21 Surprisingly Disturbing Movies You Grew Up With

Universal Pictures

For most people, the movies you loved as a kid will forever be among your favorite films. Regardless of how great modern movies you see today are, they have an impossible task of trying to match the nostalgic and emotional connections you share with the films of your youth. But sometimes, when you watch those old favorites as an adult, you can be shocked by how twisted they can be. Seriously, there are so many surprisingly disturbing movies I loved as a kid that now have me questioning my upbringing.

I'm exaggerating a little, and truth be told I still love most of these movies, but it's hard not to look at them a little differently as an adult. As a kid, I feel like I was more willing to take a movie at its face value without examining it too closely, but as an adult it's much harder to do that. Kids are still having their worldview shaped, but adults are typically pretty set in their ways and opinions, so if a grown up sees something that doesn't fit their worldview, it's going to stand out. So take a look below at these 21 movies you probably loved as a kid, but would likely find disturbing on some level if you watched them today.


'The NeverEnding Story'

There are a lot of disturbing moments in this relentlessly dark fantasy, but the death of Artax, who literally died because he became too sad, is definitely the worst offender.



This extremely violent PG-rated film, along with the next movie on this list, led to the creation of the PG-13 rating. Phoebe Cates' story about her dad's Christmas death may have had something to do with that.


'Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom'

Child slavery, a heart-ripping cult, eating live snakes — what doesn't this movie have?


'Peter Pan'

What makes the red man red? Racial stereotypes would be my guess.


'The Lion King'

Every lion in this movie is part of the same pride, which technically should mean they're all related. Let that sink in.


'The Hunchback Of Notre Dame'

A priest sings a song about how he'll go to hell because he wants to have sex with a gypsy. Nothing to see here.



The last segment of the movie literally stars the devil and a bunch of terrifying demons. Gotta love the '40s.



The most disturbing Disney movie — and that's saying something — with a scene where boys transform into donkeys that is so messed up.



Two words: Ghost blowjob.


'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'

So, everyone's cool with Eddie Valiant being attracted to a cartoon? OK, well then how about innocent cartoons being murdered by acid dip?


'Home Alone 2'

Despite its sadist violence, I'll give the first Home Alone a pass since Kevin McCallister is defending his home from burglars. But there's no excuse for his behavior in the sequel, when he could have easily called the police but instead lured Marv and Harry to a death trap just so he could torture them.


'The Wizard Of Oz'

People sing songs and have a parade when witches are killed. Is this what it was like in 1600s Salem?


'The Dark Crystal'

A podling drained of its essence has got to be one of the most disturbing things ever put to film.


'The Goonies'

A deformed and mentally-challenged kid is kept chained in a basement. And he became the movie's breakout character. That should tell you all you need to know.


'Little Monsters'

I distinctly remember my mother not letting me watch Gremlins 2, even though I'd seen the original countless times, and renting me this horrifying kidnapping tale instead. I would have been much better off with the kid-friendly Gremlins sequel.


'Mrs. Doubtfire'

Can you imagine how scarred these kids would be upon learning that their elderly nanny was actually their father in drag? How could they ever trust anyone again?


'Kindergarten Cop'

Let's put the education and safety of these kids at risk by having a cop with no teaching experience who hates children secretly become their teacher so he can catch a drug dealer. Seems legit.


'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory'

Sooo... all those kids are dead, right?



Just your average "baby kidnapped by goblins" story, nothing that shouldn't traumatize babysitters and older siblings or anything.


'Hocus Pocus'

Eating kids, turning kids into cats... how did this become the most-beloved Halloween movie ever? Oh right, Halloween's supposed to be macabre.


'Back To The Future'

The entire movie basically revolves around Marty McFly trying to avoid having sex with his mom. Other than that, it's great family fun!