Cartoons are designed specifically for entertainment, meaning they are supposed to help us lose ourselves for a little bit while enjoying someone else's world. You don't see it as much anymore, but both animated movies and shows have been known to slip heart-wrenching tidbits into their scripts. These scenes put the true human experience on display, even if their meanings are completely lost on the children watching them.
These 5 scenes from cartoons will hit close to home, even if you have the emotional capacity of a boiled potato.
1. Hey Arnold! - Christmas Episode - Mr. Hyunh's Past
I loved Hey Arnold! as a kid. It made growing up in the inner-city look like a lot of fun. And to be raised by your strange grandparents in a boarding house filled with a bunch of unique/cookey characters. The show was meant to be fun, but it had some sad undertones to it.
One Christmas episode takes the cake though. Arnold learns that Mr. Hyunh came from Viet Nam after the war, and that when the Americans were helping evacuate civilians, Mr. Hyunh made sure his young daughter got onto a helicopter even if he didn't. He admits to Arnold that he hasn't seen his daughter in decades. For a Christmas episode it pulls at the heart strings.
Not all is lost though, by the end of the episode as the characters are opening their gifts, there is a knock at the door. To everyone's surprise, in walks Hyunh's long-lost daughter, a true Christmas miracle.
2. A Goofy Movie - Father-Son-Moment - The Truth Comes Out
Goofy is a single father trying to raise his teenage son Max. When Max gets into trouble at school while pulling a prank (in an attempt to impress the pretty girl) Goofy decides that desperate measures needed to be taken.
Goofy ends up taking Max on a father-son fishing trip over the summer, which throws a major monkey wrench in Max's social plans. Max ends up lying to his father in an attempt to impress the young lady he likes.
Max and Goofy end up having a reasonably good time on their trip, but at one point they end up driving into a river and travelling downstream towards a waterfall. It is leading up to this that Goofy finds out that his son has lied to him and he is clearly devastated by the revelation. In the end it all works out, but in that moment Goofy shows true disappointment in his son.
3. Rugrats - Chuckie's Mom - The "Mother's Day" Episode
Rugrats is a classic family/kids cartoon chronicling the lives of several babies and their families. One question that was not answered for quite a long time was, what happened to Chuckie's mom? Chaz was always portrayed as a single father, and a mother was never mentioned.
During the mother's day episode, Chuckie hands his father a picture of his mom and this sets the whole story into motion.
It turns out that Chuckie's mom had died. It doesn't go into detail about how, but Chaz explains to Chuckie that his mom started keeping a diary when she was in the hospital. Our best guess would be cancer, but that concept wouldn't be appropriate for the mass audience of children who adored the show.