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Nightmare Fuel / Classic Disney Shorts

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Even in those charming seven minute cartoons, Disney sometimes managed to scare the audience.


  • The Mickey Mouse title card might startle some; it looks like he’s staring into your soul.



  • The Skeleton Dance: The entire short is creepy, but especially the two shots where the skeleton jumps at the camera and seems to devour it.
  • The Haunted House: Especially when the head grim reaper skeleton is revealed. Oddly, it is referred to as “ma’am”, although it has a male voice.
    “PLAAAAAY!” “I c-can’t play.” “PLAAAAAY!” “Y-yes, ma’am.” “PLAAAAAY...”
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  • Hell's Bells: A 1929 cartoon about Hell. In the opening scenes a big fat spider with teeth swings back and forth and snaps at the viewer.


  • The Fire Fighters: features a scene where Minnie is seen coughing up smoke and nearly suffocating.
  • The way the Pluto-prototype bloodhounds in "The Chain Gang" loudly bark up close to the screen.
  • The Gorilla Mystery, a prototype for Donald Duck and the Gorilla that would come in 1944. The basic premise is scary enough: a Killer Gorilla is on the loose in Mickey and Minnie's neighborhood, and then it breaks into Minnie's house, forcing Mickey to go to her rescue. The snarling, fanged, clawed beast is frightening enough, but its actions around Minnie, which are disturbingly reminiscent of a home invader with intentions of rape, are particularly chilling.





  • Gulliver Mickey, where Mickey has to fight off a giant spider who bears a canny resemblance to Pegleg Pete.




  • The Winged Scrounge: A 1942 propaganda cartoon about fighting off malaria. Complete with a shot where a giant mosquito is peering down over a house and chilling voiceover lines like, "Little does he suspect he's to be the victim of this bloodthirsty vampire!" and, after all is said and done, describing the mosquito as "this tiny criminal, which has assumed the proportions of a monster!"


  • Chicken Little: The very disturbing ending where the fox devours every chicken, duck and turkey. When the narrator asks him "Hey, wait a minute! This isn't right, that's not the way the story is supposed to end!", the fox just calmly tells him not to believe everything he reads.
    • Made more disturbing when you think about what it would be like to be in their shoes, panicking, crowded, trapped in a dark cave with a large (to them) carnivore that going to kill and eat them all, and they can't do a thing about it, and no help is coming.
  • Education for Death: Has its own page.
  • Defense Against Invasion: This 1943 propaganda cartoon calls for people to be vaccinated, comparing the human body to a city or a country. Then the germs come into a person and, because the person's blood cells don't have enough resistance to the germs, kill the poor guy by swamping the cells! Considering that many of the diseases we are vaccinated against are still serious, this makes for a case of Values Resonance.


  • Donald Duck And The Gorilla: If you think this short would take place at the zoo with goofy moments, you'd be dead wrong. Ajax is an Ax-Crazy ape who hunts Donald and the nephews through their large, old house. At the end he almost crushes Donald to death before being subdued by tear gas. It's in the Horror Comedy film, Mickey's House of Villains for a reason.


  • Peter and the Wolf: The wolf itself is the main source of scary moments.
    • The first appearance of it is especially scary, with its theme playing in the background at the beginning as it snows and we hear Sterling Holloway’s ominous line, “There is also a wolf” after introducing the characters and the instruments they’re portrayed with. Then we see the wolf's footprints in the snow, the camera travels through the woods where we see a silhouette of something between the trees, then more trees group together, then the camera fades to the end of the trees and then it comes out from behind the trees and roars at the audience.


  • Pluto's Sweater has many moments that were intended to be funny, but may come off as incredibly creepy, as they frequently enter the Uncanny Valley territory and look just... wrong.
    • Pluto's first frantic attempt at shaking off the titular sweater results in it getting wrapped around his torso, with its sleeves dangling limply off it. Failing to notice that and thinking that he got rid of the hated garb, Pluto happily walks ahead... and said sleeves unfold and start to move like two additional pairs of legs — as if they were alive. Heck, they even keep walking for a moment after Pluto has already stopped...
    • Another failed attempt at removing the clothing gets Pluto thrown into a pond, from which he soon emerges, completely enveloped within the sweater, which then drops to the ground into a formless mass and starts to shrink, with Pluto trapped inside. He tries to find a way out, which looks downright unnerving not only due to desperation of his struggle, but due to the way he moves — frantic, intermittent, more akin to an insect rather than a mammal. It literally evokes an image of an animal writhing in agony. The music which plays during that scene certainly does not help.
    • And finally, when sweater shrinks to a tiny size, it ends up on Pluto's head, looking like a tentacled mask of sorts that just may give you creeps. Watch it at your own risk. To make things worse, Pluto soon pulls the sweater's neck hole over his eyes in order to see, looks directly into the camera and smiles... which only ends up making him look even more creepy.


  • Motormania is an interesting take on the Jekyll & Hyde concept with the peaceful Mr. Walker trasforming into the dangerously irascible Mr. Wheeler who is an endless source of NightmareFaces.


  • The green and purple mansions burning to the ground in The Little House. In the same scene, somebody yells out a bloodcurdling "THE ALARM! SOUND THE ALARM!". Miraculously, the Little House, situated right between the two, survives (albeit with some damage done).



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