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Nightmare Fuel / Animated Films

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There's a good chance you may never look at a B-17 Bomber again without shuddering.

"Once you see that shit, it'll fuck you up for life!"
Twink, Sausage Party

Just that cartoons don't depict the same realism as live-action doesn't mean you won't get scared.

Animation released originally to the Internet now goes under NightmareFuel.Web Animation.

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    Feature-Length Films 
  • For a Narm-laden attempt to ride off Disney's coattails, Happily Ever After has some surprisingly effective scares.
    • The part in the beginning where Snow's prince is ripped away through a portal into some kind of hell dimension.
    • The Jump Scare when the Dwarfellas are revealed to have been turned to stone.
    • Maliss' own demise, being petrified in a creepy half-mutation between his human and dragon forms.
  • Heidi's Song has the disturbing dream sequence when she meets all the various goblins and odd creatures living around the mountains. The rats in the cellar are also frightening.
  • In the Justice League adaptation of For the Man Who Has Everything, the effects of the Black Mercy are kinda scary — you have to see what you don't want in order for you to escape; that has to be bad — but what was one of the scariest part was when the Black Mercy was on Mongul. While we never see what's going on in Mongul's head, the sounds you hear in his head (screaming, destruction...) are disturbing. Well you'd think Nothing Is Scarier... Until you realize that A) the Black Mercy shows you your perfect life, and B) Mongul is the one that created War World. So all of those horrible noises, as expected, are most likely him overseeing an eternal war on the entire known universe... And winning. Gruesomely.
    • The original comic explains exactly what Mongul is experiencing. It's exactly what you think.
  • Metamorphoses/Winds of Change by Sanrio has an intense scene in the Actaeon segment where the titular character hunts a rampant boar by repeatedly stabbing it as the scene gets tinted red and black.
    • The Perseus segment includes an encounter with a beautiful blonde woman who transforms into the exceedingly frightening and grotesque Medusa (NSFW). Her chilling noises, dear God.
  • "Monster High: Ghouls Rule" contains a scene that suggests the adorably-named "Trick Or Treatment" consists of feeding the monster (in this case, Holt Hyde) into a giant meat grinder. The really twisted part is, the only reason he's put through this hell is the end of a scheme by Cleo to get his girlfriend to dump him. Because Cleo is bitter about being dumped by her boyfriend.
  • The Danish animated flick Samson and Sally is chock full of dark and horrific imagery, made all the more jarring by the fact that it's supposed to be a children's film. Many who watched the movie as children were understandably terrified by a few scenes:
    • Some prints were so dark that a few scenes were almost pitch-black. Samson and Sally exploring the sunken ship largely looked like a black screen with the occasional surreal, creepy image popping out. Check out this comparison video if you ever wondered what these scenes were supposed to look like!
    • When the pod dives to go under the oil slick and escape the whalers, the nigh-total darkness and tense music make the threat of the whales dying very apparent. It culminates in one member of the pod being unable to hold his breath any longer, rising to the surface to breathe, and then promptly suffocating and sinking down into the abyss as his blowhole becomes clogged with oil. A bird is also seen trapped in the oil, flopping about on the surface before it sinks out of sight.
    • Samson getting sick and passing out at the toxic waste site. He's rescued by the blue whale, but that whale gives a few brief shudders, indicating he's not so well himself. He's later found dead. The creepy music doesn't help.
    • The Killer Whales are pretty scary in general. They look much more shark-like than actual killer whales and behave like ravenous beasts.
  • Paul Berry's Sandman movie. It's a claymation story about a child who was going to bed in his room, his mother was downstairs and then the titular Sandman, portrayed as this evil birdlike creature appears and is sneaking into his room. The tension keeps building, the kid knows that the Sandman is there, and is scared stiff. Just as the kid just gets over being scared and is starting to fall asleep, The Sandman (in the traditional fashion of a Jump Scene) swoops down and steals his eyes. It was when the boy opened his eyes after closing them to sleep that the Sandman ripped them out of his head. And then he feeds them to his babies.
  • The Villainous Breakdown the Queen has in the Jetlag Productions version of Snow White ends with her trying to shatter her Magic Mirror, only for the voice inside to open a doorway and suck the Queen in for all eternity. It starts with the Queen throwing a hand mirror, and watching it go inside the magic one. The mirror has this to say as it sucks the horrified Queen in.
    The Voice: Your jealousy has become a curse, your luck has gone from bad to worse. You're passing through a magic door where you'll behold yourself no more. Your wicked face no more to see, you'll stay here for eternity. So welcome to my special place, and nevermore you'll see your face.

    Short Films and Other Animations 
  • Aardman Animations
    • Not Without My Handbag, a short TV film from Aardman Studios, the same people who made Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run. There was a whole VHS tape of perfectly innocent, kid-friendly shorts, and then this one, terrifying four minutes about a little girl's aunt who dies, get's dragged to Hell by the Devil, and then returns as a corpse... zombie... skeleton... thing, to reclaim her handbag, which she had left behind.
    • There's another Aardman short that had one of the most disturbing endings of all time; it's called, Stage Fright, and the ending of the short consists of a corrupt theater manager ''strangling a poor woman, a theater backdrop coming down crashing on the bad guy's head, an organist turning into a rather demonic thing that drags the guy to, well, you know, and saying in a deep voice: "GOING DOWN" and the theater starting to collapse, leaving the fates of the woman and a guy with trained dogs ambiguous, as the last we see of them is exiting the theater into a bright light.
    • "Babylon" was Aardman's contribution to Channel 4's Sweet Disaster, a series of "animated visions of the apocalypse". It takes place in a ruined world, with a speaker giving a speech about "peace and profit" to a conference of arms dealers. One of the attendees is an enormous bald man who grunts like an animal and doesn't say an actual word throughout the entire thing. As the speech goes on, the man grows larger and larger until, upon reaching the ceiling, the ground begins to tremble and his torso ruptures, showering gore (as well as planes and missiles) onto everyone below. It then cuts to the outside, where the speaker's words echo across the dead landscape.
    • A lot of the shorts are scary just for the weird, dream-like atmosphere. Like the Adam short where Adam gets frustrated with God for placing him on a dull clay rock without any company and with nothing to do. Then at the end God creates him a... penguin...? Next! isn't anything particularly scary, it's a guy recreating all the Shakesphere plays with a mannequin, except maybe the mannequin being dismembered in various ways. But there's something just so creepy about it. Also if you're not well read on Shakesphere you won't know what the hell's going on.
  • Alma, A short film from Rodrigo Blaas of Pixar. A girl encounters a doll in a sinister, seemingly abandoned shop that looks exactly like her, and when she goes to investigate more closely, things get creepy fast. Watch it here.
  • The short film "Butterfly", which Keane's music video for "Bedshaped" is taken from, is beautiful, sad, and one of the freakiest things you'll ever see. Every time a character is angry it looks demonic, and the scene towards the end is intensely disturbing. However, the scariest bit is the Boy's drunken hallucination as he stands in front of a poster of Jesus on the cross. As he watches, the cross is suddenly empty, with Jesus standing in front of it. He starts to move forward in a manner reminiscent of a Japanese horror film, pouring blood everywhere and smearing it over the perspex covering the poster. The Boy screams and eventually runs off, as the viewer resists the urge to do the same.
  • The Cat Piano. To make a long story short, a demented psycho kidnaps (or catnaps) singing cats from a nearby cat town and uses them in his dreaded "cat piano" - where cats are confined in cages in a hellish organ. With each note struck, a sharpened nail would pierce each cat's tail, forcing a note from each pitch from their screams to create "music". The remaining cats raid the mansion where the psycho performs his twisted symphony upon thousands of cats, and tear him apart until he slips on his own blood and falls out the window to his death below.
  • The animated short of A Christmas Carol (1971) produced by Richard Williams and Chuck Jones won an Academy Award for best short. It isn't shown on TV often for being terrifying in its darker moments, especially Jacob Marley and the other howling phantoms, Ignorance and Want, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
  • The ending to 1930 Van Bueuren short "Circus Capers", starring expies of Mickey and Minnie. Here, after the clown mouse causes the ballerina mouse to faint, he leans in toward the camera so his face engulfs the entire screen. He then winks to us (with a "cuckoo" sound effect) and his face zooms in even more so his nose turns the screen completely black, ending the cartoon.
  • Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic, a short film for the video game Dante's Inferno, where the famous poet, Dante Alighieri of the middle ages, is rehashed into a troubled crusader who must save his love, Beatrice, from hell. Like in the Divine Comedy and the video game, the animated short follows Dante as he travels through limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery to rescue Beatrice from the hands of Satan. This short shows the levels of hell in all their sin-filled glory. For example, in one scene Dante explores limbo, where unbaptized babies go. There he finds out his wife had a miscarriage as he clutches his malformed fetus which crumbles away into dust. Then he gets attacked by hideous monsters that look like babies with claws for hands! Dante killing the hideous monstrosities with his scythe is extremely disturbing, and that was only the first level of hell.
  • Fleischer Studios
    • Pretty much all of "Bimbo's Initiation".
    • The ghost walrus, skeletons, zombie kittens, toothy ghosts, and flood of hellbeasts in "Minnie The Moocher".
    • You'll never look at trains the same way after watching "Play Safe".
    • The Downer Ending of "Swing You Sinners"
    • When Betty plays "Snow White (1933)" the queen turns into at the end.
      • For attentive viewers the background as Koko sings and dances goes from trippy to creepy quick thanks to all those deformed faces.
    • Humpty-Dumpty's demise in "Greedy Humpty-Dumpty".
    • The evil spider in "The Cobweb Hotel", especially during his Villain Song at the beginning of the short.
  • The high points of the 1939 short Peace on Earth. The scariest part? That was all World War ONE equipment, and this was made not long after the beginning of World War II. Merry Christmas! By the way, God is dead! Peace On Earth was nominated for an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize. The Oscars Web site confirms that it was nominated in the Short Subject (Cartoon) category. It lost to a Disney cartoon (The Ugly Ducking).
  • The British short animated film A Short Vision, which is essentially a depiction of the end of the world through what appeared to be an H-bomb attack. Perhaps the scariest part is that it was twice shown on The Ed Sullivan Show (at the time, probably the most-watched television show in the US) with Mr. Sullivan not advising kids to leave but advising parents to reassure them it was "just a fantasy—it's all animated". "Just a fantasy", with scenes like people's faces melting off and their eyeballs boiling in their sockets a la Raiders of the Lost Ark! It was given a content warning the second time it was featured.
    • Ed Sullivan premiered the film on the same month the first successful test of the H-Bomb occured, and noted that this was meant as an anti-war piece (though emphasizing the animals that got nuked, not the humans). In other words, not only was this horrifying, but a remarkable stand to take in Joseph McCarthy-era "Red Panic" America (in which there was a very heavy emphasis on "we will survive" portrayals of nuclear war).
  • In the Superman Theatrical Cartoon short "Jungle Drums", Lois Lane is being burned at the stake by a bunch of natives. While this is happening, the color palette switches to a hellish mix of red and black with strange silhouettes of the natives dancing and playing drums. It's not-too-subtle hell imagery at it's scariest.
    • Then there's the short called "The Underground World" where Clark, Lois, and a professor journey through a mysterious cave to discover what happened to the latter's missing father who went down the same cave and disappeared years ago. Lois and the professor come upon a tribe of bird-like people who proceed to take them prisoner, and as they're brought into the tribe's home they discover that they possess a statue of the missing father. Moments later the two are tied to a stone slab and the bird-creatures start to lower them into a molten-liquid like substance. To her horror, Lois then realizes the truth: the tribe did the same thing to the professor's father which preserved him and they're now going to suffer the same fate. Sure Superman saves the two of them in the end, but knowing just how close they wound up dying in such a horrific way is more than enough to keep you awake for a good while.
  • Svetlonos (The Torchbearer) a stop motion film made by Václav �vankmajer, (the son of famed Czech animator Jan Švankmajer.) The story features a Greek warrior fighting his way through a ruined landscape full of clockwork traps. Opposing him are an army of crumbling (yet sentient) female statues (who are the ones operating all of the aforementioned traps.) Oh and there are gangs of carnivorous rats roaming the ruins as well. Did I mention the reason the Greek Warrior is fighting his way through the ruins? He's there to fix the mechanism that runs the sky, which has stopped, plunging the world into eternal night. Oh, and Ending Spoiler: The only way to fix the mechanism is via Heroic Sacrifice: Inserting yourself into its machinery and allowing it to pierce your body and use your heart and circulatory system as a pump.
  • The UPA adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart", from the increasingly frantic narration to the surreal, nightmarish visuals to the creepy music to the final chilling shot from the narrator's point of view, inside the cell of a grey-walled insane asylum.
    "True, I'm nervous. Very, very dreadfully nervous. But why will you say that I'm mad?"
  • The Nazim Tulyakhodzayev-directed short cartoon of Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains" is scary from beginning to end, but one bit in particular that sticks out is the extremely disturbing scene of the family, having been reduced to ashes by nuclear radiation, being poured out of their beds by the house going through its morning routine. This is especially creepy in the children's room, where the little girl's doll is buried by the growing pile of her ashes. See the whole creepy thing here
  • The Old Lady and the Pigeons is a bizarre French short cartoon involving a police officer and an old lady... and plenty of pigeons. One scene shows human-like pigeons eating up the police officer. He takes a pigeon into his apartment and skins it alive. Said pigeon is left around in the apartment for months on end which eventually dies and its flesh is eaten up by cockroaches.
  • This terrifying (and definitely NSFW) psychedelic adaptation of [[Literature/Alice in Wonderland]] by Miwako and Vince Collins, in which a screaming young girl travels through a constantly morphing landscape of sexual imagery. A common interpretation of this short is that it's a metaphor for sexual abuse.

Alternative Title(s): Western Animation Film