Dumbo Movie
Credit: Disney

I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying: Sad Disney Movie Scenes

For Disney movie lovers, there is nothing like snagging a bag of popcorn and chilling out for a Disney movie marathon. There are plenty of high points that we all love. Snow White and Prince Charming riding off on a white horse, Moana restoring the heart of Te Fiti, and Carl Fredrickson bestowing the Ellie pin to Russell are just a few of the happy Disney movie moments we love.

Carl and Ellie

Credit – Disney

But let’s be honest; there are some pretty sad movie moments too. An adorable little girl recently discovered one of the saddest 90s Disney movie moments and reacted accordingly. Anyone who has seen the 1993 Disney classic Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey knows this movie has some tear-jerking moments. What are some of the saddest Disney movie moments that come to your mind?


#Homewardbound #disney #mysensitivegirl #sosad #fyp

♬ original sound – Chelsey Nielson

Shadow’s Accident: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

The moment that set off the waterworks for the little girl going viral on TikTok is the iconic scene when wise golden retriever Shadow almost doesn’t make it back home. The trio’s faithful and steadfast group leader falls into a pit in a railroad yard, injuring his leg when the group is just minutes away from home. Spirited American bulldog Chance talks the old timer out of the pit, and he makes it home to his family. But the thought of Shadow giving up so close to the end of this incredible journey is so sad.

Homeward Bound the Incredible Journey

Credit: Disney

This movie has several sad and emotional moments like the confusion of the animals when their family leaves them on Kate’s Ranch when Sassy is carried downriver in an accident, and of course, the heartwarming moment when the animals finally make it home. There is never a dry eye in my home when we watch this movie.

Ray’s Death: The Princess and the Frog

The death of pure and comical firefly Ray ranks among the worst Disney movie deaths for me and the saddest Disney movie moments. Ray is a loyal friend to Tiana to the end, helping her evade the Shadow Man when the group returns to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Ray’s last words as he looks up into the sky are about his beloved Evangeline.

Ray's Death

Credit – Disney

The burial of Ray in the bayou and the appearance of a new star in the night sky next to Evangeline is the most emotional moment in this animated movie.

Bambi’s Mother’s Death: Bambi

Bambi Mother


One of the most traumatic movie moments ever is the death of Bambi’s mother in the 1942 Disney movie Bambi. Watching the heartbreak as Bambi misses his mom and learns to navigate the forest without her is heart-wrenching. My family is guilty of skipping the first few moments of this movie because it’s just too sad! This Disney moment is a noteworthy one almost any Disney film fan would note as an awful animated movie moment.

Abuelo Pedro’s Death: Encanto

Encanto Miracle

Credit: Disney

Encanto is the story of a magical family using their powers for good in their community. Most of the family members have special powers, and they each play a unique role. It’s also a movie about generational trauma that stems from the tragic death of Abuelo Pedro, the family patriarch. Abuela’s flashback scene of losing her husband and pressing on with her three babies and the miracle that sent the special powers to her family is very emotional. Watching the heart-wrenching scenes of the massacre that killed Abuelo Pedro is tough.

Gramma Tala’s Death: Moana

Moana Gramma

Credit: Disney

We all love Gramma Tala in Moana, from her storytelling talent to her rebellious streak. She is the driving force that encourages Moana to explore her love for the sea and ultimately pushes Moana to embark on her hero’s journey to restore the heart of Te Fiti.

Te Fiti at Journey of Water Inspired by Moana

Credit: Disney

There are fan theories about the death of this beloved Disney grandmother. Namely, that the heart of Te Fiti is keeping her alive, and the passing on the heart to Moana leads to her death. Regardless, watching the spirit of Gramma Tala pass under Moana’s boat as a stingray gives me goosebumps and brings tears my eyes each time I watch this movie.

Dumbo’s Separation from Mother Jumbo: Dumbo

Dumbo Movie

Credit: Disney

These old Disney movies have us in tears. Another sad Disney mom/baby movie moment is the separation of Mother Jumbo from baby Dumbo. Knowing the true love of the pair makes the separation even more devastating. Add in the fact that Dumbo is ridiculed for his huge ears and the fact that his mother is pictured in shackles in a separate circus cage, and this movie has some of the saddest moments of any Disney film. The song “baby mine” is the soundtrack for the sad scene when Mother Jumbo rocks Dumbo from the inside of a cage, who knew an animated film could be so sad?

So Long Partner: Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

Credit: Disney Pixar

Nostalgia, plus the fact that we love the characters in the Toy Story franchise, means that the toy giveaway scene in Toy Story 3 was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. As Andy passes on his beloved toys to the adorable little girl Bonnie, viewers feel mixed sadness and hope as the toys get a new life with Bonnie but say goodbye to Andy. After many years of watching the adventures in Andy’s room, it’s a bittersweet end to a beautiful friendship.

Emotional Whirlwind Disneyland Sadness

Credit: Emotional Whirlwind Disneyland Sadness

Is your saddest Disney movie moment on this list? Big Hero 6, Old Yeller, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, and Inside Out are other movies with sad scenes that you can stream on Disney Plus. Don’t worry; there are plenty of fun moments, beautiful animation, an awesome music to go with these sad movie scenes. What other  Disney movie moments would you add to this list?

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About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.