From the Witch in “Snow White” to the Scarecrow in the “Batman” series, a look back at 6 animated characters who have left us with very bad memories.
The traumatic Witch of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfsthe hideous Scarecrow of the series Batman or even the sprawling villain of The little Mermaid… Some cartoon characters have sometimes left very bad memories for young viewers that we were in the 80s or 90s.
A look back at 6 movie or television villains who gave us chills in our childhood.
Batman – The Scarecrow
Scarecrow has always been one of Gotham City’s most unsettling supervillains. Thanks to a gas of its composition, it awakens the worst fears of those who inhale it. In the third episode of the animated series Batman (1992), the first appearance of Jonathan Crane alias the Scarecrow is formidable. In addition to wearing a very strange mask that lengthens his face, he subjects Batman to the worst torments. In this episode titled Scarecrow, Bruce Wayne/Batman breathes in Crane’s product and finds himself plagued by hallucinations. First of his father surrounded by flames who tells him that he is the disgrace of the family, then later in the episode, a gigantic terrifying skull is close to breaking the Dark Knight in two! One more sight.
Bruce recovers by chanting his catchphrase: “I am revenge, I am the night, I am Batman”! Fortunately, because here, we haven’t recovered yet!
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – The Witch
In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, there’s only one real villain: the queen who transforms into the fearsome and dreaded witch. Poor Snow White, friend with everything that lives in her forest, seems to want to live a quiet life surrounded by animals and the 7 dwarfs, until she crosses the path of a beautiful red apple hiding a deadly poison created by the queen, meanwhile become a hideous witch. The drawn features, arched, the prominent nose overhung by an imposing wart of the color of her eyes giving the illusion that she has three, a single tooth, the thick frowning eyebrows and thin hands with pointed nails: this character is chilling for children discovering the film for the first time.
Her actions do nothing to improve the picture, for after plunging Snow White into a near-eternal slumber, she attempts to crush the dwarfs chasing her with a huge boulder. Lightning, like a punishment sent by fate, comes to punish her for her bad deeds, and the young spectators are finally reassured!
Pinocchio – The coachman
Behind his apparent good nature, his rosy cheeks and his big smile, the coachman of Pinocchio is a monster in its purest form, as we can see from the end of his conversation with Grand-Coquin and Gedeon, when he exposes his plan to them and his face suddenly displays a diabolical expression.
His plan: exploit the disobedience of a few rascals, promise them mountains and wonders, invite them to come and spend a holiday on the Enchanted Island, and let them turn into donkeys to then sell them to the highest bidder. Question cruelty, we have rarely done worse!
The Little Mermaid – Ursula
Surrounded by two undulating moray eels, hidden in an underwater cave with walls lined with strange creatures, the sprawling Ursula has something to terrorize anyone.
If you sometimes have to be wary of appearances, in this case, you can trust them and go your way. Because not content to evolve in an environment that is dismal to say the least, the witch of the depths seeks to steal the voice of her victims. A whole program, to which The little Mermaid would have done better to withdraw without hesitation.
The Mad Getaway – Stachys Rabbit General
We can never be wary enough of animated films… The Crazy Getawayreleased in 1978 and directed by Martin Rosen (which by the way is a revered work by Guillermo del Toro) is by no means for children. Because under its cute exterior putting in images the destiny of rabbits hides in fact a (formidable) film of a great and terrible darkness; parable of a totalitarian world with the air of war not really cold.
Here, in a disturbing anthropomorphism, the rabbits kill each other and mutilate each other. In this gallery, the character, absolutely terrifying, General Stachys (General Woundwort in VO), drooling, one-eyed and bleeding, all claws out, hanging animated by a sort of zombie rabbit, gave some nightmares to sensitive souls. ..
Taram and the Magic Cauldron – The Dark Lord
Cursed film, born in great pain in a Disney house then in full creative introspection and failures at the Box Office (on which we had returned in more detail here), Taram and the Magic Cauldron was released in our regions in November 1985. Of a quite unusual darkness for the house with big ears, the film was even violent. We also saw there, for the first time in a work of the house, a character, Taram, bleeding after having taken a beating.
What also caught the eye was, of course, his villain, the terrifying Lord of Darkness: inevitably sepulchral voice, clawed fingers, blood-red eyes, skeletal face hidden under a hood flanked by two horns, he slowly walked his figure in a ruined castle, obsessed with bringing an army of undead back to life using the famous cauldron.
The author of these lines had the pleasure – or the bad luck, it depends – of discovering this character in theaters at the time (at the Grand Rex, during a Wednesday afternoon session!). It is an understatement to say that there was general panic in the audience, with the children who screamed in fear when they discovered it, crying, some of them plunging their heads into the back of the armchair or into the arms of distraught parents… From memory , never has a Disney villain been so scary, and it’s not about to be the case again…