Nightmare Fuel / Pinocchio

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PinocchioTransformation_2941.png
"MAAAAAAMAAAAA!!!!!"

The movie in general is perhaps Disney's scariest picture ever, especially since none of the villains are actually punished for their crimes, thus leaving children with the horrifying realization that not all evil can be beaten and that the world will always remain a dangerous place for them...note 
  • When Pinocchio gets the tip of his finger burned at the beginning—and can't feel it. In the book, he slept too close to a fire and woke up to find his feet burned away.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Especially when you get older and have kids of your own: Geppetto sends Pinocchio off to school, hoping that he will have a nice day. And then all kinds of horrible things happen to him that seem to come out of parents' worst fears and nightmares: he is lured off by two strangers, exploited by a traveling entertainer, forced into slave labour, sent to a place where bad behaviour like drinking, smoking and vandalism is encouraged and almost transformed into something that would make identification by police officers who search for this lost boy impossible. All this makes the scenes where Geppetto is waiting desperately in vain until Pinocchio gets home all the more unnerving.
    • Add to this the scene where Pinocchio finally does come home, only to find his home abandoned, with no one waiting for him. Pinocchio's first thought is that something terrible has happened to his father.
    • And to top this all off, at the end of the film we see Pinocchio floating face down in a puddle, apparently drowned.
  • Stromboli was particularly frightening, especially telling Pinocchio when he's worn-out he'll make good firewood...and then throwing an axe at a (fortunately lifeless) puppet. One has to wonder just what in God's name is wrong with the man.
  • The scene where Stromboli drives away, and a thunderstorm starts while all the lifeless puppets sway around on their strings is rather unsettling, looking like strung up corpses in comparison to Pinocchio.
  • The Coachman is one of the very few Disney villains to be a complete Karma Houdini. For all we know, he could still be turning kids into donkeys and selling them off to the circus, salt mines, etc. Sometimes evil gets away scot-free, kids!
    • "They never come back... as BOYS!" That Wario-esque Slasher Smile he makes as he says those last two lines rivals the face from Inland Empire in pants-soiling scariness.
    • His skin turns red and the tufts of hair become pointed, like horns. Does that remind you of anything?
    • Also the Evil Laugh he makes after it, especially in the Italian Dub. Listen
    • The Coachman's henchmen. They're hulking black figures, silent and completely featureless except for their blank white eyes. No explanation for what the heck they are or where they came from.
    • Theres also the fact that like Maleficent, the Coachman is never portrayed as inept or buffoonish. And even when he put on his friendly face for the kids, we know full well that he is up to something truly sinister.
  • The whole concept of Pleasure Island, an amusement park that's actually a trap for unsuspecting little boys! Even Honest John and Gideon are freaked about it...
    • The entirety of the scene where the donkeys are being sorted at Pleasure Island. The shadowy, featureless henchmen. The boys, transformed into voiceless beasts of burden, sent off to a life of being abused and worked to death in the salt mines. The ones who can still talk in the holding pen, crying and begging to be returned to their families. Pinocchio was likely the only one who ever escaped.
    • And that's not considering The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body in which the boys not turn into donkeys physically but mentally as well which might explain why none of them ever plotted a way to turn to normal and gang up against the Coachman. The reason some of those donkeys are heard talking while the rest just bray... they're probably the ones who still remember how to talk.
    • This particular Fridge Horror aspect: If you look at the coach taking the children to Pleasure Island, it appears to be pulled by donkeys. It is implied that these are the little boys who can still talk - the Coachman keeps them for grunt work. He is whipping them mercilessly, only adding to his wickedness.
    • The scene of Lampwick's transformation into a donkey is quite possibly the most terrifying scene ever created by Disney (Andreas Deja even compared the staging to an Alfred Hitchcock film). Especially his reaction to finding out he's become a donkey. And instead of just braying, he sounds like he's hyperventilating. Even worse is that he screams out "MAAAAMAAAAA!!!!" What makes it worse is that Lampwick is not initially aware of it, while Pinocchio is slowly becoming unnerved by the scene (initially believing it to be caused by heavy drinking or smoking), and once Lampwick realizes what's going on, he utterly breaks down and begs Pinocchio to help him before eventually being reduced into a braying, wild ass. Pinocchio leaves in horror before he can suffer the same fate. No other adaptation has ever tried to bring this element to the transformation as it is far too disturbing.
      • Lampwick completely destroying the pool hall with his hind legs, kicking off all of his clothes and thus the last signs of his former humanity. Even worse, at some points even while braying he still sounds like he's screaming for help.
      • Lampwick flees the scene immediately after he has transformed, vanishing from sight and leaving his fate unknown. While a deleted scene indicates he was captured just like the others, not including it actually makes things worse; even if he escaped, his life from then on was surely a cruel and horrible existence.
      • The worst part of all about this scene is the moral horror that comes from asking whether Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio should have done anything to rescue the other boys, especially Lampwick. Any way you look at it, there truly was nothing they could do but what they did: even if they hadn't been hopelessly outnumbered (and assuming the island's enchantment didn't have Pinocchio facing a deadline), they had no way to undo the enchantment. Even knowing the situation was every boy for himself and he couldn't have saved anyone but himself, the Survivor's Guilt would likely stick to Pinocchio for as long as he lives.
      • The external moral horror of the story is just as bad, implying that children who do bad things are irredeemable and deserving of rather horrible punishments, like the abovementioned Pleasure Island. Even Gepetto is not entirely free of this harsh morality, as one of his clocks features a child being spanked by his mother for breaking a bottle. There is a real Values Dissonance as to how disobedient children are treated in this story.
      • There is a hint of real life Nightmare Fuel when the children's fate is an allegory of human trafficking.
  • Monstro, that enormous whale. Getting chased and devoured by something at least 500 feet long is horrifying. Plus, he has at least two of those intense chase scenes! Especially the scene where he charges right at the viewer.
    • More horrifying? He's shown to be feared by all creatures of the sea...what if this includes badasses like Godzilla and Cthulhu? Oh, and apparently, he's big enough to eat entire ships. No matter how big, or well-armed a ship was at the time, it could not escape Monstro.
    • At least nothing like Monstro ever existed in real li...oh wait.
  • Monstro opening his mouth and coming straight at the camera, just as Pinocchio gets Geppetto into the cave.
  • A meta example came in 2014/2015 when "I've Got No Strings" got a Dark Reprise as Ultron's theme for Avengers: Age of Ultron, which became an instant nightmare meme regarding robotics.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/Pinocchio