*SPOILERS AHEAD* Disney movies be a source of comfort, but they are also useful when you need to just let it all out. Maybe you had a bad day at work or deadlines are just getting the best of you, there’s a Disney film for that! I do not differentiate from Disney/Disney + Pixar so they are combined here in no order. Whenever I need a good cry here are 8 movies I know will get the job done. Do you need a good cry?
1. Inside Out
When I saw this movie in the theater, I was bawling before it even started (one word: Lava). This may seem like an obvious choice but a film about emotions really helps you make sense of that jumbled feeling. You can feel joy and sadness simultaneously and that’s okay. Even though the ball of nerves you’re feeling isn’t for the same reason as Riley, her journey reminds us that sometimes you need to just tell someone why you’re upset. Memories are also a crucial part of this film and we all know how emotional letting go makes us!
Aside from how visually stunning this Disney movie is, the complex family dynamics that exist for many of us are presented. Just like Miguel there have been numerous times in my life where I felt like my family just didn’t get it. Whether it was due to tradition or reshaping shared histories, the threads of lineage get more complicated as they unravel creating an overwhelming wave of emotion. Dealing with grief and deception amongst other feelings comes together with music being the central component. If you ever need a reminder of why you love those crazy people you’re related to, this movie will reassure you and get the water works going.
Sometimes our dreams are the only thing that get us through the day. A glimmer of hope that remains in the darkest of situations. Rapunzel not only has to breakthrough physical limitations but mental barriers as well to realize her dream. Along the way she meets others who have a dream (teaching us to not judge by appearance) and gets a glimpse of love with Eugene. Every time I re-watch this film I think I’m going to be fine because I know what happens but I See the Light gets me every single time. I had to take that song off my Spotify because I would get teary eyed in the middle of class!
4. The Lion King
Now I’m not going to dive into that scene which makes our hearts break every time (somebody…anybody…help) but I will say that one of the many shining moments in this movie is how it deals with the past. There are times when things you’ve done or never got the chance to do in the past creep up in a haunting manner. In the words of one of my dear friends Rafiki, “Oh yes the past can hurt but the way I see it you can either run from the past or learn from it.” This tidbit of information is something I constantly need to be reminded of and it helps that Simba has a variety of influential teachers to pull on our heart strings.
5. The Fox and the Hound
I was late to this Disney party and was not prepared for what was to come at all. In my head I had imagined some weird film about a fox and a dog who are friends in a forest and that was the whole movie. Todd and Copper take you on a whirlwind journey through the forces of friendship. If you’re ever in a position where you feel like a friendship issue is too great to overcome, this Disney movie reminds you that your situation could be so much worse! Do you need a good cry?
In opposition to Coco, Moana has everyone rooting for her on a predestined path to become Chief of Motunui. The film really takes off when she begins to question the expectations of her life and where the origin of this path began. Seeing how she deals with the pressures, positive and negative, makes us feel not so alone in the struggle. Moana reminds us who we are (hi Te Fiti) and how we can still carry on a family legacy but maybe in varying degrees. Do you need a good cry?
7. Big Hero 6
This film creates many bonds with many characters that I did not anticipate. As someone with older siblings, Hiro’s experience hits particularly hard. Having to move forward without them yet with them in a certain degree is a difficult path to follow. With the help of Baymax and the crew, Hiro can chart a new path not completely separate from his microbot fighting days. One of the many Disney movies on this list processing grief, Big Hero 6 is a colorful unexpected emotional adventure. Do you need a good cry?
Expanding on the qualities of nature brought up in The Fox and the Hound, Zootopia presents unlikely bonds and emphasizes the value of faith. Whether you have dealt with deception and stereotypes as Nick did or have been held to an inferior job position because of your appearance like Judy, this film has something that will resonate with everyone. Throughout the twists and turns, Nick and Judy’s bond grows and is absolutely beautiful. If you think a Disney movie about animals living in their own city couldn’t possibly make you cry, prepare to be mistaken. Do you need a good cry?