The 80s was a really weird decade. The more hindsight we have, and as we creep ever further away from the decade that was, it seems that there’s less fucked up children’s shit for children to watch. For me, the 80s was a time when movies specifically tailored to children were absolutely horrifying. But no one really seemed to mind because you could still smoke in hospitals and no one really gave much thought to “parenting style”.
The more politically correct we get, and tsk tsk things like “attachment parenting” and “smacking children who have been naughty and probably deserve it”, the more diligent families are about what children consume. As far as I can tell, when I was growing up parenting just meant “put your daughter’s hair in braids before she goes to bed so you can tease it up into a giant side ponytail the next day,” “do what you’re told, you’re a damn child for crying out loud” and “oh wow Grease is on TV again let’s dance around the living room kids!”, but now it seems to mean monitoring children’s every movement like you’re a CCTV camera and talking to 3 year olds about their “feelings” because 3 year olds are apparently now wracked with very important feels. Basically, R.I.P. Ren & Stimpy.
When I was growing up, children’s movies weren’t exactly always child friendly. No one really seemed to mind. Unfortunately, many of the movies I watched as a child have left me, and probably many others, with some irreparable mental problems. See below.
This is a cartoon in which wild rabbits maim one another in a brutal, merciless fashion. To this day I cannot be in a room alone with a bunny, the most terrifying creature known to man.
In The Dark Crystal this weird bird skull thing says a bunch of mean things to some other weird bird skull things whose voices all sound like vomiting, then he dies, and turns to dust. It’s just about the most horrifying thing you can subject a child to.
I don’t know why this was a children’s film or why any of us were allowed to watch it. I actually watched Drop Dead Fred REPEATEDLY as a child, it was one of my favorites, and my parent’s watched along with me, no judgement, even though it’s essentially a movie about a misogynist sex offender imaginary friend who keeps trying to kill himself.
4. The Land Before Time/Bambi/Anything where the mother dies
I dunno, maybe I’m a bit conservative or something, but a 3 year old probably doesn’t need to be contemplating the death of their mother. Meanwhile, I spent most of my childhood ensuring my mother went no where near deep crevasses, especially in the rain. I also once asked her if she remembered “what the dinosaurs were like”, so obviously I was easily confused.
5. Any iteration of Rikki Tikki Tavi
OK, the part where Nagaina goes in the house when the family is asleep? I used to lay awake at night picturing her slithering in silently. For some reason the idea of a mongoose terrified me just as much, I guess because when I was little a creature that could FIGHT A COBRA SNAKE was just as formidable as the snake itself.