The 12 Most Traumatizing Scenes From Kids Movies You Probably Forgot About

Kids movies, especially older ones, tend to follow a specific formula: they are sweet, funny, and heartwarming for three quarters of the movie, but one part is tragic, terrifying, and potentially traumatic. Think of the most popular traumatic scenes from kids movies: Mufasa being trampled to death in front of his young son in The Lion King, a hunter shooting Bambi’s mom, the kid dying from bee stings in My Girl, and the fire scene in Toy Story 3, to name a few. Even though these movies are literally made for children, they always include at least one scene that give children everywhere nightmares – some so traumatic that they stick with us forever.

Or, sometimes they’re so traumatic that we block them out of our minds and forget about them until someone cruelly brings them up. Kids are scared of weird things, and sometimes we look back on the things were once terrified of and laugh at ourselves. (For example, I used to be so afraid of the movie All Dogs Go To Heaven that I would burst into tears if someone even mentioned it. I don’t know why.) Other times, we look back on those traumatizing scenes and think, “Damn, why is that in a kids movies?” 

These scenes are the second example. They’re from movies most of us grew up watching, they either terrified us or made us cry, and then… we forgot about them. Let’s remember them, shall we? This Ask Reddit thread brings up some traumatizing movie scenes from kid movies you probably haven’t thought about in a very long time – for good reason. Happy sleeping!

The Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

isabelly212: The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Still creepy.

The Child Catcher in this movie has to be one of the creepiest villains of all time. This scary looking old dude tried to snatch kids off the streets with promises of candy and ice cream, doing and saying whatever he could to get them into the back of his little carriage, and then laughing manically. Maybe this wouldn't have been half as creepy as it is if it wasn't for the fact that stuff like this actually happens. You know what? It still would have been creepy AF. This dude is terrifying.

The Junkyard Scene in The Brave Little Toaster

SeeRight_Mills: I still get a little sentimental and have a hard time throwing out old busted appliances and the like because that scene in The Brave Little Toaster fucked me up as a kid. The whole movie is pretty grim but that junkyard sequence...

I used to love The Brave Little Toaster, but at the same time, most of the movie gave me the creeps, and it honestly still does. The worst/saddest part was the junkyard scene, where we watch the Crusher "kill" old cars in the junkyard - but first we watch those cars sing about their lives before they're "murdered." If you think being scared/sad about old cartoon cars getting crushed is weird, watch the movie. It's pretty traumatic.

The Donkey Scene in Pinocchio

laspir: The scene in Pinocchio where they're on the island and start turning into donkeys. That one kid is like crying for his mom while they're crating them up to be sent to salt mines or something. Wtf disney, that shit was traumatizing.

I have no idea why the Pleasure Island scene was in Pinocchio or in a kids movies in general - it's horrifying! Pleasure Island is a haunted amusement park that turns young boys into donkeys, then sells them for work. If that sounds creepy, it's because it is, and watching the transformation was even worse. Especially for little kids! Just... why, Disney, why?

ET Dying in ET

cold_in_the_south: There's a couple scenes near the end of ET that always freaked me out. It's when Elliott finds ET and he's all shriveled up and dying. That always got me, but when they get home and the guys in the spacesuits are at the house is when it really freaked me out.

I was terrified of ET as a kid, and so I haven't watched it in a while. But my fear may have come from this scene, where we watch the little alien shrivel up. It's not... good. I would say that it's definitely not suitable for children. Honestly, I'm sorry I even put the picture here.

The Scarabs in The Mummy

WhatsappChaska: Τhe scarabs crawling underneath the ɡuy's skin in whichever The Mummy thаt was.

I don't remember anything from this movie except for this scene. At one point, we watch them crawling under a dude's skin and then getting all over the place, and it's just icky. As an adult watching this, you're like, "Gross!" As a kid, you're like, "OMG should I be afraid of scarabs? Can they be here, in America? Is this a way I could die?"

Large Marge in Pee-Wee's Big Adventures

Roland_T_Flakfeizer: Large Marge SonOfZaknafein: Was that from Peewee's Big Adventure? That scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. Thanks for the memory!

Honestly, everything about Pee-Wee Herman creeped me out, so I never watched anything he was in (I clearly have great intuition). I'm not familiar with this Large Marge scene, where the ghost of a bus driver appears, scaring the crap out of everyone, but the photos alone are enough to tell me how traumatizing this could be for little kids.

The Drunk Scene in Dumbo

thndrstrk: The drunk scene in Dumbo. That was a shit show

When I was a kid, I was afraid of drinking and getting drunk. I never knew why, but looking back, it may have been from this drunk scene. In the movie, Dumbo gets drunk, and what happens next is basically an acid trip from hell. Dumbo sees all sorts of things, it's totally creepy, and it's basically terrifying. I mean... I see the good intentions behind it, but this is just the most.

The Monkey Scene in The Jungle Book

Doctor-Dankenstein: The entire monkey scene in Jungle Book. Recently saw the new Jungle Book as a 23 year old; yep, still terrifying.

I love this movie so much, but the monkey scene always creeped me the eff out. A kid being carried away by monkeys? Pretty horrifying, especially for children. And I, too, got scared all over again when I saw the recent adaptation of The Jungle Book. It just makes your skin crawl!

That Scene in Bridge To Terabithia

Preseedent: Bridge to Terabithia. I think I was 12 and I felt like my heart was punched to oblivion after the movie.

If you've ever seen or read Bridge To Terabithia, then you know that scene I'm talking about. The plot is about two lonely kids who make an imaginary world in the forrest near where they live, and they get there by crossing a fallen tree over a river. It's magical and sweet, until the girl goes by herself one day, and ends up drowning. DROWNING. It's terrifying and heartbreaking. I sobbed enough when I read the book, but then I watched the movie too, because apparently I hate myself. I will never forget it.

The Black Smoke in FernGully

kayyxo: Fern Gully. The black smoke from the truck and how it was alive. Nope. Nope. Nope.

The black smoke in FernGully is actually a villain named Hexxus. It sounds innocent enough - smoke makes a great kid villain, when you think about it - but you know how some cartoons are just creepy and make your hair stand on end for some reason? That was Hexxus.

The Horse Drowning in The Neverending Story

Ontario_tory: The horse drowning in The Neverending Story...

I can't even TALK about this. There is something about watching animals, real animals, not cartoons (although, yes, I know this wasn't a REAL horse ACTUALLY dying), die that makes me more miserable than anything else.

The Face Melting in Raiders Of The Lost Arc

TheTreelo: The bad guys face melting off at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. That scene haunted my dreams for years.

This picture alone is terrifying. Imagine seeing it as a kid. That's not okay.

Which one of these movie scenes did you find to be the most traumatizing? What did we leave off? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Chantelle

    The scene in Snow White where the evil queen turns in to the ugly witch always gave me nightmares as a kid. Now I can enjoy the movie as is.

  • Those were very scary