This weekend, John Mauceri leads his orchestra in a rousing production of Fantasia at the Hollywood Bowl. The event promises clips from the film, never-before-seen animated segments and fireworks to “complement the spectacular beauty of this cinematic triumph.”
I want to know who thought this was a good idea. Somebody should have told Mauceri about our list of the top five childrens' movies that might not be suitable for actual children.
5. Fantasia (1940)
“Hey, honey. Remember that old movie where Mickey almost gets crushed to death by a proletariat army of unstoppable water-carrying brooms? Yeah, I bet the kids'll get a kick out of that one. Don't think it'll cause any bed-wetting at all. Seriously, not even a little.”
At least this film is awesome if you're over 18, a fan of classical music, and stoned. The rest of these are guaranteed to harsh your mellow, no matter how old you are.
4. The Dark Crystal (1982)
Oh look, someone finally adapted T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland into a children's movie! And they filled it with eerily humanoid muppets! Yay! Mostly, I just wish I'd been in the production office the day Frank Oz turned to Jim Henson and said, “You know, these villains don't look realistic enough. Dial it up and don't stop until you've got something that looks like an actual rotting buzzard carcass.”
3. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
The filmmakers behind the Secret of NIMH maybe did too good a job getting audiences to empathize with their movie's rodent stars. In one scene mama mouse Mrs. Frisby watches as her house sinks slowly into a mud hole, with all three of her children still in it. The camera stays trained on her face while you get to see exactly what it might look like if your own mother was forced to watch you die by suffocation. Her mad-eyes and scrabbling fingers wouldn't be out of place on Charlotte Gainsbourg in a Lars Von Trier film — how awesome would THAT anthropomorphic mouse movie be?
2. The Country Bears (2002)
Haley Joel Osment stars as an animatronic bear in this film based on the Disney ride. Everything about that last sentence should alert you that something is deeply wrong here. Unless The Country Bears is one of those movies where you play it backwards alongside Pink Floyd's The Wall and suddenly you get what infinity means? Somebody try it and report back.
1. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Just to be clear: I'm not dissing The NeverEnding Story. I mean, it stars a dragon who's also kind of a dog. What's not to love But WTF George Lucas? Have you ever even met a child? The death hierarchy in kids' movies runs like this: 1.) Lower species sure, but only if they're not cute. 2.) Dogs, but only when the point of the movie is to make you cry. 3.) Humans, okay, but only the bad guys. 4.) Horses? Never. Never the horse.
What movies did you see as a kid that will haunt you until the day you die? Let us know in the comments.
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