6 Terrifying (and Scarring) Children's Movies
Adults have a lot of power when you're a kid. They tell you when to go to bed, when to eat, what to wear, and even what movies to watch. Parents picking a movie for the kids to watch normally turns out just fine, though. The kids get to watch Shrek blunder around and make jokes they don't understand for two hours while Mom and Dad get a nap.
Sometimes, though... sometimes mistakes are made. Sometimes some messed up stuff can find its way through, and leave some trusting young minds reeling. Here are a list of some films you watched as a child that are almost surely responsible for your current mental problems.
6 -Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal"
Jim Henson is a personal hero of mine, and his devotion to creating good natured, intelligent, uplifting art for children earned him a reputation as an uplifting and trustworthy source for parents. What kid doesn't love Sesame Street or the Muppet gang? Heck, what adult doesn't love the Muppets? Serial killers, probably.
So, it comes as no shock that adults sat their kids down to watch The Dark Crystal, expecting some laughs and songs. No luck there, supermom. Jim Henson's dark fantasy features some of his best technologically advanced "muppeteering" but is probably utterly terrifying to anyone under the age of twelve. The film opens up with two hideous bird creatures in a fight to the death for leadership of their decaying, corrupted clan. The loser is stripped and beaten and exiled into the swamps.
The inappropriate imagery just keeps coming. Several deaths later, a few popped eyeballs, and some creepy fights finds our story's hero watching as his girlfriend is sucked dry of her living essence into a withered husk. Well, hey. That sounds just great. Why are you crying, Bobby?
A great film for older kids, but not what you're expecting at seven years old.
5- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Mickey Mouse! Bugs Bunny! Daffy and Donald Duck! Talk about your all-star lineup. This alone should be enough to draw in pretty much any kid in America. And it did. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was hugely successful. And it probably spawned a generation of neurotics and bed-wetters.
With a plot more similar to Roman Polanski's Chinatown than a Saturday morning cartoon, Roger Rabbit was already threatening to go over most kid's heads. Alcoholic Private Dick Eddie helps cartoon second-banana Roger Rabbit clear his name after the animated star's wife is found cheating with his now-deceased boss. Laughs-a-plenty, kiddos.
Still, in spite of the mature themes, it manages to stay pretty kid friendly until the very end. And, well... let's just make a list of what happens.
- Man run over by steamroller, die in pain screaming
- Dead man wanders around flattened making terrible gurgling noises
- Dead man is actually a cartoon
- Terrifying, red, dagger eyes and high pitched crazy voice
All in all, it is just hugely terrifying. And trust me, if it is even more upsetting when you're nine. Just take a look at this.
REMEMBER ME EDDIE?
4- The Brave Little Toaster
The Brave Little Toaster was introduced to many children through repeated showing's on The Disney Channel. Created by many of the same men who now work at Pixar creating films such as Finding Nemo, it seems only natural that this early film would be off the beaten path. A highly schizophrenic film, it goes from sweet natured antics of household appliances that come alive when no one is looking and terrifying, adult realities relayed through song.
Within the first twenty minutes, we see an air conditioner get so angry that he kills himself and a mind-shattering nightmare scenario featuring a demonic clown firefighter spraying a hose full of forks at our titular toaster hero. This might seem like all the bad dream fuel first graders need for a lifetime, but it gets worse.
Later, we have a vacuum cleaner having a seizure due to sucking up its own power cord. THEN terrible zombie Frankenstein appliances singing and dancing around our cuddly group of heroes. Strangely, this is one of the least upsetting song and dance sequences, so that in itself is saying a lot. Later still, the state-of-the-art appliances sing a strangely menacing 80s synth-pop song extolling their superiority, a subtle threat of their inferiors being disposed of looming just under the surface.
And disposed of they are. In one of the most inexplicably morbid scenes in any children's film ever, the film's protagonists are sent to a junk yard where doomed cars sing Worthless, a depressing look back on their passed days of glory as they are literally led to their death by compactor. Not just explaining death, but showing the ravages of age and the depression and relief that death brings at an old age is confusing and upsetting for children. The worst part? A car that it still in working order drives itself into the crusher because it's so upset over being abandoned.
That's right, it commits suicide on screen.
Some of this has to be seen to believed, so excuse to the abundance of video's posted. Trust me, though: they're worth every second you spend on them.
A Terrifying Clown
A great song about death
3- The Secret of NIMH
What would happen if Algernon escaped the lab and started a race of super-intelligent mice? You would have The Secret of NIMH. A shockingly violent but affecting children's movie based on a popular novel. Made by Disney-also-ran Don Bluth, had some serious buzz propelling it at the time of its release.
A mother mouse ventures to the mysterious colony of rats to try to save her dying son from a mysterious illness. There she becomes embroiled in the politics of the genius test subjects who are at risk from humans planning to wipe out their home as well as the political machinations of an evil member of their clan.
The fact that the phrase "political machinations" could be used to describe a children's film is already a good sign that it might be above your grade level. The rats go on to crush, stab, and otherwise murder the living hell out of each other by the end, so be ready to give any kid seeing this an unusual number of hugs after they're finished.
2- Watership Down
Based on the very-adult novel by Richard Adams, Watership Down might be the biggest mistake parents make when they choose films for the kids. You can't really blame them: just look at the cover! At no point was this really intended to BE for children, but it is an animated film about rabbits so some marketing genius made it seem like the cuddliest, nicest time you could ever have.
This is pretty easy to sum up using only pictures.
Please follow along at home.
Awwww.. those rabbit are ADORABLE!
HOLY CHRIST WHAT THE HELL
1- The Adventures of Mark Twain
The most terrifying children's movie, ever. Period. It doesn't help that claymation, especially old choppy claymation is already unnatural and unnerving to begin with.
I was lucky to catch this when I was a bit older, around fourteen or fifteen. Too bad this still is terrifying as an adult. The Adventures of Mark Twain was a claymation film that experienced limited popularity. Which is good, because if more people had seen it we might have had scores of new suicides.
In the single most terrifying moment in all of children's cinema, three children meet. Satan. Yes, that Satan. The devil himself. He then proceeds to terrify them and provide them in a lesson on the petty cruelty of man and the violence God inflicts on his creations.
Buckle yourself in. There is nothing cute about this. I will guarantee you this is going to terrify you. Now imagine a nine year old watching it.