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10 kids movies from the 80s and 90s that will make you cry

Posted on January 17, 2013 by

Do you remember balling your eyes out at these horribly depressing (but amazing) children’s movies? 


Although this wasn’t an overall sad story, it was upsetting when people were afraid of little, innocent ET and even more heart-wrenching when he went back to his home planet. I remember watching this movie as a kid and crying when he left Earth. Why couldn’t they just keep him forever?

My Girl

I literally was so obsessed with this movie as a kid, I made my mom call me Vada for a month. I would watch this movie everyday, and every single time, I would cry when Vada’s best friend Thomas J. died. “He can’t see without his glasses!” Even when I typed that, I got a little misty.

Free Willy

Alright, you might be thinking I’m crazy because in the end Willy is saved. But seriously, go watch Free Willy again right now. This is the saddest movie. The other day it was on TV and my roommate and I watched it and bawled our eyes out. That sad cry he does when he’s calling to his family? Yeah, that’s about the time the tears start.

Land Before Time

This is the saddest death of a dinasour mother EVER! Everything about this scene, the storm, the darkness, the lost baby dino, ahhh I can feel the tears forming already!

The Little Mermaid

Does anyone else remember when Ariel sacrificed her voice to be with humans? I can. Watching this again recently made me realize how sad it really was. I always hated that she lost her beautiful voice, but the message behind it really made it more profound. Ariel wanted to be a human and live with the man of her dreams but couldn’t because everything comes with a price. If you weren’t at least torn up about it, you were probably watching it with your friends and trying to act cool.

Beauty and the Beast

This love story is about going beyond exterior looks and finding something that’s deeper. It touches my heart! When the villagers try and run him out of the town, it makes me sob.

Homeward Bound

I don’t care what anyone says, if you have a heart, this movie made you cry. Shadow, Chance and Sassy the cat travel across the USA to find their owners. The fluffy hooligans encounter many obstacles along the way — almost dying and becoming separated to name a few. They do eventually make it home, but man that was tough to watch!

Fox and the Hound

There are so many sad moments in this movie! But the big ones are when the fox and hound save each-other’s lives and then realize that although they can’t live in the same world together, they’ll still be best friends.


Pocahontas falls in love with John, yet they are from two different worlds and their relationship simply cannot work. When John leaves to go back to his country, I was devastated. Imagine, finding true love, only for it to be torn apart? The worst!

The Lion King

This one takes the cake, I think. The underlying battle between Mufasa and Scar make it even more sad when Mufasa dies. Simba, feeling like it was his fault on top of it, is just the saddest. Imagine thinking you were responsible for your own father’s death. I couldn’t imagine that guilt. I still hate Scar so much, even though he’s just a Disney cartoon character.

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