Aren’t family films great? For decades the likes of Disney and Pixar have given us fun, warmth and excitement, and quite often the opportunity for a good singalong. However they also love to tug at our heartstrings. Here are just a few of some of the movie deaths that saw us wiping our eyes in the cinema.
On the top of many people’s list will be the tragic end of Mufasa in The Lion King. Up until this point, the film had been a rather light hearted and jolly affair, until the orchestration of a Wildebeest Stampede. In attempting to rescue his son Simba, Mufasa is pushed to his death by his evil brother Scar. The scene where Simba is pleading for his father to wake up can bring even the toughest of us to tears.
For a children’s film company, Disney does like to put us through the emotional mill. If you lived through the ninety’s you may well remember being in floods of tears at the cinema when Bambi’s mother was shot and killed by a hunter, leaving the poor baby deer all on his own.
In Star Wars, there’s the scene where the wise old Obi Wan Kenobi is killed in battle with Darth Vader in A New Hope. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda sadly succumbs to old age in a very touching and emotional scene.
In the first of the Land Before Time series of films, main character Littlefoot, a Diplodocus, sees his mother killed by a “Sharptooth” or Tyrannosaurus Rex as they’re known nowadays. Mrs Littlefoot heroically sacrifices her life to protect her son. She does put up a very good fight but in the end the Sharptooth comes out on top.
Where to start with Harry Potter? In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, poor Cedric Diggory is killed almost as an afterthought by Voldemort’s trusty servant Wormtail. Of course he then went on to become Edward in Twilight. In Order of the Phoenix, Harry’s Godfather Sirius Black was killed in a duel with his demented cousin Bellatrix Lestrange, meaning Harry was again without a father figure. The Half Blood Prince saw much loved headmaster Albus Dumbledore slain by Severus Snape. The final two films, Deathly Hallows parts one and two were practically bloodbaths. Hedwig the owl and Mad Eye Moody were killed early on, lovable elf Dobby was another victim of Bellatrix Lestrange as he attempted to rescue Harry and friends from Malfoy Manner, and the battle of Hogwarts saw Fred Weasley killed in battle, Tonks and Remus Lupin both fell, leaving their poor son Teddy an Orphan, and Harry’s biggest fan Colin Creevey also gave his life. Draco Malfoy’s friend Vincent Crabbe also died but as he was trying to kill out heroes at the time, no one really shed any tears.
Possibly one of the most harrowing scenes comes in Neverending Story when Atreyu’s beloved horse Artax is defeated by the “swamp of sadness”. Being in the swamp of sadness, as the name suggests, brings the horse into a deep depression which causes him to be physically unable to move. As much as poor Atreyu begs Artax to get out of the swamp, the poor horse is simply unable to move and eventually sinks.
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