All posts tagged: kids’ movies

Why Are Kids’ Movies So Sad?

Why Are Kids’ Movies So Sad?

A few weeks ago, I came across a GIF from the 1994 film The Lion King that made me weep. It shows the lion cub Simba moments after he discovers the lifeless body of his father, Mufasa; he nuzzles under Mufasa’s limp arm and then lies down beside him. I was immediately distraught at that scene, and my memories of the ones that follow: Simba pawing at his dead father’s face, Simba pleading with him to “get up.” That scene lives in my thoughts with a few similar ones: the baby elephant Dumbo cradled in his abused mom’s trunk as she’s trapped behind bars; Ellie, the beloved wife in Up, grieving a miscarriage and eventually passing away within the first five minutes of the film; Bambi, the young deer, wandering around the snowy forest looking for his mother, who has just been shot dead. When they pop up in my mind, I’m always left with the same thought: Why are so many kids’ movies so sad, and how does that sadness affect the kids they’re …