There are plenty of sad movies on Disney plus, some intended for children and others for adults. They all deal with sacrifice, loss, suffering, and other unpleasant emotions.
So, without further hesitation, here are 15 of the best sad movies on Disney Plus to watch right now, a mix of animation and live-action, old and new.
Table of Contents
- 1. Old Yeller (1957)
- 2. Togo (2019)
- 3. Queen of Katwe’ (2016)
- 4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
- 5. Inside Out (2015)
- 6. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
- 7. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
- 8. Coco (2017)
- 9. Bambi (1942)
- 10. Avengers Endgame (2019)
- 11. Up (2009)
- 12. Toy Story 3 (2010)
- 13. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
- 14. Lilo and Stitch (2002)
- 15. Into the Woods (2014)
1. Old Yeller (1957)
- Director: Robert Stevenson
- Star casts: Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Tommy Kirk
- IMDb ratings: 7.3
One of the sad movies on Disney plus, Old Yeller is a good movie for dog lovers, and it’s recommended to show it to children.
It’s a historical drama set in 1860s Texas about a little kid named Travis who rescues a stray dog and raises it as his own.
On the other hand, Travis is quickly made aware of the virus that has infected the dog. It’s the saddest Disney movie ever made because of the heartbreak of losing a loved one.
2. Togo (2019)
- Director: Ericson Core
- Star casts: Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson, Christopher Heyerdahl
- IMDb ratings: 8.0
One of the sad movies on Disney plus, Togo is a must-see for anyone who wants to shed a few tears. Based on the true story of Leonhard Seppala, who adopts a lazy Siberian husky named Togo.
When Leonhard realizes Togo can lead the 1925 serum run, he prepares him to do so. You’ll be overcome with emotions, passion, and faith as you read this classic story.
3. Queen of Katwe’ (2016)
- Director: Mira Nair
- Star casts: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, and Lupita Nyong’o
- IMDb ratings: 7.4
Adapted from Tim Crothers’s book of the same title, the biographical movie centers on 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), who lives with her family in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda.
After she’s exposed to the game of chess, she becomes attracted by it, and under the guidance of Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a chess coach, she becomes a brilliant player.
Phiona then goes on to compete in national events, providing her an opportunity to overcome poverty and support her family. It’s such an amazing narrative, but you can expect a few tragic moments that’ll tug at your emotions.
4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
- Director: Duwayne Dunham
- Star casts: Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, Don Alder
- IMDb ratings: 7.0
Adapted from Sheila Burnfod’s novel, this 1993 Disney classic is one of the best-animated movies about emotions.
A trip away from home leaves three dogs feeling abandoned, and they set out to find their owner. You’ll be glued to the screen by the movie’s passion, romance, and constant suspense.
5. Inside Out (2015)
- Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
- Star casts: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
- IMDb ratings: 8.1
In this Pixar comedy, you won’t be short of emotion, which uniquely explores the mind. A girl called Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) lives in a virtual world populated by the personified emotions that drive her behavior, including Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger [Lewis Black], Fear [Bill Hader], and Disgust (Mindy Kaling).
Riley’s feelings lead her as she attempts to adjust to the tough shift after relocating to a new state with her family. Adults and children will enjoy the narrative, which challenges viewers to handle their emotions healthily.
6. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
- Director: Tim Burton
- Star casts: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest
- IMDb ratings: 7.9
To see Tim Burton’s ability to captivate an audience with modern fairy tales is truly awe-inspiring. Only Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder’s mesmerizing performances elevate this 1990 classic to a perfect status.
Edward, a robotic man with scissor hands, is an outcast because of his unusual physical characteristics. When a sweet suburban lady opens her home and neighborhood to him, his life is forever changed. When you’re feeling isolated and desperate for a human connection, you’re certain to get emotional.
7. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
- Director: John Lee Hancock
- Star casts: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, and Annie Rose Buckley
- IMDb ratings: 7.5
This Academy Award-winning movie follows Walt Disney (Emma Thompson) as he seeks to obtain the screen rights to P. L. Travers’s (the real-life inspiration for the 1964 film Mary Poppins).
In the meantime, viewers saw flashbacks of the author’s unhappy childhood, which served as the inspiration for her writing. The combination of Travers’s difficult upbringing and the wonder of Disney is sure to move even the toughest of hearts.
8. Coco (2017)
- Director: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
- Star casts: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
- IMDb ratings: 8.4
Not including Coco on the list of sad movies on Disney plus would be a mistake. The movie Coco tells the story of a young boy who is forced to hide his musical skill since his family forbids him from playing any instruments.
When he goes to visit the mausoleum of his favorite artist, he ends up in the afterlife, where he discovers a secret that would allow his family to enjoy music again. Throughout the movie, expect to shed a few tears.
9. Bambi (1942)
- Director: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong
- Star casts: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey
- IMDb ratings: 7.3
This movie is regarded as one of Disney’s saddest and most emotional movies for many people. Like a young fawn in the jungle, Bambi makes the difficult decision to become the future prince to save the lives of those he cares about from the clutches of evil hunters.
Loss and separation from parents are painfully depicted in the movie. No other movie has come even close to conveying an audience’s emotions.
10. Avengers Endgame (2019)
- Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
- Star casts: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
- IMDb ratings: 8.4
After the catastrophic events of Avengers: Infinity War, this movie was predicted to be the most depressing. After Thanos annihilated half of the population, the Avengers get together to do “whatever it takes” to change the course.
11. Up (2009)
- Director: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
- Star casts: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger
- IMDb ratings: 8.2
You’ll be in tears for days when what appears to be a love story between childhood sweethearts takes a sad twist. When Carl and Ellie first meet as kids, they fall in love instantly.
Carl and Ellie are married and are eager to start a new life together, but soon their lives take an unexpected turn when they discover that they are unable to produce children of their own.
Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) is an elderly man whose wife dies before they can embark on their dream vacation in this Pixar animation.
Still determined to honor his pledge, he converts his home into a makeshift airship by utilizing hundreds of balloons. It’s funny, heartfelt, and a lot more complex than you may imagine.
12. Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Director: Lee Unkrich
- Star casts: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
- IMDb ratings: 8.2
If you’ve seen the first movies in the franchise, then Toy Story 3 is likely to make you cry, even if you’re an adult, due to the characters’ deep emotional attachments.
When Andy, who is now 17 years old, is mistakenly dropped off at the childcare center without the Toy gang. Woody, Alan, and the rest of the group start on a homecoming quest after learning that Andy will never let them leave him.
13. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
- Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich
- Star casts: Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey
- IMDb ratings: 7.3
The story revolves around two childhood friends, a fox, and a hound dog, who grow apart as adults after learning that they are sworn, enemies.
The two friends must face an ultimate challenge to rebuild their relationship. This is one of the best sad movies on Disney plus because of the sense of helplessness that comes with losing your closest friend and the ongoing efforts to keep the friendship alive despite the unexpected happenings.
14. Lilo and Stitch (2002)
- Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
- Star casts: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere
- IMDb ratings: 7.2
Lilo, a six-year-old Hawaiian girl, displays several signs of sadness, including feeling isolated and alone and believing that no one understands her feelings.
Stitch, the alien koala-like creature she adopted as a pet and renamed after her, is now a part of her family. Although he appears to be in love with her, it turns out he’s only exploiting her. Stitch’s desire to return home and Lilo’s efforts to retain him will take you on a roller coaster of feelings.
15. Into the Woods (2014)
- Director: Rob Marshall
- Star casts: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, and Chris Pine
- IMDb ratings: 5.9
You may believe this is a remake of Hansel and Gretel and the children-eating witch from the Grimm fairy tale collection. That’s not the case here.
Storybook stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel are given an unpleasant twist in this movie adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s original 1986 Broadway musical.
In the narrative of a childless couple who went out in an attempt to break a witch’s curse, the “happily ever after” that people had hoped for is completely shattered.
The cast includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and many more.