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Top 10 Disney Moments that Made us Happy Cry

VO: Emily Brayton
There are so many Disney moments that tug at our heartstrings. They seem to know which string to pull! There are certain Disney moments that have made us so happy that we cry tears of joy, such as when Ray becomes a star in The Princess and the Frog, Dory Reunites with her parents in Finding Dory, when Mulan comes from, when Andy gives his toys a new home in Toy Story 3, When Riley shows how she really feels in Inside Out, and when Repunzel meets her parents in Tangled.
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Top 10 Disney Moments That Made Us Happy-Cry


Disney movies might fill us with joy, but they also make us bawl like a babies… but in a good way. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Disney Moments That Made Us Happy-Cry.

For this list, we’ll be looking at touching moments in Disney films and Disney-Pixar collaborations that made us cry because of a happy turn of events.

#10: Ray Becomes a Star
“The Princess and the Frog” (2009)

It’s hard not to get attached to this sparky little Cajun firefly as he guides Tiana and Naveen through the bayou; his know-how and sense of humor make him instantly loveable. Plus, his romance with Evangeline the star just melts your heart, especially since it’s clearly not meant to be. That’s why it’s absolutely heartbreaking when the Shadow Man kills Ray. However, just when all seems lost, everyone looks to the sky to see Ray join his belle Evangeline. What’s even more touching is it looks as if the two stars are holding hands. What were once tears of sadness turn to tears of joy as we realize the impossible love of Ray and Evangeline is actually meant to be.

#9: Dory Reunites with her Parents
“Finding Dory” (2016)

Her name is Dory and she suffers from short-term memory loss. This is the mantra Dory repeats to herself, even after she loses – and forgets – her parents. So when Dory suddenly remembers she has a family, the film becomes an emotional rollercoaster as she tracks one memory after another to find them. When she follows the seemingly random line of shells to her parents, you can’t help but feel joy when Dory finally discovers her parents. It gets even more emotional when Dory learns that they waited all those years in the same spot, hoping one day their “kelpcake” would find them. They’re so proud of her when she does, it’s hard to stop the tears.

#8: Mulan Comes Home
“Mulan” (1998) She left home and joined the army to bring honor to us all. Born into a society that values sons over daughters, Mulan struggles to show that she can be just as valuable without conforming to the domestic roles she clearly isn’t good at. That’s why she gets down to business to defeat the Huns and then lays her spoils of war at her father’s feet. By doing all of that, Mulan hoped to show she could be someone her family could be proud of. The tears finally well up when Fa Zhou tosses the items aside, without even looking at them, and embraces his daughter, telling her he was always proud of her.

#7: Riley Shows How She Really Feels
“Inside Out” (2015)

For one reason or another, we’ve all buried what we’re really feeling deep down inside us. And that’s exactly why this scene strikes a cord with so many of us. It’s the moment where Riley comes home after trying to run away. She breaks down in tears and tells her parents that she doesn’t like San Francisco as she’d led them to believe, but really misses home. To Riley’s surprise, though, her parents let her know that she’s not alone in her homesickness; they also miss the home where Riley made so many of her childhood memories. In that moment, Riley learns that it’s okay to be sad, and Sadness and Joy finally learn to work together.

#6: Ariel Gets Her Legs Back
“The Little Mermaid” (1989)

We have to assume that most dads would at least lose their tempers if their daughter wanted to change species to be with a guy. So is Triton blowing up Eric’s statue and yelling at Ariel for loving him really that much of an overreaction? However, when Eric saves Ariel from Ursula, Triton realizes that this fish eater might not be such a bad guy. To show his daughter how much he loves her, Triton gives Ariel her legs back so she can be part of that world. It’s a sweet father-daughter moment where dad realizes that his little girl is growing up and ready to leave the cove. Really, all he wants is for her to be happy.

#5: Aladdin Uses His Last Wish for Genie
“Aladdin” (1992)

It turns out that Genie ain’t never had a friend like Aladdin. Genie is all ready to turn Aladdin back into a prince. That’s why Aladdin’s third wish catches him completely off guard, even though Aladdin promised Genie his freedom when they met. It’s a gift that’s worth more than the world to Genie, but one he’s unlikely to receive – or so he thought. Genie’s excitement and disbelief at his newfound freedom are enough to warm even the coldest of hearts. The fact that Aladdin gives up his chance at true love and royalty to end his friend’s eternal servitude makes it even more touching. Aladdin’s final wish gives Genie a whole new world and a whole new life.

#4: WALL-E Gets Rebooted
“WALL-E” (2008)

EVE and Wall-E are two robots that will make you believe in humanity again. Wall-E’s so persistently positive that he even wears EVE down and basically teaches a fellow robot to love. When Wall-E gets electrocuted and crushed, you can’t help but pray EVE can make it to Earth in time to save him. But when Wall-E reboots, he doesn’t remember EVE or anything else beyond his job. It’s tear jerking to watch as Eve and the cockroach try to jog Wall-E’s memory with no success. When EVE’s just about to give up, Wall-E suddenly remembers, holds hands with EVE, and calls her name. Cue the happy tears.

#3: Rapunzel Meets Her Parents
“Tangled” (2010)

It would seem that mother doesn’t always know best, especially when that mother isn’t actually your mother. Honestly, it’s pretty upsetting to see Rapunzel’s abusive relationship with Mother Gothel, especially since Rapunzel’s loving parents have spent 18 years looking for their child by releasing the lanterns, desperately hoping she’s still alive. It’s devastating to see the king and queen’s faces as they’re about to release the lanterns because it’s clear the loss of their baby still affects them as deeply as it did so many years ago. So when mother, father, and daughter are reunited, you can’t help but smile that Rapunzel’s found the family she deserves and her parents have finally got their daughter back.

#2: Circle of Life
“The Lion King” (1994)

It’s a song that moves us all. It’s so iconic; everyone belts out the first words, even if they have no clue what they’re saying. “Circle of Life” is a perfect soundtrack for the scene where a newborn Simba takes his place in the circle of life. The musical buildup is intense, and the visuals are equally impressive, showing us the members of the Pride Lands coming together to celebrate this momentous birth. And when that title card pops onto the screen, we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. It’s only fitting that the song comes back at the end of the film, when Simba and Nala welcome a bundle of joy of their own.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Quasimodo Is Accepted
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)

- Carl Looks Through Ellie’s Album
“Up” (2009)

- Some People Are Worth Melting For
“Frozen” (2013)


#1: Andy Gives His Toys a New Home
“Toy Story 3” (2010)

Bring on the nostalgia. This third installment of the “Toy Story” franchise definitely hits you right in the childhood. Whether it’s Woody and the gang being accidentally given away, Lotso’s story, or the incinerator, this movie certainly has its ups and downs. But when Andy gives his toys to Bonnie, it’s hard to tell if you should cry or smile. On the one hand, it’s great that the toys have a new home where they’ll be treated well. On the other hand, they’re leaving Andy after having spent his entire childhood with him. If you weren’t crying earlier in the movie, then Woody’s “so long, partner” will certainly send you over the edge, as Andy and his toys part ways.

Do you agree with our list? What Disney movie made you happy-cry? For more entertaining emotional top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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