Have you ever re-watched one of your favorite childhood movies, only to be met with a feeling akin to, “WTF, was this movie always so dark?” Either we’re tougher as kids than society gives us credit for, or the sadness just sort of goes over our heads. It’s probably a little bit of each.
If you can relate, you probably watched at least one of these 11 surprisingly dark childhood movies. From movies like The Land Before Time and Where The Wild Things Are, to old DCOMS like Don’t Look Under The Bed and Tru Confessions, we’ve got it covered.
All Dogs Go To HeavenKids movies in the '80s were just more dark in general, it seems like. I mean, can you imagine a kids movie today including drowned puppies, drunk cartoon dogs, and a narrow escape from hell?
Don't Look Under The BedOkay, I know that this DCOM was meant to be scary. What I didn't know, and didn't fully appreciate as a kid, was that there were so many themes about death and fear. Also, one of the characters was dying of Leukemia! This kind of movie would never be made by Disney Channel these days.
The Land Before TimeThis movie has it all. Dead moms? Check. Neglected children dinosaurs? Check. Potential extinction on the horizon? Check. Other dinosaurs that are trying to kill them? Check, check, check. Yikes.
The Rugrats MovieThis movie has the great honor of being the first movie I remember crying at as a kid. But now that I think of it more, this movie was pretty damn disturbing. First of all, those violent monkeys. Then we have the fact that there are a bunch of kids who are lost, alone, and prone to getting snatched. But what took the cake was the scene in which Tommy almost murders his baby brother, Dill out of jealousy. Damn.
Tru ConfessionsOMG. Not gonna lie, this might be Shia Labouf's best performance. Yes, in a DCOM. He plays a mentally slow teen and there are so many scenes that still make me squirm with sadness to this day. Definitely the saddest DCOM out there.
Where The Wild Things AreOkay, to be fair this movie probably wasn't geared towards kids. But here's the deal: When I read the book, I didn't expect to enter a movie about a kid who has problems at home and potential neglect issues.
The Adventures Of Mark TwainNo hate to the artsy people behind these character designs, but the claymation design of these characters is already creepy. So that, plus a particularly dark scene about mankind's eventual destruction due to our sinful lifestyles...makes for a really disturbing lesson for little kids. I'm not even a little kid anymore and I still can't watch that scene!
The Brave Little ToasterCan we talk about how his fellow kitchen appliances are pretty much trying to kill him throughout this movie? Because, uh...yeah, that's the movie in a nutshell.
The Secret Of NIMHOkay, I haven't seen this movie but multiple sources have confirmed that this movie is creepy AF. After watching the trailer, I can verify that I already know that I'm glad my parents didn't subject me to this as a kid. Can somebody please explain the creepy owl?!
Tower Of TerrorWho else was terrified of elevators after watching this movie? Um, me! This is straight up a movie about a bunch of people who died and have ghosts chillin' in a penthouse.
Susie QThis movie seems cute at first, until you really think about the fact that this entire film is about a girl who died in a tragic car accident.
Did any of these movies freak you out? What other movies were pretty dark in retrospect? Tell us in the comments!