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Nightmare Fuel / Fantasia

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"Fantasia" is the most "adult" classic full-length animated film Disney ever made. This makes it a bit different than most of their other full length animated films right off the bat. Almost all of the segments take place in the dark.

  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor
    • Near the end of the segment, three breaks in a black overcast are seen flashing, followed a strange shape (resembling a coffin) walking away from the camera into the background, accompanied respectively by frightening string/brass (originally organ pedals) sections and a haunting bass cadenza.
    • Leopold Stokowski himself during the first half of this segment. There is something about the sudden movements of his conducting style and how his commanding presence is causing music that at times can be quite dissonant and unsettling. Not helping matters is the fact that his nose is rather large and prominent, making it hard not to perceive as a Sinister Schnoz. It is only when he says congratulations to Mickey Mouse after the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment that you may realize that he isn't supposed to be a Disney villain!
  • The Nutcracker
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    • 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 also 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. See it here.
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    • The way the chopped up broom splinters slowly but surely comes back to life. First the splinters start twitching, then they transform into thousands of brooms. Mickey then hearing sounds from behind the door and taking a peek...
    • Mickey's desperate attempts to stop the brooms, while the room is slowly but surely filling up with water. Especially the disturbing part where the brooms are still emptying their buckets in the fountain while already in over their heads!
    • Mickey almost drowning in the whirlpool. If the wizard hadn't come back in time, he would surely have died.
    • Yen Sid providing a Jump Scare moment by suddenly hitting Mickey with the broomstick. While this is primarily a Funny Moment, it can be quite startling if you're watching it for the first time. Not to mention the Death Glare he's giving him the whole time. Thankfully, there's a little Nightmare Retardant in there, too: if you look carefully at the shot immediately prior to Yen Sid hitting Mickey, he has a tiny smirk on his face, meaning that he at least found Mickey's debacle Actually Pretty Funny.
  • The Rite of Spring.
    • The creation of the universe is very eerie, due to the threatening music ("Part I Introduction"). 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 Augurs of Spring", "Ritual of Abduction").
    • The scenes taking place in the deep ocean ("Part II Introduction"). 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 Tylosaurus. This happens onscreen and ends that part of the segment. Worse still, the Pteranodon gets grabbed by the Tylosaurus's jaws head first and then slowly gets dragged into the water while struggling, in almost complete silence, no less. There's no blood or anything, but it's still pretty shocking.
    • The appearance of those Struthiomimus who head towards the river to drink ("Mystical Circles of the Adolescent Girls"). The music is eerie and they move like zombies, complete with glazed stare and jerky movements.
    • The brutal battle between the Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus rex ("Glorification of the Chosen One", "Evocation of the Ancestors"). Stegosaurus had the bad luck that T-Rex wanted to eat it, and was running for its life. In fact, by logic due to the thagomizers and spines, it should be protected by being too sharp. Yet T-Rex bites it on the spines directly and then goes for the neck a few times while the horns are blaring. It's unclear if T-Rex paralyzed Stegosaurus or did a Neck Snap, but either way, it knocked Stegosaurus to the ground, where the creature mercifully died within a few seconds. Oh, and all of this is onscreen.
      • Hell, the T. rex itself! Sure, it may not be outright evil, but it's still utterly terrifying, especially considering it took multiple thagomizer hits to the face and barely flinched.
    • The other creatures can only watch. Their expressions are horrified, waiting for either the end to come, or for the T-Rex to choose another form of prey.
    • The dinosaurs dying from starvation and dehydration is also very disturbing ("Ritual Actions of the Ancestors"). Especially the one who is trying 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.
      • The Brontosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus drowning in the mud, and being harassed by the Ceratosaurus.
      • Those dinosaurs can do nothing but stand in the sinking mud and either starve to death or wait to be eaten by the Ceratosaurus.
      • 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 footprint-covered landscape... revealing a valley littered with dinosaur skeletons and ending with a focus on a T. Rex's skull. The silence is just utterly chilling and the clear evidence that these creatures died of starvation and dehydration is unsettling to say the least.
      • For contemporary audiences, it must've brought up thoughts of the Dust Bowl, which was still occurring at the time.
    • The solar eclipse at the end of the segment ("Kiss of the Earth: The Sage", "Part I Introduction, Reprise"). It's just so eerie that something so familiar as the sun can be so frightening.
      • The brief pause of silence before an earthquake literally rips open the earth is quite chilling.
      • Followed by eerie, shrieking horns as huge rocks rip out of the Earth ("Dance of the Earth").
    • The grim reminder that our own brief time on Earth could end the same way.
    • The fact that what caused the dinosaurs' extinction in the first place is never shown, just the aftermath of it. Granted, this is likely due to there not yet being a consensus at the time of release on just what did cause the K-T extinction, but it still manages to be a shining example of Nothing Is Scarier. One minute the dinosaurs are frolicking in a lush floodplain, the next there's a cut to a lifeless desert with the surviving pockets of reptiles on a futile march for food and water, and the audience is left wondering just what the hell happened.
  • "The Pastoral Symphony"
    • Although not a villainous character, the pitch-black pegasus with the glowing red eyes is a little creepy looking.
    • The sudden appearance of Zeus in the third segment, accompanied by storm clouds and a loud change in music. Then he decides to start throwing lightning bolts at everyone, just For the Evulz. Just be glad this isn't the same Zeus from Hercules; that'd be awkward.
  • The Night on Bald Mountain. Everything that ever went bump in the night, all rolled up in one burning Black Mass presided over by the colossal demon 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... all aimed at making the night of the demons more horrifying. There is very good reason Chernabog is the current picture of Disney's Nightmare Fuel page...

Fantasia 2000

See Fantasia 2000
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