A Disney Channel regular, this 1993 fantasy/comedy remains the stuff of legends, if only because it shows that with enough makeup and unsightly co-stars even Sarah Jessica Parker can look attractive.
You'll find more examples of this same basic principle in every nightclub.
But despite being a Disney movie, this film's beginning is more macabre than most horror flicks from the 90's. It starts in Salem, Mass., in 1693, where by the five-minute mark we are introduced to a book made out of living flesh.
The witches use this book to make a brew out of assorted human body parts. The purpose of this brew? Allowing them to perform a Mortal Kombat-like fatality on a little girl by literally sucking the soul out of her body. Oh, and they force her brother to watch the whole thing.
The witches become rejuvenated thanks to the ritual, this being basically how they apply their makeup. But wait, what happened to the little girl? Although it's never acknowledged, you can see her aged, shriveled body sitting completely still in a chair for the rest of the scene while the witches celebrate. It's pretty obvious that they killed her.
As we said, the corpse is never acknowledged by the witches ... except when someone comes knocking at their door and they unceremoniously cover it with a tablecloth.
It's like a scene out of ALF, only with more child murder.
Or maybe we're reading too much into it and the soulless girl is still alive, in which case she probably went on to star in one of those Disney Channel comedies.
Wizards was Ralph Bakshi's first attempt to prove that he could produce a family picture after his X-rated Fritz the Cat film failed to capture the imaginations of children everywhere. If you don't know who Ralph Bakshi is, let's put it this way: He's the type of guy whose idea of a "family picture" involves showing as much side-boob as possible.
Wizards is set in the far future and follows a group of elves, dwarves and fairies, one of whom is voiced by Mark Hamill, but he's murdered right away. At one point the villain, Blackwolf, gets his hands on some Nazi stock footage and uses it to cause instant post-traumatic stress on the elves ...
... after which they are swiftly massacred by Blackwolf's Nazi demon army. And by "massacred" we meant literally blown to shit all over the place.
It's like the elves are meant to represent the children watching this movie, with the villain being the guy literally projecting this horror in front of them.
"This is for not watching my previous film, you little twats."
Bedknobs and Broomsticks was a follow up to Disney's Mary Poppins, using the same winning combination of live action and animated musical sequences, only this time with more witches. Oh, and Nazis.
Conspicuously absent from the poster.
Having a bunch of Nazis crash any Disney film sounds like a recipe for disaster, but interestingly, the Nazis are not even close to the creepiest thing about this movie: That would be the part where the witch played by Angela Lansbury possesses a whole goddamn castle, which essentially amounts to summoning an army of the dead tough enough to take on a squad of Nazis.
We thought the floating horses were a nice touch.
The worst part? The chanting. That goddamn chanting.
First a book made of flesh, and now an army of undead medieval knights. At this point we have to wonder how many Disney films have stuff in common with The Evil Dead.
The NeverEnding Story is one of the most beloved fantasy films ever, even if, more so than All Dogs Go To Heaven, it suffers from a horribly misleading title.
The film is not on long enough to warrant a potty break before subjecting children to one of the most unexpected, drawn-out deaths in children's cinema outside of Japanese animation. We speak, of course, of the loss of the protagonist's beloved horse, who is tragically swallowed by the set design of the Swamps of Sadness scene very ...
... very ...
... very slowly, until we lose sight of it and it drowns.
Oh, and the reason why the horse was standing still in the first place? It was "overcome by the sadness of the swamps," and because of that, it died. We're sure that sent a great message to all the kids watching the scene and beginning to tear up.
"This could be you, kids!"
The scene is not only one of the most unexpectedly depressing moments in children's cinema, but one of the most realistically acted as well -- that's because the actor playing the kid accidentally got his leg caught in the elevator used for the scene and was slowly pulled beneath the swamp as well. According to IMDb.com, "he was unconscious by the time he was brought to the surface."
Jacopo's book Go @#$% Yourself! is available for the Kindle (DRM free!) and in paperback, including his manic observations on nuclear war, public breastfeeding, video games, conspiracy theories, the economy, and alien invasions. Also includes: hidden messages and secret codes that may or may not reveal the location of the Holy Grail.
For things made for children that really should not have been, check out 10 Awesome Ads (For Traumatizing Children) and 9 Toys That Prepare Children for a Life of Menial Labor.
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