hoping that Leslie would be alive. I mean, come on! Leslie was his only friend, and his family never treated him great either, so we might as well take away the only joy he has? No!

I couldn't stop my tears, holy Moses, I cried past the end of the movie. And all the symbolism is so amazing, this movie made me remember what being a child is like, and it's just so gut-wrenching, especially the confrontation with his father. I'm choking up just thinking about it.

9 Brother Bear

When I was very young, this movie was one of my favorites. It never really made me cry because I couldn't quite understand it. But when I watched it again at 16 years old, Kenai's confession with the sad music made my heart bleed. I've never been more touched by a Disney movie before.

Out of all the sad Disney scenes I've seen, this one definitely takes the cake. I can't believe that such a beautiful movie got neglected for so many years. It never managed to make its way to the future. But I still hope with all of my heart that the future will give a place again for our cute bear brothers, where their love for each other intensifies to overcome even their most sorrowful moments. Even as I get older, I will never forget this beautiful movie for the rest of my life.

10 Big Hero 6

I was moved by all the characters, and this has become one of my favorite Disney movies recently. It's an emotional rollercoaster! The deaths of so many people in Hiro's life, everything! I just don't know why this isn't higher on the list! I'm a teen, and I was in tears more than once! Great, great movie! Hilarious but sad!

I mean, Disney was cruel enough to take away Hiro's parents before the movie began, then they took away his brother, who sacrificed himself in order to save a cold-hearted villain that didn't deserve anything, then Baymax dies...

Really, if you didn't cry or get teary-eyed watching this movie, you have a heart of stone.

The Contenders
11 Inside Out

Inside Out is often considered to be the saddest Disney movie because it deals with complex emotional themes that can be difficult to process. The film follows a young girl named Riley as she navigates the challenges of growing up and dealing with her emotions. Throughout the movie, we see how different emotions like joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust interact with each other and how they can make us feel. The movie is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, making it a truly emotional experience for viewers of all ages. The film's ability to capture the essence of human emotions and the struggles we all face in life is what makes it such a powerful and poignant movie.

12 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

It frankly astounds me that "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" isn't on the list, especially over such films as "Beauty and the Beast." But then again, I suppose it isn't one of Disney's most instantly recalled films for most people. This film has it all - it depicts the callous murder of Quasimodo's mother, his near-drowning as a baby, and his cruel parental figure in Judge Frollo. God, it's horrendously sad.

Frollo raises him believing that, due to his hunchbacked, incongruous appearance, he is worthless. He is imprisoned for pretty much all of his youth in Notre Dame, dreaming of being accepted by the exciting, enticing outside world. When he finally manages to sneak outside to a carnival, he is publicly humiliated by all - under the orders of his own "father"-figure, Frollo. He is painfully tied up like an animal, ridiculed, and spun around on a wheel while pelted with vegetables thrown at him. It's a crushing scene.

Later, his heart is broken when the kindly Esmeralda - who seemingly is the only person in the entire world who sees him for who he really is and disregards his appearance - falls for the "pretty boy" soldier, Phoebus. All of the confidence he has built up is smashed. His dreams of being loved are seemingly left in tatters. Also, Esmeralda is saved from burning at the stake by Quasimodo, although he believes her to be dead (in reality, she has just passed out). Quasimodo very nearly dies saving her and is willing to do so - he allows himself to fall without any apparent fear or desperation. He has saved Esmeralda, which is all that matters. However, Phoebus catches him from a balcony, saving his life. Despite his love for Esmeralda, he places Esmeralda and Phoebus' hands together.

The final scene is of him finally being accepted. A little girl, initially afraid of his appearance, approaches and embraces him. As one of my favorite Disney films growing up, I can honestly say that this one was one of the most impactful by far... more


For an emotional Pixar movie such as "WALL-E," it's disappointing to see that it didn't make it into at least the near "top five" rank on the list. Adoring the cute and memorable moments of WALL-E, it's adventurous to see him journey through a large space shuttle, far from Earth, just to finally form a bond with EVE. Not only was the film emotional and contains great unforgettable exploits, but the humor really brings people closer to as many characters as possible.

But the actual reason why this movie can bring tears to the eyes of people today, and six years ago, was that WALL-E literally sacrificed his old, trashed world to enter a new dramatic exploration, and finally ended with humanity returning to the planet, uniting with a loving companion, and restoring its one purpose of containing official life.

14 Bolt

When Bolt realizes Penny can't escape the burning building and curls up next to her to die with her, it's one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever seen in a cartoon. It makes me cry every time, because there have been real dogs that loved their owners too much to leave them, even if it meant dying.

I never understood this movie as a kid, but now I do. I didn't really cry. I can't see sadness in movies most of the time, but I will agree, it is a beautiful movie.

This is such a sad movie! The definite and for sure the saddest part is when Bolt sees his owner (Miley Cyrus) with a prop dog. Also, when Bolt returns with the cat and hamster!

15 Finding Nemo

Put yourself in Marlin's fins (pun intended): You live in a nice neighborhood at the very edge of the Great Barrier Reef, because you love the ocean. You have about 400 children with your wife, Coral. One day, what you once loved takes away everything, including Coral and your children... almost. One has survived who has been greatly deformed and is your only chance at happiness. You swear to his life, but when your guard is let down, he is taken away: your happiness.

Now you fight what you once loved and now hate, because it has ruined your life. How about that? Long story short: AMAZING AND VERY EMOTIONAL. Note: A barracuda ate Coral and Marlin's other children, but Nemo states that he hates the ocean. However, he claimed himself that he loved the view of the ocean before the barracuda. What a heck of a review. Five Stars.

16 Monsters, Inc.

When Sully said goodbye to Boo and at the end were the parts when I was crying.

I felt something inside of me when Sully left Boo. And when Sully saw Boo again at the end, let's just say I was dead inside.

I cried when Sully saw Boo again at the end. This is my favorite Disney movie, but that particular part definitely made me cry.

17 Pinocchio

I felt bad for Pinocchio as well.

18 Beauty and the Beast

I cry watching this movie! The saddest scene is when the Beast lets Belle go for her sake. Awwh, I am still crying while reminiscing about the scene. He is in the state of needing her the most but prioritizes her at that critical moment.

19 Coco

This movie will not only make you cry for the characters but also for yourself. What would happen if you were forgotten after you died?

I just watched it. I don't know, but watching it makes me hope all this is true and that when I die, I can visit my family.

This is the first movie to make me cry. Put this higher!

20 The Good Dinosaur

I saw this movie the day it came out. I saw it with my mom and cousin. I cried whenever I saw the boy and the dinosaur together. My cousin was so irritated that she actually left! Ha!

When Papa dies, I cried. When Arlo got swept away by the river, I cried. When Spot almost dies in the river, I cried. When Spot got swept away by those flying dinosaurs, I cried. When Spot leaves with his new family, I cried, and in the end, I cried. I just realized how emotional I am... I'm weak! Don't judge me! Jk, I know how emotional I am.

21 Tangled

How is this not in the top 5? A girl is taken from her parents as a baby so she can be used for her magical properties. She spends 18 years in a tower, never leaving it, until she meets a guy who agrees to take her to see her dream. Then, she gets taken back to the tower, and when the guy (who she also falls in love with) attempts to rescue her again, he gets killed right in front of her eyes by her captor. It's an emotional roller-coaster, and pretty devastating if you ask me. You people are heartless for not choosing this as top 5.

22 Lady and the Tramp

It breaks my heart to see the dogs at the pound, all tearing up and howling that depressing song.

It's sad how perfect love is overshadowed by a terrible person. Just amazing.

23 The Sword in the Stone

This film has one of the saddest parts in Disney history. I felt so bad for the poor girl squirrel when Wart got transformed back into his human-like self. She loved Wart and even saved him when he was about to be eaten by the wolf. This should be at least in the top 10 because the girl squirrel was broken to pieces. It would have been a much happier scene if Merlin had changed the girl squirrel to a human so she could be with Wart for many years to come and become his queen.

I agree that scene hit me right in the feels. You can see the exact moment when her heart breaks. So sad.

24 Brave

If you think about it, this movie is very devastating. Merida tries to control her own life instead of letting her mother control it, so she runs away and has a witch put a spell on her mother to change her. However, the witch turns Queen Elinor (Merida's mother) into a bear, making Elinor unwelcome in her own kingdom. This is because King Fergus, Merida's father, killed any bear he saw. It was sad how King Fergus, without knowing it was his wife, chases Elinor when she was a bear and nearly kills her. But after years of resenting her mother, Merida steps in and starts fighting her father to save Elinor. This is true mother-daughter love.

It is also sad when Merida couldn't break the curse from the witch and her mother was almost gone forever. And how the Prince that became Mor'du was so angry that he wasn't the only ruler of HIS clan. His anger got the best of him, and he turned into a bear because the witch gave him a spell. He ended up destroying the clan and killing his only brothers, becoming lonely, evil, and filled with regret. Yet he couldn't control himself. Only his soul was left, the rest was an evil bear. The story is beautiful otherwise.

25 Alice in Wonderland

It's only really sad when Alice gets lost in the woods.

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