Image Source: http://mister-palmer.deviantart.com and Photoshop.
Just because a movie is animated, it doesn't mean it's suitable for children. And apparently, just because a movie is marketed toward children, made by a studio associated with children and specifically designed with children in mind, it also might not mean it's for children.
With that in mind, let us once more explore the moments from kids' movies that left many a child traumatized.
As the third Walt Disney film ever, Fantasia came out only two years after Snow White and right after Pinocchio. People were expecting Fantasia to be just as kid-friendly as those two, and for the most part, it was: It included waltzing flowers, Mickey Mouse getting in a crazy mix-up and a hippopotamus dancing ballet with an alligator.
This caused a lot of misconceptions about how mating works in the animal kingdom.
Everything seemed relatively normal for a children's film until the introduction to the last segment, in which we're told, "Bald Mountain, according to tradition, is the gathering place of Satan and his followers... ". Wait, what's that? Satan? Surely they don't mean that Satan. "Here ... the creatures of evil gather to worship their master."
That's right, Walt Disney's masterpiece transitioned from dancing animals to the devil summoning evil spirits and bringing hell to Earth -- and the only thing to prepare us was some guy saying, "We're going to start talking about Satan now, kids."
Donald, Mickey, Goofy ... Lucifer? Yeah, we can see that.
In this lone sequence, you've got eerily animated ghosts wisping out of haunted graveyards ...
Imps, demons and devils burning in the flames of hell ...
... and a Ghouls 'n Ghosts-worthy end boss.
They even slipped in a few nipples for good measure, because what the hell, most of the kids in the audience are probably covering their faces by now.
A wholesome way to find out about boobies.
The segment ends when daylight comes and all the demons and stuff crawl back into hell, the implication being that this happens every night while you sleep -- or try to, if you're a kid and you've just seen this cartoon. Walt Disney himself once admitted that Fantasia was a bad idea, though we think there might have been another reason for that.
Truth be told, it is damn near impossible to find things not to like about this movie: Doc Brown plays the villain, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny share a scene and just about every second shown in Toontown is loaded with cameos. Plus there's this:
Unfortunately, most of us were too young to fully appreciate Jessica Rabbit when we first saw this film -- but not too young to cry when Judge Doom murders that cartoon shoe.
The "Bambi's mother" of its generation.
But even that pales in comparison to Doom's epic freak-out in the end, which starts off with the man getting very slowly run over by a steamroller ...
And screaming in terror all the way, of course.
... only for his freakishly flattened body to get up and start walking around like the Slender Man.
And just when you think it couldn't possibly get more traumatizing, his eyeballs fall out and Judge Doom reveals his true identity in this memorable moment:
You'd think that when Robert Zemeckis or Steven Spielberg said, "And then knives come out of his eyes," someone would have stopped and said, "Is ... is everything OK with you, pal?" Perhaps that could have spared us what comes next: Doom's hand turns into a buzz saw and he tries to kill the terrified Bob Hoskins, while his eyes continue to get creepier by the second.
This would have been much funnier in Back to the Future.
Then Hoskins manages to produce a pond of the same stuff that killed the shoe before, and Doom melts to death while inexplicably clucking like a chicken. It's a pretty terrifying moment, too, but at this point you're just relieved that the bastard is finally dead and that they can't use him to scare the shit out of you anymore.
Except when they show you his corpse a few minutes later, that is.
Before An American Tail and The Land Before Time, Don Bluth's first attempt to beat Disney at its own game was The Secret of NIMH, a classic G-rated movie about friendship and magic and talking animals ...
... and stabbing and death and monstrous beasts with glowing eyes. You see, The Secret of NIMH employed a technique called backlighting, which created a surreal glow in some parts of the film. Unfortunately, Bluth decided the best use for this revolutionary technique was scaring the crap out of us.
It's hard to comfort your children when you're going "OH NOOOO" yourself.
The foremost example of this was the film's classic character the Great Owl, whose introduction to the audience includes crushing a spider, standing on a pile of bones and freakishly twisting his head around like something out of Hellraiser. And this is all done after it is made explicitly clear that he feeds on animals like, for example, the main character of the film. At this point making his eyes glow just seems like overdoing it.
The bright lights signal the film's scariest parts like a goddamn beacon, just in case the kids didn't know they were supposed to feel scared when they show us humans injecting weird things into caged rats and such. And then there's the unusually violent sword fight at the end, in which two characters are stabbed to death and you can clearly see their blood, making this officially more brutal than anything in Highlander: The Series.
Oh, and in case you haven't seen the film, a little spoiler: the mythical NIMH turns out to be the National Institute of Mental Health -- we're guessing Bluth had some sort of product placement deal designed to create as many young patients for them to treat as possible.
Return to Oz wasn't just a sequel to one of the most beloved children's films of all time: it was also, unlike the first one, a Disney film. Surely that means there will be twice as much singing, twice as much dancing and twice as many adorable characters ... right?
Let's play a game of Count the Psychotic Eyes.
Actually, remember those terrifying flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz? Apparently someone at Disney decided, "Forget all the rest, we need more of that," because everything about this movie seems designed to give you nightmares.
For starters, we find out that the happy ending for the classic first film was secretly terrifying, too, because right after Dorothy came back from the land of Oz, her aunt and uncle decided to take her to a quack doctor for electroshock therapy. Seriously. They wanted to zap Dorothy's brain with electricity.
No place like home, indeed.
Later, Dorothy returns to find Oz more wrecked than the movie she's starring in. The Yellow Brick Road and the Emerald City are in complete ruins, her best friends have been turned to stone and, by the way, Oz is now policed by a gang of deformed rollerblading freaks known as the Wheelers.
At this point it is pretty clear that Return to Oz is just one washed-up actor away from being based on a Stephen King novel -- but shit goes from "bad for children" to "inappropriate for all ages" when Dorothy is imprisoned by a witch who has her own collection of disembodied heads. You know, because she's headless.
Oh, and did we mention that the actress playing Dorothy is only like 10 in this movie? They probably did that because if they had used a teenager, Return to Oz could have easily been mistaken for a Nightmare on Elm Street movie.
All Dogs Go to Heaven was the classic tale of a zombie dog voiced by Burt Reynolds who comes back to life to repay his deeds, which he does by conning a little orphan girl to make money. Statistically speaking, you owned this on VHS at some point.
It also has one of the most misleading titles for a children's film ever: it turns out that, yes, some dogs go to hell, too.
Truth be told, this scene is actually a dream sequence, but that doesn't make what happens in it any less scary. First we see Charlie the dog flying through an electric storm and falling down an endless void ...
... only to land in a river of lava just as a bone ship is beginning to emerge from it.
And then a giant lava dragon comes out and starts shooting little devil dogs out of its mouth to terrorize Charlie ... until he wakes up, probably soaked in a pool of piss. And then it's over and you can go back to watching this little adorable film knowing that hell only exists in the imagination of the Burt Reynolds dog.
Imagination at work.
Oh, no, wait, scratch all that. Later we learn that Doggie Hell does exist, and it can show up virtually anywhere in the world the instant a bad dog dies.
Did we mention this one was also made by Don Bluth? Probably should have started there.