It can be argued that the best way to stay alive in a Disney flick is to not be someone’s parent or have be a villain. While the movies are made for young audiences, the House of Mouse has never shied away from the more tragic side of life. When it’s a villain going “bye-bye” we sometimes even find ourselves cheering. When it’s a parent like Mufasa, however, it’s impossible not to cry uncontrollably. Here are some of the most memorable Disney deaths that have left us both cheering and heart-broken.
Ursula Was The Sassiest Of Villains
Ursula from The Little Mermaid had a certain level of sass that you can’t help but appreciate. That being said, she was a horrible octopus lady who didn’t appreciate what she already had: an evil lair and two electric eels that were pretty much underwater puppies.
Nope, she just had to go and make the princess of the sea sign away her voice so she could sing, get the guy, and rule the oceans. Talk about greedy! It’s no wonder we didn’t feel bad when she takes a ship to the abdomen. Thank you for that, Prince Eric!
We’re Not Sure How To Feel About Maleficent’s Death
The death of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty is a touchy subject now that we know her origin story. On one side of the coin, who wouldn’t be upset if someone took your wings while you were sleeping? That’s just asking for evil retaliation in the form of curses, thorn bushes, and dragons.
Then again, the Prince didn’t do anything to Maleficent, technically speaking. So, he really just offed her in self-defense. We can’t be mad at him for it, but we don’t have to like it either. Moral of the story: don’t cut-off someone’s wings, but if you do please explain yourself before your firstborn is cursed.
Scar Had It Coming
Be prepared for pretty much no one crying about the death of Scar from The Lion King. He was mean, manipulative, and killed Mufasa right in front of Simba. We’re sorry, but that isn’t something that anyone is going to forgive or forget anytime soon.
Also, considering his lion subjects were definitely going to starve to death if no one took him out, it’s hard not to cheer. So, a round of applause to Simba for stepping away from his self-exiled existence and bro-time to go back to Pride Rock and fight his Uncle Scar.
The OG Disney Death: Evil Queen From Snow White
If you’re an all-powerful witch queen who is hurt because your step-daughter is prettier than you, you probably need to see a counselor. Snow White is years younger than the queen and counts seven dwarves as her best friends.
We’ll give the Evil Queen some credit because she is one of the original Disney deaths, but that doesn’t mean we have to like her. She will never know how many kids were scared of apples after seeing that she poisoned Snow White with one.
Gaston Wasn’t Open-Minded Enough
Ok, so we’re not saying that Gaston from Beauty and the Beast deserved to fall to his doom from the Beast’s castle, but we’re not crying about it, either. He thought all women should swoon over him, so when Belle didn’t give him the time of day he went full-on macho-man mode and tried to kill her beastly boyfriend.
He also didn’t understand how she was able to read a book with no pictures. News flash, Belle is educated and knows how to read!
Mother Gothel Died Becuase She Wanted To Stay Young
By 2010, we’ve seen some pretty crazy Disney character deaths, but there’s just something about Mother Gothel disintegrating that gets to us on a personal level. Other than the Tangled villain kidnapping a princess for the sole purpose of using her hair to keep her young, Gothel did try to make Rapunzel’s life locked away in the tower comfortable.
Not that we’re siding with the evil witch, but the place didn’t look half bad! It’s unfortunate that the floor is now a reminder that her “mother” turned into an ashy skeleton. Not that Rapunzel would ever want to move back into her prison.
Clayton Was A Horrible Person
Just when you think the mean gorilla is the villain because of the way he treats Tarzan, Clayton makes his presence known. It was an unfortunate death because we were rooting for him to actually just be there for his security job. Alas, he turned out to be an awful person who wanted to trap the jungle animals for money.
The way he ended up meeting his maker is also not lost on us. It was traumatic and shocking, to say the least. Although we were happy for the man to be out of the picture, it was one horrible death.
The Death Of Cinderella’s Dad Was Just The Beginning
Take a page out of Cinderella’s dad’s book and never marry an evil lady with two horrid children. Especially considering an unlikely death might happen out of the blue, leaving your only child to their cruelty.
Cinderella was dealt with the worst end of the stick when her father died. And that is what makes his heartbreaking death so tragic in this fairy tale. At least she got away from the evil step-monster and sisters eventually.
Kocoum From Pocahontas Didn’t Like To Share
Alright, so Kocoum could have been a bit less “jealous boyfriend” and a bit more “let’s talk about this,” but that doesn’t mean he should have died. The thing is, Kocoum, when you come running out of the bushes like a madman and jump on the guy kissing your betrothed, it’s hard to converse.
Not to say we don’t understand, but maybe hitting him in the shoulder with your tomahawk was a bit too far. We’re still upset when Thomas shot him, though. One extreme action doesn’t deserve another!
Megara Finds Herself In Hot Water
We know, we know, technically speaking Megara comes back to life, thanks to Hercules. That doesn’t make watching her get crushed by a falling pillar any less traumatic! And all because she didn’t want Herc to get hurt.
Megara needs to stop making silly mistakes when it comes to guys. You’d think she’d learn after selling her soul to the lord of the underworld the first time around to save her boyfriend. But no, she decides to sacrifice herself, leaving her soul to swim around with other souls in some warped river.
No One Was Prepared For The Death Of Nemo’s Mom, Coral
If you didn’t tear up when Coral the clownfish died within the first few minutes of Finding Nemo, do you even have a heart? This death got to us a bit more than some others because all Coral was doing was trying to protect her eggs. Granted, if she let them be and went into hiding with Marlin, they probably would have been okay.
The worst part is the aftermath, when Marlin is trying to find her, only to realize she’s not there and neither are the eggs. Cue the tears, he goes on to name the lone egg Nemo, as his wife wanted.
Quasimodo’s Mom Deserved A Name
Granted, we know little to nothing about the title character’s mother in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but that doesn’t mean her death was any less shocking. We see this woman fall down the steps of a church, after all! That kind of makes up for the lack-of-name.
Her death also kind of segways into the rest of the plot. The evil Frollo takes her child to make up for his sin — killing her and trying to kill the child. Props to the priest who stops him, he’s the real hero of the movie. Granted, he should have known there was a guy locked in his church.
King Agnarr Of Arendelle From Frozen Was A Bit Problematic
While the deaths of the king and queen of Arendelle were obviously hard on Elsa and Anna, we wouldn’t exactly call them tragic. King Agnarr was verbally and emotionally hurtful to the poor, young Elsa. Telling your child to not feel anything and not let your powers show is not the best way to go about parenting.
Especially when your daughter is at a young age where she takes everything you say to heart. We might feel a bit differently about this death if he embraced his daughter’s differences, teaching her to not be afraid of her powers.
Mulan‘s Shan Yu Was Evil To His Core
Shan Yu is one of those Disney characters that just looks downright evil. He has nails that look more like claws, sharp canines, and an overall demeanor that screams “I will make sure you dishonor your family.” He was a physically imposing and ruthless leader and we really thought he died during the avalanche.
Alas, that would have been too easy of a death for the leader of the Huns. No, he had to go out via rocket. Which is fine, at least his death made for a nice firework display for the people of China. Thank you Mulan and Mushu for making that happen.
Mufasa’s Death Still Haunts Us
This death still hits us deep in the soul. We will never forgive Scar for throwing his brother and king, Mufasa, off the cliff and into a stampede of antelope. All in front of Simba, too! What kind of monster does something like that? Oh, right, the brother who hangs out with an evil clique and happens to have a king-complex.
Regardless, Scar got what was coming to him in the end. And so did his evil gang of hyenas. It’s just too bad that Mufasa wasn’t around to see the end of his monarchy-climbing scumbag of a brother.
Jafar Was Power-Hungry And Had To Be Stopped
Jafar doesn’t technically die, but he does lose and get trapped in a genie lamp. We call that a win for the good guys. There’s also no feeling bad for the guy because he was trying to enslave the genie and Jasmine, take over Agraba, and kill Aladdin. That’s too much evil plotting for anyone to throw him a sympathy card.
Not to mention he turns into a giant red snake. That alone was enough for us to not worry if he died or got trapped in the genie lamp. You want to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world? Sweet, here’s your tiny living space. Later, evil dude!
Bing Bong’s Death Left Us In Tears
Bing Bong, the fluffy pink creature who is comprised of cat, elephant, and dolphin (with a body made of sticky-sweet cotton candy) didn’t deserve to vanish. While Inside Out is an emotional rollercoaster, we weren’t ready to say goodbye to Riley’s imaginary friend. Bing Bong vanishing into thin air was like Riley’s imagination vanishing — a sad notion for someone so young.
The fact the Bing Bong had sacrificed himself to save Sadness and Joy from the pit of lost memories speaks volumes of the character. Don’t worry, Bing Bong, you and Riley will make it to the moon one day.
We Weren’t Emotionally Prepared For Bambi
The death of Bambi’s mom was such a heart-wrenching scene that none of the people who watched the 1942 Disney film ever forgot. The fact that the animators had a tear slide down the poor baby deer’s face was just too much for anyone to handle.
Thankfully, Bambi makes great friends and learns that he is the Prince of the Forest. Those are the only memories we want to keep from the movie because everything else is too sad. As if the mom’s death wasn’t enough, the entire forest had to be burned down, too.
We’re Still Crying Over Ellie’s Death
Excuse us while we go sob over the death of Ellie from Up. Pixar just knows the exact heartstrings to pull and when to pull them. But the first minutes of the movies were not what we were expecting.
Ellie is made out to be one of the main characters! She was supposed to go to South America with her hubby and they were going to live happily ever after. But, no. This is Pixar, and in Pixar movies, all of your hopes and dreams are thrown out the window . As you can see, we’re still hurt over this death.
Claude Frollo Was A Monster Of His Own Creation
Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an overall horrible human being who subjected an innocent baby to a secluded life locked away in a bell tower. No wonder poor Quasimodo had to make friends with gargoyles (although they are awesome friends).
So, Frollo, we don’t exactly feel bad that you plummeted off of Notre Dame 20 minutes after singing about it. Consider it karma for all the evil acts committed in the movie’s short running time.