The first time I saw Finding Nemo, I got a bit weepy. The second time I saw it, I was a sobbing mess on the floor. You would have thought I'd have seen the whole "dead mom, lost little fishie" thing coming, but those pregnancy hormones will get you every single time.
Which is why I say this with a whole lot of love -- and some ambivalence toward the waterproof mascara industry. Do not, for the love of all that is holy, watch a children's movie during your pregnancy. There is not enough Chubby Hubby left in this world to take the edge off that kind of pain.
If you absolutely must (you have older children perhaps), please, at least mark the worst offenders off your list (warning, spoilers abound).
Finding Nemo: Sweet lady fish and nervous Albert Brooks type-cast daddy fish find a perfect home in a sea anemone, begin to set up a home, and blam-o! We're only a few minutes in and we've got a dead mama. Cue the tears. Stop the DVD. Run for the freezer.
Coraline: There's a reason the critics surmised this one might be too scary for tots. Author Neil Gaiman's story of an ungrateful brat who decides she can have it better when she sneaks through a passageway in her house will make you start questioning why the heck you thought you'd make a good mother. Then it will get worse. Coraline will want to go back home to her real mom. When she can't get there, you will either throw things at evil Other Mother for not letting her go back -- thus ruining the flat-screen TV just when you've got a really big expense coming up (hello, baby) or just bawl like baby. Then again, you may do both.
Bambi: And we're back to the dead mother theme that Disney seems to love. Really, did Walt have Mommy issues? Anyway, baby deer lives in forest, makes friends, blah, blah, blah, suddenly hunter comes along, shoots Mom. Baby deer is sad. You're hysterical. And scene!
The Lion King: Proving it's not just a mom thing, it's Dad Mufasa who dies halfway through the movie. And if you're thinking, "Oh, at least little Simba has some other relatives around to pick up the slack," think again Mama. The worst offender is his murderous Uncle Scar. You'll be giving your brothers-in-law the stink eye for the next nine months.
Anne of Green Gables: Anne Shirley is an orphan girl, but if you think meeting her as a teenager when she's adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert will spare your feelings, guess again. Everything's going great with the Cuthberts. Marilla's strict but has a good heart, and Matthew's an old softie who treats the little red-headed girl like a fairy princess. And then ... yup, he dies. Come to think of it, you don't have to be pregnant to fall to pieces at this one. I have cried every single time I've seen it, starting sometime in the 1980s.
Cinderella: You never see Mom die, but talk about a mother's nightmare: the sweet little Cinder girl is left to face the world with the evilest of stepmonsters stepmothers and the bitchy brood she moves into the castle. If you've haven't already debated what would happen to your baby if you were to croak, you will. And you'll spend the night Googling "how to live forever."
Do children's movies make you squirm?
Image via meddygartnet/Flickr