Another Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Movie Moments

Script written by Sean Harris These characters aren't real, but the sadness these moments inspire certainly is! Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for another top 10 saddest cartoon movie moments! For this list, we've looked at only the tear-jerkiest times in animated movies! Special thanks to our user Benjamin Romero for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Sean Harris

Another Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Movie Moments

These characters aren't real, but the sadness these moments inspire certainly is! Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for another Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Movie Moments!

For this list, we’ve looked at only the tear-jerkiest times in animated movies! We’ve not included anime films in our criteria however... though straight-to-video flicks are a-okay! Any and all types of cartoons, whether hand-drawn, CGI or other, are eligible as well. And should something not appear on this list that you think should, then be sure to cross reference with our original countdown of the ‘Top 10 Saddest Cartoon MovieMoments’! Oh, and here’s your SPOILER ALERT.

#10: Snow White’s ‘Death’
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)

We begin where it all began for Disney, the moviemaker’s first ever animated feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The original archetype of a fairytale princess, in this scene Snow White is laid to rest, having eaten a poisoned apple and presumably died forever! As the heartbroken animals watch from the window, the grief is most perfectly displayed on the faces of the seven dwarfs... A group usually so full of life and individuality, Happy, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Dopey and Doc are united as one in despair!

#9: The Barracuda Attack
“Finding Nemo” (2003)

One might think it’d be difficult to become emotionally affected by an animated fish mere minutes into a movie’s opening... But Pixar proves it very possible with “Finding Nemo”. We’ve barely gotten comfortable when we see Marlin and Coral play-fighting in their underwater home, but our attention is well and truly taken when a barracuda shows up to ruthlessly scupper everything! It all happens so quickly! There’s nothing any fish could’ve done! And the importance of the titular Nemo is immediately, incredibly cruelly clear...

#8: Ralph Really Is a Bad Guy
“Wreck-It Ralph” (2012)

In self-deprecating Wreck-It Ralph and determined ‘glitch’ Vanellope, Disney serves us two of its most likeable characters of the twenty-first century... But when a friendship such as theirs falters, the fallout is fantastically sad! Vanellope has just awarded Ralph a crude but cute medal in preparation for the real win they are about to achieve together, but Ralph has already wrecked their chances... Duped into believing he’s doing it for the best, Ralph ransacks the pair’s car, and confirms himself as a villain... Vanellope cries, and most likely so do you!

#7: The Incinerator
“Toy Story 3” (2010)

A movie packed full of moving moments, one of “Toy Story 3”s saddest scenes has to be this! After almost three films worth of wacky, wonderful stories, Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toy box look definitely doomed here! The incinerator is quite literally Hell on Earth for our favorite characters, who can do nothing but accept their fate... Hand in hand, they slide towards a toy-pocalypse, admirably displaying their friendship in spite of everything! It’s an epic moment, and emotionally charged to the max!

#6: The King of Fools
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)

Nobody likes a bully, but that’s exactly what we’re faced with next! In the “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, Quasimodo is a kind and selfless character, but the subject to many a sinister joke regardless! Crowned the ‘King of Fools’, the carnival atmosphere turns cruel very quickly as he’s publicly degraded for his physical deformities. Quasimodo’s master Claude Frollo may watch on unabashed, but we can’t! It’s a brutal portrayal of prejudice and the ugliest side to human nature.

#5: WALL-E Almost Dies
“WALL-E” (2008)

When you’re the last of your machine type still functioning on the planet, there’s a lot resting on your weary wiring... WALL-E is the final ‘Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class’ in operation, making his near death experience all the more painfully poignant! First electrocuted and then crushed, we the viewer fear that even the hardiest of hard drives would be forced to shut down permanently! But thankfully WALL-E’s a robot with heart, meaning we can wipe the sweat from our brows (and the tears from our eyes...)!

#4: Wilbur Meets Charlotte’s Babies
“Charlotte’s Web” (1973)

An often underrated animated movie next, with one of cartoon cinema’s most stirring final scenes... Wilbur was the runt of the litter, saved from initial slaughter only to be fattened up for the table a little later in life. However, Charlotte the spider steps in to save the young pig once again, giving him the friendship he craves in the process... It’s sad enough when Charlotte passes away, but when her legacy of spider babies is born and the majority of them flee, we’re all almost as distraught as Wilbur is!

#3: Stitch Is ‘Lost’
“Lilo & Stitch” (2002)

An outwardly fun movie, “Lilo and Stitch” can ‘hit the heartbreak’ especially hard as well! Centered around two sisters and the arrival onto Earth of a puppy-like alien, the moment that older sister Nani (naw-nee) realises that title character Lilo has disappeared is distressing enough! However, just edging out that scene to the podium is Stitch’s own realisation that he is ‘lost’... Stranded far from home and misunderstood by most people, the loveable ball of blue ends up lonely and likening himself to the ugly duckling... What’s not sad about that??

#2: When She Loved Me
“Toy Story 2” (1999)

A new character in among an already iconic set of animated faces, it might’ve been difficult for Jessie’s back story to be realised alongside that of Woody, Buzz and friends... But with this musical moment, her history is laid bare, and the audience is left balling its eyes out! Randy Newman’s lyrics sung by Sarah McLachlan are sorrowful enough, but their visual accompaniment is truly tear-jerking! The rise and fall of Jessie is every toy’s nightmare, and an upsetting truth for every toy owner that ever lived!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Lost at Sea
“An American Tail” (1986)
- The Death of Ray
“The Princess and the Frog” (2009)
- Charlie Says Goodbye
“All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989)
- John Smith’s Ship Sails
“Pocahontas” (1995)
- Meg’s Lifeline is Cut
“Hercules” (1997)

#1: Baby Mine
“Dumbo” (1941)

At the top of our podium is tragedy of the teariest kind! The perpetually teased Dumbo has only ever had his mother to fight his corner for him, but when Mrs Jumbo fights back too fiercely, she’s branded as ‘mad’ and shipped out of the circus entirely! “Baby Mine” is the last lullaby shared between mother and son, before Dumbo is forced to find his way alone! As the infant character is cradled for a final time, and mother/child images are montage-d before us, Timothy Q. Mouse sheds a single tear, and we know exactly how he feels!

Do you agree with our list? Which animated sad time gets your tears flowing? For more top 10s to weep over published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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