Unexpected dark moments in children’s media

The Willy Wonka The boat scene is the best in horror cinema.


“I never got over Mufasa’s death in The Lion Kingbut i have to say Mulane. They were all happy and singing about their ideal type of girl, and all of a sudden the music stopped and you see how brutal the war was.”


“When the old widow left Tod in The fox and the hunting dog. It literally broke my heart! Amos should have controlled his trigger and sucked it in. I know Tod had a great life afterwards, but god, I was so traumatized (and I’m still 31!)”


“The totality Coraline film. I didn’t see that horror shit come from a mile when I was little; I was terrified!”


“In Charlie and the chocolate factory, when the dolls finish singing, ignite, and then there is the look of the eye which falls as it melts. Such a disturbing and unexpected sequence for a children’s film.”


“The first one Willy Wonka film. The scene with the boat in the tunnel.”


“Blood control in Avatar: The Last Airbender. This episode literally stuck with me for years. It was terrifying.”

“And then in The Legend of Korra when it was revealed that you can bloodbend at any time of the day, not just during full moons (with proper training)!”


“I don’t know why, but it really bothered me when I was a kid when Tangled, the mother is pushed out the window and is reduced to ashes. Like, I was seriously freaked out.”


The monster house. Need I say more?”


“In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the scene where Frollo lights the fire to burn Esmeralda. This whole movie had a lot of dark moments, but this one stood out to me the most.”

“That scene and the one where Frollo was clinging to the gargoyle before falling to his death terrified me as a kid.”


“Weirdly, Professor Lupine transforming into Harry Potter and the prisoner of azkaban. I eventually got over my fear of dementors, but something about the werewolf transformation really bothered me. I stayed until Hermione pointed to the moon, then I had to leave until Harry cast the Patronus.”


“Old lady costume with Nagini inside Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Her voice, her mannerisms, her makeup…I’m in my 30s and it still scares me.”


“Towards the end of Halloween Town II, when everyone at the party turns into monsters according to their costumes, and the mother turns green and shriveled and hisses, then she starts hitting her children with her long spindly fingers. It was scary.”


“In adventure timethe scenes with Lemongrab and his brother always scare me.”


Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t exactly made for kids, but Barbossa and the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, especially during the scene in Elizabeth where she sees them all on deck and Barbossa tells her she better start believing to ghost stories.”

“That, and Davy Jones. I don’t remember what movie I was watching, but there was a Dead Man’s Chest preview where you literally hear Davy Jones coming down the stairs, then briefly catch a glimpse of him, and it freaked me out.”


And finally: “Everything The black cauldron.”

What surprisingly dark moments make you remember? Tell us about them in the comments!

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