We all know, kid's movies and cartoons especially can be dark or disturbing at times. The main catch to most of these noteworthy dark cartoons is that the darkest of the dark tend to be PG or higher. Examples of non-childrens animation like, Prince of Egypt, Watership Down, the Plague Dogs, and Tim Burton's stop motion. are not on this list because they had the right kind of rating system. These shocked everyone with their darkness in a supposedly kid's movie.
I just wanna throw this out there so I don't have to repeat it throughout the article: Don Bluth's policy is that kids can handle anything as long as you attatch a happy ending. If you know anything about this guy, then you'll see plenty of examples.
Also, I'm keeping these movies all semi-contemporary because in eras like the one where Walt Disney was still making movies everything was G. Even though Pinocchio or Bambi would'ave been good candidates for this list that's why they don't apply.
There are no videos here because these are about the whole movies, not just a couple scenes.
Besides all that these are all Disney, Pixar, or Don Bluth because most other animation companies rate their movies the right way and don't fight for a G.
Final note: I like all these movies. I like some more than others but everything I say about them is in good spirits.
7. Up (Pixar 2009)
Most people think of this movie's adorable charachters like, Kevin, Doug, and Russel. Anyone who's seen this movie knows the semi-infamous opening montage. That not only had the idea of death and aging but also miscarrige. It would'ave probably gone over a little kid's head but seriously, what was it doing there in the first place. It's only ranked so low on the list because everything else is pretty kid friendly. It has the adult theme of aging and wanting to do things for the possibly last time. With the existance of those themes it's the opening that shoves it all in your face.
6.the Land Before Time (Don Bluth 1988)
This movie is incredibly sad. The charachters are cute but there isn't much happy in this movie. There are plenty of scary scenes involving Sharptooth and of course a lot of it could be described as not only a much darker version of, and a prehistoric Bambi. It's well made up for with preachiness and well-illustrated bonds between the charachters but still, we all were moved in some way by the death of Littlefoot's mother. Then, what's sadder than that is when Littlefoot sees his shaddow and thinks it's his mother and it isn't. This is very similar to Lion King here only, it's less graphic.
5.Toy Story 3 (Pixar 2010)
When this movie came out just about everyone wanted to see it thinking it would be a generally cheerful movie like the first and second. Well, still being really good I have no idea how this was managed but Lotso is truly a threatening villian, the other toys at Sunnyside are pretty unsettleing, and it's just jaw-droppingly dark. The comic releif was well done but still, a lot of first time viewers cried or almost cried seeing their nostalgic charachters almost get thrown away.
4. All Dogs Go to Heaven (Don Bluth 1989)
This movie tends to get mixed reviews but love it or hate it we all know how dark it is. Not only general darkness but there's adult themes GALORE here. Charlie gets drunk, he dies, he gambles and does various other things that would be classified as a bad example. Also, there's use of a machiene gun. Oddly enough nobody gets killed by it. I would say it shows Don Bluth's policy for movies but it has a bittersweet instead of happy ending. It makes up for all the darkness and kid unfriendliness by using music that manages to degrade the story and cutesy charachters. I don't think that's enough for a G-rating.
3.the Secret of NIMH (Don Bluth 1982)
This is Don Bluth's first animated film and considered the best by many standards. The reason why it's here is because of how dark and adult the whole thing is. Okay, one of the subplots is all about a bunch of lab rats who escape and become intelligent. (told in the form of a particularly unsettleing montage) Then, there's the scary imagery of the Great Owl. Also, let's not forget Jenner aka the rat version of Scar. He kills Nicodemus and almost kills Mrs. Brisby's little kids in the proscess. Ya know, for kids!
2. the Lion King (Disney 1994)
This has been considered the best animated film of all time. Besides the great charachters and music, it's also considred one of the saddest animated films of all time too. Anyone who's ever seen this movie, especially '90s kids was even remotely disturbed by the saddest scene in American animation. Yep, that's right Mufasa's on screen death and Simba's realistic and understandable breakdown. Then later, there's plenty of fights mostly between Scar, Simba, and the hyenas. This still would be a true masterpiece of animation if it got a PG rating. So, why not?
1. the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney 1996)
No, this is not going to be a rant about all the sexual innuendo. Besides that element of lust there are plenty of other much less subtle adult themes. The opening in itself includes homocide and attempted infantacide. Oh my god that sounds so weird talking about a disney movie! Then there's the festival of fools sequence. Even though Esmerelda saves Quasimodo from mass humiliation it was still an obvious hate crime against a disabled person. It makes me a little sick to watch. Incase that wasn't enough, there's also the strong religious themes and talk of hell. On top of all that, Froll is a truly threatening villian. WOW! There are some things I don't even wann know, like how this got a G-rating and was off the drawing board for a family movie company like Disney. To be fair the music and gargoyles are what make it more kid friendly.
After thinking of these movies, I'd always think twice about that tiny letter G on the back of the movie case. It's an exaggeration or lie sometimes. Still, I said this once before despite my some-odd rantings I like all these movies to some extent! I just disagree with the rating.