14 Villain Deaths In Kids' Movies That Didn't Have To Go So Hard

List Rules
Vote up the kids' movie villains who got a savage end.

One of the most satisfying moments in all of filmmaking is when a vile antagonist gets their comeuppance, especially in children's films. That being said, some deaths in family-friendly movies seem a little bit too intense for the audience they are intended for. Like, toddlers are watching these movies, and that is how you send the big bad to their demise? Sometimes it feels like certain filmmakers want to give kids some major nightmares.

Emperor skekSo withering away into a dusty corpse in The Dark Crystal? Judge Doom wailing as he's "dipped" to death in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Preed getting his neck snapped in Titan A.E.? So, get ready to relive some childhood trauma as we run through these and some other villain deaths that didn't really have to go that hard.


  • 1
    132 VOTES

    Clayton In 'Tarzan'

    To be honest, Tarzan's Clayton is not a top-tier Disney villain. Sure, the movie itself is an underrated gem that came at the tail end of the Mouse House's pre-2000s renaissance, but its success has little to do with this malevolent poacher extraordinaire. Tarzan does a lot of things well, but having a charismatic and engaging villain isn't one of them. That being said, his death is pretty goshdarn dark for a film that got a G rating upon theatrical release.

    Clayton makes the mistake of taking on Tarzan, Jane, and Kerchak at the end of the film with a shotgun. Although the baddie holds his own against all three for quite a bit, he compounds on his error by following Tarzan up to the twisty, tricky treetops of the jungle. This proves to be his undoing as he gets tangled in a mess of vines. Instead of reacting to this situation calmly, he thrashes about with his machete and ends up getting one of the vines caught around his neck. Though Walt Disney Animation Studios decided not to show a man being hanged to death in a kids' movie, it did show the shadow of it happening. Not exactly the family-friendly imagery synonymous with the Disney name...

    132 votes
  • If any animation studio is more family-friendly than Disney, it is the company's subsidiary, Pixar Animation Studios. From Toy Story and WALL-E to Coco and Luca, the Emeryville, CA-based production house has become synonymous with quality and ingenuity. You don't see DreamWorks or Illumination coming up with wild ideas like Inside Out or Soul, do you? Of course, Pixar has been known to showcase some darker moments in its films from time to time. Whether it's Jessie's abandonment in Toy Story 2 or the demise of Marlin's wife in the opening scene of Finding Nemo, the company isn't afraid to push the boundaries of traditional children's storytelling.

    Giving Syndrome, the egomaniacal villain of The Incredibles, the just demise he deserves falls in line with that ethos. At the end of the 2004 classic, Syndrome takes the Parr baby, Jack-Jack, to raise as his own son out of spite. Of course, Jack-Jack proves to be more than Syndrome has bargained for as his shapeshifting freakout causes the villain to lose control in midair. Violating Edna Mode's one rule - no capes - is Syndrome's downfall as he is sucked into his private jet's turbine, ending him instantly. What family fun!

    119 votes
  • If you grew up in the late '80s/early '90s, chances are Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a major touchstone of your childhood. While the film has been all but forgotten by younger generations due to its disappearance from the theme parks and lack of sequels, it is hard to overstate just how big of a hit it was for Disney, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis at the time of its release. And since the live-action/animation hybrid harkened back to the Tex Avery cartoons of the 1940s, things got pretty dark and violent throughout the film.

    For the most part, the harbinger of said darkness was Christopher Lloyd's Judge Doom. That Lloyd was able to bring such menace to the character is a testament to his acting ability, but there is honestly nothing Doom does throughout the film that is scarier than his own demise. Right after Doom reveals himself to be a demonic, high-pitched toon himself, he falls victim to his own evil concoction: the Dip. This chemical ooze is capable of completely breaking down a toon into nothingness, and seeing Doom scream and wail as he melts down is nothing short of disturbing. 

    124 votes
  • Well, it's not like Ursula didn't deserve a violent demise. You don't become one of Disney's most infamous villains by being nice. And Ursula is anything but nice. During the stormy climax of The Little Mermaid, the sea witch grows to kaiju size thanks to the power of King Triton's trident.

    If you haven't seen The Little Mermaid since you were a child, you probably remember Ursula getting struck down by a bolt of lightning courtesy of the trident she is wielding. And while that is true, Prince Eric impales her through the heart with the bowsprit of a boat first. If that isn't a villain demise that goes just a little bit too hard, we don't know what is.

    122 votes
  • 5
    85 VOTES

    Rasputin In 'Anastasia'

    Of course Don Bluth was going to be involved in any conversation about harsh villain demises in children's films... the man never shied away from including dark themes and imagery in his illustrious career. After getting his start at Disney, he moved on to become one of the defining filmmakers of the 1980s. The Secret of NIMHThe Land Before Time, and An American Tail provided proof of both his remarkable talent and his penchant for bleakness. Always down to frighten kids if need be, he continued this trend in 1997's box-office smash, Anastasia.

    When Anastasia gets her hands (or foot, rather) on Rasputin's glowing reliquary during the film's climax, she promptly stomps it into oblivion. This releases a horde of green demons on the man, and what happens, well, isn't exactly the kind of stuff young children should be seeing at an impressionable age. After getting bum-rushed by the emerald ghosties, all of Rasputin's skin, organs, and tissue melt off of his skeleton into a liquid on the bricked street below him. Then, he collapses into a spasming heap as his skeleton glows neon green before withering away into a pile of ash. You know, in this G-rated film! For kids! 

    85 votes
  • 6
    91 VOTES

    Hopper In 'A Bug's Life'

    To be fair, if you saw a bird eating a grasshopper on the sidewalk, you wouldn't think twice about it. It's kind of like the train crash scene from Ant-Man; when something harrowing is happening on that small of a scale, the horror is muted, and you merely shrug it off. That being said, Hopper really gets a raw deal at the end of A Bug's Life. Sure, he had it coming... but his demise certainly was capital "b" brutal. At the end of the film, the evil grasshopper is choking the life out of protagonist Flik in the middle of a rainstorm. All in all, pretty harsh for a Pixar flick, but it only gets more vicious from there.

    A goldfinch appears out of nowhere in the frame and taunts the villain for a bit before snatching him up with her beak. Alas, this mother bird doesn't eat Hopper, giving him a quick end. No, she takes him over to her nearby nest full of baby chicks and feeds the grasshopper to her children. Thankfully, we don't see him get ripped to shreds by birds, but the mental image is enough to make you squirm.

    91 votes