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Literature / Disney Chills

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The dreams that you FEAR will come true.
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Disney Chills is a middle-grade Disney-themed horror series in the vein of Goosebumps, written by Jennifer Brody under the pen name Vera Strange.

Each book in the series focuses on a child making an unfortunate deal with a Disney Villain, such as Ursula, Dr. Facilier, or Captain Hook, and the terrible price they pay for having their wishes granted. The books also feature moral lessons on popularity, growing up, and other social issues kids face.

The novels include the following:

  1. Part of Your Nightmare, featuring Ursula (2020)
  2. Fiends on the Other Side, featuring Dr. Facilier (2020)
  3. Second Star to the Fright, featuring Captain Hook (2021)
  4. Be Careful What You Wish Fur, featuring Cruella de Vil (2021)
  5. Liar, Liar, Head on Fire, featuring Hades (2021)


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This series contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Malik from Fiends on the Other Side is the most popular kid at school, excels at sports and music, and is loved by everyone, especially his teachers and classmates.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Dr. Facilier never directly manipulated children in The Princess and the Frog. His targets were limited to adults who either had money or opportunity. Here, the Legacy Character doctor accosts Jamal, gets curt when the kid says he's late for dinner and escorts him into his shop.
  • Adult Fear: The last chapter of Second Star to the Fright has Barrie finding out he didn't go missing for a few hours, but a few decades. According to the family that lives where the Darlings did, they were worried sick and everyone theorized he must have drowned in the marina. Which, is technically true since Barrie had to jump into the ocean to escape Hook.
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  • Alpha Bitch: Kendall and her hangers-on Attina and Alana form the most popular girls at school in Triton Bay, and Shelly goes to great lengths to keep them happy.
  • Always Second Best: Jamal from Fiends on the Other Side feels overshadowed by his twin brother Malik and makes a deal with Dr. Facilier to swap lives with him.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Once Enrique starts helping Shelly, Ursula targets him as an incentive to claim the trident.
  • Artifact of Doom: Many of the books revolve around the protagonist finding or taking powerful, malignant objects that belong to a Disney villain, such as Ursula's shell necklace, Captain Hook's hook, or Cruella's fur coat.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • Part of Your Nightmare has Ursula reclaim the trident and turn Shelly into a fish.
    • Fiends on the Other Side has Dr. Facilier reclaim the necklace that warded off his magic and become Mayor of New Orleans, putting the city under martial law.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The major theme of the series, as the heroes' wishes for popularity, beauty, and social cred always come with a price.
  • Birds of a Feather: Riley befriends Jamal due to their similarities, as both feel invisible and overlooked by their classmates but have talents of their own.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Second Star to the Fright ends with Barrie returning the hook, escaping Never Land, and regaining everyone's memory of him, but while he was gone his parents have become old and his sister and friends middle-aged, and it isn't clear if he's still stuck as a kid forever.
  • Body Horror:
    • In Part of Your Nightmare, Ursula grants Shelly's wish to be the fastest swimmer by slowly turning her into a fish, with gills, scales, and finger webbing appearing a day at a time.
    • The cover of Be Careful What You Wish Fur implies that Delia is turning into a mannequin.
  • The Bully: Colton and his friends endlessly torment Jamal in Fiends on the Other Side.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Be Careful What You Wish Fur has Delia become prettier, more confident, and popular when wearing Cruella's fur coat.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Realizing that he isn't getting where by reasoning with Captain Hook, Barrie is forced to take the hook again to distract him while trapped on the pirate ship. Then he tosses it into the water, where the crocodile is waiting, so he has a chance to swim back home.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Part of Your Nightmare has Shelly learn about growing up and the difference between being popular and having true friends.
  • Cruel Twist Ending:
    • The climax of Part of Your Nightmare has Shelly retrieve the trident for Ursula as part of their deal, only for Ursula to turn her into a fish completely since she only assumed she'd turn her back into a human when all the contract said was that Shelly owed Ursula a favor in exchange for becoming the fastest swimmer.
    • The climax of Fiends on the Other Side has Jamal give Dr. Facilier the necklace in the hopes of releasing his brother from the curse, but the shadow man turns him into a shadow instead, gloating that he only heard what he wanted to hear in terms of their deal.
    • Second Star to the Fright ends on a massive Hope Spot where Barrie tosses the hook to the crocodile, ensuring that the pirate captain will be doomed to old age, and he actually makes it back to the marina. Then he gets home, thanks to the marina guard giving him a ride, Barrie vows to never do anything dangerous in his life again. Barrie then sees a strange woman opening the door, who says that the Darlings moved out decades ago, with his older sister married with kids and his parents in a retirement community.
  • Deal with the Devil: The other major theme of the series is that making deals with Disney villains is a very bad thing and can only end in pain.
  • Downer Ending: Like the Goosebumps books, these sorts of endings are common.
    • Part of Your Nightmare ends with Ursula victorious, Shelly fully transformed into a fish, her parents grieving and Enrique having lost his memories of what happened, and it's implied Shelly will be given to her fish-killing little brother as a pet.
    • Fiends on the Other Side ends with Dr. Facilier as Mayor of New Orleans, Jamal and Malik's parents not remembering they had kids at all, and Jamal and Malik stuck as shadows that will slowly disappear from existence. Riley in the meantime suffers an Uncertain Doom for her attempts to rescue them.
  • Girl Posse: Attina and Alana, as well as Shelly, form Kendall's main support group. Since Shelly isn't the only one she kept in line through fear, Attina and Alana later turn on her to help Shelly.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Second Star to the Fright goes with the original 1953 Disney film's interpretation of Peter Pan as an "insolent brat" in Hook's words. Hook says that Peter cut off his hand as a "childish prank" with no regard for the consequences of feeding it to the crocodile. After the pirate captain gained the prosthetic that granted him immortality and eternal youth, Peter started gunning for that instead. That's when Hook left Neverland.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: As Hook explains, Peter cut off his hand as part of a "childish prank" and tossed it to the crocodile. From what we hear, Peter is still not that sorry about it.
  • Green Aesop: The beginning of Part of Your Nightmare includes Shelly's teacher lecturing about the damage humans do to the undersea environment, with special attention paid to plastic bags and straws.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Jamal from Fiends on the Other Side is bitterly jealous of Malik, his accomplishments, and popularity.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Barrie from Second Star to the Fright is reluctant to grow up after seeing how stressed and bored his parents and sister are, and steals Captain Hook's hook due to a legend that whoever holds it will never grow old.
  • How We Got Here: Part of Your Nightmare opens with Shelly being dragged before Ursula, then flashes back to show how it all happened.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Shelly from Part of Your Nightmare is desperate to make her friends and parents happy and be popular, so she makes a deal with Ursula to become champion of the swim team in the hopes of granting all her wishes at once.
  • Legacy Character: The Dr. Facilier seen in Fiends on the Other Side isn't technically the one from The Princess and the Frog, as he was originally a good magic practitioner who fell to the dark side, naming and styling himself after the Dr. Facilier of legend. It makes sense since Dr. Facilier originally lived during the 1920s.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Dr. Facilier's Voodoo Emporium appears out of nowhere just when Jamal is passing by, setting the events of the story in motion.
  • Living Shadow: Dr. Facilier's shadows are this by default, and once Jamal agrees to swap lives with Malik, his brother becomes a fading shadow, unable to be seen by most. The story ends with both brothers becoming shadows that will eventually fade.
  • Mr. Exposition:
    • About two-thirds of the way through Part of Your Nightmare, Enrique reveals local legends about Ursula and the trident, showing Shelly once and for all that helping her is dangerous.
    • Riley and her grandmother tell Jamal about their powers and history with Dr. Facilier, as well as the story behind the necklace he wants.
  • Only Sane Woman: Riley in Fiends on the Other Side. Malik is oblivious to Jamal's feelings of inadequacy while protecting him, and Jamal lets his jealousy override his decisions. She doesn't have Ripple-Proof Memory but notices that her best friend is acting "weird" and goes to investigate. Riley also has a sensible explanation on how to change Malik back; ask her grandmother for help.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Out of a desire to keep her popular friends, Shelly pretends not to care about the environment or its sea creatures and deliberately litters when prompted to.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Kendall and her girl posse couldn't care less about fish and the ocean and are dismissive of 'nerds' like Shelly.
  • Rescue Romance: A platonic example. Shelly and Enrique meet when he saves her from drowning, and they slowly become good friends over the course of the book.
  • Ret-Gone: In Fiends on the Other Side, once Jamal swaps lives with Malik, his brother is erased from history, with his parents seeing Jamal as an only child and not recognizing Malik's name at all. Both brothers are doomed and forgotten in the ending.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Barrie returns the pirate captain's hook, apologizing and begging for him to undo the curse. Hook doesn't care; he wants to not only take Barrie to Never Land but also use him to get revenge on the first Lost Boy, Peter Pan.
  • Sadistic Choice: If Jamal gives up the necklace in exchange for Malik being brought back to normal, it means surrendering New Orleans to Dr. Facilier. Refusing to do so means condemning his brother to an early death. Jamal ends up making the wrong choice by giving up the necklace. Dr. Facilier reveals he was never going to change Malik back.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Everything Shelly learns about friendship and popularity is for nothing when Ursula turns her into a fish for good, leaving everyone else to mourn her loss.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Due to the Disney villains being involved in the stories, several moral lessons boil down to things like 'don't ask a sea witch to become popular because it will ruin your life.'
  • Super Strength: In Liar, Liar, Head on Fire, Hector makes a deal with Hades to gain godlike strength and speed so he can win the Zeus Cup at the Mt. Olympus Spartan Race.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lampshaded by Malik and Riley when they find out that Jamal made a deal with Dr. Facilier. They both point out that their grandparents warned the kids about the "shadow man". Jamal doesn't die, but it's hinted he and Malik will fade out of existence.
  • Totally Radical: Kendall and her friends speak in hashtags frequently, such as "Hashtag BFF!" or "Hashtag loser."
  • Uncertain Doom: Second Star to the Fright ends more ambiguously than the other books, as it isn't clear if Barrie is still cursed to never age or not. More importantly, he's left on the streets at night, unsure if he should go into Michael's house to reveal himself.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If Barrie's sister Rita had kept her mouth shut about how she hates being a teen and in a hurry to grow up, it's likely Barrie wouldn't have been so reckless.
  • Villain Has a Point: In Part of Your Nightmare, Ursula rightly chastises Shelly for using the ocean as a dumping ground for trash, and Shelly reflects that she knew throwing a coffee cup in the ocean was bad but did it anyway.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The ending of Fiends on the Other Side leaves it unclear what happened to Riley, who is last seen being pinned to the ground by Dr. Facilier's living voodoo dolls.
  • What Were You Thinking?: John and Michael ask Barrie this when he confesses that he stole the pirate captain's hook. They say stealing from a guy like that, even if he's supposedly dead, is asking for trouble.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Second Star to the Fright has Barrie deal with the upsides and considerable downsides of not growing up, with the added bonus of everyone slowly forgetting about him. By the end of the book he's still the same age, but his parents are elderly and his sister and friends are middle-aged with kids.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Fiends on the Other Side ends with Jamal and Malik turned into shadows that will eventually fade into nothing.

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