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.
Anyone who has ever owned a dog and watched them grow into old age knows the heart-wrenching pain of saying goodbye to them. Marley & Me's death scene will leave everyone bawling their eyes out. In the end of the film, it becomes inevitable that poor Labrador retriever Marley is in too much pain and has to be euthanized. His owner John (played Owen Wilson) delivers the sweetest farewell to Marley.
“We couldn’t find a better dog. What made you such a great dog was that you loved us every day no matter what. That’s an amazing thing. Do you know how much we love you? We love you so much … I don’t know exactly where we go from here, but I want you to remember you’re a great dog Marley.”
If that doesn't make you choke up, there might be something wrong with you.
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The death of Mufasa in The Lion King has to be one of the saddest deaths in film history - human or otherwise. After being double crossed by his brother Scar - and being trampled by a herd of antelope - Mufasa's lifeless body is found by his son Simba.
Little Simba trying to frantically wake his dad up to no avail broke the spirits of '90s kids everywhere. The death was heart wrenching, sad, and emotionally scarring.
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The only thing worse than being the last man on Earth is losing the only companion you have - your trusty dog. In I Am Legend, Neville and his German Shepard Sam travel through an apocalyptic wasteland trying to survive against zombies. When Sam is bitten by a pack of undead dogs, Neville knows he has to kill his only friend in order to spare her from becoming a zombie.
In an extremely sad and horrifying scene, Neville holds Sam in his arms as she begins to turn into a four-legged walker. As Sam turns and goes to bite Neville, he strangles her to death while tears stream down his face. The eerie silence of the scene makes it even more heartbreaking.
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The scene where Atreyu’s horse Artax sinks in the Swamp of Sadness will leave you feeling about as hopeless as you felt watching the 2016 election unfold. In The Neverending Story, Atreyu’s has to overcome a whole bunch of obstacles to keep the fantasy world he lives in from being overtaken by The Nothing.
So he has to trudge through this Swamp of Sadness, and he’s there with his horse, and it’s pretty miserable. Atreyu’s trying to keep his spirits up though, because if you let the sadness take over you sink into the mud and die. Well Artax wasn’t much of an optimist and he let his depression get the best of him. Atreyu is screaming and crying, pulling Artax by the reigns to keep him from drowning in his sorrows. But Artax is just too weary, so the good old horse threw in the towel.
Strange though, you would think that Atreyu would start sinking as well during that scene. After all, he is witnessing the slow death of his friend. How does that not bum you out? Plot hole.
#27 on The Best Fantasy Movies
#30 on The Best Movies for Kidssee more on The NeverEnding Story
Old Yeller is one of the most iconic films about man’s best friend. People just love a good ol’ story about a boy and his dog. This is another coming-of-age story where a boy, Travis, has to make a difficult decision that eventually teaches him how to be a man.
There’s been warnings of rabies in the area where Travis and his family live. Travis is forced to put down one of his family’s cows due to the infection. They end up burning the cow’s body but the flames attract a rabid wolf. Old Yeller protects the family and attacks the wolf, giving Travis enough time to get his gun and shoot the animal. But Yeller was bit in the struggle and when he shows signs of the disease he is locked up in a corn shed. After witnessing Old Yeller nearly attack his younger brother, Travis decides he has to put Old Yeller down.
#48 on The Best Movies for Boyssee more on Old Yeller
Littlefoot from The Land Before Time is hands down the cutest longneck in film history. Littlefoot lived with his mama and his adorable grandparents sometime in the Jurassic Period about 150 million years ago. When Littlefoot and his bossy triceratops friend Cera got into trouble with a T-Rex, mama has to come rescue them. She put up a good fight but, of course, there is a massive earthquake right at that very moment, making things more difficult. Her last words to Littlefoot will make you weep. “Littlefoot, let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely.”
#47 on The Best Animated Films Ever
#11 on The Best '80s Kids Movies
#15 on The Best Movies of 1988see more on The Land Before Time
Disney has got a bit of a twisted modus operandi when it comes to killing off the protagonists parents in their films. Bambi is no exception. In the film Bambi’s mother is shot by a hunter and Bambi is forced to grow up practically an orphan. Bambi does have a somewhat absentee father, the Great Prince of the Forest, but dad is too busy to really participate in Bambi’s childhood. Bambi eventually becomes a big sexy stag and the new Great Prince.
Walt Disney may be preoccupied with dead mothers and translated that to his work because of a personal trauma. Producer of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, Don Hahn explained that Disney felt responsible for the death of his own mother. In the '40s when Disney was at the peak of his success, he bought his parents a home. A leaky furnace lead to his mother dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.
#42 on The Best Animated Films Eversee more on Bambi
My Dog Skip was the heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog. Together they learn about family, friendship, loyalty, and what it means to be brave. When Willie goes off to college, leaving his small town in Mississippi, he leaves behind his dog Skip. As he gets older, Skips becomes weaker and eventually dies.
In the film's final scene, Willie remembers the relationship he and his dog had and how much joy it brought to his life. It's beautifully touching, sad, and definitely a tearjerker.
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