7 Disney Movie Scenes That Took Dark & Twisted Turns |
Disney has held a stranglehold on the global entertainment industry for nearly a century. When watched again, Disney’s innumerable animation classics elicit childhood memories that no other studio can match, instilling a lasting sense of delight in the hearts of children and adults alike.
However, these films aren’t always rainbows and sunshine, and they occasionally confront real-life situations and tragedies that seem out of place in an animated children’s film. Of course, it’s necessary to educate the target demographic while also addressing the consequences of a hero or villain’s deeds, but the enchanted world of Disney felt far too grim on these instances.
A Girl Worth Fighting For
Mulan (1998) has a few gloomy moments, which you’d anticipate from a film depicting the dismal atrocities of war. The abrupt shift in tone from the joyful musical number ‘A Girl Worth Fighting For’ to the song’s startling tragic climax stood out in particular.
When the characters arrived to a butchered hamlet with a smoldering village, innumerable bodies, and even a child’s doll, their happy singing came to an end. This startling interruption acted as a stark reminder to the audience of war’s violence and devastation.
The loss of the titular deer’s mother in 1942’s Bambi is without a doubt one of Disney’s saddest scenes, still tugging at viewers’ heartstrings 80 years later. For many children, the film served as an introduction to the possibility of losing a parent, or possibly their first experience seeing death on TV.
Despite the pair’s desperate attempts to flee, Bambi’s mother is shot by a hunter when they are out foraging for food in the forest. Bambi made the heartbreaking discovery that his mother had died in a tear-jerking scene, breaking the audience’s hearts in one of the worst moments in animated film history.
Tarzan, which was released in 1999 and was not without its share of gruesome scenes, had one in particular that stuck out. Clayton, the antagonist known for his hunting proclivity, met his creepy ending at the film’s conclusion in one of the most unforgettable sequences for all the wrong reasons.
Clayton angrily hacks at vines with a machete after becoming entangled in them, but the vines eventually wrap themselves around his neck, hanging him in the process. While the actual hanging isn’t shown on film, a flash of lighting casts the eerie shadow of the hunter’s dangling corpse, leaving the spectator with a terrifyingly gloomy image.
The crimes of Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame place him among the most heinous villains of all time. It’s difficult to pick Frollo’s worst deed in a film full of them, from killing a young Quasimodo’s mother and attempting to kill the infant himself to attempting to burn Esmerelda at the stake.
Frollo’s frightening end was definitely one of Disney’s scariest scenes, even when the antagonist got his comeuppance. As he plunged to his burning demise, a demonic gargoyle appeared to send Frollo directly to hell. A terrible conclusion to one of Disney’s darkest films.
Pinocchio, one of Disney’s first films, continues to astound audiences with its dark depiction of good and evil. Pinocchio and his pal Lampwick were enticed to Pleasure Island in the hopes of seemingly fulfilling their irrational wishes, but this was not to be.
Lampwick, along with a few other youths on the island, were changed into donkeys to be sold as slaves after being handed a handful of cigars and alcohol. Some people were even left with the ability to speak, pleading to be turned back. Despite being plainly meant as a lesson on good behavior for the younger viewers, the scene’s horrific nature makes it a terrible viewing for its audience.
Scar Kills Mufasa
Despite the fact that comparable tales have become somewhat of a cliché in recent years, Scar’s murder of his own brother Mufasa in The Lion King still shocks audiences. Simba watched as Scar sent Mufasa falling to his death after being used as bait by his uncle to entice his father’s cooperation.
The little cub’s reaction after attempting to rouse his father is never easy to witness and almost always brings a tear to the viewer’s eye. Mufasa’s death is one of, if not the most, heartbreaking Disney events of all time. It is both a horrible experience for a small child to witness and a difficult memory for an adult to relive.
The Toys Face Incineration
After eleven years since the previous installment in the franchise, Toy Story 3 was released in 2010, and fans young and old were unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster they were about to experience. The treasured group of toys ended up in a rubbish dump’s incinerator and appeared to be on their way to a gruesome end.
The dolls held hands as they approached the furnace after accepting their fate, as lifelong admirers watched in terror, expecting their favorite figures to die at any moment. Fortunately, they were saved, but it doesn’t take away from the heartbreaking scene and the agony it nearly caused Toy Story fans all across the world.