Why do animal deaths in movies make us so sad? Like blubbering, stammering, sobbing-mess kind of sad? Everyone hates seeing sad animal deaths in movies. It’s because animals are pure, sweet, and love us unconditionally. Sad animal movies affect a certain part of the heart. And animal movie death scenes are a whole other level of emotional.
For everyone there's those heart-wrenching animal death scenes that, despite how hard you try, you can never forget. These movies transport you back to a time when you were a kid, or maybe to a time where you were an adult crying in your living room by yourself. These are tragic animals deaths that'll have you bawling like a child. Fair warning: you might want to have a box of tissues handy for this list.
What’s sadder than a dog dying from heartbreak over her doggy husband? Nothing. Where the Red Fern Grows is a coming-of-age story about a boy named Billie and his two beloved coonhounds, Old Dan and Little Ann. The dogs become prize-winning raccoon hunters and famous throughout his county. Shortly after winning a championship, Billie takes the dogs out on a hunt and they encounter a cougar. Before the mountain lion could get to Billie, Old Dan attacks the lion. While the fight is happening, Billie gets out his hatchet and kills the cougar, but poor Old Dan ends up dying from his injuries.
The saddest part is how Little Ann mourns Old Dan. She becomes lethargic and stops eating. She just couldn’t live without Old Dan. Inconsolable, Little Ann loses the will to live. Billie discovers Little Ann’s body lying on Old Dan’s grave.
Why the film is called Where the Red Fern Grows is because a rare red fern ending up growing between the Little Ann and Old Dan’s grave. A Native American legend says that only an angel can plant a red fern.
#53 on The Best Movies for Boys
#78 on The Greatest Animal Moviessee more on Where the Red Fern Grows
Usually when you see a spider, you scream and try to stomp its little life out. Not Charlotte though. Charlotte may be the most lovable spider in film history. She takes a little pig named Wilbur who is destined to become a BLT under her wing, and saves the pig by spinning words like “some pig” and “terrific” in her web.
However, after all that spinning and after laying a bunch of eggs, Charlotte becomes exhausted. On the brink of death, Wilbur consoles Charlotte by saying that her children will be safe. This is the only case where baby spider eggs could be considered cute.
#82 on The Best Animated Films Ever
#63 on The Best Movies for Kids
#91 on The Best '70s Moviessee more on Charlotte's Web
Just seeing Tom Hanks cry is enough to make you grab a box tissues. Now imagine Tom Hanks crying over his dead doggy best friend. Turn on the waterworks. In Turner & Hooch, a cop and his lovable Dogue de Bordeaux partner team up to solve the murder of Hooch’s previous owner and Turner’s friend, Amos. It turns out that the police chief was behind the slaying and when confronted by the duo, Hooch ends up taking a bullet for Turner. But before he died, he ended up saving Turner’s life.
At least we can be thankful that Hooch had a dog girlfriend and that she had puppies. Maybe his legacy can live on.
#17 on The Best Buddy Cop Movies
#37 on The Greatest Animal Moviessee more on Turner & Hooch
Dances with Wolves was an epic three-hour long adventure film about disillusioned Union solider John Dunbar who ends up befriending a Sioux tribe and a curious little wolf he’s named Two Socks. That’s why the Sioux gave him the Native American name Dances with Wolves. After befriending and trying to save the Sioux tribe from the Union soldiers, Dunbar is arrested as a traitor and poor Two Socks is shot down.
It's heartbreaking to watch Two Socks try to reach his friend one last final time, only to die atop a hill.
#71 on The Best War Movies Eversee more on Dances with Wolves
So many of our favorite characters died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, including Harry's owl Hedwig. She was there with him since the first installment of the book and movie franchise, and fans took her death extremely hard.
While escaping a bunch of Death Eaters on their brooms (and Hagrid’s flying motorcycle)a few of iconic Harry Potter characters are killed. A Death Eater hot on Harry’s trail goes to strike him down, but Hedwig swooped and clawed him. Poor Hedwig took the fatal Avada Kedavra curse for her human owner as Harry watched the little bird plummet to her death. Loyalty to the very end.
#21 on The Best Fantasy Movies
#85 on The Most Rewatchable Moviessee more on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I
One minute, clownfish couple Marlin and Dora are chilling in their anemone. And just like that a barracuda torpedoes them and blows their lives up. Marlin got knocked out in the struggle and woke up to discover that his wife and all of their babies (clownfish can lay between 100 and 1,000 eggs at once) eaten … except for one. And start movie. Yeah, that was the whole beginning of the film. A small scale genocide and devouring of anthropomorphic fish flesh all before the opening credits. Dark, Disney. Really dark.
#6 on The Best Movies for Kidssee more on Finding Nemo
Hocus Pocus is an American Halloween staple. In the movie Thackery Binx gets turned into a black cat by the three evil Sanderson sisters, and is cursed to live forever in that form. When a virgin named Max lights the black-flamed candle 300 years later, he inadvertently brings the sisters back to life. Binx helps Max and his little sister Dani fight off the witches and send them back to hell. With the witches banished, Binx is released from his cat form and is able to rest at peace - meaning his cat body is rendered useless and dies.
His death was sad, especially watching little Dani cry over his dead body. But it is bittersweet, because Thackery’s spirit is released and he comes back briefly as a ghost to thank Dani and Max for freeing him.
#25 on The Best '90s Kids Movies
#35 on The Best Movies of 1993
#58 on The Funniest '90s Moviessee more on Hocus Pocus