10+ Movies We Loved As Children And Now Realize Are Pretty Messed Up

Children's movies are not always as they seem.

A lot might be hiding behind that "G-rating" that you might not have realized at first watch. Things like messed-up plots, terrifying scenes, and so much more.

Here are 10+ movies we loved as children and now realize are pretty messed up.


While the actress who played Miss Trunchbull is a total sweetheart in real life, she was pretty terrifying on-screen.

In addition to this, the scene where the TV blew up still haunts our dreams.

*The Parent Trap*

The Parent Trap is a fun movie until it sinks in that the parents separated their twins. This meant abandoning one of their children.

They're not just two halves of a necklace; they're human beings! Haven't they heard of co-parenting?!


Instead of a children's movie, those creepy button eyes made it feel more like a horror movie at times.

Certain scenes were the stuff of nightmares, like whenever Other Mother acted like a psycho by keeping Coraline trapped.


While you grew to love E.T. and his adorable love of Reese's Pieces, he was pretty darn terrifying at first.

We'll never get over that scene when Elliott was in the dark cornfield and out popped E.T.'s terrifying face and long fingers.

*Home Alone*

Maybe it's the holiday spirit that makes us forget that this Christmas classic is actually pretty twisted.

Kevin's booby traps against the Wet Bandits would be enough to kill anyone in real life. Plus, his parents' irresponsibility isn't funny.

*How the Grinch Stole Christmas*

Like Home Alone, this is another holiday classic that we may have been making excuses for.

At its core, the Grinch looks, acts, and just generally is terrifying. That creepy smile of his doesn't help.

*The Witches*

The witches taking off their wigs all at once to reveal their true faces is the equivalent of us taking off our makeup. In other words, downright terrifying.

To top it off, that scene where they cornered the little boy still makes us claustrophobic.

*Chitty Chitty Bang Bang*

As children, we were taught to avoid people who tried to lure us into their cars with candy. And yet, this is a main scene in the movie!

All the Child Catcher was missing in this film was a large white van that screamed, "I'm a weirdo that traps children with candy."

*Pee-wee's Big Adventure*

Despite the graphics being pretty laughable, the scene where Large Marge turned into a creature is still the stuff of nightmares.

It was just so unexpected and an image you don't easily forget.

*Watership Down*

One look at this picture and you should have a pretty good idea as to why it's so terrifying.

It's classified as a children's movie, but it has a lot of blood and gore in it. Next!


Not even Robin Williams could provide ease to us as kids while we watched this movie!

There was just too much suspense, like when William's character started to sink into the floor, which had turned into quicksand.

*Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory*

Aside from the candy, this movie was the very opposite of children.

There is just something very strange about a man who lures kids into his home and then they all start disappearing, one by one.

*Hocus Pocus*

The first five minutes of this movie are very telling of the fact that it's clearly messed up. A child is kidnapped, murdered, and then there is a public hanging in the street.

Oh yeah, and the movie is largely about a teen boy's virginity.

*Snow White*

The poor little girl has to run from a huntsman who was ordered from her stepmother to cut her heart out.

The worst part of it all is when a prince comes in and kisses the 14-year-old girl. Yuck!

*Stuart Little*

It's a cute story until you realize that the family adopted a mouse instead of a child in need.

Imagine sitting next to Stuart Little and living life knowing you just got passed up for a rodent.

*Big Hero Six*

Why do Disney movies have to be so sad? (read: messed up).

They built Tadashi up as such a great character, only for him to pass. Some deaths are just unforgivable and this is one of them.

*My Girl*

We should have been given a better warning that this movie would leave us sobbing.

Things took a depressing turn when Macaulay Culkin's character stepped on a beehive and died. Also, that scene when he didn't have his glasses? Messed up.

*Who Framed Roger Rabbit*

There was one scene that was especially traumatizing: A shoe is killed by acid. This may not sound bad, but the shoe had feelings and a face!

And to top it off, we had to watch the murder go down. Talk about traumatizing.


This poor girl! She lost almost her entire family at the beginning of the movie and then she has to deal with a demon ghost who is trying to kill her.

She can't even trust her "love interest" since he was using her for reward money.

*The Secret Of NIMH*


Did you know that NIMH is an acronym for the National Institute of Mental Health?

It turns out that a lot of what was being discussed in the movie actually took place, as far as the lab rats were concerned.

*The Black Cauldron*

There may be some debate as to which is the most terrifying Disney movie of all time.

But I don't think there's a person alive who would disagree that the Horned King is the most horrific villain in the canon.

*James And The Giant Peach*

James' aunts at the beginning of the film are two of the vilest creatures you'll ever meet. Spiker and Sponge openly degrade James and abuse him physically as well as mentally.

It's pretty dark stuff for a kids' movie.

*Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland*

I used to have this recurring nightmare of a huge black formless entity attacking me in my sleep. I never understood where it came from.

That is until I rewatched Little Nemo. The scene where the Nightmare King kidnaps King Morpheus literally scarred me for life.


For an animated kids' classic, Pinocchio sure does have a lot of adult themes. This movie depicts little boys gambling with billiards, drinking ale, and smoking cigars!

An American Werewolf in London owes a lot to the donkey transformation scene in Pinocchio, that's for certain.

*The NeverEnding Story*

Once you watch Artax drown in the Swamps of Sadness, you'll never be the same person again.

Also, am I wrong or is Falkcor just a tad creepy? Look at how he's staring at Atreyu; what's his angle here?

*All Dogs Go To Heaven*


All Dog's go to Heaven is basically a Scorsese film masquerading as a kids' movie. There's so much wrong with this film I don't even know where to begin.

It's also heartbreaking and far too much of an emotional burden for most kids to bear.


Speaking of scarring moments from childhood, Rock-a-Doodle is another Don Bluth classic.

I have a working theory that Bluth hated children and all of his films were really intended as a means of psychological torture. But again, it's only a theory...

*The Pagemaster*

The Pagemaster is one of Macaulay Culkin's lesser-known films, but it's arguably one of his best. That said, don't make the mistake of thinking that, just because this is an animated movie, it's a kids' movie.

The scene with Moby Dick had me covering my eyes.


"Dance, Magic Dance!"

I freaking love this movie and I always will. But that doesn't change that at its core, Labyrinth is a film about a grown man who kidnaps a baby in the night so that a 13-year-old girl can fall madly in love with him.

*The Dark Crystal*

Before the time of CGI and computer-based storytelling, there were only puppets. And in the world of puppets, Jim Henson was God himself.

The Dark Crystal is a triumph, but shouldn't be viewed by anyone under the age of 13.

*The Great Mouse Detective*

Ratigan is one stone-cold, heartless SOB. In fact, he's a borderline psychopath.

His hatred for Basil of Baker Street is only exceeded by his hatred for himself. The final battle where he goes full-rat will have most younger viewers hiding beneath their blankets and beds.

*The Nightmare Before Christmas*

Have you ever actually listened to Danny Elfman's lyrics for "Kidnap the Sandy Claws"? It goes like this:

"Kidnap the Sandy Claws; beat him with a stick. Lock him up for ninety years, see what makes him tick."

It's just slightly sadistic, wouldn't you say?

*Spirited Away*

Don't get it twisted, Spirited Away may just be the greatest animated film of all time. But beneath all the awe and grandeur lies one truly terror-inducing tale of dystopian alt-world wonder.

If you found Alice in Wonderland disturbing, you're in for a treat.

*Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm*

Mask of the Phantasm was the first full-length animated Batman feature to receive a big-screen release. Many parents (including mine) were fooled by the superhero concept.

At its core, this is a dark, revenge-fueled love story, mired in death and deceit. Many of the concepts are much too heavy for most kids to swallow.

*101 Dalmations*

Cruella De Vil is one cruel devil to be certain! What kind of sick person wants to kidnap over 100 puppies just so that she can turn them into a fur coat?!

PETA would have a field day with her.