10 Powerful Animated Deaths
Bambi's mother (Bambi, 1942)
This classic Disney death, signaled with a single shot, is still one of the most powerful.
The Giant (The Iron Giant, 1999)
''No following.'' Although the Iron Giant's demise was less permanent than some on this list, it was no less effective for that.
Mufasa (The Lion King, 1994)
Scar's betrayal and Simba's plea for his father to rise make this possibly the most impactful death on this list.
Charlotte (Charlotte's Web, 1973)
Charlotte's demise, followed by the birth of her children, neatly illustrates the connection between life and death. Though she saved Wilbur's life on several occasions, Charlotte rightly calls her egg sac her magnum opus.
Coral (Finding Nemo, 2003)
The death of Nemo's mom was a powerfully sad hit early in a movie full of poignant moments.
Ellie (Up, 2009)
As the emotional hook of this movie, Ellie's death allows you to root for an essentially unlikable protagonist. This opening montage of her courtship, life, and death with Carl is just so devastating.
Hazel (Watership Down, 1978)
If Christopher Nolan made a Pixar movie, it would probably look like Watership Down. After the cruelty of Watership Down's fictional world, the pathos of Fiver, and the bloody battle between the dictatorial General Woundwort and Bigwig, Hazel's death shouldn't pack as much of an emotional punch as it does. And yet...
Optimus Prime (Transformers: The Movie, 1986)
''Do not grieve, soon I shall be one with the Matrix.'' If you are a child of the '80s, those words resonate. If all you know of Transformers are the Michael Bay movies, you owe it to yourself to see this, the best realization of the conflict between the Deceptacons and the Autobots.
Ray the Firefly (Princess and the Frog, 2009)
Although some initially found the good-hearted Ray's Cajun accent distasteful, his heroic sacrifice provoked a surprising outpouring of grief. Ray and Dr. John made beautiful music while it lasted.
Bugs Bunny (What's Opera, Doc?, 1957)
Chuck Jones' classic parody of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung ends as it should, with the death of Brünnhilde (a cross-dressing Bugs Bunny). The only genuinely funny death on this list, this episode is also one of the few Looney Tunes that ends with Elmer Fudd ''defeating'' Bugs. Of course, he's miserable about it.