Top 10 Animated Disney Moments That Went too Far



Top 10 Animated Disney Moments That Went too Far

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Richard Bush
Seriously Disney, that is grim! For this list, we're focussing on scenes from Disney movie that made us feel disturbed, uneasy and /or unsure. Whether they creeped us out as kids or haunted us as adults, they'll make the cut. Our countdown includes moments from films such as “Bambi” (1942), “Toy Story 3” (2010) and “The Lion King” (1994). Which Disney Animated Movie Moment do YOU think is the most unsettling? Let us know in the comments!

Disagree with our rank? Check out the voting page for this topic and have your say! WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+Ten+Unsettling+Disney+Animated+Movie+Moments
Special thanks to our user Tracye Zelada for suggesting this idea!
Script written by Richard Bush

Top 10 Unsettling Disney Animated Movie Moments

Seriously Disney, that is grim! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unsettling Disney Animated Movie Moments. For this list, we’re focussing on scenes from Disney movie that made us feel disturbed, uneasy and /or unsure. Whether they creeped us out as kids or haunted us as adults, they’ll make the cut.

#10: What Happens to Bambi’s Mother

“Bambi” (1942)
Disney has never shied away from dark themes, and it frequently features characters dying in its movies. But this iconic scene from “Bambi” has a certain eeriness about it. Whether it’s because we never actually see Bambi’s mother’s final moments, or the fact that Bambi is left alone and searching for her, there’s just something that instills a strange sense of abandonment that we as viewers can’t help but feel ourselves. Of course, the echoing gunshot from the hunter’s rifle is a dagger in our hearts too. Thanks to that, whenever we hear a distant bang, we are haunted by the saddening cry of Bambi’s helpless call for his mother.

#9: The Spinning Wheel

“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)
It’s easy to overlook the dark nature of “Sleeping Beauty”, especially as a kid. It’s about a princess who can only be awakened by her true love’s kiss. Nice, right? But it’s the stuff that happens beforehand that’s really creepy. She is cursed by an evil fairy who proclaims she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die before she turns 16. Luckily, 3 good fairies are able to lessen the curse so that she’d fall into a deep, never-ending sleep instead, but it’s the way everything plays out that lands it here: there’s a sharp, creepy spinning wheel, and Aurora becomes hypnotised and follows an insidious green glow through the castle. Then there’s Maleficent's reverberating voice in her head. Be afraid of fairies, people, be very afraid.

#8: Clayton’s Fate

“Tarzan” (1999)
Clayton’s the worst, right? He is a relentless man on a mission who sets his sights on destruction and will stop at nothing to achieve it. This scene from “Tarzan” brings his journey to a rather gruesome end. First of all, the vibrant, colorful setting of the movie fades into a misty darkness as Tarzan is chased by gunfire. There are bullets flying, blades slicing and eventually, a man hanging. As Clayton claws at the vines he is tangled in, he inadvertently cuts the wrong one and hangs himself. Again, similar to Bambi’s mom, we are left to piece together what happens off-screen. But it doesn’t make it any less disturbing.

#7: “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

“Alice in Wonderland” (1951)
Okay, so we’ve probably all sung joyously along to this song at some point. It’s just so catchy. But have you ever stopped to listen to the words? Once you look past the colorful characters, the story of the curious oysters is about a man, or Walrus, who coerces a family of happy oysters out of the sea so he can eat them. And these are cute little baby oysters we’re talking about, with bonnets and everything - that are led away from their mother who is attempting to shelter them from danger. The contrast of the happy tune and the bleak fate of the oysters remind us that you should trust no one, ever! Especially not if they’re a Walrus in a top hat.

#6: The Incinerator

“Toy Story 3” (2010)
Many of us grew up with Woody, Buzz and friends as a beacon of our collective childhood. And that’s what makes the incinerator scene from “Toy Story 3” so soul destroying. Our favorite toys have a knack for getting out of sticky situations - whether it’s being strapped to a rocket, stranded miles away from home or being stolen at a yard sale. But in this scene, with the toys edging closer and closer to a fiery, frothing furnace, they’re all out of ideas - so they accept their fate, hold hands and, well, that’s it. At this point, the toys ceased to be toys. They are scared, real people, about to be melted. How grim is that?

#5: Pink Elephants on Parade

“Dumbo” (1941)
Anyone here like elephants? You won’t in a minute. In this scene from “Dumbo”, the eponymous baby elephant and Timothy accidentally get drunk on champagne. Okay, we’ll look past that. But the next part we can’t forgive, or forget. For some reason, Disney suggests that because Dumbo is drunk, he hallucinates nightmarish, dancing elephants. Which, as you can see, is less like the effects of alcohol, and more like LSD. And these elephants are truly terrifying. The whole thing plays out like a scene from “Fantasia” on steroids. Bad trip man, bad trip.

#4: The Stampede

“The Lion King” (1994)
We’ve already talked about certain characters’ fates being decided off-screen, but in this scene from “The Lion King”, we experience the horrific nature and aftermath of a stampede first hand. Not only do we follow the swelling danger of the stampede through Simba’s eyes as he clambers up a tree to survive, but of course there is also the matter of his father, Mufasa. After being emotionally battered from the ordeal, Simba goes in search of his dad, only to find his lifeless body lying on the ground, after which cub proceeds to nudge Mufasa in an attempt to wake him up. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things any of us will have to endure, and this violent and saddening scene hits extremely close to home.

#3: Humiliation

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)
Judge Frollo is probably the most obvious thing that scares the pants off us in this movie - especially his “Hellfire” song. But this street scene with Quasimodo is absolutely heartbreaking. Being different is a daily problem for Quasimodo, and just when he thinks he’s starting to fit in during a local festival, he is ridiculed, belittled and tied down, left crying for help in a flash. Even though this is a kids’ movie, this scene is shockingly real and relatable, and reminds us how dangerous and harmful prejudice can be. We watch knowing Quasimodo will likely rise above it and have a happy ending, but it still doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.

#2: The Army of the Dead

“The Black Cauldron” (1985)
This scene may not have any particularly unusual elements to it, at least by movie standards, but it plays out like a greatest hits of spine-chilling terrors. First of all, there’s the Horned King, voiced by John Hurt, who is all kinds of freaky. Then there’s his petrifying ritual that brings his Army of the Dead back to life. Apparitions shoot from the dreaded black cauldron and a fiery skull hovers in the sky above. Chances are, as a kid, you looked away during this part, and we don’t blame you.

#1: Pleasure Island

“Pinocchio” (1940)
For many of us, this scene from “Pinocchio” ruined going to camp when we were kids. Why? Well, because we didn’t want to be turned into a donkey and sold into slave labor. Yeah, that’s right. The dreaded Pleasure Island sequence from “Pinnochio” is every child (and parent’s!) worst nightmare. Pleasure Island is a cursed place where misbehaving boys are turned into donkeys - and the transformation is pretty disturbing. Luckily, Pinocchio manages to escape with only donkey ears and a tail, but the idea of being lured away to a strange place where you are mistreated and exploited is absolutely terrifying. Come on Disney, jeez!
I feel like The Incinerator Scene is what made the MPAA stricter in the 2010s, but atleast Toy Story 4 was still able to be rated G at a time when there%u2019d be very few G Rated Films.