Sad Disney: “Coco”

For the conclusion of “Sad Disney” week, we present the saddest scene of all. When Miguel sings to his great grandmother Coco to try to get her to remember something important, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The scene was worth millions to Disney. China normally doesn’t allow films portraying the afterlife, as Coco does quite extensively earlier in the film. The scene with Mama Coco brought tears to the eyes of the Chinese censors who overwhelmingly approved the film for release. The movie made more money in China than all of the previous Disney-Pixar films combined. And brought tears to the eyes of millions.

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Sad Disney: “Toy Story 2”

Think you can’t be brought to tears by the struggles of a toy? Toy Story 2 would prove you wrong. Jessie is a bit annoying up until she tells us her backstory during the song When She Loved Me. You will feel sad about the plight of an abandoned toy!

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Sad Disney: “Dumbo”

Even though Dumbo is a character who never speaks, the Disney animators still make us sympathize with his plight. A child who must fend for himself after his mother is unjustly locked up by the Circus, Dumbo’s “prison” visit with his mother is a sad sequence that often makes audiences cry. While the song Baby Mine is often used as a sweet lullaby, the film introduces it in one of its sadder scenes. Illustrating the bond between mother and child makes the characters seem more human.

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Sad Disney: “Pinocchio”

In the Disney film Pinocchio, we are presented with a flawed, yet loveable wooden boy who must prove himself in order to become real. Things are further complicated by the fact that it is Gepetto’s wish and not his, though he truly wants to do right by his “father.”
Since we’re there from the beginning when Gepetto makes his wish and we see how nice and kind he is, we are invested in seeing his wish come true. Therefore the scene in which Gepetto believes his ‘little wooden head’ has died packs a huge wallop.

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Sad Disney: Mickey’s Christmas Carol

“For every laugh, there should be a tear.”
-Walt Disney
Walt Disney knew that in order to completely sell audiences on the reality of his animated features, he would have to make his characters real and human. To do this, the films produced by his studio would have to show the good times and the bad. Like in 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

In one of the possible future scenarios presented to Scrooge in the film, Tiny Tim passes away, leaving his father, played by Mickey Mouse, a sad wreck. We empathize with what are essentially just drawings because the characters are presented in a human way.

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