Movies about kids are funny things. One moment they can make you tilt your head and say, “Aw” and the next they will have you weeping. That’s just the way it is. But seeing a movie with kids, especially pre-teens, is a risky move. Maybe it’s the line between being a grown up and staying in childhood that makes us nostalgic. And who doesn’t long for the good ole days sometimes? The writers for these particular movies, that’s who. These movies will draw you in despite knowing what’s probably going to happen. But still, there’s a little part inside everyone that wants a happy ending, especially with kids being the center.
These films didn’t agree.
#4. Finding Neverland
Is there a kid in the world who hasn’t seen Peter Pan? Probably, but oh well. It’s nice to have a background on the story beloved by generations isn’t it?
If that were the case, the movie wouldn’t be on this list. Finding Neverland is Johnny Depp’s saddest film ever – and that includes 3 decades of his career. It’s also one of the few movies where he portrays an actual person.
Just in case you’ve never seen it, the movie is not about Peter Pan – it’s about J.M. Barrie and his relationship with the sons of a widow. Those relationships inspire him to write the story of a boy who never grew up. Unfortunately, that road to inspiration ends in sad events for the muses as the boys’ mother, played by Kate Winslet (fully clothed) dies.
#3. My Dog Skip
What person doesn’t love a movie about a boy and his dog? Back in the day, there was this kid named Freddie Munez who was like a cuter, talented version of Justin Bieber except he couldn’t sing. He did a few movies and starred in some shows but My Dog Skip is, by far, one of the best things he did. Of course he was a kid so maybe that’s why. If you’ve never seen it, the movie is about a special Jack Russell terrier that brings happiness to a young kid’s life.
So naturally, at the end of the feel good movie, the dog dies and his owner is an adult who is away at the time.
#2. Bridge to Terabithia
Before Josh Hutcherson was taking down competitors in the arena and making millions of hearts swoon, he was a little kid making older folks go “Aw, what a sweet looking kid.” One of the best movies he did during this phase was Bridge to Terabithia. It also starred Anna Sophia-Robb (or however you spell it) and a pre-annoying Zooey Deschanel.
The story itself sounds adorable – a shy boy meets a flamboyant girl who teaches him how to be true to himself by using his imagination. It’s a sweet coming of age story that is reminiscent of the good part of the 90’s.
And that all gets blown to crap when Leslie, played by AnnaSophia Robb (told you we didn’t know how to spell it), dies. Suddenly poor Jesse (Josh H.) has to deal with pre-teen angst all by himself. Come on, man! We’re going to have to watch some musical crap to get over how sad that is.
#1. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Oh wow where to begin with this one. It’s about a German boy, Bruno, whose family gets relocated because the dad gets the job of running a concentration camp (which is totally a red flag that this story most likely won’t have a sweet ending). Bruno then meets Shmuel, a Jewish boy in said concentration camp. Bruno, being naïve, thinks Shmuel is weird but strikes up a friendship anyway. The two bond and Shmuel asks for Bruno’s help in finding his father. Bruno agrees and dresses up like a prisoner.
That was such a bad decision on his part. When Bruno’s mom decides to leave as she finds it disgusting what her husband does – something that makes one wonder what she thought nazism was about – she sees that Bruno is missing. The family then looks for him only to follow his trail that leads to the camp, where Bruno is being herded into a shower. If you know anything about history, you know where this is going. We hear voices scream in the shower and Bruno’s mother scream outside as she realizes what’s happened.
…And that’s where the movie ends. Good luck getting that image out of your head.