Darby O'Gill and the Little People Dark Disney Lists return to oz Something Wicked This Way Comes The Black Cauldron The Black Hole The Hunchback of Notre Dame The Legend of Sleepy Hollow The Watcher in the Woods Walt Disney Waylon Jordan

Nine Times the House of Mouse Embraced Its Creepy Side

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Walt Disney isn’t usually the studio one thinks of when contemplating good, creepy leisure. Let’s face it, the point out of Disney usually brings to thoughts animated princesses, heroes, and glad endings.

It’s no marvel, actually. The studio has been the benchmark for household leisure because it first opened its doorways in 1923.

Oh positive, they’ve had their traumatic moments.

Will anybody ever overlook poor Bambi dropping his mom–what’s it with that studio and lacking moms anyway–or Simba making an attempt to wake Mufasa after the wildebeest stampede?

They’ve even introduced in Tim Burton to convey a few of his notably enjoyable creations to life.

Regardless of these critical tales and regardless of its newer mergers and acquisitions, nevertheless, the identify Disney continues to be synonymous with healthful household leisure.

But, there have been occasions when the studio has absolutely embraced its creepy aspect within the almost 96 years because it first opened its doorways, and once they’ve accomplished it nicely, they’ve produced nothing in need of nightmare gasoline.

Listed here are 9 of my favourite creepy Disney flicks in no specific order. What are a few of yours?

Authors Observe: The dialogue of those movies consists of some spoilers. When you’re not acquainted with a title, we advocate you skip it, see the movie, after which return for the dialogue!

The Legend of Sleepy Hole

Based mostly on Washington Irving’s basic story, The Legend of Sleepy Hole was first launched in 1949 and is well-known for its mash-up of slapstick comedy and darkish imagery.

When schoolmaster Ichabod Crane arrives within the Dutch village referred to as Sleepy Hole, he quickly finds himself locked in a romantic rivalry for the attentions of Katrina Van Tassel with native robust, Brom Bones. Bones all the time appears to seek out himself on the dropping finish till he discovers and decides to take advantage of Crane’s superstitious beliefs on Halloween night time.

As everybody gathers round, Bones tells the story of the evil Headless Horseman who rides the lonely hillside looking for his head. The story is terrifying, and the music that Bones sings concerning the vindictive spirit was thought-about so darkish on the time that it was almost reduce from the brief movie all collectively.

Occasions go from chilling to terrifying as Crane leaves the vacation gathering solely to find he’s being adopted.

Bing Crosby narrates and offers the voices of Bones and Crane within the in any other case silent movie, and the picture of the Headless Horseman on horseback holding a flaming jack o’lantern could also be probably the most hanging Disney ever produced.

Darby O’Gill and the Little Individuals

The Banshee emerges in Darby O’Gill and the Little Individuals

Setting apart the stereotype of the drunken Irish storyteller, Darby O’Gill and the Little Individuals launched a whole era of American youngsters to Irish legends of leprechauns and gave them nightmares concerning the mysterious, wailing banshee.

Previous Darby O’Gill (Albert Sharpe) has been a pleasant adversary of King Brian of the Leprechauns (Jimmy O’Dea) for many of his life. Nevertheless, when Darby loses his place as caretaker of Lord Fitzpatrick’s property to the good-looking Michael (pre-007 Sean Connery), he finds he’s in want of the previous King’s assist.

Because the movie twists and turns, Darby quickly finds himself preventing to save lots of the lifetime of his daughter Katie (Janet Munro) because the Banshees shut in and the darkish hearse arrives to take her soul away.

Its themes of dying and vengeful spirits make it a specific standout within the Disney vault. The wraith-like, hooded banshee will chill you to the bone, and also you’ll end up utterly enthralled by the movie from begin to end.

Return to Oz

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I’ll by no means, ever overlook the primary time I noticed Return to Oz. It took me months to recuperate from it.

Far more loyal to L. Frank Baum’s unique tales, the movie finds Dorothy (a younger and wide-eyed Fairuza Balk) trapped in an asylum for remedy of her “delusions” of a land referred to as Oz. The poor woman is clearly being ready for electro-convulsive remedy when she finds herself as soon as once more whisked away to the mysterious land to seek out it even darker than her final go to.

Characters just like the Nome King and the sadistic Wheelers have been terrifying. The thought of a desert whose sands would flip you to mud was harrowing.

It was the useless and highly effective Mombi (Jean Marsh) that provided a whole lot of the movie’s nightmare gasoline, nevertheless. One take a look at her chamber of heads which she switched out to suit her whims and moods was sufficient to have us masking our eyes and searching away.

It was, so far, one of many darkest issues the studio had ever produced, and its standing as a cult basic was virtually assured by a legion of horror followers who obtained their first style of scary in its clutches.

The Black Cauldron

Talking of terrifying villains…

When a younger boy named Taran finds himself caring for a scrying pig named Hen Wen his world is turned the wrong way up. Hen Wen, you see, can present the situation of the traditional and highly effective Black Cauldron, and nobody covets the Cauldron’s energy greater than the evil Horned King.

Taran and a band of misfits quickly discover themselves caught up in a race to the mysterious relic in a struggle to save lots of all mankind from the Horned King’s lust for energy. The picture of the Horned King seared itself into the creativeness of moviegoers on the time, and there was an outcry from “involved mother and father” over the movie’s critically darkish tone.

The Black Cauldron was so sudden that critics, audiences, and the studios didn’t know fairly what to do with it. Many maintain it answerable for almost sinking Disney within the 80s because it was the primary of their animated movies to obtain a PG score.

The studio’s animation is a number of the most scary its ever produced thanks partially to new know-how that was creating on the time.

After its preliminary field workplace flop, Disney locked the movie away within the vault for a really very long time, however the legend of The Black Cauldron endured and it was ultimately given an anniversary version DVD launch and continues to be obtainable on a number of streaming providers.

The Watcher within the Woods

Name it no matter you want, however Disney’s The Watcher within the Woods bears all of the markings of a legit, basic supernatural horror movie.

When an American household strikes right into a sprawling manor within the English countryside, they discover themselves in the midst of a supernatural thriller. It appears that evidently teenaged daughter, Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson) bears a putting resemblance to the daughter of the manor’s proprietor, Mrs. Aytwood, performed by none aside from Bette Davis. Karen had disappeared years earlier than and the lady has by no means recovered from the loss.

Quickly Jan and her sister Ellie (Halloween‘s Kyle Richards) are haunted by an unknown presence, the Watcher, and strike out to seek out out precisely what occurred to Karen all these years earlier than.

Between the seances, the suggestion of inter-dimensional journey, and a setting that might take advantage of ardent fan of ghost tales proud, The Watcher within the Woods has been hailed as one of many scariest movies the studio ever produced.

The movie was ultimately remade starring Anjelica Huston in 2017, however the remake by no means fairly captured the spark of the unique.


There are literally fairly a couple of issues creepy about Disney’s basic 1940 masterpiece Fantasia.

Watching the rise and fall of whole species in a piece of animation set to the music of Stravinsky’s ballet The Ceremony of Spring comes virtually instantly to thoughts, and name me loopy however there’s something unsettling about all these mops coming to life and creating havoc in The Sorceror’s Apprentice.

Nevertheless it was in one of many movie’s closing sections that includes Moussorgksy’s Night time on Bald Mountain the place they determined to throw warning to the wind and terrify their viewers. Because the music begins, the darkish Slavic God Chernobog rises on prime of the mountain and spreads his bat-like wings earlier than reaching down, unleashing horrors to toy with the damned spirits of the dwelling.

It was an impressively darkish and terrifying piece of animation that stamps itself onto your mind even because the music provides approach to an ethereal setting of Schubert’s Ave Maria.

One thing Depraved This Approach Comes

Something Wicked Disney Dark

Sadly this movie has virtually been misplaced to obscurity save for the die arduous followers who’ve held onto it over the many years.

Based mostly on the novel by Ray Bradbury, One thing Depraved This Approach Comes tells the story of a small city confronted with a harmful evil when Mr. Darkish’s Pandemonium Carnival rolls into city one stormy night time.

Earlier than lengthy it turns into obvious that Mr. Darkish (Jonathan Pryce) is making offers with and stealing the souls of the city’s residents and its as much as two boys to cease the carnival proprietor and his henchman from finishing his darkish goal.

The movie boasted a powerful forged alongside Pryce together with display legends Jason Robards (All of the President’s Males) and Diane Ladd (Kingdom Hospital). Nonetheless, it was hassle virtually from conception.

Bradbury had initially written a script for the movie within the early 1950s however when it failed to succeed in the display, he turned the story in to a novel. Later, when Disney picked up the venture, Bradbury wrote a brand new script however executives at Disney have been not sure of the script’s potential.

When it was lastly completed, it fared poorly at check screenings and Disney pushed again the discharge with a view to re-edit, re-shoot, and re-score the movie. Its completed product upset each Bradbury and the movie’s director Jack Clayton.

Nonetheless, the movie retained a lot of its darkish imagery, and the scene during which Pryce reveals the tattoos on his physique of the souls he’s collected is especially harrowing.

After a brief theatrical run, the movie discovered its method into the Disney vault, although it has been launched since then on DVD.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Based mostly on Victor Hugo’s novel, it was virtually inconceivable to consider that Disney would try and deliver a model of the story to animated life. Nothing, and I imply nothing, in that unique story was written for youngsters.

Adapt it they did, nevertheless, and in doing so introduced certainly one of their most most divisive animated movies to the large display in the summertime of 1996.

The movie boasted one of many studio’s richest scores thus far that includes music by Alan Menken and songs by Stephen Schwartz that drew closely upon the Catholic requiem mass.

It additionally went full bore into the territory of sexual obsession in a narrative line involving Decide Claude Frollo (Tony Jay) and his lust for the gypsy Esmerelda (Demi Moore). Regardless of their greatest efforts, together with a trio of wise-cracking gargoyles, nothing might erase the picture of Frollo singing a track titled “Hellfire” earlier than a blazing hearth as seductive pictures of Esmerelda danced within the flames and a horde of fiendish cloaked figures watched on in judgement.

It was greater than slightly creepy, and made Frollo one in every of their most repulsive villains up to now.

The Black Gap

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In 1979, Disney, like virtually each different studio recognized to man, was reeling from the success of Star Wars and had determined to launch its personal area epic.

Their first drawback got here in advertising once they performed it off as a enjoyable area epic.

In actuality, The Black Gap earned the studio’s first PG score on one among their stay motion movies with the story of crew on an area ship who discover what seems to be an deserted craft in deep area. Upon nearer examine, they discover that everybody on the ship has vanished save for Dr. Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell) and his small military of robots and androids.

It appears that evidently Reinhardt is intent upon flying immediately right into a black gap regardless of the fee.

The movie boasted a powerful forged together with Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Ernest Borgnine (Escape from New York), and Tom McLoughlin, who would later pen Friday the 13th Half VI: Jason Lives.

I’m unsure what you’d name the darkest facet of this specific story. The scientist’s insanity? The invention that his androids are literally the lobotomized members of his former crew? The glimpse of one thing hellish past the Black Gap?

Regardless of the reply, it stays certainly one of Disney’s darkest movies so far.