Pixar’s latest animated masterpiece Inside Out will, as the Internet may have told you, give you all the feels. It makes sense, considering the movie is quite literally about the feelings and emotions of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. (The movie follows her Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Joy, voiced by Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Poehler, respectively.) While the thoughtful film will likely touch a nerve with its young audience (particularly kids in the same age bracket as the protagonist Riley), you can pretty much expect all the accompanying adults in the theater will be blubbering messes.
Adults will not only remember what it was like coming to terms with such emotions at a young age, but what it’s like having to face them head on as an adult. Are you getting a little misty-eyed yet? (Don’t worry, that’s what the 3-D glasses are for! No one can see the tears!) Of course, Inside Out is hardly the first kid-friendly flick that turns grown-ups into weepers. In honor of the animated tearjerker, her are 12 children’s movie classics that have made us cry throughout the years.
Warning: spoilers and many, many tears ahead.
1. My Dog SkipWarner Bros.
To be fair, pretty much any movie where the dog dies is The Saddest Movie Ever, but a movie in which a boy has to watch his beloved childhood dog die is Next Level depressing. (See also: Old Yeller.) And that last line is guaranteed sobs: “For he really laid buried…in my heart.”
Disney pretty much has the market cornered on Sad Parent Deaths (as you’ll see further down this list) and they set the bar awfully high with killing off Bambi’s mother. Even as an adult, when you hear that fateful gun shot ring out, your heart breaks into a million pieces. [/tem]
3. My GirlColumbia Pictures
Let’s see, we’ve covered pet death and parent death, so what’s next? Oh, right, best-friend-attacked-by-bees-death. If you still don’t sob when Vada (Anna Chlumsky) breaks down at her pal Thomas Jay’s (Macaulay Culkin) funeral, you may want to get your glasses checked. HE CAN’T SEE WITHOUT HIS GLASSES.
4. UpDisney Pixar
In what can only be described as the land speed record for making moviegoers cry into their popcorns, the first ten minutes of Up chronicles the sweet love story of Carl and Ellie…and her eventual death. For adults that know the pain of losing a partner, and oh boy, did this one sting.
5. The Iron GiantWarner Brothers
There are few irrefutable truths in adult life, and one of them is that the animated voice of Vin Diesel will reduce you to ugly tears. (See also: Guardians of the Galaxy.)
6. The Lion KingDisney
The Lion King is so sad that watching footage of other people watching The Lion King is sad. Your heart breaks for the next generation of kids who have to endure the trauma of Mufasa’s tragic death.
7. Charlotte’s WebParamount Pictures
The reasons for crying when you watch Charlotte’s Web as an adult are twofold: 1. You read and loved the book as a child and it brings up some serious nostalgia pangs, and 2. CHARLOTTE DIES AND EVERYTHING HURTS.
8. Toy Story 3Disney Pixar
When the toys in Toy Story accept their impending death (don’t worry, despite this cruel prank, they actually do live) you’re already in an emotionally fragile state. By the time Andy gives his beloved childhood belongings away and you long for all your long-gone childhood treasures and face the reality that once childhood is over, it is over, you’re pretty much in the fetal position on the floor.
Two word: Baby. Mine. It made you want to hug your mother when you were little (it still will) and if you’re a parent now, it’ll make you want to hug your kid.
10. The NeverEnding StoryWarner Bros. Pictures
They didn’t call it the Swamp of Sadness for nothing. RIP Artax.
11. The Bridge to TerabithiaBuena Vista Pictures
Even if you adored the beloved book as a kid and know what happens to Leslie, it doesn’t make it any less painful watching it unfold on screen. In fact, it’s almost worse knowing what’s coming.
12. The Fox and the HoundDisney
Not even the most stoic grown-up is immune to turning into a baby when Tod and Copper have to part ways. Why do you hate us, Disney?