Top Ten Movies that are Sadder to Rewatch When You Get Older

Ever re-watch a movie from your childhood and start crying even though, as a child, you were not bothered by it?

Here's to the movies with scenes that you didn't get when you were younger. To the movies that seem completely different when viewed from the eyes of a teenager or young adult than the eyes of a child. To the movies that fill you with emotions you are only able to understand when you are older than when you first saw them.
The Top Ten
1 Toy Story 3

I lived for Toy Story when I was in elementary school. I was obsessed with Jessie and with quoting the movies. I still love these movies, but I do not know if I will be in the emotional place to watch Toy Story 3 for quite some time.

After re-watching it (just the last 30-40 minutes) when I was in high school and hanging out with my younger cousins, I was fighting to pull myself together during the last scene. I was in tears anyway. "Don't cry in front of the little kids, don't break down in the middle of a family get-together, don't cry."

Watching Andy give his toys to Bonnie was the scene that didn't make me cry as a kid (even though I was sad), but it destroyed me as a teenager. The way he introduced each one with so much love, and still being willing to let them go, was priceless.

Watching him play with Bonnie, a character who had clearly had a lot of trouble making friends, and be so unapologetically youthful was charming yet tear-jerking. Watching him say goodbye, and watching him accept that he was going to go to college (something that, when re-watching, I was finally starting to realize I would do soon), hit too close to home. Then hearing Woody's "So long, partner" as Andy drove away broke my heart.

This movie takes the cake for movies that are sadder to watch when you get older.

2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

This movie was always sad, and I've re-watched the movies in this franchise countless times. However, little could prepare me for the experience of re-watching the Forbidden Forest scene, now older than the characters.


When I was a 12-year-old seeing a 17-year-old face death, I had a sense of, "He's an adult now, he knows what he's doing. You'll understand when you are older." Even though the scene made me cry, it was a completely different kind of sadness than when I re-watched the movie at 18 years old.

I then knew that, even though Harry was an "adult," he wasn't a grown-up. I thought about the way that I now saw 17-year-olds. Daniel Radcliffe may have been in his 20s when filming, but the character was, despite being the "grown-up" version, younger than me - and far from being "grown-up." Harry was a kid, and he was as scared as I would be in the situation.

Re-watching this movie was certainly an experience because I realized that the characters that I'd once thought of as "grown-ups" were just kids like me, kids who were forced to try to be adults too fast, kids who had to accept their own deaths. It was moving.

3 Mary Poppins

I watched this movie quite a few times when I was in preschool. I loved the magic and the fun songs.

Then I rewatched it in high school, and I ended up crying for Mr. Banks. As a kid, I thought that the character was just cold and money-obsessed. However, the longer-than-expected sequence of Mr. Banks walking through the streets at night and having a very introspective moment was heartbreaking.

He wasn't cold. He loved his children more than anything and wanted them to have a good life, so he was preparing them in the best way he knew how. Without even saying much, Mr. Banks shows that he knows that he made mistakes as a parent, that he wanted to spend time with his children, and that he had a lot of complex emotions. I didn't get it as a kid, and I don't know if I fully get it now, but I'm sure that if I ever have kids, I'll notice even more.

4 Cars 3
5 The Incredibles

This movie includes implied suicide, marital issues, a midlife crisis, burnout, the struggles of parenting, and all you really see as a kid are the fun superheroes.

It was always a great film, but as you get older, you notice how tragic it can be at some points - points that you probably thought were "the boring parts" as a kid. It's really amazing how Pixar wove the real-world issues into a movie about superheroes.

6 The Fox And The Hound

I was never a huge fan of this movie as a kid because it confused me. "Where's the happy ending? What's the point?"

Then I ended up re-watching the ending when the movie came on TV one day. It was never about a happy ending. It was about the death of childhood (but never the lessons learned in childhood or the love felt in childhood), a death that can only be felt when you begin to experience it for yourself.

7 Up

I wasn't that interested in this movie as a kid, but when re-watching even little clips of it, I feel like a total basket case.

8 Inside Out

I was entering middle school when this movie came out, so it sucker-punched me with emotions when I first watched it. Now, the messages and themes are just as (if not more) relevant than when I first watched it. The only reason that this movie is so low on this list is because I understood it when it first came out - I just understand it a bit more now.

9 Monsters, Inc.

I was always a bit sad at the end of the movie, but the funny ending (and post-credit scene) turned it around. Now, whenever I think of this movie, and I think of "Kitty has to go," I restrain myself from tearing up.

A farewell to childhood fears and childhood ideas is infinitely more tragic after having some real-world experience with these farewells.

10 The LEGO Movie

"You… don't have to be the bad guy." The scene when Emmet talks to Lord Business while Finn (the kid) talks to his dad lives rent-free in my brain. I used to think it was just a "Yay! They remembered how to be a child!" Now when I think about it, it feels like Emmet is talking to the inner child in all of us, reminding us that we are each special and wonderful in our own way. It's a message that I think you need more when you get older.

The Contenders
11 Oliver & Company
12 Stand by Me
14 Finding Nemo
15 The Lion King
16 The Land Before Time
17 Frozen
18 Guardians of the Galaxy
19 The Sound of Music
20 The Chipmunk Adventure

There was a scene in the movie that hit me harder than it did when I was younger. "My Mother" hit me much harder right now than before because my mom passed away last year. This is such an emotional and sweet song to dedicate to her. I feel emotional whenever I'm writing this.

21 Bambi
22 Dumbo
23 Charlotte's Web (1973)
24 Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure
25 Cars
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