RELATED VIDEOS

Share

Top 10 Depressing Kids Movies

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Top 10 Kids Movies That Are Depressing

Sorry – we've got something in our eyes. Oh right, those are tears. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Kids Movies That Are Depressing.

For this list, we're looking at films directed towards children that tear out all the heartstrings. The focus is on the overall experience, rather than individual scenes. From here, a spoiler warning is in effect.
#10: “The Fox and the Hound” (1981)

Tod is an orphaned fox who was saved by an Owl and raised by a farmer. Most of his childhood was spent playing with Copper, a hound puppy who belonged to the neighboring hunter. Despite their natural rapport, social expectations get in the way, forcing Tod and Copper to go from best friends to mortal enemies. While Disney has released movies with more heartbreaking moments, “The Fox and the Hound” is a constantly somber and devastating feature – as it shows that certain differences cannot be overcome by innocence or friendship. Even the happy ending is a tearjerker.
#9: “Dumbo” (1941)

If you believe that a story about an anthropomorphic elephant with big ears sounds like a recipe for silly fun, then try watching Disney's fourth animated film. From the second he is born, Jumbo Jr. is tormented due to his abnormally huge ears and given the nickname of Dumbo. When the adorable animal is not being bullied by other elephants, he is either getting shunned by the rest of the community or forced to helplessly watch as Mrs. Jumbo is locked up for defending her son. Loneliness is a common theme throughout the movie and we dare you not to get choked up during the “Baby Mine” number.
#8: “Charlotte's Web” (1973)

Well, they can't all be by Disney. Hanna-Barbera's adaptation of E.B. White's children's book follows the tale of Wilbur, a spring pig who befriends a host of other barn animals – including the spider Charlotte. After Wilbur learns he is destined to be turned into bacon for someone's plate, Charlotte comes up with an elaborate hoax that convinces the public that he is a miracle pig. Charlotte's ploy works, as Wilbur is now way too famous to be used as food. Sadly, the pig's savior passes away soon after, reminding children that death is inevitable.
#7: “All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989)

Don Bluth directed a handful of the 80s finest animated films, with nearly all of them hitting right in the feels. “All Dogs Go to Heaven” follows a selfish mutt named Charlie, who is drugged and murdered by the terrifying Carface. After breaking out of Heaven, Charlie returns to Earth seeking revenge, knowing there is nowhere left to go but down if he dies again. Through his friendship with a girl named Anne-Marie, Charlie learns there is more to life than just money and getting even – before promptly sacrificing himself. Like with all Bluth's movies, there is a happy ending, but the journey is haunting.
#6: “Bridge to Terabithia” (2007)

The trailer promised something along the lines of Narnia, but the film delivered nothing but sadness. “Bridge to Terabithia” follows Jess and Leslie, two 12-year-old students who use their imagination to escape from the harsher aspects of their lives. To this end, Leslie conjured up Terabithia, a magical wonderland with cool looking tree-monsters and various other creatures. While “Bridge to Terabithia” is a relatively grounded experience, things get real when Leslie up and dies out of nowhere. The aftermath is tackled in a sensitive and realistic manner, as Jess grieves over the loss of his closest friend.
#5: “The Land Before Time” (1988)

Welcome back, Mr. Bluth. “The Land Before Time” introduces a cast of lovable talking dinosaurs while exploring themes of prejudice and friendship. Due to a drought, several species of dinosaurs set out on a journey to find the Great Valley. One of these herds consists of Longnecks, which includes the recently born Littlefoot and his mother. While the baby Longneck is frolicking with a friend, a terrifying Sharptooth shows up, forcing Littlefoot's mother to sacrifice herself. The rest of the movie deals with Littlefoot's loss, as a group of baby dinosaurs tries to find the way to the Great Valley and their families.
#4: “Old Yeller” (1957)

Disney's timeless coming-of-age story about a boy and his pet dog. Adept at stealing pieces of meat, Old Yeller is adopted by the Coates family after the oldest child Travis discovers him in a cornfield. After protecting the youngest son from a bear, this Mastador successfully captures the hearts of the entire family. Things take an unfortunate turn when a rabid wolf attacks the farm, leaving Old Yeller wounded. Over the course of a few weeks, the dog slowly loses his mind, forcing Travis to put down his beloved pet.
#3: “The NeverEnding Story” (1984)

A target for bullies and still grieving over the loss of his mother, Bastian discovers the joy of reading while hiding away in a bookstore. “The NeverEnding Story” and its fictional world of Fantasia do not only offer an escape, as they reflect Bastian's present life. Unsurprisingly, Fantasia is a depressing place on the verge of destruction, with a Swamp of Sadness and Rock Biter monsters who feel helpless despite their massive size. Visually, Wolfgang Petersen's film is gorgeous but bleak, creating a children's movie that is better suited for adults.
#2: “My Girl” (1991)

In between the first two “Home Alone” movies, Kevin McCallister took a break from protecting his home to make children cry. Directed by Howard Zieff, “My Girl” is a coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old girl named Vada who is terrified she might contract a terminal illness. Vada's only friend is Macaulay Culkin's Thomas, who is allergic to everything under the sun. While trying to find Vada's lost mood ring, Thomas is stung by bees and dies tragically. Despite being a children's movie, “My Girl” was not afraid to tackle mature topics like Alzheimer's disease, puberty, and death.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“An American Tail” (1986)
“My Dog Skip” (2000)
“Up” (2009)
“Toy Story 3” (2010)
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” (2018)
#1: “Bambi” (1942)

No other children's film was going to land in the top spot. Disney's fifth feature-length animation received mixed reviews upon release, as critics lambasted Disney for abandoning their typical world of fantasy. Nowadays, “Bambi” is considered a classic, and home to cinema's most infamous death scene that is constantly referenced in pop-culture. With barely any dialogue, this definitive coming-of-age story follows the doe as he learns to talk, walk, and deal with the world's beauty and cruelty. For this one, Walt Disney pushed sentimentality to the side and allowed nature to take its course.
Transcript

Top 10 Kids Movies That Are Depressing

Sorry – we’ve got something in our eyes. Oh right, those are tears. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Kids Movies That Are Depressing.

For this list, we’re looking at films directed towards children that tear out all the heartstrings. The focus is on the overall experience, rather than individual scenes. From here, a spoiler warning is in effect.

#10: “The Fox and the Hound” (1981)


Tod is an orphaned fox who was saved by an Owl and raised by a farmer. Most of his childhood was spent playing with Copper, a hound puppy who belonged to the neighboring hunter. Despite their natural rapport, social expectations get in the way, forcing Tod and Copper to go from best friends to mortal enemies. While Disney has released movies with more heartbreaking moments, “The Fox and the Hound” is a constantly somber and devastating feature – as it shows that certain differences cannot be overcome by innocence or friendship. Even the happy ending is a tearjerker.

#9: “Dumbo” (1941)


If you believe that a story about an anthropomorphic elephant with big ears sounds like a recipe for silly fun, then try watching Disney’s fourth animated film. From the second he is born, Jumbo Jr. is tormented due to his abnormally huge ears and given the nickname of Dumbo. When the adorable animal is not being bullied by other elephants, he is either getting shunned by the rest of the community or forced to helplessly watch as Mrs. Jumbo is locked up for defending her son. Loneliness is a common theme throughout the movie and we dare you not to get choked up during the “Baby Mine” number.

#8: “Charlotte's Web” (1973)


Well, they can’t all be by Disney. Hanna-Barbera’s adaptation of E.B. White’s children’s book follows the tale of Wilbur, a spring pig who befriends a host of other barn animals – including the spider Charlotte. After Wilbur learns he is destined to be turned into bacon for someone’s plate, Charlotte comes up with an elaborate hoax that convinces the public that he is a miracle pig. Charlotte’s ploy works, as Wilbur is now way too famous to be used as food. Sadly, the pig’s savior passes away soon after, reminding children that death is inevitable.

#7: “All Dogs Go to Heaven” (1989)


Don Bluth directed a handful of the 80s finest animated films, with nearly all of them hitting right in the feels. “All Dogs Go to Heaven” follows a selfish mutt named Charlie, who is drugged and murdered by the terrifying Carface. After breaking out of Heaven, Charlie returns to Earth seeking revenge, knowing there is nowhere left to go but down if he dies again. Through his friendship with a girl named Anne-Marie, Charlie learns there is more to life than just money and getting even – before promptly sacrificing himself. Like with all Bluth's movies, there is a happy ending, but the journey is haunting.

#6: “Bridge to Terabithia” (2007)


The trailer promised something along the lines of Narnia, but the film delivered nothing but sadness. “Bridge to Terabithia” follows Jess and Leslie, two 12-year-old students who use their imagination to escape from the harsher aspects of their lives. To this end, Leslie conjured up Terabithia, a magical wonderland with cool looking tree-monsters and various other creatures. While “Bridge to Terabithia” is a relatively grounded experience, things get real when Leslie up and dies out of nowhere. The aftermath is tackled in a sensitive and realistic manner, as Jess grieves over the loss of his closest friend.

#5: “The Land Before Time” (1988)


Welcome back, Mr. Bluth. “The Land Before Time” introduces a cast of lovable talking dinosaurs while exploring themes of prejudice and friendship. Due to a drought, several species of dinosaurs set out on a journey to find the Great Valley. One of these herds consists of Longnecks, which includes the recently born Littlefoot and his mother. While the baby Longneck is frolicking with a friend, a terrifying Sharptooth shows up, forcing Littlefoot’s mother to sacrifice herself. The rest of the movie deals with Littlefoot’s loss, as a group of baby dinosaurs tries to find the way to the Great Valley and their families.

#4: “Old Yeller” (1957)


Disney’s timeless coming-of-age story about a boy and his pet dog. Adept at stealing pieces of meat, Old Yeller is adopted by the Coates family after the oldest child Travis discovers him in a cornfield. After protecting the youngest son from a bear, this Mastador successfully captures the hearts of the entire family. Things take an unfortunate turn when a rabid wolf attacks the farm, leaving Old Yeller wounded. Over the course of a few weeks, the dog slowly loses his mind, forcing Travis to put down his beloved pet.

#3: “The NeverEnding Story” (1984)


A target for bullies and still grieving over the loss of his mother, Bastian discovers the joy of reading while hiding away in a bookstore. “The NeverEnding Story” and its fictional world of Fantasia do not only offer an escape, as they reflect Bastian’s present life. Unsurprisingly, Fantasia is a depressing place on the verge of destruction, with a Swamp of Sadness and Rock Biter monsters who feel helpless despite their massive size. Visually, Wolfgang Petersen’s film is gorgeous but bleak, creating a children’s movie that is better suited for adults.

#2: “My Girl” (1991)


In between the first two “Home Alone” movies, Kevin McCallister took a break from protecting his home to make children cry. Directed by Howard Zieff, “My Girl” is a coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old girl named Vada who is terrified she might contract a terminal illness. Vada’s only friend is Macaulay Culkin’s Thomas, who is allergic to everything under the sun. While trying to find Vada’s lost mood ring, Thomas is stung by bees and dies tragically. Despite being a children’s movie, “My Girl” was not afraid to tackle mature topics like Alzheimer’s disease, puberty, and death.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“An American Tail” (1986)
“My Dog Skip” (2000)
“Up” (2009)
“Toy Story 3” (2010)
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” (2018)

#1: “Bambi” (1942)


No other children's film was going to land in the top spot. Disney’s fifth feature-length animation received mixed reviews upon release, as critics lambasted Disney for abandoning their typical world of fantasy. Nowadays, “Bambi” is considered a classic, and home to cinema’s most infamous death scene that is constantly referenced in pop-culture. With barely any dialogue, this definitive coming-of-age story follows the doe as he learns to talk, walk, and deal with the world's beauty and cruelty. For this one, Walt Disney pushed sentimentality to the side and allowed nature to take its course.
Comments
Send
I definitely agreed with this sad list.