Mickey and Minnie mouse

Have you ever been watching a Disney animated classic, minding your own business, when a terrifying scene shocked or chilled you to the bone? You’ve got company. After someone asked, “What’s the scariest scene in a Disney movie?” These were the top-voted responses.

1. Pinocchios’ Friend Becoming a Donkey

“When Pinocchio’s friend turns into a Donkey,” replied one. “Yes! And when all of the little donkeys are crying out for their moms. It’s so disturbing,” said another. “The whole Pinocchio movie was horrifying for me as a kid,” a third commented. “Pinocchio donkey scene 100%. I feel so validated someone feels the same way,” a final person shared. “I avoided the live-action remake!”

2. Drunk Dumbo

“Drunk Dumbo always scared me as a kid,” confessed one. “The pink elephant’s scene!” “I thought he ate soap, and that’s why bubbles came from his mouth,” clarified another. “When people ask me the scariest movie I’ve seen, I answer Dumbo, and people always look at me like I lost my mind. So I tell them to watch it again.

3. Introduction to the Horned King in The Black Cauldron

Another shared, “The first time we see the Horned King in The Black Cauldron.” “Oh God, yes,” said another. “I always closed my eyes when he appeared on the screen. I was so scared of him when I was a kid.”

4. The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s Hellfire

One person asked, “How has nobody mentioned The Hunchback of Notre Dame yet? “Hellfire” is just plain terrifying.” “Heck yeah. Frollo’s desperation to suppress his lustful feelings, which transforms into an expression of murderous rage, is pure evil delivered brilliantly,” another concurred.

“Hellfire” is my favorite Disney song. I love that there’s a Disney song about how the singer is sexually obsessed with a woman and intends to kill her (and as many other people as he needs to) if she can’t be his,” a third person admitted.

5. Maleficent Hypnotizing Aurora in Sleeping Beauty

Another suggested, “When Maleficent hypnotized Aurora before she touched the pointy spindle in the original Sleeping Beauty. This scene freaked me out as a kid and still freaks me out as an adult. It’s just so haunting.”

“She’s essentially marching to her death down dark halls while that creepy music plays.” Finally, someone added, “What little you see of Maleficent in the fireplace at the start of this scene when the green orb first appears is nightmare fuel.”

6. Mickey’s Christmas Carol Graveyard Scene

“In Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Death (Pete) lights his cigar on the tombstone and bellows, “Why its yoooours Ebenezer! The richest man in the cemetery!” And it gets real hell-like real quick,” said one.

Another added, “I remember this, then Scrooge gets shoved into the coffin, and flames swallow him up or something!” Finally, a third stated, “Seeing an onscreen depiction of hell’s flames, and Scrooge almost pushed into them, was just too much.”

7. When Mother Gothel is Aging Rapidly

“When Rapunzel’s mom is rapidly aging before she falls out of the tower,” replied one. A second noted, “Some disturbing Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark vibes. I was grateful they had the taste to have her pull that hood over her face.”

8. The Scary Fire Clown Scene in The Brave Little Toaster

“I think The Brave Little Toaster is the most messed-up entry in the Disney canon. The clown scene from The Brave Little Toaster terrified me,” replied one. Another argued, “I counter with the air conditioner dying.”

9. The Dark Forest in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

“The dark forest from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” said one. “I was watching that with my daughter, and I forgot how terrifying that scene is. She had nightmares for weeks.” Another confessed, “I was paralyzed with fear when I first saw that. It’s an animated fever dream. The music is as intense as the visuals.”

10. The Heads in Return to Oz

Return to Oz was crazy scary as a kid. Especially with all the heads,” replied one. “The entire movie is terrifying. Oddly enough, it’s the chicken that gave me nightmares. The wheelers as well, but mostly the stupid chicken.”

What do you think? Did the internet get this right, or is there a scarier Disney scene that deserves a spot on this list? Also, have a look at these movies out now!

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Elizabeth Ervin

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing, a website that provides information about addiction, recovery, mental wellness, spirituality, and resources to help people succeed in rebuilding their lives. Elizabeth has education and experience with addiction, healing, and spiritual studies. She is passionate about learning, teaching, and loving her neighbor. 

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