Whilst most kids movies are all happy go lucky tales of love and adventure there are some that reduced us to tears as children. Sometimes it was due to the death of a beloved character and other times it was just because it was so bleak that even adults would be pretty depressed by it.
So grab a box of tissues and join us on a journey through the macabre and grim side of kids movies.
Whilst most of this Disney classic is fun frolic through the woods there’s no denying that many of us were traumatised when Bambi’s mum was shot by poachers. Leaving a lot of unprepared kids to ask who would look after Bambi now?
9. Return to Oz
The Wizard of Oz was psychedelic but ultimately pretty tame but in 1985 it got a follow up which would forever leave its mark on the minds of children at the time. You had a room full of severed talking heads and several weird creatures but nothing would scare kids quite so much as the Wheelers. These stalking weirdoes are still freaky today, who wouldn’t be scared being chased by a bunch of circus freaks on wheels.
8. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Most remember this as a timeless classic but you are often reminded of just how sinister this movie was when settling down for a Sunday movie. Why is it so sinister, well because of the Child Catcher that’s why, One creepy guy who’s employed by the evil Baron as he’s so good at catching children, yeah creepy.
Robin Williams’ classic is every bit as weird as it is charming but somewhere along the way the movie takes a dark twist. The toy factory that Robin Williams runs is infiltrated by an evil arms company, is there any other kind? All of a sudden the toys start attacking and the joy is turned to fear, perhaps the most terrifying aspect as a kid was the unseen but ever threatening “Sea Swine”.
Rightfully recognised as a classic, Legend starred a young Tom Cruise who plays Jack. Jack is tasked with saving the girl he loves from the Lord of Darkness played by Tim Curry. Now there is no denying the menacing appeal of Tim Curry in this movie.
Whilst enslaving the innocent princess and turning her into a gothic fantasy he also spends a lot of time symbolically killing unicorns in an attempt to prove to her that her innocence is lost. This film disturbed many a young girl with its extremely suggestive overtones and Tim Curry is masterful as The Lord of Darkness.
5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Long before the Hollywood big bucks appeal of Tim Burton’s remake there was the original 1971 masterpiece. The movie stayed true to the Roald Dahl novel and was every bit as psychedelic and vengeful. The most disturbing part, other than the way the children are all disposed of, has to be the scene where they are taken on a boat trip by their host.
4. When the Wind Blows
Whether or not this is really a kids film is debatable but Raymond Briggs’ cold war tale of an elderly couple preparing for the potential of nuclear destruction is hard hitting as an adult let alone a child. Many of us were shown this at school and went home that day very shaken and worried for our futures.
3. The Land Before Time
So you’re around 6 years old and love Dinosaurs, what could be better that a Steven Spielberg animation about a group of Dinosaurs right? Wrong! Very early on in the movie you are faced with a seriously bleak scene, Littlefoot gets to witness his Mother die after being attacked by a T-Rex. As if this wasn’t bad enough he is also separated from his heard by an earthquake and is hunted by the T-Rex for the rest of the film, lovely.
2. All Dogs Go To Heaven
Now the clue is in the title on this one but that wasn’t enough to stop us flocking to the cinema to see what was advertised as a classic Disney happy film. That cinema was quickly filled with crying children when it became clear that the loveable Charlie B Barkin is about to be murdered by his friend Carface.
It gets worse when he actually is killed, goes to Heaven and decides to return to Earth to be with his best friend and an orphan girl who teaches him how to be kind. It’s tear jerking stuff.
1. Watership Down
No film in the history of cinema is quite as infamous for disturbing children as Watership Down.What starts as a lovely tale of Bunnies in the English countryside suddenly turns very real when the characters are killed off by rival rabbits, poachers, dogs and traps. Who can forget the hideous scene where Bigwig is caught in a snare trap? The film also tackles themes such as slavery, the grim reaper and the afterlife, all of which is way too much for a young child.
So these are the kids films that disturbed us as children but which ones left you traumatised when you were young? Let us know in the comments.