ByKalli Mulvey, writer at
Horror addict. Video game enthusiast. Classic film lover.
Kalli Mulvey

Fear and horror begins affecting us from a young age. There's the boogeyman under the bed, the monster in the closet, and countless urban legends that have been haunting children for years. It seems to me that took notice of this and decided to infuse the fear and horror into as many animated films as possible. Here is a list of some of the more psychologically damaging scenes from Disney films I watched as a kid:

5. The Witch From 'Snow White'

The Queen from had some severe vanity and insecurity issues for which she should have received therapy. Clearly, the mirror on the wall was not there to help her out, but only make her feel more insecure about her aging process. He should have told her that instead of being the fairest, she was the sexiest or the most fabulous one of all. It takes a real nut to want to be the fairest one of all, especially if one is willing to murder someone to obtain the title. I am fairly certain that being a murderer would disqualify anyone from the title in the first place because to be the fairest, I'd imagine your soul has to be pure (and not evil).

It was bad enough that she hired a huntsman to go and kill Snow White when she assumed that she was the fairest one of all, but she took it a step further with her batshit ways when she turned herself into a hag just to give Snow White a poisoned apple. This scene still disturbs me. Her cackling makes me uneasy and I do not understand why she is so willing to become something so gross and scary. She didn't look so bad before, but damn, what a transformation.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

The scene where the Witch gives Snow White the apple is still scary to me. You can tell that Snow White is startled by her when she just pops up out of nowhere outside her window. Sadly though, she is also naive and wants to help everyone, even when that person does not have her best interest at heart. I hate watching her help the Witch because she feels bad for her and then she gets poisoned. Poor Snow White.

4. Donkey Transformation

The donkey transformation scene in is timelessly creepy AF. I don't care what age you are, this scene is terrifying. It's obvious that the kids at Pleasure Island are in for a rude awakening. With the partying, drunkenness, and destructive behavior, there was definitely going to be some sort of punishment. I am not sure how they came up with the donkey transformation punishment in the first place, whether it was part of the original story or not, but it's insane. At first, Pinocchio and his friend Lampwick aren't really sure what's going on. Pinocchio thinks it's funny, but quickly changes his mind as he watches more than one change occur.

The rapid and violent changes that Lampy goes through when he is becoming a donkey are horrifying to watch. I imagine it would have been a very painful process. Lampy is screaming and begging Pinocchio and Jiminy for help. It is clear though, nothing can be done to help him.

3. Ursula The Sea Witch

I think that has by far the best songs and singing voice of all of the Disney villains. "Poor Unfortunate Souls" is amazing. Although I am impressed by this, I still find Ursula to be scary. After she trades Triton's soul for his Trident and control over the seas, she takes on her scariest form. I hate when she becomes humongous and causes a storm in the sea as she attempts to kill both Ariel and Eric.

Something about ships, shipwrecks, and drowning frightens me, especially when Ursula looks possessed with evil and then gets impaled by the shipwrecked ship that almost killed Eric in the beginning of the movie. She gets electrocuted and her tentacles swallow up the ship as she sinks back into the sea. It's terrifying. So much drowning.

2. Tiger Cave From 'Aladdin'

There's nothing quite like being startled AF from watching a movie. The Cave of Wonders in would startle anyone. Why? Well, because the damn tiger head that comes up out of the ground in the sand is not there for a fun time. He's there to kill you if he has to and has a deep and menacing voice. He does not like to be woken up from his slumber. Just thinking about this scene makes me think about how frightening that voice is.

1. Monstro The Whale

the whale is by far the scariest Disney villain ever created. I hate the way he looks, the way he moves, and he gives all whales a bad reputation. Watching Pinocchio, Geppetto, and their pets being chased by this whale is still horrifying. He is out to kill and will do whatever it takes to inflict damage.

Of course, I can see why he was so angry with them— they did start a fire in his body. He has a right to be upset, but he is so scary and his repeated and merciless bashing ultimately leads to Pinocchio's death. I have not been able to get over this scene or fear since I was a kid. Monstro is part of one of my worst repeated nightmares.

What about you? What scene from a Disney film still haunts you as an adult?


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