Today: April 24, 2024

Movie Moments, Big Kids Cry

There is
something deceptive about films aimed at younger or family audiences that have
the ability to make even the most hardened cinemagoer well up. Whether it’s the
death of Mufasa in The Lion King or
as Edward Scissorhands makes the
ultimate sacrifice, some films know how to delicately draw emotional investment
out of all us. So what scenes make us big kids cry? Warning, there may be
spoilers ahead.


This one is
required childhood viewing but even in later years the loveable alien’s departure
at the end still has the ability to cause more than a lump in the throat. “I’ll
be right here”. John Williams
rousing soundtrack is the final sucker punch that pushes you over the edge.


There is
something haunting and real about the death of Bambi’s mother. The shot ringing
out and Bambi’s desperate cries make you comprehend how traumatic it must be to
lose a parent at such a young age. That Disney managed to repeat this feat in
The Lion King is credit to the power of the parental bond.

It’s A Wonderful Life

Frank Capra was a director who loved The American Dream. The
ending to It’s A Wonderful Life perfectly captures the necessity to believe in
yourself. Jimmy Stewart’s fragile performance is what draws you into the
emotion so brilliantly. More than anything though, these are rare tears of joy.

Toy Story 3

Pixar are masters
of making ‘kids’ films transcend that label and draw huge adult appeal.
Throughout the Toy Story films they have managed to highlight the pains of
parents saying good-bye to something that grows out of them, but in Toy Story 3
they took it to all new levels. Having spent the better part of six hours worth
of screen times with Woody and his gang of toys it is the moment, as the fiery
inferno below looks to engulf them, that the toys join hands and finally give
up the ghost. It is one of the most magically emotional moments in cinematic

Forrest Gump

He may not be the
brightest character in the world but he sure is one of the most loveable. Tom Hanks brings so much pathos and
warmth to Gump that you wish he were someone in your life. The floodgates open
as Forrest stands over Jenny’s grave and desperately tries to hold back the
tears. He may succeed but there isn’t a cat’s chance in hell that we will. On
the plus side, his son is Haley Joel
and rumour has it he sees dead people, win, win.


Pixar’s at it
again but this time they really pull the rug from under our feet. It’s one
thing to make us cry towards the end of a film but at the beginning?! There
should be rules against this sort of thing.

The Never Ending Story

Sent out on a
quest far beyond his reach, the young warrior Atreyu crosses a swamp with his
faithful stead Artax. Those who can watch as the horse, having given up hope,
allows himself to sink into the swamp, much to his master’s distress, without
feeling a pang of sorrow are dead inside.

The Lord Of The Rings; The Return Of The King

Having survived
their perilous journey to Mordor and back you would think that Frodo and Sam
could live happily ever after together. But, no. Although there may be too many
endings to the final film this is the true one, the one that packs the biggest punch
as the two best friends say their final farewells. No words are needed.

Stand By Me

A film more about
kids than for them Stand By Me is the quintessential coming of age story.
Tapping into all those memories of childhood summers this film floors you at
the end with the heartbreaking story of what happened to Chris Chambers, made
all the more poignant by River Phoenix’s untimely death.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1

Through their
long and winding journey together you always knew that someone was going to
come a cropper in the Harry Potter series. What we didn’t expect though was for
it to be the endlessly funny and adorable Dobby The Elf. His peaceful demise,
as so delicately voiced by Toby Jones, while Harry helplessly looks on is one
of the most powerful moments of the franchise.

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Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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