When Jessie was abandoned in Toy Story 2, but that didn’t mean she was incapable of giving or receiving love.
We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the unexpectedly dark moments in Disney movies. Here are the times they handled those serious issues really well.
In Inside Out, when Riley’s depression was illustrated as a real issue, rather than her just being an angsty kid.
“The other emotions couldn’t make Riley ‘feel anything’ because of her depression. I’ve been there before, and I really related to these scenes. I’m glad Sadness was able to help her!”
In Up, when Ellie found out she was pregnant, decorated the entire nursery, but then suffered a miscarriage.
“This whole movie was about perspective. They showed Ellie and Carl accepting their obstacles and pushing through them. This particular moment didn’t shy away from the fact that life can be hard and painful.”
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when the crowd bullied Quasimodo and threw tomatoes at him simply because he was different.
“The whole movie focused on religious corruption, a fear of those who are different, and the need to show compassion and be open-minded. This is why Disney continually pleases audiences — they don’t dumb storylines down for kids, and they can tackle serious issues.”
In Finding Nemo, when Marlin and Nemo were the only survivors after the barracuda attack, which allowed the movie to focus on themes of love and loss.
—Paloma Pinzón Umaña, Facebook
In Toy Story 2, when Jessie’s entire backstory revealed that she was abandoned, but that didn’t mean she was no longer capable of giving or receiving love.
“This entire scene was heartbreaking, but she was ultimately able to open up again to a new group of people.”
In Cinderella, when the evil stepsisters violently tore apart her homemade dress, reiterating the fact that not everyone comes from a happy home.
In Monsters, Inc., when Sulley had to say goodbye to Boo, proving that sometimes you have to say goodbye to the ones you love.
In Tarzan, when Tarzan, Kala, and Kerchak suffered insurmountable loss but still found hope and home in a chosen family.
In The Princess and the Frog, when Ray accepted the bad news of his own fate, knowing (or at least hoping) that something good would come from it.
“He knew that he’d be reunited with Evangeline as a star in the sky, and I think that’s a great way to think about life. Sometimes all you can do is surrender and accept the outcome.”
In Moana, when Grandma Tala said her final goodbye to Moana before dying, reminding everyone that the people you lose will always be with you.
In Coco, when Ernesto revealed that he poisoned Héctor, which was a super apparent — albeit dark — way to teach people about friendship and betrayal.
In Mulan, when Mulan proved to the misogynistic men/society that women can be strong, smart, and tough, and their place doesn’t have to be in the home.
“They almost killed her when they found out she was a woman, even after she saved everyone with the avalanche. Then, when she tried to warn the people of China that the Huns were still alive, all of the men ignored her because she was a woman. This movie was obviously reflective of the times, but it’s still a good lesson in misogyny.”
In The Lion King, when Scar killed Mufasa and blamed it on Simba, showing the dangers of how far some people will go for power.
“It’s a great lesson in power and betrayal. It’s also a necessary reminder that sometimes we need to separate ourselves from certain people, even if they’re in our family.”
In Lilo & Stitch, when Lilo opened up to Stitch about her parents’ deaths, and Stitch admitted that he felt lost.
“On the face of it, the film is about an uncontrollable alien who learns the meaning of family, but there are subplots that deal with social services, adoption, and feeling unwanted.”
—lulupanda57 and jbmasta
And in Toy Story 3, when Andy gave all of his favorite toys to Bonnie, proving that we all outgrow our past eventually, and that’s okay.
TV and Movies
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