Who knew spider babies could bring you to tears?
Although most contemporary kids' stories are fairly happy affairs (unlike those original Grimm's Fairy Tales), every so often a real tear-jerker comes along and pretty much traumatizes both children and parents alike. Now you might not be a small child anymore, but remembering these moments today will still make your eyes well up.
Some moments we can just never forget.
1. When Mufasa fell off the ledge.
At least there was some justice when Scar was turned into a rug by Hercules in a later Disney film. James Earl Jones was the voice of Mufasa in the original "Lion King" and then reprised the role in "The Lion King 2," as well as a 1995 short called, "Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable" which played at Epcot and can be seen here.
2. When the Giving Tree was just a stump.
If we needed to give you a spoiler alert, then you may have never known true literary sadness as a child.
"I have nothing left. I'm just an old stump, I'm sorry." That was much to handle at any age. People are divided on whether this has a happy ending when the boy sits down on the stump, or if it's sad that the tree was so willing to please him that it led to her destruction. Shel Silverstein narrated an animated version of "The Giving Tree" and it's just as sad as you knew it would be.
3. When Art Garfunkel taught Buster the Sound of Sadness.
Buster Baxter -- a bunny in the animated show "Arthur" -- spends a whole summer living with his dad, and when he returns to his mom's house in Elwood City, Arthur and the rest of Buster's friends seem to have moved on without him. Art Garfunkel sings the "Ballad of Buster Baxter," and you can't help but get emotional over this rabbit of divorced parents just trying to fit in with his best friends again.
4. When Dumbo's mom swung him back and forth.
After kids attending the circus harass Dumbo, the young elephant's mother lashes out to protect him and ends up getting locked in a cage for being "crazy." Dumbo can only share a brief, tender moment with his mother as she stretches her trunk through the cage's bars.
5. When Artax froze in the swamp.
Atreyu couldn't save Artax from the Swamp of Sadness after the horse froze and couldn't keep from being sucked under. Even if you've never seen "The NeverEnding Story," the short clip of Artax's demise certainly has the power to transport you to your own swamp of sadness.
6. When the Iron Giant sacrificed himself for the town.
A missile shoots up over the town of Rockwell promising to kill everyone in the town if it returns to earth. The Iron Giant decides he must sacrifice himself by crashing into the missile instead. The town is saved and in the end the Iron Giant is thankfully able to piece himself back together.
7. When Thomas J. Sennett didn't need his glasses anymore.
Macaulay Culkin plays Thomas, the boy allergic to everything, in "My Girl." Thomas is basically just a super nice kid and is also best friends with the often-teased Vada Sultenfuss. When trying to recover Vada's lost mood ring in the woods, he awakes a hornets nest and, due to his allergies, is killed by their stings. At the funeral, Vada cries over the casket, saying that Thomas can't see without his glasses, which were lost during the ordeal.
8. When Dumbledore was knocked out of the tower.
Although it was later revealed to all be part of a "bigger plan" to defeat Voldemort, Snape's killing of Dumbledore was one of those moments everyone needed to talk about after "The Half-Blood Prince" came out in 2005. If you were one of the lucky few that didn't have this plot point spoiled for you ahead of time, it was definitely a heart-wrenching read.
Unlikely dance partners.
9. When Wilbur had to greet Charlotte's spider babies into the world.
Although most people tend to hate spiders, people often grant an exception to Charlotte, the spider who could write messages in webs. After her death, Wilbur meets her offspring and you can't help but wish the best for those little baby spiders, even if in real life you'd probably be horrified by the mass hatching.
10. When Sharptooth bit Littlefoot's mother.
While successfully protecting Littlefoot and Cera from Sharptooth in "The Land Before Time," Mama Longneck ends up getting bitten by the Tyrannosaurus-Rex, which despite her victory causes her to die. In her last words, she makes sure Littlefoot knows how to get to the "Great Valley," where the dinosaurs should finally be able to have bountiful food supplies again.
11. When Tod and Copper's friendship had to end.
Although much less dark then the original novel (where Tod is hunted to death by Copper and Copper is eventually shot by his master), the Disney kids' version of "The Fox And The Hound" is still a tear-jerker, as the "best friends forever" are torn apart. Apparently foxes and hounds just can't be friends, despite the fact that Tod saves Copper and his master's life from a bear. So the movie ends with the two separated forever.
Best Friends Fornever.
12. When Splinter's spirit appeared to the Ninja Turtles.
Although it's hard to not see past TMNT's signature ridiculousness of being crime-fighting, pizza-loving turtles, the apparent death of their master, Splinter, in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was still a lot to handle. When Splinter's spirit appears at a late-night campfire, it's hard not to cry along with the devastated turtles. Luckily, all wounds can be healed by pizza.
13. When a hunter spotted Bambi's mother.
Bambi and his mother are just hanging out in the snow when a hunter spots them and forces the two to run for their lives. As his mother keeps yelling to run faster and faster, she ends up getting taken down by one of the hunter's bullets. When Bambi reaches the safety of the cave and turns around in excitement -- while proclaiming that they've made it! -- there's really nothing you can do but cry when he realizes he's actually all alone.
14. When Clayton killed Tarzan's second father.
After Tarzan's adventurous parents were killed while he was still a baby living in their makeshift jungle home, a gorilla named Kala raised Tarzan as her own and became his second mother. Despite caring for Tarzan as her own, Kala's husband, Kerchak, remained hostile towards Tarzan while the jungle boy grew up since Kerchak deeply distrusted humans. But when Clayton the poacher ends up fatally shooting Kerchack shortly after Kala reveals to Tarzan the true identity of his parents, you can't help but cry when Kerchak tells Tarzan that he was a worthy son and successor to his throne during his last moments of life.
15. When a barracuda snatched up Nemo's mother.
Another addition to a long line of Disney mother deaths, the films starts off by establishing the love between father Marlin and mother Coral and their excitement for their baby clownfish to hatch from their eggs. As is to be expected with a Disney film, Coral doesn't survive for much longer than this opening moment, and is eaten along with all of the eggs besides Nemo's.
Is it possible to cry underwater?
16. When Old Dan was found in a bush.
"Where The Red Fern Grows" came out in 1961, but has remained a staple of early childhood reading. The brave Redbone Coonhound, Old Dan, faces off against a mountain lion in an attempt to save the young boy, Billy. Unfortunately, despite his victory over the mountain lion, (no thanks to Billy's hapless axe-wielding) Old Dan is killed in the fight. In one of the more graphic of these sad childhood scenes, Billy finds the dog's intestines in a bush.
17. When Sarah McLachlan sang over a montage of Jessie being ditched.
Jessie the cowgirl was initially her owner's favorite toy, but as the human grew older Jessie was quickly forgotten for lipstick and makeup. Eventually, Jessie is rediscovered under the girl's bed and at first Jessie thinks she is being played with again. It turns out she's just being taken to a donation pile.
18. When the boy grew up.
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always." The mother in this story takes care of her boy all the way up to the final moments on her deathbed, when the two switch roles and the boy cradles his mother and whispers her heart-wrenching saying back to her. Joey from Friends gave a rendition of the story which ended with Chandler saying, "I was not ready for this today."
19. And finally this.
These animated mice will make you cry.
Sorry for filling your day with sadness.
Updated: Originally this post said that Kerchak was Tarzan's "second mother" and that she was shot by the poacher, Clayton. Kerchak is actually Tarzan's "second father" and this character is shot by Clayton.