Top 5 Scariest Movies: These are the family-friendly Disney movies that are surprisingly intense– reminding us that with some imagination and creativity, anything is possible.
We’ve been binging Disney+ in quarantine, and in doing so we’ve been reminded how dark and scary some of our childhood favorites are. Surely that’s a big reason they left such a lasting impression. After all, most young audience members love to be scared, within reason.
For this list of the most frightening films on Disney’s enormously successful streaming service, we’ve rounded up some of the essentials, as well as some obscure offerings you’ve probably never heard of, now at your fingertips waiting to be discovered thanks to your Disney+ subscription.
Let’s see Top 5 Scariest Movies on Disney Plus
1. Return to Oz (1985)
Fairly traumatizing. Walter Murch‘s sequel to the world’s favorite movie–mostly an adaptation of L. Frank Baum‘s books The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz–see first-time screen star Fairuza Balk take over for Judy Garland as Kansas girl Dorothy Gale, who returns to the magical Land of Oz to find it overthrown and ruled by the villainous Nome King.
2. Pinocchio (1940)
Made with a much bigger budget, more time and more resources, Walt Disney‘s second full-length feature is arguably even more stunning than its predecessor; it’s the only picture that can give Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a run for its money for the title of the greatest animated film of all time.
3. Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)
Definitely not a masterwork like Snow White or Pinocchio (in fact, the script is a flat-out mess) this Disney Channel original movie (DCOM) is rather infamous, widely seen as the scariest DCOM of all.
Some concerned parents even requested Disney to stop airing it altogether.
4. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Distributed under Disney’s Buena Vista banner (that’s for fare aimed at older kids and even adults), this horror/comedy/musical hybrid initially tanked with critics and audiences, losing Disney as much as $20 million at the box office.
Now, Hocus Pocus is a perennial essential on TV and home video, with a Halloween presence comparable to A Christmas Story over the holidays.
5. Fantasia (1940)
Four words, everybody: “Night on Bald Mountain.”
Fantasia, Walt Disney’s ambitious collection of eight animated musical vignettes set to a score conducted by Leopold Stokowski and emcee’d by Mickey Mouse, the first movie ever released in stereo, was so expensive that it didn’t start to turn a profit until its 1969 theatrical re-release.
The film has been re-released so often that it is one of the highest-grossing films of all time when taking inflation into account. The next time you have an opportunity to experience Fantasia on the big screen, don’t pass it up. A state-of-the-art sound system–or better yet, a live orchestra–turns this masterwork up to 11.
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