Disney’s Mufasa voted most memorable death scene in film

06 March 2015

A recent survey revealed that the death of Mufasa in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ was voted the country's most memorable death scene.

Mufasa voted most iconic death scene

Bambi’s Mother and Sergeant Howie in the Wicker Man were also in the top 10, with almost a third of those surveyed basing their choices on the fact the chosen scene evoked strong memories for them. 64% of those surveyed said that they could identify a death scene in a film that was particularly iconic/memorable.

Top 10 most iconic/memorable death scenes

  1. Mufasa: The Lion King – 45%
  2. Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio): Titanic – 39%
  3. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh): Psycho – 37%
  4. Noah & Allie (James Garner & Gena Rowlands): The Notebook – 34%
  5. Romeo & Juliet (Leonardo DiCaprio & Claire Danes): Romeo & Juliet – 26%
  6. Bambi’s Mother: Bambi – 23%
  7. John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan): The Green Mile – 21%
  8. Kane (John Hurt): Alien – 18%
  9. Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe): Platoon – 14%
  10. Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward): The Wicker Man – 11%

We then asked respondents what they found particularly memorable about the scene(s) they selected which resulted in the following answers:

  • 35% stated that they had found their chosen scene(s) ‘very moving’
  • 29% stated that it had ‘evoked memories’ for them'
  • 25% said that the death had been unexpected and;
  • 21% were shocked by the scene.

Those who had said the scene had evoked memories were then asked who the scene had reminded them of. The majority (48%) revealed that it had been a memory of a family member, 29% said that it was a memory of a friend and 16% revealed that it had reminded them of a colleague. In further questions, it was revealed that 65% of Britons had previously cried at a death scene in a film.

Whilst watching films, it’s quite common for the viewers to invest emotionally in the story, so it’s no wonder so many people have a memorable scene that they find moving. As the results of the survey show, many of these films and their death scenes evoke memories of those closest to us, especially if the memory is a raw one.

If we take a closer look at the selections that have been made, the scenes seem to be closely linked to memories, possibly of family and friends. There are very few from the world of sci-fi or horror. Those making these films are able to tap in to the inner most fears and deepest emotions of their viewers, which is why so many find these scenes moving.

Source: The survey polled 2,246 British adults, all of whom were aged 18 or over with an even split of male and female respondents.