The goal of this series is to show that being "manly" and being disconnected with your emotions do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. While the approach to these articles is one of comedy and satire, the emotional core of these movies is very valid. Manly movies often times have the potential to make guys cry, for example:
"The Parents Die"
It would be easy to just fill this list with Disney films, because the big mouse loves killing parental units. Stirs the drama pot, they say. Gives kids motivation to grow as people, they say. Puts parents on notice for not visiting their parks, they say. But Disney doesn't have a monopoly on movies where a parent dies at the top of the film, nor should it. Losing the person or people who raised you is cinematic shorthand for a great many things, often a manifestation of the child character's greatest weakness or fear. And when used properly can be extremely powerful. Powerful enough to draw a tear from even the most stoic, macho man? Perhaps.
1. The Lion King
Honestly you can't have a list of movies where the parents die and NOT list at least one Disney film. I opt for The Lion King for a few reasons. First, there's no Disney Princess so to speak, which makes the film highly approachable and identifiable for young boys. Second, of all Disney's parent-killing flicks, we get to know the soon-to-be parent corpse the most. Do you know Bambi's mom? Do we even meet Cinderella's parents? None of these dead custodians can even hold a candle to Darth Vader himself, Mufasa.
Mufasa is a just ruler, a loving dad, and we clearly see that Simba needs someone to teach him right from wrong. Boys can identify with the duality of respecting and fearing their father, so when the film ganks Mufasa and makes Simba think he did it, the feeling of loss is immense. Especially when the entire first act establishes how invincible and all-powerful the king is. Essentially, losing his father this way is Simba coming face to face with the one thing a king has no command over: mortality.