With Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney+, it’s become even easier to spend the weekend binging your favorite childhood Disney classics. No matter what your favorites are, Disney+ is sure to have them in their wide collection of essential Disney films. Disney is well known for its incredibly emotional and lesson-filled stories, so here’s a list of those films that are perfect for anyone who loves a good cry!
1. The Lion King
Released in 1994, The Lion King has been around as long, if not longer, than many millennials have been alive. Following the story of a young lion named Simba, who’s destined to become the king of his pack, The Lion King details his struggles as he loses his father to rampaging wildebeests and is left to survive on his own in the wilderness.
One of many essential Disney films to watch if you’re feeling like watching a sad but truly wholesome story! There’s also a live-action version for those of you who prefer real-life to animation!
Bambi is an essential Disney film that’s been breaking viewers’ hearts since its release in 1942. This film follows the story and way of life of various woodland animals, centering around the tragic life of young deer Bambi. His parents had always taught him about how to stay safe from hunters, but on one fateful day, his beloved mother is shot and killed, and he is left alone to survive with nothing more than a few woodland friends to get him by.
If scenes of parents passing away in front of their loving and dependent children is something that gets your tears streaming, Bambi is the film for you.
3. Lady and the Tramp
It seems as though Disney is quite fond of stories about animals, so here’s another essential Disney film that tells the story of two dogs who come from very different lifestyles, but are brought together, and subsequently fall in love. Lady is a pampered pooch who lives in a nice home with her humans until they bring home a baby. Tramp is a street dog who is rough around the edges, but ultimately very sweet and kind, and wins over Lady’s high-class heart.
If you love dogs as much as I do, this is the perfect Disney film for you!
Brave is Disney Pixar’s 2012 rendition of Disney’s classic princess movie. The story follows a young girl named Merida, who is the heir to her father’s throne in Scotland. As she has come of age, it is finally time for Merida to get married and become the perfect princess so that her people will accept her as the new queen once her father’s reign has passed.
Merida is, however, very headstrong, and despite her love for her family, she has no intentions of marrying anyone just yet. It’s a sad but lovely story about a girl who tries desperately to get along with her mother, with whom she thinks she has nothing in common with. If you too love your mom, but you often seem to butt heads, this is the perfect Disney film for you!
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Speaking of classic princesses, Snow White was the very first Disney princess, and the very first Disney animated film. Snow White is a princess whose father dies young, with a step-mother who absolutely hates her. Believing Snow White is more beautiful than she, the Evil Queen sends a huntsman into the forest to end Snow’s life. Snow White survives and is met by a group of dwarfs, who all, in their own way, fall in love with their new best friend.
It’s a story that starts off sad and quickly becomes bittersweet and even tear-jerking. Despite being 83 years old, it’s one of those essential Disney films you just have to see.
6. Big Hero Six
Big Hero Six came out in 2014, and comes in at number six because… well, why not? Big Hero Six is a devastating film about a young boy named Hiro, who loses his parents at a young age. Living with only his aunt and older brother, Hiro feels like he’s alone in many ways. However, after his brother creates a care robot named Baymax, Hiro is no longer feeling so alone.
With dramatic twists and turns, Big Hero Six is guaranteed to make you cry, but it’s a lovely film that will make you smile, too.
7. Lilo and Stitch
Lilo and Stitch follows the story of a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo, who lost both of her parents years before. Her older sister Nani is her caretaker, but Nani is still young herself, and struggles to be the ideal parent, and pay the bills. Lilo is quite lonely, as Nani works quite often, and so Nani agrees to allow Lilo to choose a pet from the shelter. Lilo picks the “ugliest” dog there and names him Stitch.
Stitch isn’t a dog. Stitch is the most wanted extraterrestrial in the galaxy, and as you can imagine, he and Lilo have a wild set of adventures ahead of them!
Moana is about a teenage Polynesian girl named Moana, who goes on the adventure of a lifetime with the purpose of saving her people. She meets a demigod named Maui on the way, and he teaches her many life lessons as she progresses on her journey.
This Disney film is particularly wonderful for young girls who are desperately trying to see themselves as “heroes” in their own stories. Moana represents the desires of the ocean itself and is able to revive and empower the goddess of life, Te Fiti.
9. Wreck It Ralph
Wreck It Ralph (2012) is one of those essential Disney films about friendships that just make your insides all gooey and warm and happy. The film follows the life of the “bad guy” of an arcade game called Wreck It Ralph. Ralph is a big, wide, tall guy with humongous hands, who, you guessed it, wrecks things. He’s the villain in his game, but he’s really sweet and kind in real life, and he doesn’t want to be the “bad guy” anymore.
He meets a glitch from a racing game called Sugar Rush, and discovers that he can have friends, be loved, and still fulfill his duty as the “bad guy.” His new best friend Vanellope, also learns that she isn’t alone, and she has people who will support her. It’s a tear-jerker with tons of emotional scenes!
Frozen was a huge hit when it came out in 2013. Little kids and adults alike all giggled at Olaf, the snowman, and all the young girls wanted to be beautiful and powerful like Elsa. The film follows the story of orphaned sisters Elsa and Anna, whose parents died at sea on a voyage to a family wedding. Elsa was gifted with powers as a child and has had trouble keeping them in control ever since she lost her parents.
The film follows Elsa’s struggle for control and Anna’s search for love and happiness amidst heartbreaking memories of the past and troubled relationships of the present. It’s a somber film, but it’s worth a watch for the lovely ending!
How many of these essential Disney films have you seen? Which one is your favorite to watch when you’re in need of a good cry? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/1397461/can-you-spot-the-disney-princesses-in-this-fun-cartoon-picture-puzzler/
My name is Casey, and I'm an ambitious 22 year old senior English major with a minor in Creative Writing. I love all kinds of writing, so I plan to get a Master's degree in Creative Writing after graduation. My goal here at Society19 is to share my writing with the world in a way that is meaningful and relevant to my readers' lives. I am thrilled to share my ideas and creativity with you all, and I thank you for reading! Humbly Yours, Casey Erin