These scenes are ordered from least to most traumatizing. In other words, these are the scenes I found to be especially disturbing when I was little.
1) The doll head in Toy Story
Okay, I didn't really grow up with Toy Story. I think I only watched it once. But I will always remember the Doll Head Scene. This thing just really creeps me out. I mean, look at it. What's so creepy about it is that it's nothing but a head, with spider-like arms attached to it (due to my fear of insects and spiders, this makes me very uncomfortable).
Years later, as a teenager, I got really creeped out by the baby in Toy Story 3, probably because it reminded me of the doll head from the first movie, and my fear of toy babies was reawakened.
I think one of the reasons people find things like toy babies or the laughter of children to be creepy, is because something seemingly innocent is made to seem not quite right. People sense something is off about it, and that creeps them out.
2) The banshee in Darby O'Gill and the Little People
While the doll head may have been disturbing, it didn't make me hide behind my pillow. In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, one of my favorite childhood movies, a lot of suspense is built up towards the appearance of the banshee. As a kid, I knew what was coming when I heard the wailing of the banshee, so the tension was extremely high by the time it was revealed.
What's most impressive about the banshee is how frightening it manages to be, even if the special effects weren't as advanced when the movie was made. There's a scene where Darby is about to open the door of his house, and he knows the banshee is waiting on the other side of it, and so does the person watching from behind their pillow, so the moment Darby opens the door and the banshee rushes forward is very effective.
3) The blueberry scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version)
I love Roald Dahl, but his most famous book happens to be my least favorite. I prefer Matilda and The Witches to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be very...unpleasant, somehow. It's just not for me. So, naturally, I didn't really enjoy the movie when I watched it for the first (and last) time at my grandma's house.
|Looking for a screencap of this scene was a very uncomfortable|
experience, so I'm pretty sure I still haven't gotten over it...
For some reason, the girl turning blue and blowing up into a blueberry terrified me. It really messed with my head. I think gross things tend to scare me the most, and something about it disgusted me (and therefore terrified me). Overall, it made me extremely uncomfortable, and still does. It might not be the most frightening thing on this list, but in my opinion, it is definitely traumatizing - at least it was for me.
4) The pig scene in Spirited Away
I think something about food disturbs me, because this also has to do with food. Spirited Away is one of my favorite animated films, and definitely my favorite Studio Ghibli film, but there were quite a lot of frightening scenes that strongly affected me as a child.
The scene I remember being most frightened by, is the scene Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs. Or rather, they turn themselves into pigs by consuming too much food.
This also plays into the gross factor, so it disturbed me quite a lot. In fact, it disturbed me so much the first time I watched it, that I turned the TV off and couldn't watch it again until years later. I was convinced my mom and grandma were going to turn into pigs every time I saw them eating. I didn't eat anything for the rest of the day.
5) The plagues in The Prince of Egypt
Oooooooh boy. Alright, first of all, words cannot express how much I love this movie. In my opinion, The Prince of Egypt is one of the best animated movies of all time. Actually, that's not even an opinion, that's just a fact.
There's a lot of heavy material in this movie, but the part that genuinely disturbed me was the plagues. Everything about it - how the music starts out faint and builds up, getting louder and louder, how more and more frogs come out of the water, the disease, the insects. Especially the insects. I still get chills.
6) Pinocchio (just, the whole movie)
My parents agree with me that the donkey scenes in Pinocchio are incredibly disturbing and upsetting.
It isn't the only part of Pinocchio that I find disturbing, but for me, it is definitely the heaviest. I think the worst part is that once the children become donkeys, they're told they can never see their mothers again. That is a very upsetting thought to a child. Overall, Pinocchio is a very heavy movie for its target audience (if you're sensing some bitterness right now, you're right, because this movie was very unpleasant to me as a child).
I think heavy moments are good to have sometimes, and kids deserve to have intelligent, insightful, and meaningful films. But sometimes, it can get a little too disturbing.