For the past century, cinema has delighted us with thousands of the most creative ways to die, like being simultaneously impaled through the gut and electrocuted, getting rocketed into a warehouse full of deadly fireworks, or being hit by a car and torn apart by the engine of an exploding jet, to name a few examples from Disney movies.
But for every graphic movie death that graces our screens in glorious Technicolor, there's an even more gruesome one that happens just outside of frame. Like ...
6The Lion King -- Simba Ate the Hyenas
We've previously pointed out that Scar must have done a remarkably bad job during his time as lion king in The Lion King, because after he kills the king (aka Simba's dad) and exiles Simba, the kingdom goes from a vibrant land to this:
"You didn't have to mark every plant with your urine."
Not only does the place look terrible, but the food has run out, and worst of all, the lions have to co-exist with a bunch of annoying hyenas that sound like Whoopi Goldberg. But then Simba returns and reclaims the (sadly metaphorical) lion throne by kicking Scar's ass, and some months later, the kingdom is back to its original state.
Tourism is booming again now that Scar's racist ban on giraffes and elephants has been lifted.
Hold on a Second ...
Two questions come to mind after watching this ending: A) How did the lions survive in the deserted wasteland without food after Scar died? It didn't turn back to normal overnight; and B) What happened to all the hyenas? There were hundreds of them, and they're the only animals who don't show up in the epilogue or the sequels. As it turns out, these two things are related.
"Hold still. I'm trying to figure out how many of you I can fit in my mouth."
Yep, we're pretty sure Simba and friends ate those hyenas. The math works out: Female lions can survive off of 18 pounds of food a day, and if they gorge themselves, they can go a week at a time between meals. The average hyena weighs between 90 and 190 pounds -- that's plenty of food with some careful rationing, especially considering that Disney lions are capable of building functional cages.
"Did you ever try lowering your wings and walking forward?"
By the way, in real life, lions fucking hate hyenas and will sometimes chase them for no particular reason. Other times, it's for the specific reason of eating them.
So now every time Simba looks into the sky, he doesn't just see his dead dad -- he also sees the hundreds of hyenas he probably murdered. And smiles.
5Battlestar Galactica -- Every Single Character Dies
If you're sensitive about spoilers for a show that ended four years ago, you might want to avoid reading what comes next (also what you just read up there). At the end of Battlestar Galactica, the characters finally settle on a planet that they name Earth. We find out that the entire sci-fi series actually takes place in the past.
We can ignore the fact that this turns the entire series into something of a logistical clusterfuck, because, hey, at least the surviving characters get a happy ending, right? They have a brand-new person-friendly planet, and all 38,000 survivors decide to throw their spaceships into the sun and get a fresh start as a species.
Except for the dozen or so guys who chose to burn with their ships instead of living a life without easily accessible porn.
So you see, that explains why our ancestors didn't have spaceships: They threw them into the sun! It all makes sense!
Hold on a Second ...
However, "spaceships" wasn't the only significant advancement these guys had: There was also their complex social structure, a common written language, and, oh yeah, a shitload of other technology.
The survivors split into colonies and said they were going to keep track of where the other colonies were, so they had the means to communicate with each other. Two characters discuss teaching their kid how to hunt, farm, and build a house, so there's some advanced understanding of agriculture and architecture. The problem, however, is that this was 150,000 years ago, and humanity didn't develop even the most basic forms of that stuff until about 10,000 years ago. So how did we go from "early humans being really advanced" to "humans not knowing shit"? The answer, of course, is that at some point they had to start over from scratch, because everyone who knew what they were doing got fucking murdered.
Hence why they cut to a shot of Central Park.
The show itself gives us a pretty solid explanation for how an entire culture could have gotten obliterated. When they're first settling on Earth, Badger from Firefly speculates that the Cylon Centurions (a group of enemy robots that they've decided to let find their own path in the universe) may "come back in a few hundred years and wipe us out." Bill Adama's response to that is basically "Yep, that seems pretty likely."
That's a pretty specific scenario the writers are giving us there, because they knew that the only way their ending made sense was if all of human civilization was wiped from history by murderbots.