No human stands resistant to the magic of a well-crafted Disney cartoon. Such films manage to swell our hearts with both laughter and tears, and remind us that good always conquers evil. But what if sometimes we want evil to prevail? A healthy lifestyle encompasses harmony--so next time try a little blood with that pixie dust (that's how it works, right)? Whether you're an animation lover with a dark side, or you're simply looking for a balanced movie night: here are 10 horror films to pair with beloved Disney treats.
1. Zootopia (2016) and Black Sheep (2006)
Zootopia is Walt Disney Animation's latest feat and it is absolutely nothing short of heart-warming and deviously clever. The film explores the age-old predicament of judging a book by its cover as the town is struck by once civilized animals mysteriously "going savage." Disney classically tackles this perilous conundrum by sending two unlikely partners on the case to save the day. Adorable? Check. Inspiring? You betcha. However, when that morally sound cuteness wears off, you're going to need a dose of havoc. Holding true to the theme of "good animals gone bad," try popping on New Zealand's most ridiculous horror comedy, Black Sheep. Sit back, relax, and watch humans attempt to survive the wrath of these genetically mutated fluff balls. Zootopia's assistant mayor Bellwether would have a heart attack if she knew what her kind was capable of.
2. Frozen (2013) and Dead Snow (2009)
Frozen transformed from a family-fun film to an absolute global sensation. It taught us to be suspicious of who we trust, to accept and appreciate ourselves, and--most importantly--that familial love is equally as powerful as any romantic relationship. That's cute, but where are the zombie Nazis? A double feature with Dead Snow is sure to push the dangerously catchy "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" right out of your head. This farcical gem follows a group of unsuspecting skiers (no doubt channeling their inner Elsa) as they take down a herd of undead World War II captains. The film will leave you terrified of the snow for a while, but eventually you'll have to let it go.
3. Tangled (2010) and Hair Extensions (2007)
Sick of the typical girl's night in? Give Bridget Jones some time to rest and take a risk with this playful combination. Tangled will start your night off right: a precious lizard sidekick, a handsome and swashbuckling love interest, and dazzling musical numbers to boot. Then, when the sun sets and the night fades to black, uncover what hair is truly capable of. Hair Extensions, hilariously centering upon the fury of haunted (you guessed it) hair extensions, may quite possibly be one of the strangest film ideas to arouse from Japan. However, its absurdity will leave you experiencing a bizarre mix of laughter and terror you weren't sure existed. Now ladies, you might want to take a hiatus on long locks: apparently it will either get you locked in a tower or try to kill you.
4. Toy Story (1995) and Child's Play (1988)
We've all had a special toy in our lives. One we always kept by our side and desperately wished could offer us advice when we needed it most. Lucky enough, our imaginations were fed as filmmakers brought this fantasy to life. Toy Story represents everything hopeful, joyous, and poignant about this childhood dream--evoking the comforting thought that your toys really are friends. Now tear that vision down because, as Child's Play proves, sometimes having a doll watching over you as you sleep is the worst possible idea (but, come on, trusting a doll with a face like Chucky's is purely asking for it). The lively pairing of these films will have you deciding whether there's a snake in your boot or a knife in your back.
5. Finding Nemo (2003) and Jaws (1975)
Finding Nemo was a surprise delight for adults and children everywhere. Hats off to anyone who predicted the tale of a fish gone astray could be so witty and endearing. Now what better film to pair it with than its exact counterpart? Jaws perfectly negates the values of Nemo--shocking its viewers with just how terrifying fish can be. These two ocean favorites will make for a night of warm fuzzies followed by classic horror jump scares. Just make sure it's gloomy outside so you won't be tempted by any trips to the beach. Remember: fish may be friends and not food, but there's nothing that says humans are off limit.
6. Peter Pan (1953) and Children of the Corn (1984)
Ready for a night of children who never grow up? Begin your adolescent adventure with Disney's ultimate tale of innocence: Peter Pan. You'll feel bewitched as you journey with Peter and Wendy into the depths of Neverland. Once you find yourself wistfully longing for youth, pop in Children of the Corn as a reminder that being mysteriously lured away from your home by a young boy might not be a great idea. Stephen King's demonic saga of a religious cult of youngsters seeking to sacrifice anyone over the age of 18 will have you postponing any road trips through rural America. Unfortunately, all of this could have been solved if Nebraska just had a little bit more pixie dust.
7. Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Stay Alive (2006)
There's nothing like a lazy Sunday. A day to kick back and indulge your video game addiction guilt-free. Now if you can't seem to get enough even after the game is over, a splendid double feature exists to aid your withdrawal. Wreck-It-Ralph is an amazingly crafted film chock-full of detailed references and ingenious puns--managing to unleash a sense of nostalgia for gamers of all generations. Continue the virtual reality theme by regarding Stay Alive, a demented flick that puts a group of friends to the test as their violent video game endeavors begin to have palpable consequences. Wreck-It-Ralph may shed light on the importance of breaking free of stereotypes, but Stay Alive has value in answering one of America's longest running questions: what ever happened to Frankie Muniz?
8. Frankenweenie (2012) and Pet Sematary (1989)
Animals love us unconditionally and are capable of being truly life-changing companions; so it's no wonder filmmakers have dabbled in the concept of pet resurrection. Frankenweenie, though possessing a darker Tim Burton flair, treats the subject with an air of silliness that makes you sentimental for lost four-legged friends. On the contrary, Stephen King's thriller in which a family discovers the "healing" powers of a nearby graveyard, proves that sometimes it's best not to meddle with Earth's natural course. I suppose Mom was right when she said having a pet would be "too much responsibility."
9. A Bug's Life (1998) and Arachnophobia (1990)
A Bug's Life proudly attempted to re-imagine how the world views insects. They're not dangerous or scary. They're amazing, courageous little organisms who are just like us. Unfortunately for Disney, even a quick glance of Arachnophobia fiercely shatters that image. Pair this early Pixar adventure with a heroic, young Jeff Daniels for a night of skin-crawling fun that will diminish your insect phobia only to immediately magnify it. Upon viewing these films side by side, you'll be plagued with a moral dilemma every time you come across a spider in your home: to kill or not to kill?
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Krampus (2015)
What a pleasure it is to have layered films that can be enjoyed on multiple holiday occasions. Whether regarded on Halloween, Christmas time, or any time, both Krampus and The Nightmare Before Christmas are imaginative tales of twisted greatness (needless to say, only one of them is fun for the whole family). After experiencing the iconic musical magic that is TNBC, allow the comically self-aware, Krampus, to bring new life to the spunky notion that "a little holiday spirit never killed anyone." Once you've evened the playing field, lay down for a good night's sleep and pray you don't have any nightmares.
Be sure to check out Zootopia!
What films would you choose for a sappy and spooky double feature? Comment below!