Nightmare Fuel / Dumbo

"I am not the type to faint, when things are odd or things are quaint,
but seeing things you know that ain't can certainly give you an awful fright!
What a sight!"
  • The infamous "Pink Elephants On Parade" sequence. This, children, is why we do not take hallucinogens (though "pink elephants" are more associated with someone being drunk rather than high). Consider the following facts:
    • Dumbo is actually hallucinating because he is drunk. An adult understands this immediately, but most children don't, since they've never been intoxicated. This aspect makes it even worse, because children are usually afraid of things they don't understand! If they are able to relate to it all it might be because Dumbo's hallucinations are similar to fever nightmares. In fact, most people to this day are afraid for this reason because it is unknown if it was meant to be enjoyable fun, the animators were high or genuine Nightmare Fuel.
    • What makes this scarier is that Dumbo was merely making funny shapes with bubbles, which then leads to one bubble turning into a pink elephant and the madness begins...
    • All the elephants are varied in color (but are mostly pink), but all have no pupils (and sometimes no eyes at all, like eyeless masks), causing them to resemble ghosts. Especially since the background is pitch black, like the night.
    • In addition, the elephants take on all kinds of bizarre and physically impossible shapes. Hopping over each other, walking into each other, changing color, growing and shrinking, floating in the air, walking upside down, growing extra heads, changing into cars and other vehicles... A Trope Codifier of Deranged Animation.
    • The scene where the elephants walk upside down on the ceiling, while another elephant sees them from his bed and then hides himself beneath the blanket from fear. This is one thing many kids did after watching this movie.
    • When the lyrics come in for the first time, behind the prancing elephants a large pink rectangle can be seen in the background. Closer inspection reveal this rectangle is actually some kind of doorway with an unbroken tide of pink elephants swarming through it. Not only are the elephants terrifying, there's hundreds of them!
    • After the belly dancing elephant dissolves a disturbingly realistic eye appears in the middle of the screen, staring back at you. It's the only non-elephant appearing on screen in the entire segment other than a snake that changes into the belly dancer which dissolves into the eye. (The snake in question—a rearing cobra!)
    • The music is very creepy as well. But the lyrics, oh boy: "Chase 'em away! Chase 'em away! I'm afraid! Need your aid! Pink Elephants on Parade!"
    • The climax! The music for the most part has an eerie calm till the elephants decide to change to change into vehicles and the black scene flashes pink as they rush like mad, leading to an explosive conclusion leading to the second to last scene.
    • And being a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, it has no relevance to the plot and is never mentioned again, leading to a calmer scene where Dumbo wakes up in a tree, learns to fly and get back at the circus. The insanity dissipates as quickly as it came, but leaves even stronger impact than even the ending resolution.
      • You think "Pink elephants on parade" is scary enough? The spanish version is named Souls of Horror (Ánimas del terror). The lyrics "They're here and there. Pink elephants ev'rywhere" somehow translated to "They are perhaps, relatives of satan" (seran quizas, parientes de satanas)
      • And if all that didn't scare you, just wait 'til the Tim Burton remake.
  • The close-up of Casey Junior saying 'All aboard, let's go'. That grating voice from the "talking-wistle" effect can be more than a little unnerving.
    • Similarly when he chants 'I Think I Can I Think I Can I Think I Can' while climbing up the hill.
  • Mrs. Jumbo going red-eyed and berserk because she was understandably upset when Dumbo was taken from her after just spending a single moment of playing with her calf causing her to go into an Unstoppable Rage, spanking the brat that played with Dumbo's ears, tossing circus folk and finally dunking the Ringmaster into a barrel of water. In a Real Life situation, Mrs. Jumbo would likely have killed anyone for even getting close to Dumbo.
    • Took years to understand the justice of the humans' reaction. Actual enraged elephants have been known to accidentally trample their own young. Just before he's taken away, Dumbo can be seen stepping and 'dancing' a little to avoid her stamping feet.
  • The disastrous end to the elephants' pyramid routine. The matriarch screams "OUT OF MY WAY, ASSASSIN!" as she chases Dumbo with all the other elephants on top of her. Dumbo trips and we zoom into the matriarch's Oh, Crap! reaction before the elephants knock over the tightrope and tent.
    • Earlier during that same scene, a crowd of silhouetted people in the foreground all scream like a chorus of banshees as they scatter like roaches to escape the oncoming elephants.
  • For younger viewers, the humor of the clown scene may go over their heads, and it's just weird enough that it comes off as rather creepy.
  • Briefly before the "Subconcious" scene, Timothy is framed (off-screen) as casting a shadow over the Ringmaster not unlike Orlok from Nosferatu. The creepy violin that goes along with it does not help matters.