#23 Mufasa’s Death Was The First Tragedy Of Our Lives.

Watching the Lion King as a kid, Mufasa being killed in a stampede was the first time I’d ever seen tragedy strike. In the history of kid movies, has there EVER been a more unexpected, bummer of a death? I personally was pretty screwed up after this. I spent a good 3 weeks in a small depression, sitting in my room alone and not eating my Fruit Loops at breakfast. Disturbing Disney deaths would appear again 4 years later in Mulan when the villain, Shan-Yu would be blown up in a building full of fireworks and chunks of his burning flesh fell to a celebration below. Yeah… And that’s rated G.


45 responses to “#23 Mufasa’s Death Was The First Tragedy Of Our Lives.

  1. Agreed, the entire cinema broke down when Mufasa died

  2. The Cake Is A Lie

    Bambi is a good point too! but I was just thinking about Land Before Time, wasn’t that older or am I wrong?

  3. For me it was the scene at the beginning of The Land Before Time when Little Foot’s mom dies after fighting off the T-Rex. That was the only scene in a movie I ever cried during.

    • That scene popped into my head when I read the title of this post. Just thinking about it makes me sad to this day. 😦

  4. I was JUST talking about this the other day with a friend of mine – I get *really* into movies, especially ones that rip your heart out like this. My best guess is that this was the first movie I saw at the tender age of being fully capable of understanding death. I was a mess. Bambi didn’t elicit the same response in me as a child because I was younger when I saw it – Lion King came out at just the right time for my parents to say, “Hey, a new kid’s movie!” and it was all downhill from there. Thanks, Disney!

    • Exactly. Bambi, we were too young. Lion King…only movie I’ve shed a tear to. I’ve come close with others, but the Lion King holds the title for ‘water works’

      • Was born in 1983, first perception i had of death . . . was watching Bambi. Lion King was sad, but it didn’t open my eyes the way Bambi did. Maybe 90s kids born after that were too young to remember it . . .

  5. I thought I was alone! I had sad dreams about poor Mufasa for like 3 weeks after I saw it.

  6. Dude, seriously. Screw Bambi. Lion King was so much better

  7. My first big Disney death was actually the Queen in Snow White falling off the cliff. She terrified me when she was disguised as an old lady.

  8. Mufasa’s death just tore me apart so bad as a kid. And it didn’t get any better since I liked the movie so much. My poor parents had to comfort me over and over again, each time I wanted to watch TLK.

    Bambi didn’t affect me until MUCH, MUCH later, because my mom always told me ‘No, honey. Bambi’s mom had to go to work. It’s Bambi’s Dad’s turn to watch him now’. LOL .

  9. Pingback: The Zousware Cabal » Blog Archive » Awesome Site of the Day: Things 90s Kids Realize

  10. For me it was old yeller. I know its not from the 90’s but when I saw that as a kid I could not believe they killed him.

  11. I agree that Lion King had its place. I know the entire script, almost entirely by heart. But I have to say the pivotal scene for me on death was in Land Before Time when Littlefoot sees his own shadow and runs up to it, licking it, thinking it is his mom. I STILL cry watching that part.

  12. For my oldest son, Lion King was huge for this and it was also one of his favorites. He was a little scared of the big booming vocals in the opening theme when he was little. Even as an adult I was choked up over Mufasa. Bambi was the first big screen tragedy I saw as a little girl, and I remember crying in the theater. Another one I both loved and cried over was Black Beauty. There was a scene where Beauty was forced to pull a carriage over a bridge across a swollen river in a terrible storm that I could barely breathe through! I should find a copy now to see if it still seems as frightening now as it did to me then. I never could shake that memory.

    • Black Beauty for sure! Especially when he sees what happened to Ginger. To this day, if I come across that movie, at any scene, I water up and have to change the channel.

  13. Q: Why did Simba’s father die?
    A: Because he didn’t MUFASA enough!!


  14. The Bear also taught you the harsh world that surrounds a young animal in the wild.

  15. Aight, All Dogs Go To Heaven ruined me as a little kid…but it was made in 1989 so I guess it’s exempt.

  16. Optimus Prime.

    Even though it was made in the mid 80s, I saw it for the first time in the 90s.

    • agreed! I was looking through this post to see if anyone had put this yet. The scene in the 1986 animated movie was the saddest point of my childhood, as Optimus Prime was and still remains, my greatest hero!

    • This was mine, I was devastated when Optimus finally died after passing on the matrix to Ultra Magnus.

    • Came to say this.

      I was 5 when I saw it, and there went my innocence.

      Bambi’s mom got shot? who cares? they killed Optimus.
      Mufasa died? whatever.

  17. I gotta say, Lion King was the first movie I cried watching being only 9 yrs old. It was pretty damn tragic.

  18. Let’s keep it real… the death in Bambi was kinda expected. Even as a little kid I understood the concept of forest animal dangers.

    Now, Mufasa being killed by his own blood… that’s ruthless!!! The set up was crazy and what had me was the fact that he almost made it out the trap. He was almost there and then his brother showed his true colors as he whispered, “Long Live The King”.

    ::cue the slow-motion of Mufasa falling::

    Disney had no better scene between a hero and villain in a movie ever since…

  19. though not nearly as good a movie, i have to say one creepy disney death that still weirds me out a little was when the bad guy gets his neck snapped in Tarzan and they show that silhouette of his limp corpse hanging in the vines by his snapped neck in the lightning flash…

    i mean… c’mon… seriously, that’s a little much. there are like serious grown up movies where that would be the creepiest thing in it by far.

    • Agreed. That disturbed me immensely and I was old enough to understand death and hanging but not to understand why the hell they showed that in a kids movie. Though for me, the first violent tragedy was Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Still my favorite Disney movie of all time but Ursula is my favorite villianess and seeing her get skewered absolutely crushed me. It also freaked out plenty of my friends parents.

  20. My college roommate, freshman year, was obsessed with Disney movies. He brought all of them to school. But he had to leave the room whenever he got to Mufasa’s death scene. True story.

  21. i still cry thinking about this. that was cold blooded murder

  22. Mufasa’s death was the first. My grandmother’s was the second, a few weeks later- and I apparently went around telling everyone that she was trampled by wildebeests.

  23. Maybe its just me, but the only movie I ever cried from was fox and the hound… now that is some sad shit

  24. It’s simple, even Darth Vader cried when Mufasa died. I still can’t watch that movie!

  25. The movies that tore me apart as a kid:
    Lion King
    Free Willy
    Homeward Bound

    I still refuse to watch all of these movies because I know they will still make me cry.

  26. While it might be the most tragic death, in the history of kid movies there were sadder moments. How about the ending of Fox and the Hound in 1981? What about the scene where Benji had to give the kittens back to their deadbeat dead in Benji the Hunted (1987)? Those dark moments, though happening in the 80s were still relevant in the 90s. They haunt me even until this day.

  27. Have the lion king on vhs thank you craigslist! I still cry and i am 20! I am watching it right now that exact seen to be infact

  28. Every time I watched The Lion King on VHS when i was a kid Mufasa’s death never made me cry. Now whenever i get the urge to watch that clip ugh i’m a crying mess of emotion’s. I think it’s the fact Simba tries to wake him up that gets me every damn time.

  29. So should I not admit that the last time I saw that movie was 1994 and it was only last week that I found out Mufasa dies?

  30. you forgot bambi’s mom

  31. I was 1 when the Lion King came out and from my dad’s perspective i was addicted. He said I never wanted to watch another movie, after it went off, I’d want to watch it again. When I’d visit my granny, they’d have to bring the VHS with me or I’d cry. A year later they got me this big Simba bookbag that’s more like a stuffed animal… my grandma has preserved it for me.

    Frankly, when I got older and actually developed the gift of understanding xD I’m not sure if I cried for Mufasa. Last month though, I watched it on ABC Family and I Did shed a tear, and I couldn’t get over how this was a children’s movie. Ultimate betrayal!

  32. It Was A Horrible Death Scene Of Mufasa And The Sad Tragic Death And
    Loss Of Mufasa And He Left Simba Devastated And Sad To Hear The De
    ath Of His Father Mufasa I Ever Watched In The Lion King Movie And It’s
    Story Is Fun And Dramatic And Lots Of Love And Romance Too And The
    Death Of Mufasa Is Touching And Sad!

    PS I Wished That Mufasa Would’ve Never Died In The First Place When
    Simba Found Out That His Father Has Died Caused By His Uncle S
    car And It Was A Sad Scene!

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