Ask yourself this: should children be coddled, or treated like miniature adults? Should they be insulated from the horrifying reality that inevitably awaits them, or would they be better off being exposed to it at a young age? These creepy kids' cartoons emphatically argue the latter.
Now, these aren't your run-of-the-mill cartoons with dirty, adult jokes thrown in here and there. These creepy animated movies and shows for kids are legitimately terrifying. They are straight-up, messed-up, nightmare-fuel-injected cartoon terror. If you watched these growing up, from Coraline to Watership Down, you might start to question the judgment of your parents. That, or you might thank them for the character-building horror. After all, it is just a cartoon... right?
Necrophilia is not a typical subject for children's entertainment. But Tim "What Does Appropriate Mean?" Burton's Corpse Bride dares to ask the question: is it wrong for a man to love a rotting bag of bones? Not if the corpse is animated (pun intended).
Add to that the main plot point of murder and the raucous underworld of ghouls and you have a creepy kids film that only Tim Burton could pull off. It is romantic, though, the notion of true love transcending death. Let's just not take it too literally.
Overall, this Tim Burton masterpiece is relatively tame, but it does have some profoundly creepy moments. The denizens of Halloween Town have a certain spooky charm, but some of them take it a bit too far. Like the child whose eyes are sewn shut, or the clown with a tear-away face.
Then there is the entire plot to kidnap, murder, and eat Santa Claus. Sometimes, though, you just have to let go of the little stuff like that and give yourself over to the experience . "Life's no fun without a good scare."
It isn't surprising that Jhonen Vasquez, author of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, would include some dark moments in his cartoon Invader Zim. It is pleasantly surprising that Nickelodeon allowed it. The show itself is about an invading alien, Zim, bent on enslaving the entire human race. Thankfully, however, he is pretty incompetent, as is his insane robot sidekick, GIR.
Still, Zim does manage to steal all the organs from a school full of children in one episode. That's a for real thing that made it to air. His nemesis, Dib, is constantly confronted with the insanity of a human society that refuses to see the truth, no matter how obvious it is. Also, Dib's sister, Gaz, taught her robot dolls to feed on human flesh. So there's that.
Night on a Bald Mountain is terrifying. Yes, it is also beautiful, artistic, and moving. But when you are 6 years old, those things don't tend to come across. The main image you're left with is a gigantic devil playing with the lives of lesser spooks as ominous music plays in the background.
Sleep, tight little Johnny, and don't worry about the possibility of a giant winged demon descending upon your cozy village and raising skeleton-ghosts from the gallows. Not to mention the partial (animated) nudity. This film could have only come from a time when children were treated like tiny adults instead of another species too small and weak to handle such terror.