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Scary Disney Movies

What is it with Disney – supposedly FAMILY oriented Disney – that makes them have a scary part in pretty much every single movie?? Don’t get me wrong. I’m a *huge* Disney fan – I was a member of the Disney Movie Club long before I had kids. But wow. I guess you don’t really realize how bad it really is until you’re watching WITH kids.

A random sampling:

  • Bambi – mom’s shot. ‘nuf said.
  • Beauty and the Beast – uhm. Not just the Beast…there are wolves too!
  • The Fox and the Hound – The entire movie is crazy! I remember a cute friendship story…watching it (ONCE) with my kids showed a very, very dark story where they’re always trying to kill the fox!
  • 101 Dalmatians – Cruela DeVil. She wants to make a coat out of the puppies.
  • Monster’s Inc. – The very first scene is monsters trying to scare a kid in bed. nice.
  • Lion King – Dad dies. Scar then tries killing off Simba. And Scar’s FAMILY!
  • Finding Nemo – Mom dies. (What IS it with mom dying??)
  • Little Mermaid – Shark scene.

So…we start watching and ack! a scary part comes up and my brain freezes…do I turn it off or keep it going?! I’m thinking that most of these would be scarier if I turned it off before the warm fuzzy happy ending, so instead of doing that, we brave the monsters and plunge right on through…

I guess the ones that were around when I was younger didn’t scar ME for life (at least…I don’t think they did! LOL), so perhaps I shouldn’t be too worried. But then again, I hear that we can’t help but scar our kids for life, so why not let Disney help …

***EDIT*** I’m told that this is a good candidate for another blog listing (see comments), the Daily Mish Mash and July Movie Madness, so I’m adding a link to over there…looks like fun!

20 Responses

  1. I worked at a camp once and it was a rainy day so we put in the Little Mermaid. I never realized, until I was taking care of 5-year-olds, how frigging scary Ursula is!!

  2. I agree. Disney movies really are for older kids instead of the target audience that they market to–preschool.

    This post would be perfect for the my Movie Madness carnival. Stop by and add your link:


  3. One of my boys is especially sensitive. He gets freaked out watching the Wonder Pets when an animal is in danger. We tried watching Finding Nemo, skipping the intro where mom and eggs all bite it, and he still was scared about 5 minutes in.

    I think we’re not going to be showing him these Disney “horror” movies any time soon!

    As an only slightly related comment, I was telling my mom that I was a little concerned about how scared my son is by even mild things on TV, and she told me that I used to be scared of Oscar the Grouch, running out of the TV room whenever he came on Sesame Street. So I guess it’s genetic 🙂

  4. LOL! Oscar – that’s too cute 🙂

    Burke knows the exact moments for scary parts (the music maybe?) and runs out of the room…just out of sight. . . and knows the exact moments for when they are over and runs back in.

  5. I dunno. I watched Disney movies growing up and I don’t remember being affected by them that much. My daughter’s been watching them since she was real small (she’s 8 now) and she just loves ’em. Scary parts and all!

  6. Do you know, I had never quite realised just how many of them were scary in some way!! My little nephew used to have bad moments at particular films, Ice Age (not Disney I know) stands out as one because he’d get really scared when the wolves converged on the Mum and baby.

  7. I too never realized how scary some part of Disney movies were until I had a child of my own, and a very easily scared child I might add. Luckily he’s 6 now and doesn’t get quite so scared any more.

    But THIS is a bit odd don’t you think – he is creeped out by Ursula (Little Mermaid) and Bruce the shark (Nemo) but he can watch EVERY Star Wars movie even Episode III with no problem, AND he can now watch most of all 5 Harry Potter movies and only wants to skip 2 parts (the dementors and the big snake). Go figure!

  8. i agree with what you say about us watching many of the same movies as kids… I think i turned out ok 😉

    it’s so hard to know what’s ok and what’s not… but you’re so right on about those dang disney movies! why do they always have to have a scary or tragic part???

  9. I know what you mean about those movies. I refuse to buy Bambi because I was so traumatized as a child and I didnt know what I was getting into when I bought Lion King when it first came out. I think any childrens movie that kills off a parent it TERRIBLE!!! Just WRONG!!

    Thinking about it killing or hurting is in a lot of those movies.
    Snow: The woodsman
    Sleeping Beauty: The Dragon
    The Rescuers: a kidnapper/the hunter and the golden eagle
    Peter Pan: Capt Hook
    Jungle Book: The tiger
    The list goes on and on…..I think that we show them at such a young age that our kids immune themselves to it. Is that good or bad I wonder.

  10. Do you remember the scene in 101 Dalmations in the pound? It shows parentless puppies in cold, dark, corners wimpering and crying big puppy dog tears…it’s heartbreaking. What are we supposed to get out of that?

  11. You are VERY right! Our parents showed them to us young, I’ve been far more reticent to show any of them to my kids (almost 7). I do love me some Disney though…but as with everything, cursory eye before showing to the kids. In truth, life is resplendent with that good/bad balance combo
    I actually guest posted with a Disney theme at http://litandlaundry.blogspot.com today…go peek if time permits.

    What Disney I am NOT a fan of? The whole HSM and Camp Rock and Hannah Montana phenom is BEYOND me….perhaps “ok” for tweens, but the kids watching in our neighborhood are WAYYYYY pre-tween!

  12. The scariest Disney movie BY FAR is The Black Cauldron. I watched it as a child and when I found out the horned King was a skeleton I cried and had Nightmares for about a month afterwards. Now, 13 years later, I’m still quite scared.

  13. The nightmare from WINNIE THE POOH AND THE BLUSTERY DAY, Icabods ride home in THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW,SNOW WHITE AND THE 7 DAWARVES when she is running through the woods trees and fallen logs become monsters,PINNOCIO when that kid turns into a donkey,FANTASIAS,NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTIAN the devil summoning all the dead,

  14. As a child was traumatized by Quasimodo being tortured on the wheel after the after the Topsy Turvy parade, the organ from Beauty and the Beast Christmas movie and guess it’s not Disney but the villain from the Ferngully movie, the smoke of oil. Toxic love ? yeah just noticed how violent and scary they were when was feeling nostalgic and wanted to look up some Disney clips online, but Don Bolth films ( American tail land before time , all dogs go to heaven ) are much, much worse on the traumatizing levels. AKA The Dog goes to hell and Satan is like- right there and he is saying to the Dog that he can never go back..’shudders’.

  15. how about SLEEPING BEUTY when MELIFECENT changes into a dragon to attack PRINCE PHILLIP and he gets the aid from the fairies when he loses his shield and the fairy saying SWORD OF VIRTURE FLY SWIFT AND SURE SO EVIL DIES AND GOOD ENDURES and the blood from the wound of the mortaly wounded dragon

  16. What about DARBI OGILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE when the BANSHEE appears and the death coach with the headless driver

  17. Legened of Sleepy Hollow when Icabod rides the horse home after the party the clouds look like ghostly hands grabbing the moon the hooting owl the frogs and the wind as well as the crow going BEWARE,BEWRAE,BEWARE,BEWARE

  18. The ONLY Disney movie we let our daughter watch is Cinderella (which she loves) because while the stepmother and sisters are really not nice, she can handle that. Though my husband and I love Pixar movies, she was totally traumatized by a couple of their scenes. It will most likely be YEARS until we show any of the other Disney movies, classic or otherwise, unless we can figure out how to avoid the scarier parts. So sad and sweet: even during Happy Feet, she turned to me with tears and a tragic voice and said “Where’s his Mommy?”

  19. Well you obviously haven’t seen Sleeping Beauty with Malecifentas a 3-year old or Black Cauldron as a 5-year old with the worst of the worst, the most evil character one can ever find in a Disney movie… The Horned King!

  20. this is stupid tear not even scary i got one hocus pocus

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