Animation can be used for many things: it can be used for comedy, for techniques not possible in real life, for children most of the time, but it can also be used for horror. Even children's movies under a PG-13 rating can be some of the most child traumatizing films, and you would have no idea until you sat down and watched it.
This list is in commemoration of all of the hours we spent watching these movies with wide eyes, terrified and wishing you could just go home. And of course, we are only including those whose target audience in advertising were kids.
10.) The Witches (1990)
The Witches: based on a eponymous book by Roald Dahl and boasting a cast including Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson, and Jane Horrocks was marketed as a little boy's adventure to be turned back from a mouse into a real boy. However, in the trailer it might have skipped out on some things.... like possibly tearing off Anjelica Huston's face and revealing something with, while great in prosthetics, scarred most children for life. I mean, look at this.
I certainly did not ask for a ticket on the nightmare train when I was little, and neither did the other kids who saw this movie and ran for the hills.
9.) The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
Involving Kidnapping, Possession, and Aliens; only the norm in Disney Live Action movies. This Disney Movie focuses on a family moving into a haunted house, and the odd circumstances about a girl's disappearance. Also with three different endings that were all included in the DVD Release. It's earned its place on this list, with poltergeist effects and a creepy ending that I cannot show because of spoilers.
8.) Monster House (2006)
The second you saw the name of the director, everyone now knows this is a scary movie. Gil Kenan, the same man who directed the Poltergeist remake and is currently going to be directing the Five Nights at Freddy's Movie, directed this movie. This movie was his debut, to be precise. What better than the story of a haunted house with a dead woman in the basement coming to life and trying to eat and kill the neighborhood? This is why he was chosen for Poltergeist.
7.) Coraline (2009)
A stop-motion film based on the book by Neil Gaiman and made by Laika; Coraline told the story of a girl who had moved into a new apartment complex and the secret it holds. With 'Other Mothers' with button eyes stealing the souls of children, dark scenes of death and action, don't even get me started on how creepy the hand was. This movie will make you thankful if your parents treated you nice, or at least not as bad as this other mother, locking them behind a mirror for all eternity.
6.) The Black Cauldron (1985)
One of Disney's most forgotten gems from the 1980's, The Black Cauldron told the story of Merlin, a boy, a princess, and an evil king all trying to find the cauldron with the power to revive the dead. However, this movie with character suicide, villains getting their faces' melted off, and revival of the dead; this is far from your typical Disney movie. Seriously, what's with all of these movies coming out in the eighties?
5.) The Dark Crystal (1982)
You know, Jim Hension did what he pleased. From having the oh so magnificent David Bowie playing the Goblin King in Labyrinth, to the Muppet Show. However, everyone seems to forget The Dark Crystal, one of his darkest films. This film told the story of Jen the Gelfling, who needed to return a crystal shard to a larger crystal to restore peace. Don't let the family oriented marketing fool you, because this movie was darker than anyone anticipated.
4.) Return to Oz (1985)
You thought the first Oz movie was dark? It's nothing in comparison to the second. It starts with Dorothy entering a mental institution known for shock therapy! It tells the story of Dorothy's second adventure to the land of Oz, where she has to rescue her friends from the Nome King. One of the scariest scenes from this movie is where Dorothy is in a room full of living, talking, breathing beheaded heads. Yeah, you heard me. Beheaded heads.Need I say more?
3.) 9 (2009)
Rule Number One of Children's Movies, Genocide and a Nuclear Fallout are never good ideas for a plot. 9 tells the story of nine fractures of an inventor's soul; trying to return life to the world while surviving attacks from evil robots that eliminated all life on Earth. This movie is dark, dark enough to traumatize kids for life more than the average Tim Burton ever could.
2.) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is widely regarded as a classic from the 1970's and of Roald Dahl stories. However, there were some weird things happening in the set. Did you know that none of the actors of the parents and children had met Gene Wilder (the actor who plays Wonka) before they filmed the children meeting the madman? That was their honest reactions when they saw him fall. And the boat scene. Need I say more?
1.) Gremlins (1984)
This movie was advertised as a kid's movie, was rated PG and helped cause the creation of the PG-13 rating. It did this easily. Gremlins is a comedy horror about small monsters who you certainly do NOT feed after midnight. Kids were traumatized by the graphic violence of the monsters attacking, thinking this would just be a cute movie about adorable monsters. Boy, were they wrong.