Fantasy films are great at giving us larger than life characters, special effects that drop our jaws to the floor, and more fun than you can shake a wizard's staff at, but tears? Not so much. On the rare occasion, however, a fantasy film does provoke tears by the bucket-full. Here are seven fantasy films that left us knee deep in soggy Kleenex.
7. The Never Ending Story - Artax dies in the swamp of sadness
It's no surprise that one of the greatest children's stories of all time spawned one of the greatest fantasy films of the 1980s. The imagination is off the wall in this unpredictable tale of a young boy attempting to save his kingdom from the forces of evil, and there are laughs and scares throughout. All of that grinds to a halt during one insanely depressing scene in which our hero, Atreyu, loses his beloved horse Artax in the dreaded Swamps of Sadness. If you can bear it, watch this beautifully realized scene from this timeless classic.
6. Dumbo - Dumbo visits his mother
This touching scene in which a lonely Dumbo visits his caged mother—after being shackled for defending her son against a bratty boy who teased him for his big ears—could probably make a bucket of cement shed some tears. It brings to mind our fondest memories of being lullabied by our mothers, and what it's like to be separated from their love.
5. Babe: Pig in the City - Saving the dog
Although it doesn't contain a single, elf, wizard or dragon inside of it, Babe: Pig in the City definitely qualifies as a fantasy film. What else would you call a movie about a talking pig that journeys to a frightening city and finds refuge in a hotel filled with equally talkative dogs, cats, and orangutans? The film is a surprisingly dark sequel to the Oscar winning Babe. One particularly touching scene, where Babe courageously swims to the rescue of an English Bull Terrier after being chased and nearly killed by the dog, is a moment that could turn the toughest of men into a moist sobbing pile of mush.
4. The Battle for Endor - Doba dies
A lot of people don't know this, but in the mid 80's George Lucas produced a TV movie that centered on those cute, cuddly creatures from Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks. It's been largely forgotten and for good reason. It's terribly dated, and pales in comparison to any episode within the original trilogy. In spite of being far from perfect, it did have this scene, and if you can put yourself in the shoes of a Star Wars obsessed youngster from the 80s watching this for the first time, you just might understand how it could bring on the tears.
3. The Lion, The Witch And the Wardrobe - Death of Aslan
This scene depicting the cruel sacrifice of the noble lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) at the Great Stone Table at the hands of the White Witch is by far the most difficult to watch in the series. It grows even more heartbreaking at the end, when young characters Lucy and Susan make their way to the altar to mourn Aslan's death.
2. Fellowship of the Ring - Death of Gandalf
Gandalf's big showdown with Balrog of Morgorth is one of the series' most memorable sciences. When he falls into the darkness and Frodo screams "NOOOOO!!!" it stays with you, and if you think about it too much, you may just find yourself weeping again afterwards.
1. Up - Ellie and Carl's relationship through time
Pixar's hilarious and entertaining Up is a modern classic, but it hits the viewer right off the bat with a scene so tender that it had us bawling within the first few minutes of the film. It's an exquisite piece of story telling and animation.
What fantasy film moment made you cry your nachos out?