is the most "adult"
classic full length animated film Disney ever made. This makes it already a bit different than most of their other full length animated films. Almost all of the segments take place in the dark.
- Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
- Near the end of the segment a strange shape can be seen walking from the camera back to the distance. It is shaped as a coffin and accompanied by very frightening music.
- The Nutcracker"
- The start of the segment has an eerie atmosphere to it. Tiny little lights floating in a pitch dark forest. The music doesn't help much either.
- The Mood Whiplash of contrast between the quiet fish dance and the loud Russian flower dance, can be startling.
- "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
- The wizard (Yen Sid) has a very eerie piercing stare in his big eyes. He never ever speaks, which makes him appear all the more menacing.
- Interestingly the opening scene with him sets up this trope, then subverts it—Yen Sid seems to be summoning some sort of creepy, disturbing skull imagery...only for it to blend together and become a beautiful butterfly.
- The idea of something as inanimate as a broom suddenly walking around ... and then taking a will of its own!
- Mickey chopping up the broom. A Deleted Scene (existing in pencil test form) had Mickey doing it onscreen.
- The way the chopped up broom slowly but surely comes back to life. Mickey then hearing sounds from behind the door and taking a peek...
- Mickey almost drowning in the whirlpool.
- Yen Sid providing a Jump Scare moment by suddenly hitting Mickey with the broomstick.
- The Rite of Spring".
- The creation of the universe is very eerie, due to the threatening music. Especially when Earth comes closer and it seems as if the viewer will be crushed by the planet.
- The never slowing down or stopping lava stream.
- The scenes taking place in the deep ocean. The music itself is very spooky, especially during the first scene where organisms split up to form cells. What makes this scene particularly frightening is that most children have no idea what is going on!
- The Pteranodon getting eaten by a Mosasaur. This happens onscreen and ends that part of the segment. Worse still, the Pteranodon gets grabbed by the Mosasaur's jaws head first and then slowly gets dragged into the water, in almost complete silence, no less. There's no blood or anything, but it's still pretty shocking.
- The appearance of those Gallimimuses who head towards the river to drink. The music is eerie and they move like zombies, complete with glazy stare and jerky movements.
- The brutal battle between the Stegosaurus and the T-rex.
- Hell, the T. rex himself! If he doesn't scream Prehistoric Monster, then I don't know what does!
- The dinosaurs dying from starvation is also very disturbing. Especially the one who wants to dig up something to eat and then slowly realizes there isn't anything there. While he sits there, tired of his fruitless search the desert wind starts blowing against his back and you realize he is doomed.
- If that's not terrifying enough, there's the T. rex collapsing from the heat. Once it was a powerful creature feared by all, now even it is rendered powerless by nature's wrath and is forced to join in the march towards extinction.
- There's also the silent panning over the landscape... ending with focusing on a dinosaur's skull. The silence is just utterly chilling and the clear evidence that these creatures died of starvation is unsettling to say the least.
- Or what about the solar eclipse at the end of the segment? It's just so eerie that something so familiar as the sun can be so frightening.
- What? No mention of the brief pause of silence before an earthquake literally rips open the earth? That was quite chilling!
- "The Pastoral Symphony"
- Although not a villainous character, the pitch-black pegasus with the glowing red eyes is a little creepy looking.
- The Night on Bald Mountain. Everything that ever went bump in the night, all rolled up in one burning Black Mass presided over by a 50-foot Chernabog, complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom, demonic leers of delight, and terrifying snarls. Do NOT watch this after dark with the lights off. It's one of Disney's highest points in animation, with stellar special effects... and they just make it worse.
- The idea that this truly haunting event happens more often than once a year, near that quiet little city near the bald mountain... You just hope that the villagers don't realize what happens near their town each night!
- Chernabog's eyes! And his powerful gigantic arms are also something you don't wish to encounter in real life.
- Chernabog grabbing a handful of demons while he looks at them with an endeared smile. Then he just drops them into the lake of fire, as if he lost interest...
- The harpy grabbing a demon but then (accidentally?) dropping him, causing him to plummit to his doom inside a seemingly bottomless pit of fire!
- A particularly unsettling moment in that scene would be when Chernabog picks up a bunch of beautiful, fiery succubus-like creatures and watches them dance seductively on his hand...then he places his other hand over them and they all suddenly transform into hideous beasts. Their expressions afterward imply that the transformation isn't a fun experience for them.
- Chernabog ends his night of horrors by bringing the mass of spirits, demons and fire together and producing a bright, white light while his arms stretch toward the sky◊. Given that Disney was intending this to be a stand-in for the Devil himself, and another name for Satan was Lucifer, or "Light Bringer"...
- The Firebird Suite.
- The embodiment of life and nature destroyed by a horrific firebird. Which comes in the form of a volcanic eruption.
- One of the most heart-stopping, jump-scaring, Eye Open moments ever. The song already came prepackaged with its very own music sting, and the animators ran with it.
- The scene where the Nature Sprite scrambles up a tree to escape the Firebird. It really looks like she might escape... and then we see the Firebird slowly rise up from behind her...
- Look closely at the smoke that rises from the Firebird as it awakens. It forms the shape of dozens of howling and screaming skulls.
- The Firebird, and especially the skulls, become more horrifying when you find out this section was based on the 1980 Eruption of Mount St Helens, a real-life natural disaster which killed 57 people.
- Rhapsody in Blue, when Rachel's parents look out their office windows and see their daughter running into busy traffic.