Halloween is over, but we’re still in spooky movie mode (at least until those Christmas movies start calling our names)! After all, scary movies are fun ANY time of year.
Thankfully there are plenty of great Disney movies are the perfect balance of spooky and scary — and some are… just scary.
Whether it’s the whole movie or just one scene, here are 10 Disney movies that even adults find scary!
The Whole Movie Scares Us
Don’t Look Under the Bed
To kick off this list, let’s take a look at Don’t Look Under The Bed! This movie is about the Boogeyman terrorizing children, and unlike other Halloween Disney Channel Original Movies, this one is more scary than spooky.
I still don’t watch this movie during Halloween; I don’t even like thinking about it. Let’s move on!
Return to Oz
Return to Oz isn’t a scary movie on purpose, but it definitely does a great job of giving us the chills. The story itself isn’t any scarier than the original Wizard of Oz. It’s just… what is going on with those costumes?
Why, Disney? Why? For many people, these unsettling costumes make the movie unwatchable.
The Watcher in the Woods
Did you know that Disney made a horror movie? Under the Disney name? The Watcher in the Woods is a 1980 horror movie by Disney about… a watcher in the woods. The movie revolves around supernatural hauntings, a missing teenage girl, and a very M. Night Shamayalan-esque twist at the end that will learn just thinking “huh, that happened.”
This is one of Disney’s only legitimately terrifying films and definitely deserves its spot on the list.
The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron is a 1985 Disney animated movie that features an army of the dead, terrifying imagery, and is generally scary, with the ending being trauma-worthy. It was controversial before it even came out with future Dreamworks head Jeffrey Katzenberg and then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner battling it out about which scenes were too scary to cut.
Ultimately, nearly 15 minutes of content was taken out, which makes us wonder… if this is what was considered acceptable, what was considered scary? We’re too terrified to find out.
The last one in this section is the reason we’ll never have an Alexa. Smart House is a Disney Channel Original Movie that has a plotline that has since become part of horror movies like the new Scream movie (seriously, there is a heavy Smart House influence in a lot of horror movies now — and for good reason).
This movie is about an automated house that turns evil, and it’s the reason I don’t have a fridge that can use Twitter. It’s not particularly scary in the sense of a horror film, it’s just scary because it’s just too realistic now 😂.
Just That One Scene
Pinocchio is a mixed bag, with an equal amount of wholesome, fun moments that make us go “aww, that’s so cute” and terrifying sequences that make us go “AHHH TURN IT OFF NO THANK YOU!”
The scene that still gives us the heebie-jeebies nowadays is the donkey sequence on pleasure island. It makes us ask: is this still a children’s movie?
Personally, I was obsessed with this next one as a baby (not sure if that’s a good reflection on the scene or a bad reflection on me), but a lot of us here at AllEars are still spooked by Chernabog’s “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence in Fantasia!
Regardless, it’s a Halloween classic, even if it’s a little scary.
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is mostly singing and dancing and fun times under the sea! Except at the entrance of Ursula’s lair, that was not fun times under the sea. Those were scary times under the sea.
At least it’s followed by an absolute bop of a song, “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”
For the most part, the Haunted Mansion movie is much like the ride: spooky but not scary. But that one scene where they’re getting chased by the skeletons stuck with us.
That was scary scary. Like “fast forward the movie please I don’t want to throw my popcorn in the air” scary. Thankfully the rest of the movie is wholesome spooky fun.
Multiple Toy Story Movies
Three different Toy Story movies (we’re counting all three of these as one because this is our list and we make the rules here) made it onto our list for three VERY different reasons!
The first Toy Story movie made our list because of Sid’s terrifying modified toys. We’re still not sure if we want to visit the Sid section of Oogie Boogie Bash just for this reason (also because Sid at the Bash is… an adult? It’s all very confusing to us).
Toy Story 3 also made the list because that incinerator scene was more traumatizing for adults than anyone else (I was well into my teenage years when it came out and that scene was more terrifying than any horror movie). Any movie willing to almost incinerate all of its main characters and convince that they were actually going to be melted deserves to be on this list.
Toy Story 4 made the list because… wooden puppets. I mean, look at them!
We all had nightmares of Gabbie Gabbie and her minions chasing us (or was that just me? It was just me? Okay.).
Our last one is Bambi. You know the scene. You remember the pain.
Well, that’s the list! We hope you had as much fun reading it as we did writing it. Next time you need a scary Disney movie — really! — you’ve got a good place to start!
Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to stay on top of ALL the breaking Disney News! You'll also get access to AllEars tips, reviews, trivia, and MORE! Click here to Subscribe!
What do you think about this list? Let us know in the comments!