8 Scary Animated Kids movies

by Joey Paur

When I was a kid I loved watching scary movies. I don’t why, but I just liked the adrenalin rush. I still do! Having nightmares at night was my way of having a good time. As I have grown up over the years I have seen kid movies getting darker and darker. When going to the theaters to watch these movies I notice many young kids being taking to these films. I have also witnessed the children burying their head into the armpits of their parents. Still, I know that deep down they like to be scared just like I did. Here is a list of five animated movies made for kids that tend to freak them out… but in a way they will love.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington who is the leader from Halloween Town who opens a portal to Christmas Town, with the goal of taking it over. The film has some frightening images for kids and the song ‘Kidnap The Santa Klaws’ is enough to send chills down your spine. Here are some of the lyrics incase you forgot.

“Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick
Lock him for ninety years, see what makes him tick

Kidnap the Sandy Claws, chop him into bits
Mr. Oogie Boogie is sure to get his kicks”

The entire movie is filled with scary and demented images. There is a character with an axe stuck in his head, and a cute little boy who pulls a decapitated shrunken head out of a box. It is taking all the things that make Christmas so wonderful and throwing all the creepy evil Halloween elements into it.

Monster House

Monster House is about a boy who has suspicions about a scary old man who lives across the street. The boy and two friends embark on an adventure to see what is really behind the evil house and the missing toys.

The film is a subject matter that pretty much every one of us has imagined up while we were growing up. There is a haunted house in every neighborhood that we all grew up in. They were the houses that we dared each other to go up and knock on the door. This movie had a very dark and mature underlying story. One of the scariest aspects for me in this movie was the fact that the old man had his dead wife buried in concrete in his basement! One thing for sure is this movie has scared every kid I know that has seen it, at the same time they can’t help but want to watch it over and over again.


Coraline follows a young girl Coraline, who walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate twisted version of her life.

Coraline gives kids a nightmarish look at what it would be like for them if they got their wish of having new and better parents. Seriously even as an adult people walking around with button eyes and asking a person to sew them onto themselves just freaks me out. On top of that there is the thought of losing your family and being taken from them forever. It is just an awful scary thought. The film also has some very intense events that take place which involve a little girl.

The Dark Crystal

The Dark Crystal is about the peaceful orphan Jen who set out on a journey to find the missing shard of the dark crystal to restore peace, which is being held by a race of grotesque birdlike lizards called the Skeksis.

As awesome as this movie is the tone of this movie was very dark and the characters and monsters in the film are what make this movie scary. This was done in a time when CGI was not used so when the kids see up on screen is a real tangible thing that looks real. Those Skeksis creatures were fearsomely terrifying. They still are! It wasn’t just their looks either they had these crazy raspy voices and screams that are pretty nightmarish. Could you imagine one of those walking into you bedroom at night!? I did. I spent those nights with my blanket over my head.


Pinocchio tells the tale of an inventor named Gepetto who creates a wooden marionette puppet named Pinocchio. Jiminy Cricket is Pinocchio's conscience sent to keep him out of trouble. Pinocchio wanders off and Jiminy spends most of the film trying to get Pinocchio out of trouble.

There are a lot of older Disney films that can be considered upsetting for kids. For example ‘Snow White’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and ‘Alice in Wonderland’. I chose this film for a few reasons. Pinocchio is kidnapped and pretty much sent to a child slave camp with kids being shoved in boxes. On top of that they are turned in Donkeys! I will never forget that scene where that kid Lampwick turns into a donkey. That is a nightmarish scene and probably inspired many horror movies. Watch that scene here.

Watership Down

And one more movie that I’m not even sure it belongs on a list of movie for kids, but it is an animated film, that is absolutely horrifying.

Batman Mask of the Phantasm

This movie was awesome! This film had beautiful animation and classic noir trappings. The story deftly deals with complex themes such as love, revenge and betrayal, in a way that is accessible to children without pandering to them ...

But then we also have the two villains successfully pull off a series of mafia hits until the film has a higher body count than Reservoir Dogs. Worse still, both villains escape unharmed at the end of the film, while Batman is pumped full of bullets by the cops for his troubles. Oh, and did we mention that Bruce Wayne has a nervous breakdown at his parents' grave?

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This movie was incredibly dark! Remember that seen where the villain is singing a song about how he intends to rape and murder the female lead, holy crap! On top of that the gallant, blonde, muscular, hero gets the girl instead of the deformed Quasimodo. Never mind the fact that Quasimodo saved the girls life on multiple occasions. Never mind that you're this decent man's last hope for finding affection. No, let's all fall for the pretty one.

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