Disney might be the premier film company for family-friendly fun, but that doesn’t mean they shy away from inviting the grim reaper. In fact, a lot of the best Disney movies typically involve the death of a pivotal character that will either be the root of the protagonist’s turmoil or the fuel that will ignite them to move forward.
The archetypal Disney film will usually have a death scene, either by a supporting character or the main villain. However, the movies listed below go against the norm, and absolutely no one gets to kick the proverbial bucket – even the antagonist.
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Disney Movies Where No One Dies
1. Winnie the Pooh (2011)
This is a Winnie the Pooh movie by Disney. That honey-loving bear is as wholesome as a baby panda, so don’t expect anything remotely serious to happen in this animated film. Instead, this 2011 animated Disney movie featuring the beloved bear and his forest friends is a whimsical and child-friendly movie that follows the misadventures of Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Eeyore as they go on a journey to save their friend Christopher Robin.
The film is lighthearted, fun, aimed at young audiences, and teaches moral lessons about friendship and selflessness.
Duration: 1 h 3 min
2. Zootopia (2016)
Zootopia is an action-comedy animated movie with a dash of the buddy-cop genre. The film is set in a world of anthropomorphic animals. It follows the adventures of Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), an optimistic rabbit and the newest member of the city’s police department.
During the course of the film, Judy will meet Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a red fox and a small-time con artist. Together, they will uncover a vast conspiracy brewing within the city that threatens to destroy the peace between the herbivores and carnivores.
The film is a fun take on the whole buddy-cop genre as we follow two unlikely partners as they take on a shadowy organization. The movie itself is pretty hilarious, and the chemistry between Judy and Nick is on point. However, there is also an underlying theme of discrimination, racism, sexism, and other social issues.
Zootopia, despite a somewhat heavy theme, avoids any deaths with the main villain being captured and forced to face justice for their crimes.
Duration: 1 h 48 min
3. The Jungle Book (1967)
A classic Disney film, The Jungle Book, tells the story of a young boy named Mowgli who grew up in the jungles of India. Discovered by a black panther named Bagheera when he was an infant, Mowgli was taken to a pack of wolves led by Rama and Raksha, who raised the boy as one of their own.
However, a couple of years passed, and news spread throughout the jungle that a vicious man-eating Bengal tiger called Shere Khan had returned to lay claim to the jungle. Fearing for Mowgli’s safety, the wolves decided to have the boy returned to his people in a faraway village. Bagheera volunteers to escort Mowgli out of the dense forest, where they also meet a sloth bear named Baloo, who joins the adventure.
The final confrontation between Mowgli and Shere Khan might be too intense for younger audiences, but the film itself doesn’t have any of the characters die. Instead, Mowgli defeats Shere Khan using his wits and forces the fearsome predator to retreat.
Duration: 1 h 18 min
4. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
The Emperor’s New Groove came at a strange time in Disney’s history, as it was during the House of Mouse’s more experimental stage with their animation style. The early 2000s is pretty much a hit or miss for Disney. While The Emperor’s New Groove isn’t considered on par with the likes of the film The Lion King, it did manage to build up a good fan base years after its release. It is now one of the more beloved films from that era.
Unlike most of Disney’s famous films, The Emperor’s New Groove aims for a more slapstick comedic delivery, akin to a Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network series. As a result, pretty much every event that transpired throughout the film is mixed in with some outrageous humor designed to make its younger audiences entertained with laughter.
The movie also has some pretty good talents to lend the voices to its characters, such as David Spade as Kuzco, John Goodman as Pacha, Patrick Warburton as Kronk, and Eartha Kitt as Yzma.
Duration: 1 h 18 min
5. Toy Story (1995)
Not to go on a tangent here, but what is the exact definition of being alive? Is it something that breathes, or does it have to be something that has self-awareness? Okay, that’s enough with the existential jargon; in Toy Story, we have inanimate objects that spring to life when not in humans’ presence.
This revolutionary Disney movie helped usher in the future of the company’s animation style into the CGI realm. Toy Story also has a fantastic story about friendship and accepting that things do change and that people must come to terms and adapt to these changes, whether positive or negative. Also, there aren’t any deaths in the movie as the broken toys can easily be repaired.
Duration: 1 h 21 min
6. Ratatouille (2007)
Ratatouille is a movie set in Paris, France, about a highly talented rat that can cook and helps a young kitchen worker become a chef in a famous Paris restaurant. There isn’t any reason for any of the characters in the film to die as the theme is about prejudice and the disadvantage of certain groups in particular arts and industries.
The film centers on a rat named Remy (Patton Oswalt), who has dreams of becoming one of the best chefs in Paris. He gets a crack at achieving this dream when he comes across a young kitchen worker named Linguini (Lou Romano). It turns out that Remy can take complete control of Linguini’s body by pulling at his hair. Hence, the unlikely duo sets off to achieve their dreams in the culinary world.
Duration: 1 h 51 min
7. 101 Dalmatians (1961)
101 Dalmatians is a beloved Disney classic about the titular spotted canines and their impressive numbers. The movie celebrates family and parenthood and is an all-around feel-good movie. Even the dastardly Cruella De Vil, who wishes to turn the loveable puppies into one of her fashion coats, gets a pass, in the end, ending up with a sore back, headache, and the realization that she will never get her hands on that fur coat that she wants so much.
This is a fun, lighthearted movie for the whole family and features nothing too serious except for Cruella’s intentions for the puppies and the fact that the film is a great reason to have your pets neutered.
Duration: 1 h 19 min
8. The Sword in the Stone (1963)
A classic retelling of the legend of King Arthur, The Sword in the Stone is an animated musical fantasy film from Disney and is another one of the company’s all-time greats. The story follows a young Arthur who dreams of becoming a knight. However, during a hunting trip, Arthur meets a wizard named Merlin, who is suffering from amnesia.
Merlin finds Arthur’s fortune particularly interesting and believes that the young boy is destined for great things. Merlin starts teaching the young boy about the world and how it works, but it seems that the path to greatness will not be easy.
Duration: 1 h 19 min
9. Fantasia (1940)
Fantasia is a true Disney classic and a marvel of animation in its time; Fantasia is a fantastic blend of top-tier animation and great orchestral music. The movie doesn’t have a traditional plot as Disney animators simply wanted to explore and experiment with what they could accomplish with the best animators in the industry.
The result is a visual feast for the senses that combines tantalizing animation with the grandeur of classical music such as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. While there are no deaths in the movie, the scene featuring Night on Bald Mountain can be intense for younger viewers.
Duration: 2 h 5 min