Just like so many others in the world, I was raised on Disney films. Even though the majority of their films (at least at the time) were cartoons, they hold some pretty dark scenes and messages throughout their movies. Here are some of the darkest Disney films that we didn’t realize were messed up until we grew older.
Pinocchio – Pleasure Island: abduction, human trafficking of children, turning them into donkeys, clowns…nightmare fuel for sure
The Black Cauldron. Especially if the deleted scene where the Horned King’s undead minions increase their numbers by ripping the skin off of his living minions was put back in…
I’m not even talking about the crows. The amount of abuse that elephant goes through is heartbreaking for a kids movie. Plus the pink elephant scene was pure nightmare fuel.
My favorite one. “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” It’s my favorite Disney film, it impacted me enough to want to learn French and read the original book by Victor Hugo. As I grew older, I realized it is way too dark to have been made into a Disney film. Even with the little fixes they did to make it kid friendly, it’s still very dark. As a kid I didn’t understand what Frollo’s problem was but I got that he liked Esmeralda, just not the lust and rapey aspect.
Fox and the Hound. Apart from the old lady abandoning a hand-reared fox in the woods and just expecting it to know how to survive, the end message of the movie is, Stick With Your Own Kind.
The villain from Oliver and Company was so dark. He was ruthless and realistic. He was on the phone telling his men to drown people. He also sicced his dogs on the main character with killing intent and only stopped when he offered a scheme to kidnap a little girl that seemed viable. Plus he straight up died at the end. Otherwise a great movie though.
The parents locked Elsa into solitary confinement for accidentally hurting Ana. Before that, she was totally cool with her powers. Then they died at sea and she was so messed up in the head that she wanted to stay there.
How the hell has nobody mentioned The Incredibles yet? It has a body count of 23 IIRC. Some of the deaths are pretty brutal too like the woman who gets sucked into a jet turbine. There’s also an attempted suicide where the guy is pissed that Mr. Incredible stopped him from successfully taking his own life. Then there’s the part where the mom has to tell the kids that the bad guys on the island aren’t like cartoon bad guys. They’ll be actively trying to kill them on sight. Even as a kid, that part stuck with me.
Recently rewatched the original Peter pan and honestly that movie was a bit fucked up. And pretty racist
Don’t look under the bed.
They usually show it around halloween on the Disney channel late at night. That movie gave me nightmares for YEARS.
Sleeping Beauty and Snow White
Imagine the consequence of kissing a stranger girl while she’s sleeping in modern times
How has no one mentioned Return to Oz? That movie gave me nightmares as a kid, lol.
The Brave Little Toaster.
Although I really loved that movie as a kid. But it’s pretty wild as an adult.
[White Wilderness] The one where they forced a bunch of lemmings of a cliff and claimed they do that naturally
Probably not #1, but The Rescuers Down Under has to be up there on their villain alone. McLeach is an absolute bastard.
Beauty and the Beast. Kidnapping. Attempted murder. False imprisonment. Coercion. And that’s the “good” guy
The Last Jedi. Because Luke Deserved better. : )
Shoutout to the Mandalorian for helping to un-fuck his legacy.
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