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.
- 121 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.Intense way to go out?
- 29 VOTES
Carrigan Crittenden In 'Casper'Photo: Universal Pictures
The Casper the Friendly Ghost of various cartoons and comic book series over the years was meant to appeal to young children. It's right there in the name. "Casper the Friendly Ghost." He's the friendliest ghost, you know! Well, when the titular spirit became the protagonist of his own box-office smash in 1995, the production team decided to go a bit darker with their take. Did they need to give Casper a tragic backstory? Probably not. He's already a dead kid... that's kind of all you need to know. You don't really need to hammer that one home.
But they also took things to another level when it came time for the demise of the antagonist, Carrigan Crittenden. First, she survives a car crash only to step out of the car and fall off a cliff. Cool. Then she appears in Whipstaff Manor as a ghost until Casper tricks her into saying she has no unfinished business left on Earth (i.e., the only reason ghosts exist on our mortal plane in the film). Carrigan then explodes in a blast of light, crossing over to the other side. What a way to shuffle off into the afterlife.Intense way to go out?
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.Intense way to go out?
- 446 VOTES
Clayton In 'Tarzan'Photo: Buena Vista Pictures
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...Intense way to go out?