Disney Movies Make Dads Cry

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A plague on both your houses, Disney! I'm a hot mess with your "kids cartoon movies." You've been pumping out the tear jerkers for the last 5 years.  I mean there's Frozen, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, The (new) Jungle Book, Moana, and now, Cars 3. My kids compare me to Iron Man, Superman, and Batman, while you break me down into a puddle of tears veiled behind machismo.  How long can I hide this? I've got 3 sons for crying out loud! Well, not out loud….I can't actually do that. laugh

Disney movies

Am I the only Dad in his 30's who secretly boohoos during most Disney movies these days? I cried a lot as a kid because I was scared of a lot of things. But I grew up on the Disney classics, and I never remember crying during any Disney movie! Cinderella? Nope! Snow White? Nope! Alice and Wonderland? Not even close! Pinocchio? Maybe a lip quiver. Beauty and the Beast? Not really. Aladdin? Nah. Disney didn't used to challange dads the way they do now. Something changed. Lion King? yes. Toy Story? Part 1, 2, and 3, yes. Don't get me wrong.  It's not weak for dads to cry. It's weak if dads won't cry. Crying is good, even in front of your kids. But why at every SINGLE DISNEY MOVIE? 

Disney used to wait till the end of the movie for the big "moment" that wrapped up the whole story.  I'm not one to believe in a tear tank that builds up and has to be emptied, but for real.  Disney taps into my drain pipe within the first 30 minutes, and doesn't turn it off until the credits. These aren't just the glassy, watery, eyes that well up for moment, then dry out with a deep breath. These are ugly-cry tears.

Seriously though…I believe that fathers like me struggle to express or even process the feelings they have about their wives and children. We feel the aches and pains of deep-seated love, and the heart-bursts of pride and joy. But, we don't even realize those feelings need to be shared on a regular basis. Then Disney writers takes every one of those feelings and poetically over-dramaticizes it with cartoons. Those characters probe deep into the untapped emotions we bury in our chest so as not to appear weak to our children or wives.  All the emotions and tears I've been stowing up for months come flooding out with a single "Disney" moment and then again at the next moment. And then again, at the end. Then I just find myself crying at the little things in the movie. They don't even have to be sad. It may just be a hug or a look. I guess I'll just chalk it up to better computer graphics and musical scores in the newer movies. No, I realize that I may cry due to the fact that I love my family so deeply that I have to find a way to release the emotions I pent up on a daily basis. And Disney concocts the perfect recipe for giving me that release.

I suppose I feel much better after those tear-fests.  Soon, my 8 year old is gonna see me wipe my eyes, and I won't be able to hide it. I'll just have to tell him that his hero isn't really Superman, but Sappyman.  Once he sees that side of me, I suppose my weakness would then become a strength. Even superman needs to cry. I just hope my 3 boys figure that out before I did.  


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Ben is the youth minister husband of @gingercasa1 and father of three awesome boys, ages 10, 8, and 5! He loves sports, music, and ministry and hanging out with his family.

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