When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Grab the tissues! We're diving into the animated scenes that punched us right in the feels.

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Here’s a look at some Saddest Moments in Animated Films that tugged at our heartstrings and left even the toughest animation fans misty-eyed.

We associate cartoons them with laughter, adventure, and happy endings. But let’s face it, sometimes these animated gems sneak in a punch to the feels that leaves us reaching for the tissues.

Coco

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Miguel’s emotional reunion with his deceased great-grandmother, Coco, transcends generations.  Coco’s fading memory and Miguel’s desperate attempt to connect creates a heart-wrenching scene.

The song “Remember Me” adds another layer of tear-jerking power, reminding us of the importance of family and keeping loved ones’ memories alive.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Miles Morales loses his mentor, Peter B. Parker, in a heartbreaking sequence.  The animation perfectly captures the shock and grief, and the scene resonates with anyone who’s ever dealt with loss. 

Peter’s final words, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility,” carry a new weight as Miles takes up the mantle of Spider-Man. 

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Hiccup, the young Viking who befriended a dragon, has to make the impossible choice: let his dragon, Toothless, be free or keep him by his side. The bittersweet farewell is a testament to the power of

friendship and the sacrifices we make for those we love. Toothless’ longing glances back as he soars into the unknown leave a lump in everyone’s throat.

Toy Story 4

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Woody, the loyal cowboy doll, finally lets go of Andy, his human companion, and chooses to stay with Bo Peep, the lost sheep, to help other lost toys find new homes. The scene at the train station, with

Woody watching Andy drive away, is an emotional rollercoaster.  It reminds us that growing up means letting go, and that even the sturdiest friendships can evolve over time.

Onward

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Two elf brothers embark on a quest to spend one last day with their deceased father. The revelation that their father had always been proud of them, even though they never met him, evokes a powerful sense of longing and loss.

The film reminds us that love transcends physical presence, and the memories we create can bridge the gap between life and death.

Soul

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Joe Gardner, a frustrated musician, has a near-death experience and encounters a cynical soul named 22, who refuses to experience life on Earth. Joe’s attempts to show 22 the beauty of life,

culminating in a stunning sequence showcasing simple pleasures like pizza and the wind in your hair, is a poignant reminder to appreciate the joys of living.

Luca

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Two sea monsters who transform into humans befriend a young girl on land. The film explores themes of friendship and acceptance, but the ending tugs at the heartstrings.

Luca and his friend Alberto must return to the ocean, leaving the girl behind. However, they promise to stay connected despite the physical distance, a bittersweet reminder that true friendship can last even across boundaries.

Raya and the Last Dragon

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

Raya, a warrior princess on a quest to reunite a broken world, encounters Namaari, her childhood friend turned rival. Their reconciliation scene, where

they set aside their differences to save the world,  is a powerful testament to the power of forgiveness and the importance of unity in the face of adversity.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

This seemingly lighthearted film packs a punch with its portrayal of a strained father-daughter relationship. When technology takes over the world, Katie Mitchell, a young filmmaker, and her tech-averse father are forced to work together.

Their journey rekindles their bond, culminating in a touching scene where the father values his daughter’s passion for filmmaking. 

Turning Red

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

This coming-of-age story explores the chaotic world of teenage emotions with humor and heart. The film depicts Meilin Lee, a 13-year-old girl who transforms into a giant red panda when she gets too excited. 

A poignant scene shows Meilin struggling to explain her transformation to her overprotective mother, highlighting the challenges of communication between parents and teenagers. 

Lightyear

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

This spin-off of the Toy Story franchise takes a surprising emotional turn. Buzz Lightyear, the ever-confident space ranger, gets stranded on a hostile planet. The film cleverly uses time dilation to show the years that pass for Buzz while only minutes go by on Earth.

Watching Buzz miss out on decades of his best friend’s life, with only his robotic companion for company, is a melancholic reminder of the price of time travel and the importance of cherishing the present.

The Sea Beast

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

This swashbuckling adventure film packs a surprising emotional punch. Maisie, a young girl who stows away on a monster-hunting ship, befriends a young sea beast.

Their unlikely bond is shattered when the crew attempts to kill the beast. The film explores themes of environmentalism and prejudice, delivering a powerful message about accepting the unknown and protecting endangered creatures. 

Spirited Away: Chihiro’s Farewell

When Cartoons Make Us Cry: Saddest Moments in Animated Films That Will Wreck You

This long-awaited sequel to the Studio Ghibli masterpiece Spirited Away sees Chihiro, now a young adult, returning to the spirit world to say goodbye to her friend Haku.

The bittersweet farewell sequence, with Chihiro unable to remember Haku after leaving the spirit world, is a poignant reminder of the fading nature of memories and the fleeting beauty of childhood friendships. 

The Power of Emotional Storytelling

These moments remind us that animation isn’t just about bright colors and wacky adventures. It can also be a powerful medium for exploring complex emotions and universal themes. These tearjerker moments don’t diminish the enjoyment of the films; instead, they add depth and resonance, creating stories that stay with us long after the credits roll. 

So, the next time you settle in for a cartoon movie, grab some tissues. You might be surprised by the emotional journey it takes you on. 

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Wills Alexander
Welcome to my professional canvas! I'm Wills Alexander, a dedicated writer with a fervor for crafting compelling stories that captivate, inform, and inspire. I am the architect of words, an alchemist who transforms ideas into narratives that resonate. With a passion for storytelling, I embark on a journey with every piece, blending creativity with precision to deliver content that leaves a lasting impression.

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