The Top 10 Scariest / Creepiest Disney Movie Moments
Those Times Disney Scared the Crap Out of Us
As you know from many of my entries on this blog, I love Disney. They are the high and mighty rulers of animation in my opinion, and if they keep buying everything, maybe even the world. Growing up with a lot of Disney films, I could list off a number of memorable moments in the movies, like Elsa forming her ice palace in her big number Let It Go, or when Scar kills Mufasa, or when Mulan kills an entire army of Huns.
But seeing as it is Halloween, I'm going to be talking about the creepy, disturbing, dark moments from our childhood and beyond. There are plenty of scenes that I'm sure our little versions of ourselves hid behind the couch while watching them, or just fast forwarded through them because they were too intense. But as we got older, either the scenes didn't bother us as much, or they took on a whole new level of creepy when you look at them through adult eyes. While some of this is up to interpretation, I'm sure I'm not alone with the many picks I scoured from the deep, dark, compressed corners of my memories. So, why not celebrate this spooky holiday with a spooky look into those ten times Disney really scared the crap out of us! Mostly me, but I'm sure you guys will find some of these creepy too.
10. Frollo's Perverted Mind from the Hunchback of Notre Dame
Starting off this list is a different kind of creepy. While Hunchback is nowhere near one of my favorite Disney films (do not take that the wrong way, fans, please), there is still some stuff to admire about this movie. The villain, Frollo was a memorable character. He's a villain that thinks he is doing the right thing religiously, but slips deeper and deeper into dark insanity as the movie progresses.
All of this is over...well, Frollo is going through some changes. As you know, when a man loves a woman...okay, no sugar coating this, he wants to do Esmerelda. Even though Esmerelda is a gypsy, which Frollo despises, you just can't help but see her as a hottie. This leads to a few moments in the movie where Frollo's perversions surface, such as sniffing her hair for one, and during his big Hellfire scene he sees her doing a stripper dance in his fireplace. Hey, the last time I was near a fireplace, there was no seductive lady in there, and it tried to burn me. Also, being a pervert isn't the worst of it, as Frollo is so obsessed with Esmerelda, he either captures everyone who doesn't give her up, or tries to have them burned alive.
I would say he needs to get laid, but I think it's for the best that he doesn't.
9. The Horned King's Design from the Black Cauldron
One of the less favored movies of Disney's roster, but surprisingly I've seen a rising appreciation for the Black Cauldron over the past year. It's not considered a favorite by any means, but over this year, I've seen more and more people express more positive feelings towards this movie than when I was younger.
One thing that is often brought up about this movie is the villain, the Horned King, who is literally a horned skull-faced demon with a creepy voice. While my memory of this movie is a little fuzzy at best, but this character is more like what Red Skull should've been like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As soon as this guy enters the scene, even when there's like a big party going on, everything goes silent for a moment when his presence is made known.
The movie itself is darker than its predecessors in Disney's roster overall, and the Horned King is pretty much where it stems from. One scene that comes to mind is when he does raise his undead army, and another when he does end up dying in a very gorey way for an animated movie. Perhaps I should check out this movie again when I can, and figure out what else I'm missing from it.
8. Drunk Dumbo from...Dumbo
Admittedly, I have either not watched Dumbo, or I have not seen it in so long that I have forgotten about it entirely. However, one scene that people constantly bring up about this movie, other than racist crows, is the scene where Dumbo gets drunk and starts seeing pink elephants from Hell marching around, and singing.
A Big Lipped Alligator Moment!
Watching the scene sober is a hell of a weird experience enough, I can only imagine how this looks for people who are drunk while watching this movie. The animation is intensely strange, and the elephants look nightmarish, as they have no eyes, and take on many horrifying shapes and sizes throughout this whole sequence. Ironically I was least afraid of them when they turned into a freaking cobra!
Also, I don't recommend watching this scene if you're known to suffer from seizures. It's not on the same level as Porygon from the Pokémon anime, but there are a few places where the bright colors flash enough to induce a seizure, even if it is minor.
But, if you want to keep your kids off drugs, I hope that this will terrify them enough to keep them off of them for life.
7. Cybug King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph
The cybugs in Wreck-It Ralph are scary enough for young audiences. In their natural forms, they are large insects with sharp teeth, but as soon as they eat, they become far more deadly. Whatever they eat, they become, whether it be candy, a gun, or Major Calhoun's husband right as she is shooting it in the face.
But if I wasn't afraid of cybugs before, I certainly found a new terror from them when King Candy was eaten by one, and he became a cybug himself! Suddenly that giant head of his becomes a whole lot creepier attached to a large, flying insect body, complete with really long legs and sharp teeth. Also, the way it moves so swiftly makes it all the more unnerving. This becomes one of those times when it is good to mix Mentos with Diet Coke, because as it turns out, that's his weakness.
6. Madam Mim from the Sword in the Stone
Just Madam Mim in general. No specific scene. Just the character for the entire time she is in the movie is a big creep. The way she looks, her voice, the fact that she lives alone in the middle of the woods. This whole picture screams nightmare fuel waiting to happen.
The character is extremely twisted when first introduced, and doesn't bother trying to hide it when young King Arthur accidentally flies into her home, showing off her magic to prove that she is better than Merlin, until she decides that she has to kill Arthur. Fortunately Merlin does show up and they have a wizard's duel, which thankfully he wins. But still, if I was Merlin I would probably have Dragonstorm rain fire down on her to see how she could handle a giant three headed Cybertronian dragon.
Well, it could be worse, I suppose. She could probably force us to sit through Legend of the Sword. I think I'd rather take my chances with her than with that movie.
5. Ursula's Lair from the Little Mermaid
Ursula herself is a pretty scary creature to find under the sea. She can offer you a deal at one point, but there is always a price that comes with it, and it's most likely a price you can't pay, and she'll shrivel you up into a little creature in her lair. Her home is pretty much the creepiest thing about her, and since she has two pet eels who speak in unison and watch your every move, that is saying something.
Ursula's home is pretty much the skeletal remains of a giant sea monster. While living inside of a dead creature is one thing, how she decorates it really brings the horror to her home. In the doorway she has her victims laid out to watch whoever enters that cave, and they don't just stare at you, they can even attack you if they feel like it for whatever reason! I wouldn't lurk in her doorway. The only Ursula I'd like to visit would be in that one time when Regina impersonated Ursula in Once Upon A Time.
And people thought my old apartment was messy.
4. The Elephant Graveyard from the Lion King
While I talked about someone living in a stack of bones on the last spot, this takes it to a whole new level. The elephant graveyard in the outlands is the home of the hyenas, who are separate from the rest of the pridelands, and I think the proof why is all around their lair. The hyenas are eager to kill and eat whatever enters their home, and be as sadistic as possible doing it. The whole sequence when young Simba and Nala are in the graveyard and are chased around through this death trap is pretty intense, as we see a lot of this environment.
Apparently there are mini volcanos and geysers out there. My number one rule about living somewhere is that it can't have volcanos, because that is just terrifying to think about. Let's not forget the killer dogs with powerful bite forces running around in there! At least they're afraid of Darth Vader as a lion.
3. The River of Lost Souls from Hercules
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. Even if someone who was still alive found their way to the Underworld, it's not a recommended place to visit. It's a little dark, a little gloomy, and as always, full of dead people. Even with the giant three headed dog, Cerberus, and Hades always having a fiery temper tantrum one way or another, the scariest part about a living person being there is the River of Lost Souls.
All of the dead souls collected over the millennia float in that green river, and one touch of the water is capable to shrivel the skin. Swimming in the water is lethal, unless you're a god, then you'd just have trouble getting out.
When Hercules has to go and resurrect Megara after she died from her wounds, he has to swim through the river to get to her soul. When he does, he starts to age rapidly the deeper he goes into the water, while the three Fates wait to end his life. Rapid aging to dust has to be one of the worst ways a Disney character could die, and believe me, we will get to that later. It's kind of lucky that at the last second, Hercules's godhood is restored, but he does come close to death right before he reaches Meg. And let's be honest, Meg is definitely hot enough for the risk.
2. Gothel's Death from Tangled
You would probably expect me to put the last shot of the movie here, because that is an image that haunts my dreams. But I'm being totally serious. While Hercules got off lucky when he swam in the River of Lost Souls, Gothel wasn't as fortunate when Flynn Rider cut Rapunzel's hair, taking away its magic properties.
For eighteen years, Gothel used Rapunzel's magic to keep herself young and beautiful, and cutting the hair immediately took away all of the magic that kept her young.
In Gothel's final moments, she ages so quickly, and rots so much that she can't bare to look at herself. Then she turns to dust just as she falls to her death. Villains always seem to get the most gruesome deaths in Disney movies, which I guess is kind of their way to tell us not to become completely evil and use hot chicks for personal means. You don't need to tell me that, trust me, but it's good to know the consequences if they're anything like what happens to Gothel.
1. Pleasure Island from Pinocchio
There is a reason why I don't revisit Pinocchio. It is because this movie is pretty traumatic. I mean, a movie about a puppet who wants to be a real boy gets really messed up when a certain scene happens. Pleasure Island, where they never come back as "boys". That is one creepy line!
I find it very fitting that in the episode of Once Upon A Time where Pleasure Island is shown, that Pinocchio is not proud of that time in his life, and I really don't blame him for removing its pages from the Once Upon A Time book.
Pleasure Island is not as fun as it sounds! Sure there are roller coasters, but you can get that at any carnival, and I'm sure most of them don't have such a twisted downside to them as Pleasure Island.
In the sequence on Pleasure Island, the runaway kids gamble, drink beer, and smoke cigars. So no, getting cancer is not worth a roller coaster ride!
But of course, a terminal disease isn't the only bad thing to come from a visit to Pleasure Island. The kids there turn into donkies! Because since they were acting like asses, they might as well become asses. I know that joke was so obvious.
While Pinocchio manages to escape the island, none of the other kids are so lucky. Normally in a Disney movie, it is a happy ending all around. The heroes triumph, the kingdom is at peace, and the villains get what is coming to them. But not here. We never see what happens to these kids. There isn't a scene where Pinocchio returns to liberate them. He just saves his own ass and gets the hell out of there! The kids who are turned into donkies are put in cages, and we can only think about what happens to them from there.
Well, according to Captain Hook, Neverland has dark dealings with Pleasure Island, so that adds to the true darkness of this moment. Maybe this is one way Pan recruits lost boys, and maybe he kills the ones he doesn't want and makes the others eat them. You can see why I put this at number one!
I suppose they were bad kids, but damn Disney! At least you could say it scares kids into not running away from home, gambling, becoming alcoholics, and smoking themselves to death.
Pleasure Island, the darkest, creepiest, most messed up scene in any Disney movie. If the cancer doesn't kill you, there's a good chance Peter Pan will.
And there you have it, the most terrifying scenes in Disney animated movies. Now, before I go, this list is one big prelude to what I'll be doing throughout the month of November. Last November, I did mostly Disney-based reviews and other such entries in honor of the release of Moana. This year, I'll be doing that again in honor of the latest release from Disney, you guys all know what it is, I'm sure.
Olaf's Frozen Adventure! Oh, and also Pixar's Coco is coming out too, but I'm mostly excited for Olaf's Frozen Adventure! So, this November, not only will I be making Disney related material, but I'll show some appreciation to Pixar too. I'll be reviewing some movies from both, and be making different kinds of entries including top ten lists, and I've even got a big fan theory to share to start the month off.
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