16 moments in kid’s films that made sure we were never the same again

Anjelica Houston as the Grand High Witch in The Witches. Picture: Warner Bros
Anjelica Houston as the Grand High Witch in The Witches. Picture: Warner Bros

Many of us have great childhood memories of certain movies we watched over and over again because they were so much fun and came to mean so much to us, but there are also those movies that were said were for kids but probably weren’t really suited to a young audience because they traumatised us for years afterwards. 

Just as an aside... you, like me, probably love all these movies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t identify the fact that some of these things are so not okay and we should be kind of mad at the producers and writers of some these films and ask them what they were thinking when they created these movies. 

Here we revisit some of the moments from those, so obvs spoilers. 

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The Lion King

Yoh, this one. I will never forget the scene where Mufasa dies and then Simba is led to believe it’s his fault for ages. I mean you witness a cold blooded murder committed by his own brother! Plus all the hyenas were really scary.

The Land Before Time

We had to watch as Littlefoot’s mother battles a T-Rex to save her children and then we have to watch her struggle to stand and actually die on screen as she says her last words. 


It’s between this and the Lion King when you first think of traumatising kids movies. Didn’t your heart just break when after those gunshots rang out, you heard Bambi shout “Mother!” and you knew she was dead? Just utter sadness and heartbreak. I even feel sad now just thinking about it. 


Remember when Elliot is walking through the cornfield with a flashlight, following these footprints and then all of a sudden the corn parts and there’s this horrifying face looking out at him? Yeah. Scary when you’re a little kid and that happens. 

The Fox and The Hound

After his mom is killed, Tod, a fox, is taken in by Widow Tweed who loves him and treats him kindly, but then she eventually realises Tod can’t stay with her anymore and leaves Tod in the forest all on his own.

Excuse me. I need some tissues. 

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My Girl

This was such a cute film until the end where Thomas J gets stung by bees and dies and it traumatises Vada completely.

The Witches

When Anjelica Houston who plays the Grand High Witch finally gets to take off her disguise and reveal her true identity as ugly witches was TERRIFYING. Not to mention when they give little Luke a potion to turn him into a mouse and they all close in on him. Instant nightmare material!


There are lots of things about this movie that are not okay. A kid getting sucked into a board game FOR TWENTY-SIX YEARS is not okay. He misses his entire childhood and a large chunk of his adult life and then has to deal with still playing the stupid game. Plus it’s really scary for a wild man to just jump out of a game and expect certain things, you know? And what about that scene where the floor gets turned into quick sand and he gets stuck? Horrific.

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The entire beginning of the movie where they show Ellie and Carl’s relationship before she dies? Heart. Broken. Right there. It’s really intense and sad for most adults, I’m not sure how Pixar thought this was okay for kids. 


I love this movie, but there were some parts that are a bit iffy. When Principal Trunchbull picks up that little girl by her pigtails and swings her over the school fence?! That could have gone so wrong and it was absolutely terrifying. And when Matilda blows up the TV with her mind? It’s intimidating to say the least to see a kid with such power and that she’s actually driven to that moment. And let’s not even talk about kids being thrown in the Chokey. Chills. 

The Neverending Story

Remember the scene where Atreyu’s horse Artax dies in the swamp? TEARS FOR DAYS.

All Dogs Go To Heaven

When Charlie went to hell instead of heaven. It was only a nightmare, but geez it was scary. 

Finding Nemo

The beginning where they show how the barracuda attacks Nemo’s mom and dad and how Marlin tried to save Coral but got knocked out, waking up to his wife gone, his children eaten and just little Nemo left. 


It might be stop animation, but that does not make it a kids movie. Just like because Rick and Morty is animated does not mean it’s for kids either. An alternate reality with an ‘Other Mother’ who has buttons for eyes and wants to sew buttons over Coraline’s? Nope. Nope. Nope. 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 

Okay already this film was a bit risqué to begin with. The plot works around Jessica Rabbit being adulterous and her alleged paramour being murdered - a bit dark for a kid’s film. But the scene where judge Doom starts turning into a toon and gets flattened by a steamroller and then pops back up was so alarming. Then it’s revealed he’s actually a toon and it just gets creepier from there. 

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Hocus Pocus

The beginning of the film where the witches have stolen Emily and are using her to make themselves young again is actually quite chilling. You watch as they literally suck the life out of her and then her old, withered body is just in the background while the witches celebrate, until someone knocks and they cover her with a tablecloth. 

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