Most disturbing moments in children's movies

Warning: possible spoilers, at least for the 0000.00001% of people who have NOT yet seen “Bambi”…

What are the most disturbing moments you have seen in children’s movies? They don’t neccesarily have to be animated, and you don’t need to have been a child when you first saw them, but they should be generally regarded as “for kids” type fare. My list:

  1. This is kinda embarrasing, but this My Little Pony movie that came out when I was about four. It was about these Flower-like monsters that looked beautiful and innocent being hunted by the Crabnasties, who were sort of ugly police officers. The Ponies side with the prettier Flowers, and imprison the Crabnasties. Later, the Flowers leech all the nutrients from the soil, grow to tremendous size, and start revealing their true selves – they are bullies to the core. The scene where they just started pimp-slapping the Ponies left-and-right upset my little four-year-old self so bad that my mother had to call and complain to the company that produced it, asking them to PLEASE not make anything that frightning again.

  2. “Babe: Pig in the City”, namely where the Bull Terrier nearly drowns after chasing Babe off a bridge. I also gasped out loud when Thelonius drops his fishtank (if you see the movie, you’ll understand what I mean). And am I the only one who got a “Schindler’s List” vibe when the big-booted animal control officers start rounding up refugees in the dark, abandoned hotel?

  3. When Bambi’s mother got shot. C’mon, don’t even try to pretend you didn’t dissolve into tears of horror at that scene. You were a terrified six-year-old clinging to your mother once too!


Littlefoot’s mother died in “The Land Before Time.” It made me cry every time.

It was pretty disturbing to see when Simba’s father died in the Lion King…

Care bears always freaked me out… they had little rays of light ( the “Care Bear Stare”) eekin’ outta their belly…

or… in the little mermaid when Ursula got skewered with the ship’s mast… I shall forever have nightmares…

Gotta be the chicken decapitation in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. On a side note, this has to be the worst job in the world:

“My Little Pony hotline, how can I help you?”
“Your movie’s too frightening! Those flowers were way too scary!”
“We’re sorry about that, ma’am. Would you like a coupon for–”
“My Little Pony hotline, how can I help you?”
“Yeah, all the hair on my daughter’s cheap-ass horse doll fell out!”
“We’re sorry about that, sir. Would you like a coupon for–”

Also in “Dumbo” when his mother goes to jail, and that scene when he goes to visit her. His little trunk reaching out to his mom…ohh. <sniff>

In The Dark Crystal there was that scene where Kira was bound in a chair having her life force drained away from her by a beam from The Crystal scared the hell out of me!

Also, while strictly speaking not a movie, there was this animated scene on the children’s TV show The Electric Company where a giant jagged-toothed lollipop chases a poor little girl around as she desperatly runs for her life. The song went something like:

You may think it’s silly
To run Willy-nilly
When a lollipop follows you!
When a big yellow lollipop (golly!)
Follows you!

Aargh, horrible! Still creeps me out twenty years later!

I second the scene from Willy Wonka. I was afraid of the hallway in our house at night for YEARS after that. I’d take it only at a run and it took me 5-10 minutes to build up the nerve each time.

Walking trees and flying monkeys. shudder

Do not get me started on “The Pants With No One In Them.”

When Charlotte the spider dies.

I second Bambi. Who the hell put that in a kids’ movie??

Although not technically a kids movie, I was babysitting a friends kids once and we were watching Return of the Jedi and they were upset by the scene where the Ewok is shot and his(her?) buddy comes over and shakes him to get him moving and then realizes he’s dead and lets out a little cry. Yeah, I know, everyone hates Ewoks. Still, if you’re going to blow away teddy bears, at least make them the bad guys or something.

I have a vague memory of a movie called Little Nemo’s Adventures or something like that. I have only vague memories because I blocked much of it out of my memory, but I remember it seriously freaking me out when I was about 7 years old… does anyone remember this movie? As sadistic as it is, I would like to go back and see if it’s as creepy and scary as I remember…

The creepy kidcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

there’s gonna be a lot of Disney in this thread . . .

Quasimodo’s mother’s on-screen death always struck me as Disney’s most violent moment – and that’s saying a lot. It happens at the start of the movie; Frollo knocks her down and she strikes her head against the stone steps of Notre Dame cathedral – and is instantly killed.

As far as I am concerned, Willy Wonka and the Chocalate Factory was practically one long disturbing moment, what with the Oompa Loompas and all.

The Talking Trees in the Wizard of Oz never scared me, but the Flying Monkeys sure did.

I had blocked out the Kid Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That whole movie was pretty loathsome.

I haven’t seen it in decades but I remember the Disney version of Pinnochio being pretty intense, especially the part where the boys were turning into donkeys.

This was a bazilion years ago, but I remember feeling very sad when “The Red Balloon” died.

I’m nominating The Transformers: The Movie, because despite the profanity and violence, it’s still a kids movie.

Characters are blown up, melted from the inside, shot, vaporized, devoured by mechanical shark monsters, eaten by a giant robotic Orson Welles, and terrifyingly, played by Judd Nelson.

The whole movie’s pretty disturbing, really. I’m amazed I’m as stable as I am.

“Lend me your knob!”

(Angela Lansbury, to a 10-year old boy in Disney’s “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”)

As a kid I was very, very bothered by the tornado running Dorothy down as she flees for cover in The Wizard of Oz.

When I was a kid, I had to run for cover when the Abominable Snowman came on screen in the TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” That thing scared the crap out of me. Ditto the Wicked Witch of the East bicycling past the window as Dorothy’s house is spinning through the center of the cyclone.

Oh man, those blue flying monkeys haunted me for years in the Wizard of Oz. Creepy shit fer sure!

The Christmas Donkey… I about went into hysterics when the mother donkey freezes to death in the snow keeping her baby warm… oh man…