20 Traumatizing Kid Movies

Oh childhood. A time of laughter. A time of joy. A time of innocence. A time to be scared to death by movies tailor-made for you. Wait, what? That doesn’t sound right. Here are a few movies that may have made you shudder as a kid (and maybe still as an adult). Enjoy!

20. All Dogs go to Heaven: Considering that the main character, Charlie Barkin, is murdered in the beginning, the movie isn’t that scary. Until he goes to Hell. Yep, sometimes if a dog is really bad he goes to Hell. There’s one scene in the movie where he has a nightmare about being tortured by demons in Hell. At the end of the movie it is revealed that when he died (a second time) he ends up in Hell, but because he saved a little girl’s life, he is given the chance to enter heaven again.

19. The Indian in the Cupboard: Just like All Dogs go to Heaven, The Indian in the Cupboard isn’t inherently creepy. However, it does have its moments. Like when the old Indian the kid brings back has a heart attack, the solider being scared of going back to battle, the Cowboy getting injured. It’s kind of deep for a kid’s movie.

18. The Brave Little Toaster: The air conditioner kills himself!!! The appliances we come to know and love are in constant peril.  They get caught a in thunderstorm, almost drown twice, almost get dismantled, and then almost crushed to death in the junkyard.

17. Dumbo: Dumbo gets treated like crap and bullied the whole movie. His mom gets locked away for defending him. And how can you forget the pink elephants on parade. Eek.

16. Bambi: His mom dies. Enough said.

15. Pinocchio: Two words: Pleasure Island. And let’s not forget about the whale.

14. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and The Golden Compass. This is a tie because they are both equally violent with somewhat hidden agendas. The Chronicles of Narnia of course parallel’s Christian themes, while the Golden Compass rejects religion. I enjoyed both movies, but come on. Kids have enough to deal with now days. Can we please stop forcing religious (or anti-religious) beliefs on them?

13. James and The Giant Peach: James and The Giant Peach wasn’t very scary, but it was sad. James gets treated like shit by his aunts and then a stranger comes along and promises to make things better in the form of creepy green things. As James and his new bug friends travel to New York City they face lots of dangers including a mechanical shark, pirate skeletons, and a rhino in the sky.

12. The Fox and the Hound: I cry like a baby every time the old woman leaves Todd in the woods. One of the dogs, Chief, gets run over by a train (he lives) and let’s not forget the hunter and Copper trying to kill Todd and his girlfriend. Also, that bear was terrifying.

11. Beetlejuice: I only watched Beetlejuice once as a kid and never watched it again. If this was my own personal list of childhood torment, this would be at the top.

10. The Mask: Same as Beetlejuice. I watched it once as a kid and never watched it again. I had nightmares about this movie for weeks. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

9. Fantasia: Disney sure knows how to scare the shit out of kids. This is especially true with its third animated feature. Although Fantasia wasn’t all doom and gloom, you have to admit the dinosaur fight and then their demise (Rites of Spring) is pretty terrifying to watch. And let’s not forget Night on Bald Mountain. Because demons and Satan are perfect for a kid’s movie.

8. Ferngully: The Last Rain Forrest: Once Hexxus enters the picture, you know that things aren’t going to turn out well. The forest is destroyed and although Hexxus is defeated in the end, you still can’t help but be sad about how things went down.

7.  Nightmare Before Christmas: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween/Christmas movie, so I get that it’s supposed to be a little creepy. But Oogie Boogie and some of the other characters are pretty intense. And let’s not forget those Christmas presents Jack presented to the kids. It’s also pretty terrifying when the cops try to shoot Jack down.

6. The Black Cauldron: Another dark tale from Disney with skeletons aplenty. Yay!

5.Coraline: Ghost children, buttons for eyes, spider mothers. Coraline is a perfect of example of being careful what you wish for. When Coraline wishes for a different life, she learns that what she wants isn’t better than what she has.

4. The Never Ending Story: Bastian’s dad is completely oblivious his kid is missing in the middle of a thunderstorm, but the scariest thing about The Never Ending Story is the Nothing, which is just that. Nothing. A big void of emptiness and despair. Awesome. Totally for kids.

3. The Secret of N.I.H.M: I loved this movie as a kid, but it was definitely dark. Rats and mice are pretty creepy in the first place, but when they’re being tortured and exterminated by humans…well it’s not pretty. There’s a lot of scary looking rodents, a gruesome looking owl, and of course murder.

2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: The boat ride scene alone is enough to creep you out. The systematic murder of children is also a downer. Although the kids got what they deserved, you can’t help but be a little weirded out by Mr. Wonka.

1. Watership Down: I never watched it as a child, but as an adult it’s kind of terrifying.  So much blood and death. So much.

Honorary Mentions

Anastasia: The animated tale of the lost Russian princess wasn’t completely terrifying. But Rasputin and his minions were spooky. And the Grandmother kind of creeped me out.

All Dogs Go to Heaven 2: Once again proving that not all dogs go to Heaven. And Satan’s a really creepy cat.

Bridge to Terabithia: The little girl dies! Enough said.

Corpse Bride: I didn’t find Corpse Bride creepy, but marrying a dead girl who was murdered and some of the dead people had to potential to frighten kids.

We’re Back! A Dinosaur Story: It was cute until we meet Professor Screweyes.

The Land Before Time: Another case of a mother dying in front of her child.

What movies scared you as a kid?

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