18 Disney movie scenes no parent can watch without crying

by Megan Zander
Nov 24, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET

You wouldn't think so from their colorful packaging and goofy cartoon characters, but watching a Disney movie can cause just as many tears as laughs... especially when you're a parent.

Many Disney movies seemed designed especially to hit moms and dads straight in the feels, so the next time you settle in for family movie night, grab some tissue along with your popcorn. If you're a parent, it's impossible to watch these Disney movie scenes with your kids without getting choked up.

1 /18: When Nemo realizes Marlin has left

1/18 :When Nemo realizes Marlin has left

When Marlin realizes his wife and all of his children save one have been killed in Finding Nemo, your heart goes out to him, even if he is a clownfish. And every parent can relate to Marlin telling Nemo that he's "never going to let anything happen to you," because deep down we all want the same for our own children.

2 /18: When Boo remembers Sully

2/18 :When Boo remembers Sully

Toddlers are cute, but they can also be very, very difficult. Sully serves as a stand-in parent for Boo in Monsters, Inc., and once they're separated, he's left to wonder if the child he cared for even remembers him. Boo's delighted greeting to her long-lost Sully will make you cry all the happy tears as you realize that yes, your young children do know and appreciate the things you do for them. 

3 /18: Lewis and his mom in <em>Meet the Robinsons</em>

3/18 :Lewis and his mom in <em>Meet the Robinsons</em>

In Meet the Robinsons, Lewis is an orphan on a mission: to use a time machine and go back in time to stop his mother from leaving him. On his travels Lewis meets his future self and the awesome family that awaits him one day. When he finally gets back to that moment in time where he could make contact with his mother, he decides to let time play out unaltered, knowing his difficult childhood will lead to happiness as an adult. As a parent your sympathy for the little boy who watches his mom being so close, yet so far is sure to bring you to tears.

4 /18: When King Trident gives Ariel legs

4/18 :When King Trident gives Ariel legs

Throughout The Little Mermaid, King Trident and Ariel are locked in a power struggle. She wants to fall in love and leave the ocean, and he doesn't want his little girl to grow up. The final scene where the King surprises Ariel with the gift of legs so she can be free to live the life she's always dreamed of will make every mom and dad tear up as you think of your own kids leaving the nest one day.

5 /18: When Bambi loses his mother

5/18 :When Bambi loses his mother

For a cartoon about woodland creatures, Bambi packs a surprising emotional punch. Just when you think Bambi and his mother made it away safely from the hunters, you realize that Momma Dear didn’t make it through hunting season. If watching this scene with your kids doesn’t leave you wailing, you may be part robot.

6 /18: Mufasa's death in <em>The Lion King</em>

6/18 :Mufasa's death in <em>The Lion King</em>

Every parent gets tears in their eyes as they watch the moment in The Lion King when Simba tries and fails to rouse Mufasa after his devastating fall. And when Simba’s grief overcomes him and he nestles up against his dad you’ll pull your own kids closer, just because you can.

7 /18: When Lilo and Stitch talk about ohana

7/18 :When Lilo and Stitch talk about ohana

Hearing Lilo talk about her parents' fatal car crash in Lilo and Stitch will leave parents so emotional that you’ll forget it’s a kids’ movie. Ohana, indeed.

8 /18: When you think Lilo may leave her sister

8/18 :When you think Lilo may leave her sister

Many parents have moments when they wonder if they’re doing enough for their children. In Lilo and Stitch, Nani tries to step up and take care of her little sister following their parents’ death, but struggles to find balance. She comes to the realization that child services will take Lilo into their care. As a parent your heart can’t help but go out to the family as they try to deal with the idea of being separated.

9 /18: The grief of the royals in <em>Tangled</em>

9/18 :The grief of the royals in <em>Tangled</em>

Despite the fact that it’s been years since their daughter’s kidnapping, the royal couple in Tangled light lanterns on her birthday each year in hopes that their lost little girl will one day find her way home. Imagining the horror of having your own child taken from you and seeing how deeply the king feels his loss even after all these years will make parents want to cry right along with him.

10 /18: Bing Bong's demise in <em>Inside Out</em>

10/18 :Bing Bong's demise in <em>Inside Out</em>

Inside Out is a movie that’s all about the power of emotions, and watching Bing Bong’s story line is sure to make you feel sadness as you think about how your own children will one day learn to navigate the complex emotions of adulthood. As Riley’s long-forgotten imaginary friend, Bing Bong longs to be remembered once more. But he realizes the only way to prevent Riley’s personality from being changed forever is to sacrifice himself. When Bing Bong utters, “Take her to the moon for me,” before fading away forever you want to promise that you will, right after you dry your eyes.

11 /18: When King Trident takes Ariel's place

11/18 :When King Trident takes Ariel's place

Faced with the choice of letting his daughter suffer forever as a slave of Ursula the Sea Witch or taking her place, King Trident in The Little Mermaid does what any parent would and sacrifices himself for his child. His noble act will move you to tears as you think about the very short list of things you wouldn’t do for your own babies.

12 /18: When Simba sees his father within

12/18 :When Simba sees his father within

Imagining a time when your kid may have to live without you is unbearable for many parents. That moment in The Lion King when Simba realizes his father is always with him in spirit will make your eyes water every time.

13 /18: When Andy plays with Woody one final time

13/18 :When Andy plays with Woody one final time

When Andy plays with Woody one last time before handing him off to Bonnie in Toy Story 3, you'll sob. Once you've dried your eyes you'll tell your kids to take good care of their toys before heading into the attic to look for your long-forgotten teddy.

14 /18: When Pinocchio drowns

14/18 :When Pinocchio drowns

The fear of losing a child hits home in Pinocchio when the magic wooden puppet drowns. But at least your tears of sorrow will turn to tears of joy once the Blue Fairy shows up to turn Pinocchio into a real boy.

15 /18: Dumbo's mother singing 'Baby Mine'

15/18 :Dumbo's mother singing 'Baby Mine'

In Dumbo, Dumbo's mom is locked away and she surely must be scared. But she puts her own concerns aside to put her energy into rocking her baby and making sure he knows he's loved, even if they're separated. Try not to weep so loudly that you can't hear the song. 

16 /18: When the Sultan lets Jasmine marry Aladdin

16/18 :When the Sultan lets Jasmine marry Aladdin

When Jasmine's father, the Sultan, realizes he has the power to let her marry whomever she wishes, you'll forget that you're watching Aladdin and shed a tear at the thought of wanting to do everything in your power to see your child happy. 

17 /18: When Mulan's dad is proud

17/18 :When Mulan's dad is proud

Mulan conceals her gender and goes into battle, all in an effort to bring honor to her family. But when she returns home victorious, her father tells her, "The greatest honor is having you for a daughter." Pass the tissues, please. 

18 /18: The mother-daughter dynamic in <em>Brave</em>

18/18 :The mother-daughter dynamic in <em>Brave</em>

Merida's rocky relationship with her mother in Brave is one many parents can relate to. But when Merida believes her mom has been transformed into a bear forever, she's heartbroken, and finally admits aloud just how much she loves and needs her mom. Go ahead and dry those tears in your daughter's hair. We won't tell.