The Animals of Farthing Wood (Britain/France) -- Little Baby Cartoon Animals, Horribly Stabbed to Death
The Animals of Farthing Wood is an early '90s cartoon about a bunch of talking woodland critters who, after their forest is destroyed, make a friendship pact and set out on a grand adventure to find a new home. It took the combined efforts of Britain and France to turn such a harmless-sounding concept into what's possibly the most depressing animated series ever made outside of Japan.
For example, in one episode, the group gains new characters when two members of the party, the field mice, have little mice babies:
"They're all so adorable. I'm not sure which one to consume."
Surely adding kids to the cast will make the show more whimsical and fun, right? Um, no ... because exactly one episode later, this happens:
They couldn't have known they were trespassing on Vlad the Bluejay's territory.
Holy shit -- there's more gore in that scene than in the entire second season of The Walking Dead. Yes, those are the newly born baby mice impaled on a thicket of thorns.
They weren't just killed off subtly off screen: We needed to witness their horrible deaths, for some reason, and then watch their mother crying in sadness and guilt. Why introduce a litter of babies only to have them snatched away an episode later?
"Chill out, lady. They were basically strangers."
And this wasn't a one-time thing -- in another episode, the group is found out while hiding on a farm, and one of them, Mrs. Pheasant, is shot and killed by a human. Oh, but that's not the unusually cruel part yet: After the group has managed to escape, they notice that one of the animals was left behind, and the recently widowed Mr. Pheasant volunteers to go back and get them. If you already know where this is going, you are one sick individual.
"Mummy, I'm a vegetarian now." "Oh, get over yourself, honey."