3 Children’s Movies that Made Me Weep

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Yes, I know, tear-jerkers are a dime a dozen, are they not? Just find some sappy old romance film and you’ll have a good cry. But, either I’m getting old — or more hormonal — or these movie makers are getting a lot more clever.

We’ve watched a number of children’s films lately, animated ones at that, that caused me to cry. No, not cry. Weep.

Yes, weep. I’m stunned even as I type.

Not only were these films entertaining for kids and papas, but they tugged on this mama’s heart strings. Two thumbs up — as long as you have a hanky handy.

Check them out for your next movie night, if you haven’t already:


UP – This is an old movie; it came out about a year and a half ago. Yet, no matter how many times I watch it, I still get choked up over Karl and Ellie’s love affair. I still sigh when he floats that balloon to her in the hospital bed. I still sniffle when we see their chairs sitting at the top of a waterfall in the tropics.

Yeah, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go rent yourselves this movie.

It’s a love story and an adventure all in one.

Shrek Forever After

Shrek Forever After – I was not a huge fan of Shreks 1, 2, or 3. Or for that matter, the Christmas special that came out in the midst of them. There was a little too much potty humor for my tastes in those films.

But, boys will be boys. My crew loved them!

This, the final chapter of the Shrek saga, is a wonderful movie. The potty humor is downplayed, so if that is important to your crew, you may be disappointed.

But, if you know your fairy tales, you will have a blast. And if you know your mid-20th century Frank Capra films, you will drop a tear or two. Think “It’s a Wonderful Life” gone ogre.

I was really impressed. With tear-stained cheeks when it was over.

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 – My “baby” — or at least my first baby — is thirteen. We saw the first Toy Story before he was born. We took him to Toy Story 2 when he was a toddler. He was terrified. And in a few blinks of an eye, he is now a teenager. He’s going off to college in just a few short years.

And boy, did this movie bring that close to home. Oh my! A sweet flick that will enrapture your little ones, make your teens guffaw, and sober you on the passing of the days.

How ’bout you? What kid flicks make YOU cry?

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  1. I loved Up and Toy story 3 but haven’t seen the last shrek, though I agree with you about the previous ones having a little too much potty humor for me! I have a little 18 month old and a little one on the way and I’m already tearing up about my babies growing up so fast and leaving me to go off to college and get married!! I am 22 so I watched the first toy story as a young girl and seeing the last toy story I could relate to it so much just a few years ago, leaving home trying to successfully go from a little girl to an adult. Anyways, LOVED that movie, definitely cried!

  2. I’m tearing up now just thinking of the Toy Story 3 ending!! Every time I’m a sobbing mess…. Yep, they grow up too fast.

  3. We watched The Land Before Time with our 3yr old son a few weeks ago. I bawled when the mother died. I haven’t seen that movie in 20 or so years since it came out so I didn’t remember that scene. It always kills me when they kill off the parents in Disney movies.

  4. We took our girls to see their first ever movie theater movie and saw Tangled. The pain/joy of the king and queen made both this mom and dad of three girls cry. A sweet and very well done reunion.

  5. I SOBBED at Toy Story 3 also. I think everyone did. I did get weepy in Polar Express too. It may not be a strickly kids movie, but it’s animated and I cried. 🙂

  6. The original Toy Story came out shortly after my oldest was born. He actually turned 18 right around the time Toy Story 3 came out so it was definitely a tear jerker for me.

    Loved UP- How wonderful that he found that photo album- How wonderful to know that Life itself is the adventure of a lifetime. Such a perfect message for anyone who has ever seen their plans go amuck and preservered.

    Shrek was only meh for me. I liked the original but sorta stopped watching after that. The kids have seen them but they aren’t in the much loved category.

    My family loves Wall E and Finding Nemo too. Those are 2 of the videos that the “kids”(awwww who are we kidding, the 18 year old is the biggest wall-e fan of the bunch)enjoy.

    I’m looking forward to Tangled hitting DVD although I’m sad it’s the last princess movie. I grew up relating to Ariel and Belle.

  7. My son’s current favourite movies are Happy Feet and The Blue Elephant. Even though I’ve seen them a million times, I find there are spots in both movies were I’ll tear up if I really pay attention.

  8. Oh, UP. I’m with you — the opening sequence of that movie is one of the most powerful things I’ve seen on the big screen, animated or no. It’s the part about her miscarriage and infertility that springs the waterworks for me.

    I also tear up at the end of Monsters Inc when Boo sees Sully and says “Kitty!”

    1. @Kate, Oh I forgot about Monster’s Inc! That one made me well up in the theater’s too! Choking back on the tears cause I was 20 and in college!!! LOL!

  9. Kids movies that made me cry (i.e. scared me as a child):

    1) Fox and the Hound
    2) Bambi
    3) The Brave Little Toaster
    4) An American Tail
    5) Lady and the Tramp (when Old Reliable gets hit trying to rescue Lady – sobbed! But I love the rest of the movie)

    Kids movies that I still love:

    1) The Incredibles
    2) Beauty and the Beast
    3) Toy Story 1 & 2 (haven’t seen 3)
    4) The Emperor’s New Groove (hubby grew up in Peru, so we liked that aspect as well as the humor)
    5) The Rescuers (& The R. Down Under)
    6) The Jungle Book
    7) Robin Hood

    And I could go on and on, but I’ll stop! Might have to check out the latest Shrek (not really a fan of the first three), though I hate to cry at movies. 🙁

  10. Oh I just cried on “Up the other night when we watched it – always gets me every time – I cry at Marley and Me too every time – Hate that my youngest just turned 10 – where does the time go??

  11. Went to see Toy Story 3 when it came out this past summer. My oldest is a senior in High School…….sobbed my heart out!!!! Anyway, agree Up is also a tear jerker. Also, if you haven’t watched College Road Trip, this is sooo funny and very clean (one of my prerequisites) but makes me CRY at the end!! so funny though.

  12. Oh I’m there with you FishMama! The three you mentioned all caused me to tingle inside and well up! I can also add Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon, especially the Hiccups love for his dragon! And I did well up at Despicable Me – but do not recommend it as a kids movie (not funny, lots of not good things happening from a “villian” perspective – but the final scenes were causing this Mommy’s heart to swell – at least, it really isn’t a kids movie at all.)

    I loved all previous Shreks, but this one did actually make me drop tears on my cheeks in the theater’s! Love how Shrek has to relearn what loving Fiona was all about! And of course, I’ve seen all 3 Toy Story’s in the theater, but not until the 3rd one was my son (who adores, absolutely loves Buzz Lightyear) old enough to see it (just 2). When Andy’s plays with the toys with Molly – I was dropping tears then too! I’m such a sap!

  13. I was struggling with infertility when UP came out to theaters. The scene where they are looking at the clouds and she sees every one as a baby broke my hurting heart and had me crying into my hubby’s shoulder there in the theater. It was a great movie and showed that infertility can be a real struggle, but God can bring children into your life in very unique ways.

  14. I saw “Toy Story 3” at the theatres this summer. My oldest is 28 and I was watching with my eight year old. I bawled and so did my husband. I have seen all three and this one is my favorite. They grow up so fast. It was refreshing to see a movie so well done.

  15. Mine is Up for sure – it is so special and beautiful – especially since I have an Korean son and suffered through infertility. I laughed, cried and laughed again through that movie. Love it!

  16. I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. My youngest brother is nearly 18, a senior in high school. He had Buzz and Woody toys as a little boy. I took him to see Toy Story 2 in the theater. My 2 year old loves the first movie. I don’t think I can watch number 3 again, though.

  17. I have to leave the room during the song “When Somebody Loves You” in Toy Story 2 because I just weep whenever I watch it.

  18. These movies made me cry (sad tears) when I was a kid….and even now.

    1. An American Tail….especially during the “Somewhere Out There” song scene. Just hearing that song on the radio causes my heart to ache.

    2. The Lion King….when Simba realizes his dad was killed by the stampede.

    3. The Little Mermaid….when the King gives her legs and allows her to be human.

  19. If you haven’t seen Tangled you have to! It was one that made me cry- which is very rare for me, kid- movie or not. It was truly one of the best movies I have ever seen bar none. It’s on our to-buy list, and we hardly ever buy movies!

  20. Most of them do these days! But to pick one, we just watched How To Train Your Dragon again and still the water works were in business. 🙂