Friday, October 24, 2008

Saddest Animated Films

The Land Before Time (1988)
A story of an orphaned brontosaurus and other young dinosaurs traveling through a ruined world in search of family and a promised land. With weeping dinosaurs and a haunting score this movie would have found a higher place on this list had its value not decreased due to the 400 sequels it's spawned.

The Fox and the Hound (1981)
What really makes this movie so sad (besides the entire second half of the movie) is the scene where the widow Tweed brings the fox to the woods to leave him behind. I just have to think about that scene and I get a lump in my throat.

Dumbo (1941)
A movie where a cute and goofy looking baby elephant is teased, picked on, shunned, and laughed at. The central depressing moment is when Dumbo's mother is locked up for trying to protect her son from the torment of being different. Next comes a gut-wrenching scene in the rain with Dumbo going to see his caged mother. If you don't know this scene, then you don't know true sorrow.

An American Tail (1986)
Wow, I remember watching this movie several times as a child, and looking back I've no idea why. It's super depressing in so many ways. First off, it's a movie about an immigrant family of Russian mice traveling to America, and their son, Fievel, becomes lost at sea along the way. From there it's Fievel going from one filthy and dreary locale to the next in search of his parents (always just missing them) and encountering a slew of weird, misleading, and frightening characters. Along with the depressing music, and songs like Somewhere out there, this movie is one of the most depressing cartoons ever created.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Okay, right off the bat, this is a list of one, because Grave of the Fireflies makes the other four movies on this list look like a Blue`s Clues Christmas Special. The movie documents the struggle of a young boy and his four year old sister fighting to survive in Japan during World War II. It`s the only animated film I can think of that I would describe as tragic, but as sad as it is, I recommend it to anyone who hasn`t seen it, because it`s a phenomenal piece of film-making. If you can watch the entire movie and not shed a tear, then you have no soul. Period.


Cole D'Arc said...

little foot is an Apatosaurus, not Brontosaurus. as I'm sure ive already told you, they are two names mistakenly given to the same dinosaur and once this was cleared up, they went with the original.

Cole D'Arc said...

oh, and an honourable mention should go to Bambi. Many (including myself) recall his mother's death as a pretty powerful scene and very sad. i'd say it's arguably sadder than Dumbo since his mother eventually gets released. Still a gut-wrenching scene though.

Shane said...

Yeah, I struggled with many a Disney film for this list and had to cut out Bambi's mother, The Lady and the Tramp dog pound scene, etc.