It’s obvious to me that kids blatantly miss loads of stuff in films. Sometimes film makers deliberately put in references just for adults, but at times they will put stuff in for kids that adults simply don’t get. As a child I didn’t question really odd or disturbing shit happening in films – I just saw it all as a plot device that allowed the film to continue and progress. Now as somewhat of an adult I see these for what they are – shit to scare adults and amuse children. Here are eight films that have all o’ dat & much more.

 

#8: The Neverending Story (1984)

Now here was a film I constantly watched as a kid. Yet, as if to prove how stupid kids are, I could only give a very brief synopsis now as to what the film is even about. I know that it featured some weird massive animals that I sort of assumed were totally normal, and a trans-dimension trip for a young boy. As a kid I thought that was cool, not remotely weird and extremely enjoyable. Now just looking at that big fluffy flying bastard is enough to terrify me.

 

#7: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Unsurprisingly, ‘Roger Rabbit’s’ hammy mix of live action and real life didn’t really take off, and it’s that very distinctive mix that makes the film look really spooky today – cartoons interacting completely effortlessly with real people was, and still is terrifying. I thought that was ok at the time though, just Bob Hoskins driving a cartoon car, meeting with normal cartoon dudes. But no. Also, on 2nd rewatch, the film is terrifying because kindly old Dr. Emmett L. Brown (of ‘Back to the Future’) appears as a super villain. Fucking hell no, please.

 

#6: Labrynth (1986)

When I was a kid I obviously didn’t know who the hell David Bowie was, but now I do, and I know a little bit about his fiendish drug gobbling past. Like ‘Neverending Story’, Labrynth is escapism for kids. Bored and angsty, they disappear into a world made up of weird shit and a crazy soundtrack by the ‘chameleon of rock’ himself. All of which there is something basically very wrong about that. Also, need we mention Bowie’s absolutely gargantuan cod piece, which basically envelops the screen at any point he appears? Again, I missed that as a kid.

 

#5: Lion King (1994)

I’m not sure if Disney has ever admitted it, but the Lion King bears more than a passing resemblance to Shakespeare’s violent revenge tale ‘Hamlet’ – a story that anyone who has read will tell you, is not aimed at small children. Simba’s evil uncle Scar kills his dad, Mufasa. Now that is horrifying in itself, but it’s the bizarre hallucination sequences and terrifying graveyard scenes that imprint most. This film literally should not be rated U.

 

#4: Dumbo (1941)

You really have to be an oddball if you class animated films with self aware animals as strange. Indeed, suspending belief for situations like these is worthwhile when watching Disney films, but as if to highlight the fact that they have always been pretty odd, here is another Disney film from the 1940’s. Vivid hallucination scenes, possible racism, and obviously the socially outcast lead character all serve to make Dumbo a bit of an uncomfortable and slightly depressing film. It’s really good, but it also happens to be all those other things too.

 

#3: E.T: the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

ET is very obviously a film about acceptance, and in that respect, it is a massive success. But on the base of it all…Look at him. Look at fucking ET. He is a terrifying worm-humanoid splice, and he has an extremely odd and slowly drawling croak of a voice. The film is not scary at all, well, it wouldn’t be except for finding fucking ET in your fucking wardrobe.

 

#2: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

You literally must have been smoking crack if you thought the top 2 could be anything else. And yes, at times, the original Wonka film literally feels like smoking crack. It’s fast paced, very unclear, vivid as hell, and frightening too. The famous scenes of kids just disappearing, dying, being converted to a television signal or ballooning to hugely impossible sizes. The other famous scene of the tunnel of endless hallucination. Enjoy the ride, because it is a scary as shit film.

 

#1: The Wizard of Oz (1939)

If marketed and edited slightly differently, the story of the most successful kid’s film ever would more likely read as a very bizarre flick by Luis Buenel. But as luck had it, the makers made the film family friendly. And that is in the most basic sense of the word – you can watch it with your family, but you may not actually appreciate it. Kids have a marvellous talent for skipping over the big picture and focusing on the details, so maybe that’s why it’s never questioned in ‘Oz’ why there is murder, Dorothy hanging out with 3 utter freaks, a land full of flying monkeys, an unquestionable fascist overlord and well…fucking midgets just singing constantly. But no, kids love it. They think it’s quirky, fun and ultimately teaches a good moral lesson. No it fucking doesn’t, it’s terrifying, surreal, vivid, bizarre and very very weird.

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