23 Children’s Movies That Got Way Too Dark

‘Babe: Pig in the City’ is chock-full of traumatic scenes
23 Children’s Movies That Got Way Too Dark

The human experience is full of death and violence and various shades of darkness, but a kids’ movie is no place for all that. The pre-middle school set is barely aware that other people exist, let alone the misery those people are capable of inflicting on each other. That’s ostensibly why the MPAA exists, though we all know it’s just a bunch of repressed dorks who get off on counting the exact number of frames featuring a boob. But goddammit, sometimes, you have an artistic vision, and it involves both talking dogs and horrific murder.

For example, Redditor _JR28_ recently pointed out that ParaNorman is “about a witch from centuries ago reawakening and bringing back the dead in revenge for being executed, and Norman having to stop her destroying the town,” but “in the third act a massive twist is revealed about the witch: She’s just a child. In a flashback scene we find out she is just a child no older than Norman who was sentenced to hang by the town elders for witchcraft.” 

Name any other modern media depicting children being hanged. There’s, like, one, and it’s Game of Thrones.

As such, _JR28_ asked r/Movies for the “darkest moment in a kids movie,” and because Reddit lived through the 1990s, they dug up a trove of trauma ranging from canine hell, to sentient appliance genocide, to plain old unfathomable grief.

Toy Story 3

The NeverEnding Story

Watership Down

The Brave Little Toaster

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Short Circuit 2


Babe: Pig in the City

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Transformers: The Movie

The Last Unicorn


Return to Oz


The Dark Crystal

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial



Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Bridge to Terabithia

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

The Lion King

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